Canine Guide: Rottweiler Lab Mix
The Rottweiler lab mix is a crossbreed of dog that has become increasingly popular in the United States and Europe. Although this crossbreed will never qualify to be registered with popular kennel clubs, such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) or the Continental Kennel Club (CKC), the Rottweiler lab mix still comes from two very popular breeds and the combination of these bloodlines can result in an impressive hybrid breed. Those who are considering adding a “labrottie” dog to the family may have a few questions about this breed, such as physical appearance, personality, and trainability. As with any type of mixed breed, the resulting pups could display more traits from one breed than the other and the potential combinations of Rottweiler and Labrador traits are numerous. In order to get a good idea of what to expect from a Rottweiler lab mix, one must consider the physical and personality traits of the parents’ breeds.
Rottweiler: Physical Traits
The Rottweiler is a German native that with a muscular and stocky physique that one could easily picture in a small German village. Today, there are “American” and “German” Rottweiler lines, with the American variety being slightly smaller in overall size than the German variant. The standard for this breed is a muscular, stocky body with a rectangular shape. This breed has a wide head and jaw with a medium-length nose. Rottweilers have a characteristic coloring: primarily black body with brown markings on the lower legs and paws, chest, around the mouth, and above the eyes. Although most Rottweiler puppies have the tail docked at a very young age, this breed is born with one of four tail styles, including hanging, straight, sabre, and curled.
The Rottweiler is a strong and athletic dog that requires a significant amount of activity in order to satisfy his fitness needs. A long walk, a brisk run, or an hour-long romp around the yard each day will usually suffice, although this breed does need to have use of a fairly large plot of land in order to get sufficient exercise. This breed has a short, stiff coat of fur that is very easy to maintain with the occasional brushing each week. The coat can become slightly oily and carry the characteristic “dog smell,” but the smell is not as overpowering as with other breeds, such as the beagle.
Labrador Retriever: Physical Traits
The Labrador retriever is what some people imagine as being a stereotypical playful family dog. Unlike the Rottweiler, the “lab” is not heavy with muscle or stocky bones. Instead, this breed has a large, square-shaped body that maneuvers very well. This athletic and agile dog comes in three colors: yellow/white, chocolate (brown), and black. This breed is enthusiastic to say the least, which is easy to see in the way this dog moves. Bred for retrieving, this breed is much quicker than it appears to be, especially considering that the average weight for a Labrador retriever is somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 to 80 pounds. Labs have a wide head and powerful jaw with a nose length that is proportionate to its face.
Labs are highly active dogs that require more than a simple half-hour walk each day. If insufficiently exercised the lab is prone to chewing and destructiveness due to boredom and restlessness. Unfortunately, a Labrador needs more than a daily walk or two; this breed is game for hiking, swimming, running, and other vigorous exercises, especially when family members participate. In order to keep this breed happy—and the furniture free of being chewed—it is necessary to provide a Labrador with plenty of open space to run, fetch, and play-out all of his pent-up energy.
Rottweiler: Personality and Temperament
The Rottweiler is renowned for being a calm, confident, and protective companion. While this breed isn’t necessarily unfriendly with strangers, Rottweilers do tend to be a bit standoffish with new people. Although the Rottweiler breed isn’t one to forge fast friendships or quick to show affection to strangers, it is an intimidating-looking dog whose wariness with strangers can serve as an excellent deterrent for trespassers. The public’s perception regarding Rottweilers is sometimes one of a vicious guard dog that would like nothing better than to tear into the first unsuspecting stranger to cross the property’s threshold. This is an unfortunate reputation that has arisen mostly from irresponsible owners and in some cases bad breeding. The Rottweiler can certainly have socialization issues, especially where other dogs of the same sex are concerned, but this can usually be avoided by socializing the dog with other animals and humans from a young age. Training can take some time, as this is a dominant breed that might be stubborn towards training efforts, but persistence and patience can yield a well-behaved and obedient dog. Although somewhat “snobby” toward outsiders, this breed is very affectionate towards its family and is a loyal and fearless companion.
Labrador Retriever: Personality and Temperament
The Labrador retriever is the stereotypical happy-go-lucky family dog. He tends to fall in love with everyone he meets, is very doting with children, and will instantly spare time for anyone willing to throw a ball or stick to be fetched. This breed is definitely not a good choice for a guard dog but it makes an outstanding family companion. The Labrador breed is known for retaining a playful puppy-like personality well into adulthood, although this trait is often one of the best-loved lab characteristics. Labs are easily trainable because they are both smart and eager to please their masters. They respond well to food-based rewards and lavish praise; they can become timid if they are exposed to hash physical and verbal corrections/discipline. Some owners find that labs “train” more quickly when the training process is fun and energetic so that it seems more like a game. Overall, Labrador retrievers are happy, playful, and energetic dogs that make a great option for first-time dog owners or families.
Although there is no telling exactly what a labrottie will be like, the traits listed above are a great indicator as to what kind of characteristics a crossbred pup might have. Labrotties can be any combination of physical and personality traits, although on the whole this crossbreed tends to be good with people, of large build, and fairly easy to train. Any individual who desires traits from both the Rottweiler and Labrador retriever breeds and who doesn’t mind having a dog that isn’t purebred and “registered” should take the Rottweiler lab mix into consideration.