Rottweiler vs American Pit Bull Terrier Dog vs Dog – Animal Facts
The Rottweiler and the American Pit Bull Terrier; Right off, you’re probably asking, “Why are you comparing these breeds?” The simple answer is both breeds are often misunderstood and illogically feared. But, those that love these breeds, know them as loving family companions.
So, let’s jump right in and check out these two amazing dogs.
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The Rottweiler is one of the oldest of herding dog breeds. With a history dating back to the Roman Empire, the Rottweiler is a descendant of an ancient mastiff-type dog. During their quest to conquer Europe, the Roman legions traveled in large numbers across the continent. The lack of refrigeration meant soldiers brought herds of cattle for food and dogs to keep the herd together and guarded it at night. Around 100 AD the Roman army traveled across the Alps and into what is now southern Germany. For the next two centuries, the Roman drover dogs were continually used in herding and driving cattle for trade even after the Romans were driven out of the area.
The dog breed that would become the modern Rottweiler was subsequently named after the German town of Rottweil. If you want more info about the breed and its history, check out here.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is nowhere near as old as a breed. The modern American Pit Bull Terrier can trace its roots back to England in the early 19th century, as crosses between “bully” breeds and terrier. The intent was a create a dog with the hunting skills of a terrier with the strength and athleticism of a bulldog.
Although much smaller than the modern American Pit Bull Terrier, these early “bulldogs” were used as working dogs, controlling unruly bulls for butchers as well as farmers.
Unfortunately, the courage and tenacity that made these dogs good at corralling dangerous bulls made them great at the blood sport of bull baiting, which has thankfully fallen out of favor.
When these “bulldogs” accompanied immigrants to America they began new careers as all-around farm dogs. Their jobs included hunting wild game, guarding property against animal intruders, and providing companionship. In keeping with the “bigger is better” mindset of Americans, the breed became a larger dog than it had been in England.
Although we are focusing specifically on the American Pit Bull Terrier, the term pitbull can be used for a number of breeds, including the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier (which are considered the same breed by some), American Bully, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier, as well as many mix breeds with a physical resemblance to “pit bulls”.
The Rottweiler is on average a much bigger dog than the Pit Bull. A purebred Rottweiler can weigh anywhere between 85-130 pounds and stand 22-27 inches tall.
The smaller American Pit Bull Terrier weighs between 30-90 pounds and stands between 17-20 inches tall.
Of course with both breeds, males tend to be larger than males and because of an often unwise desire to breed larger dogs, both can exceed these guidelines for height and weight.
Coats and Colors
The Rottweiler is always black with markings that are rust to mahogany in color. The markings appear over the eyes, on the cheeks, on each side of the muzzle, on the chest and legs, and beneath the tail. There are also tan lines that resemble pencil marks on the toes.
Rottweilers have a short double coat that’s straight and coarse. The outer coat is medium in length, shorter on the head, ears, and legs. The undercoat is found mainly on the neck and thighs. The amount of undercoat your Rottie has depends on the climate in which he lives. The Rottie tends to shed twice a year.
The Pit Bull’s short single coat is shiny and stiff to the touch and comes in all colors — red, blue, brown, gray, black and white, and brindle, among them. The American Pit Bull is a heavy shedder year-round and should have daily brushings to keep the shedding controllable.
The ideal Rottweiler is calm, confident, and courageous. It has a self-assured aloofness and doesn’t make friends with people immediately or indiscriminately. Instead, it takes a wait-and-see attitude with new people or situations. With its family, the Rottie is affectionate, often following family members around the house. This is not a highly excitable dog, but it has an inherent desire to protect his family and property. However, it should never be aggressive toward people without cause.
The American Pit Bull Terrier loves people and has no idea that its size is something of a deterrent to being a lap dog. Confident and keenly aware of its surroundings, the Pibble is a watchdog. It may alert you to the presence of strangers, but that’s primarily because your Pibble is eager to greet “their” guests.
While their love of people makes them failures as guard dogs, their courage is unmatched and they will defend their family with their lives.
Both breeds are family friendly, kid-friendly and pet-friendly.
Like every dog, both breeds need socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they’re young. Socialization helps ensure a well-rounded dog.
When it comes to training, Rotties are not for the meek. Rotts can be quite stubborn and inpatient and require firm, consistent, but not harsh discipline and for you to establish that you are the leader and have plenty of time to devote to training. But, once the role of leader is established the Rottie is very intelligent and can learn rapidly.
The American Pit Bull is a dog of average intelligence but is much more focused than the Rottie, but like the Rottie, the Pit Bull needs for your to establish its respect. Overall, the American Pitty is an easier dog to train with a high willingness to please. But, the Pibble does have its stubborn streaks.
Both breeds have a medium to high need for exercise. And both can range from couch potato to whirlwind as far as energy levels go.
Both breeds will enjoy a 15-20 minute walk a few times a day, and you can’t go wrong with playing with balls and taking hikes.
And, both breeds can live happily in any dwelling from small apartments to large ranches, as long as your dog is getting enough exercise.
Health and Lifespan
Overall the Pitty is a healthier breed and has a longer lifespan of 12-14 years, compared to the Rottie at 8-11 years.
Common ailments that can affect the American Pit Bull Terrier are hip dysplasia and skin allergies. The Rottie’s list of common ailments include allergies, bloat, hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism and several heart-related conditions.
Remember, if you’re considering one of these dogs or any other breed for that matter, there are breed specific rescue organizations all over the world that are usually a simple Google search away.
So, which of these splendid breeds would you pick? Let us know in the comments.
If there are other breeds you’d like us to compare, shout them out, we’ll give them a look.
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