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German Shepherd Vs Rottweiler

GERMAN SHEPHERD vs ROTTWEILER

CHARACTERISTICS

GERMAN SHEPHERD

ROTTWEILER

Origin

Germany

Germany

Size

Medium to Large

Medium to Large

Life-Span

10 to 13

08 to11

Popularity (AKC)

#2

#8

Dog Breed Group

Herding

Working

Availability in India

Easily Available

Easily Available

Avg Price in India

₹14,000 to ₹24,000

₹18,000 to ₹25,000

Physical Attributes

Height: 22-26 inch

Weight: 22-40 Kg

Height: 22-27 inch

Weight: 35-60 Kg

Coat Colors

Black & Red, Black & Tan, Black & Silver

Fully Black coat with tan, rust or mahogany markings

Apartment-Friendly

***

***

Stranger Friendly

**

*

Dog-Friendly

**

*

Cat-Friendly

***

***

Child-Friendly

*****

**

Exercise Needs

****

***

Grooming Needs

***

*

Easy to Train

*****

***

Good for Novice Owners

**

**

Barking Tendencies

**

**

Tolerance to Loneliness

**

*

Drooling Potential

*

****

Health Issues

****

***

Intelligence

*****

****

Playfulness

****

***

Shedding Potential

*****

***

Watchdog Ability

*****

*****

Guard Dog Ability

*****

*****

Heat Tolerance

***

***

Cold Tolerance

****

**

Guide Dog

Yes

Yes

Hypoallergenic

No

No

Litter Size

4 to 9

6 to 9

Selecting the best dog for your home can be a really confusing and difficult task. Different people have different preferences. Some are looking for an easy to groom dog while others are searching for the best guard dog they could have. And some remain very puzzled whether to go for a small sized pooch or bring home a large furry friend. Speaking about Large-sized canines, there are two extremely popular dog breeds that every potential canine owner stumbles upon when looking for a big four-legged companion, German Shepherds and Rottweilers.

These two breeds are immensely intelligent, powerful, and well-known all around the world. And although we are discussing the differences between German Shepherds and Rottweilers in this article, there are quite a few similarities as well that these strong breeds share with each other. Both GSD and Rottweiler share a common origin in Germany, both are fairly similar in size and stature, both are mostly found in a black color coat, both are exceptional guard dogs and both are very easily available in India.

Now coming back to the differences, a Rottie is tremendously easy to groom, its prone to heavy drooling and it is not known to withstand cold climatic conditions very easily. German Shepherds, on the other hand, do have a fair amount of grooming requirements, it drools very little and is able to tolerate low-temperatures quite comfortably. There are a lot of other characteristics which can be used to differentiate between these two breeds and those are as follows:

History:

Despite originating in the same country, the story of how these two breeds came to fruition is very different. The credit for creating the GSDs goes to a German cavalry officer named Captain Max Von Stephanitz. In 1899, while visiting a dog show, a dog named Hector caught his attention and he was instantly smitten by this pooch. After renaming this dog (to Horand Var Grafrath), he started breeding this canine with various other pooches and as time passed by, he was able to successfully develop a new breed which was called “German Shepherd Dog.” This breed was very active during the first World War and it served as a guard dog, rescue dog, messenger dog etc.

Rottweilers, on the other hand, had a pretty different beginning. Their ancestors were the Roman drover dogs who were used as guard dogs by the Roman legion. These pooches were given the task of protecting and herding the cattle which the Romans brought with them for nourishment purposes. In 1880, the requirement for these dogs declined significantly but as World War I came close, their demand again increased and now they were used as Police dogs.

Appearance:

While these two dogs have a fairly similar size (their average height is also quite similar, GSDs - 22-26 inch and Rotties – 22-27 inch at the withers), it is the Rottweilers who are slightly bulkier than the German Shepherds. The average weight of Rotties is around 35-60 Kg and German Shepherds weigh somewhere between 22-40 Kg. Also, Rotties have a fairly short and smooth coat which is easier to groom as compared to the long coats of GSDs which takes a lot of time to maintain. And as German Shepherds also come in other types who have fairly longer coats than the usual GSDs, they are even harder to groom. Now, coming to the various colors in which these two canines are mostly found in, Rottweilers have a solid black colored coat with some tan or rust markings but German Shepherds' coat is generally available in a combination of two colors. These combos can be Black & Red, Black & Tan, and Black & Silver. There are some facial differences between these two breeds as well like GSDs have a long and tapered muzzle while the Rottweilers possess a blunt and shorter snout. Also, German Shepherds' ears are pointy and upright while Rotties have folded ears.

Temperament:

If we judge these dogs only on the basis of temperamental traits, then they are quite similar. They both are very protective of their loved ones, both are highly courageous and loyal and both are equally smart and fearless. But the thing that differentiates these two breeds is the amount of training, guidance, and socialization required. A Rottweiler needs to be properly socialized with others starting from a very early age as, without it, this pooch will not be able to get along that well with other canines, cats, children, people (strangers) et cetera. A GSD also needs a good amount of guidance and socialization, but still, it is a bit more friendly and gregarious with others. Also, German Shepherds are exceptionally kind and affectionate with small kids while Rotties need to be properly introduced with kids at a young age so that they could become more friendly and comfortable around them.

When comparing these breeds on the basis of guarding abilities, then both of them are very close to another. Both GSDs and Rotties are tremendous guard dogs and they can effectively protect their owners and loved ones. Also, both these dogs are only known to bark in a fairly considerate manner when they are guarding their homes and apart from that, they both mostly remain fairly calm and quiet. 

Maintenance Needs:

Apart from their feeding needs, there is a fair share of differences when it comes to the maintenance needs of these canines. Rottweilers are well-known for their low-grooming needs. They only need weekly brushing of their short coats and they also shed only on a seasonal basis, hence their owners do not have to worry about the abundance of dog hair in their homes for most of the year. But this is not the case with German Shepherds. As they have longer and denser coat than the Rotties, they need to be brushed at least once or twice every week. Also, these pooches are very heavy shedders and they are known to shed their fur all around the year. They also produce a lot more dander than Rottweilers.

Coming to the exercise requirements of both these breeds, German Shepherds need a lot of physical movement and exercise on a regular basis so as to remain fit and healthy. They require daily long walks, regular play sessions and various other activities like jogging, swimming, hiking et cetera to be fully contented and happy. If these pooches are not receiving proper exercise from their owners, then gradually, they can become highly restless and bored and can also become a bit destructive in nature. Therefore, GSDs are not suitable for those people who are unable to give a proper amount of time to these dogs and to their needs. But Rotties are not like GSDs in this department. They only need a 15-20 minutes exercise session on a daily basis to remain happy. They also like to play various games with their loved ones but their play sessions can be much smaller than the German Shepherds. 

One more important aspect regarding their maintenance needs, both these dogs although exceptionally strong and fearless, they don't like to alone or away from their loved ones for long periods of time and they can become a bit restless and destructive in nature if they are kept alone on a regular basis.

Trainability:

Weather a canine is easy to train or not also plays a very important role in the mind of a potential owner who is searching for the perfect breed. Rottweilers are fairly easy to train (especially for an experienced owner) and they can learn a lot of new things very quickly. But they need to be treated gently and patiently by their owners during the training sessions as they are quite sensitive in nature. Coming to the German Shepherds, there is no question in anybody's mind about their skill and learning prowess. These dogs are tremendously intelligent and are exceptionally easy to train. They can learn a lot of really hard and difficult things and because of their physical and mental abilities, they are often used for various crucial and significant jobs like Police work, Search-and-Rescue, Bomb Sniffing, and also as a guide dog.

Health Issues:

There are a lot of Health Problems that both these breeds are prone to. Some are common between them like various bone and joint related diseases such as Hip Dysplasia or Elbow Dysplasia, but others can be a bit different. Osteosarcoma (a type of cancer) is quite common in Rotties but GSDs are not prone to it. Blood disorders and Epilepsy are often seen in German Shepherds but these health issues rarely occur in Rotties. GSDs are also required to be taken to a vet's clinic on a frequent basis for health check-ups, but the same is not true for the Rottweilers.

Good for Indians:

Now comes the most important question after this elaborate breed comparison, Which dog is better than the other? Or Which one is more well-suited for the Indian households, German Shepherd or Rottweiler? And the answer to this question is not as clear as one may think. Every breed and every canine has its pros and cons. Some are more friendly in nature, while others are better at looking after their homes. As for these two breeds who are both very easily available in India and have good heat tolerance, Rotties are a bit pricier than the German Shepherds. An average Rottweiler can cost somewhere between ₹18,000 to ₹25,000 while the price of a GSD usually starts at around ₹14,000. But irrespective of the cost, both these breeds are very well suited for Indian homes and can easily thrive in this country.