Roman Rottweiler: Breed Info, History, Breeders & Pictures

Three Roman Rottweilers side by side
Image credit: clarariasmenaut / Instagram

With their massive size and calm demeanor, Roman Rottweilers made a name for themselves in the dog community. Considered one of the oldest dog breeds, they are historically known for helping Roman soldiers during the war.

Roman Rottweilers, however, are controversial. Contrary to popular belief, they are not recognized as a separate Rottweiler breed and are simply larger and heavier versions of a Rottweiler.

In this article, we will dig deeper into this controversy and further discuss Roman Rottweiler’s size, history, temperament, price, health issues, and more. Keep reading to know more about this enormous breed.

Breed Overview

Height:23 – 30 inches
Weight:80 – 130 pounds
Lifespan:8 – 10 years
Coat Colors:Black and mahogany, black and tan, black and rust
Temperament:Calm, athletic, independent, courageous, protective
Suitable for:Experienced dog owners; households with the space and time for a large, protective breed

What Is a Roman Rottweiler? Are Roman Rottweilers Real?

Roman Rottweiler tongue out
Image credit: max_the_rottweiler_nl / Instagram

Roman Rottweilers are massive dogs historically known for helping Roman soldiers during the war. Despite their distinction from other Rotties, they are not a separate breed. Originating from the Tibetan Mastiff and Italian Mastiff dog breeds, Roman Rotties are excellent guard dogs and great pets. 

Roman Rottweilers are also called Rotties, Gladiator, or Giant Rottweilers. While not entirely recognized as a separate breed, Roman Rotties are real and boast of their size larger than a regular Rottweiler breed like an American Rottweiler.

At first glance, there seems to be no difference between Roman, American, and German Rottweilers. Careful observation reveals that they are extremely large and may even be classified as giant dogs.

Roman Rottweilers can either be black and tan, black and mahogany, or black and rust. Their gigantic size comes with their broad and muscular head, powerful stance, and fierce appearance. 

Despite their large size, they are perfect for families with the space and time for large breeds. Roman Rottweilers are friendly, affectionate, loving, and over-protective.

Roman Rottweiler Origin and History

The roots of Roman Rottweilers can be traced back to Colossal Rottweilers in Roman times during the war. They originated from the Tibetan Mastiff and Italian Mastiff dog breeds.

In the middle ages, a big Rottweiler was used as a mountain dog for herding and guarding cattle for the Roman legions. It must be strong and have high protective instincts to survive as a mountain dog.

After the war, Germans got a hold of the breed and called them Rottweiler Metzgerhund, meaning “Rottweil butchers’ dogs,” as their main purpose as working dogs was to herd livestock for butchers.

To improve its herding ability, Germans started breeding it down in size to prevent the big Roman Rottweilers from destroying meat quality from their large bites. This gave rise to the slightly-smaller German Rottie population.

Taming cattle also became easier for farm owners as cattle find it difficult to attack and injure smaller dogs. This led to the end of the massive Roman Rottweilers.

Nonetheless, a few others chose to preserve the original Roman Rottie due to their power, guarding abilities, and strength. They are, however, outnumbered by those who choose to breed smaller Rottweilers.

The popularity of Rottweilers reached an all-time high in the 1990s, being the most-registered dog by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Roman Rottweiler Appearance

Roman Rottweiler lounging on outdoor furniture
Image credit: max_the_rottweiler_nl / Instagram

This mastiff-like Rottweiler is a large, if not gigantic, dog known for its enormous appearance. Generally, they are the same as other breeds but larger and with a more protective temperament.

Despite the similarities in their appearance, compared to other Rottie breeds such as German Rottweilers, a Roman Rottie is larger due to its history as a working dog.

Compared to an American Rottweiler, a Roman Rottweiler’s body is more massive, sturdy, and powerful. Their heads are broad and heavy, with characteristic wrinkling above the stop and around their foreheads.

The FCI standard for a Rottweiler is always “black with clearly-defined markings of a rich tan on the cheeks, muzzle, throat, chest, legs, both eyes, and under the base of the tail.”

Their muzzles are broad, full, and square, which allows them to have scissor-bite teeth and strong jaws. Together with their expressive almond-shaped dark brown eyes and pendant ears, a giant Rottweiler is a delight to the eyes.

Roman Rotties boast thick coats with distinctive black and rust-colored markings compared to regular Rottweilers’ coarse coats. 

Their coats come in a variety of combinations of black and tan, black and rust, or black and mahogany coat color.

They also feature a docked tail perfect for speed and strengthening their backs. It also helps lower the risk of getting rabies.

Overall, other than the differences in coat, they share the same appearance as regular Rottweiler dogs but are much larger.

Roman Rottweiler Size and Weight

Roman Rottweilers are the largest Rottweilers and are heavier than the average Rottweiler weight. On average, they weigh between 80 and 130 pounds and are around 23 to 30 inches tall when fully grown.

In general, female Roman Rottweilers tend to weigh less than males, typically falling in the range of 80 to 115 pounds. Male Roman Rottweilers, on the other hand, usually weigh between 95 and 130 pounds.

As one of the biggest dog breeds in the world, they can be slow-maturing and will not reach their full size until the age of two or three.

Proper nutrition and the right environment will ensure that they are growing at the right pace.

Roman Rottweiler Temperament and Personality

Roman Rottweiler puppy getting some sun
Image credit: spiritxsky / Instagram

Their history as mountain and drover dogs make Roman Rottie dogs intelligent, highly trainable, athletic, and protective of their owners. Ideally, they are perfect as service dogs, police dogs, and therapy dogs.

Roman Rottweilers share the same affectionate temperament as most Rottweilers. Compared to an American Rottweiler, they are more submissive to training due to their history as a natural guard dog.

As large dogs, strict training is essential for Roman Rottweilers. Without proper training, this breed will have trouble controlling its power and end up becoming aggressive.

With proper training at a young age, Roman Rottweilers get along well with families, children, and other dogs. Both male and female Rottweilers are good as family pets.

Roman Rottweiler Lifespan and Health Issues

A Roman Rottweiler’s large build makes them prone to health issues. Their life expectancy ranges from 8 to 10 years on average. As a large dog breed, Roman Rotties are vulnerable to muscle and orthopedic health issues. 

Some of the most common health problems found among Romanian Rottweilers are listed below:

  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is common among large dogs, especially Roman Rottweilers. It is characterized by loosening of the hip joint resulting in dysfunction and pain. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight help prevent hip dysplasia.
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear: ACL tear is common among larger breeds like Roman Rottweiler dogs. Signs of ACL tear include pain in the hind limb, knee swelling, and hindlimb weakness. Regular exercise will help strengthen your dog’s ACL.
  • Osteoarthritis: One of the most common chronic diseases for Roman Rotties is osteoarthritis. It is a degenerative disease causing lameness, pain, and joint swelling. Although diagnosis is devastating for a Rottweiler owner, exercise and joint supplements may help manage its symptoms.
  • Entropion: As Roman Rottweilers age and lose their body fats, entropion may occur. This condition causes the eyelashes to rub against your pet’s cornea resulting in irritation. Early detection helps prevent serious complications brought about by the condition.

The likelihood of developing these conditions is difficult to predict; hence, it is essential to be informed as early as possible to prevent severe complications and lengthen their life expectancy.

How to Take Care of Your Roman Rottweiler

Roman Rottweiler puppy inside owners property
Image credit: spiritxsky / Instagram

As you may have guessed, a larger dog like a Roman Rottie needs more care, attention, and food than other regular breeds. 

These dogs require owners who can handle their massive size. If you plan to take a Roman Rottie home for the first time, ensure that you are aware of their food, grooming, and training needs.

Food and Diet

Food rich in protein and of high quality is essential for large-sized dogs such as Roman Rottweilers. The amount of food that they need is certainly greater compared to a medium-sized dog.

For a Roman Rottie puppy, free-feeding is not an option. Consult with your dog’s vet for a customized puppy diet chart. This will prevent malnutrition that may hinder your puppy’s growth and development.

For adult Roman Rottweilers, your choice of feeding them dry, wet, homemade, or raw food depends on their preference, allergies, and vet recommendations. 

For a large dog breed like Roman Rottweilers, commercially available dry food with a balanced recipe is the best option. You may also choose to feed them raw meat as they are naturally carnivorous.

Cleaning and Grooming

Long-haired Rottweilers are difficult to manage. Fortunately, Rottweilers with long coats are rare. Roman Rottweilers have short and thick coats that shed moderately.

To keep their coats healthy, regular brushing is needed. Keeping their nails trimmed will help prevent painful scratches.

You may bathe them or take them to the groomer every two to eight weeks, depending on their activity level and lifestyle. Dental care is also an important part of their grooming routine.

Your Roman Rottweiler’s size may make it difficult to carry out grooming activities. Hence, it is important to get them used to the activities at a young age to make it easier when they grow older.

Training and Exercise

It is necessary for Roman Rotties to start training and socialization at a young age. With their powerful and protective personalities, a lack of training may lead to stubborn and aggressive behavior.

As puppies, short but regular training sessions at an average of 10 to 15 minutes per day are recommended. You may begin training as early as two months and increase the duration as they grow older.

Your Roman Rottie can get extremely big and attain the size of a giant dog. Regular exercise is recommended to prevent them from becoming overweight.

Exercising your dog for 30 to 45 minutes every day is enough to keep it active and healthy. Some recommended activities include walking, jogging, and even cart-pulling.

Fortunately, a large outdoor space is not necessary for a Roman Rottweiler’s training and exercise. You may utilize different outdoor spaces, such as parks or sidewalks, for their daily activities.

How Much Does a Roman Rottweiler Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses

Because the Roman Rottweiler breed is hard to find, prices can get as high as $1,000 to $5,000, especially if they are well-bred. Those with breeding rights and from champion bloodlines are priced higher.

The average price of a Roman Rottweiler puppy will depend on different factors. Aside from the initial puppy price, there are initial expenses that you need to invest in.

The table below shows a summary of the initial expenses and the corresponding costs for a Roman Rottweiler:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$80 – $150
Bowls$15 – $40
Toys$30 – $100
Beds$50 – $300
Collars and Leashes$15 – $50
Crates and Carriers$60 – $500
Grooming Essentials$50 – $250
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $500
Initial Vaccine Shots$50 – $300
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$40 – $300
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Microchipping$40 – $60
Dog License$10 – $20
Other Essentials$30 – $80
Total Initial Cost$620 – $3,150

The price for a Roman Rottie puppy may be high, but knowing the estimated cost of owning one will help you prepare and budget accordingly.

While getting one from a puppy mill is cheaper, it isn’t recommended as they resort to unethical breeding practices. Ensure that you are getting your pup from ethical breeders.

Places to Find Roman Rottweiler Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Roman Rottweiler puppy sitting outdoors
Image credit: spiritxsky / Instagram

Unlike German Rottweilers and American Rottweilers, which are pretty easy to find, finding Roman Rottie breeders can be challenging.

Despite the challenge, please ensure that you do your research and due diligence in searching and purchasing from a trusted, ethical, and reputable breeder.

Here are some of the most reputable breeders you may choose to get your Roman Rottweiler from:

  • Mississippi Rottweilers Mississippi Rottweilers is a professional Rottweiler breeder established in 2010. They are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) and only breed Rottweiler puppies from champion bloodlines. Their puppies follow the Rottweiler standard and are priced between $1,000 and $5,000, inclusive of health guarantees and a contract.
  • King Rottweilers Based in Washington, King Rottweilers is a family-owned breeding site that guarantees that their Roman Rotties are registered with the American Kennel Club, healthy, with proper temperament, and confirmation correct. Their puppies follow regular breed standards and are priced at around $1,500 to $3,500, with lifetime health guarantees and extensive veterinary testing.
  • Von Evman Rottweilers – Von Evman Rottweilers is a Florida-based breeder dedicated to producing Rottweilers certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). They are against having Rotties with a docked tail, and all their puppies come with natural tails. Puppies are registered with the AKC and may cost you around $3,000 to $6,500 depending on bloodline, title, age, and litter selection.

If the average Roman Rottweiler puppy price is out of your budget, you may consider adoption. Here are some rescue organizations you can choose to adopt your Roman Rottweiler from:

  • R.E.A.L. Rottweiler Rescue – Based in Ohio, R.E.A.L. Rottweiler Rescue is committed to finding all dogs the best homes possible. R.E.A.L. stands for “Respect Every Animal’s Life.” For foster application and adoption prices, you may check their website or send them an email.
  • Rotten Rottie Rescue – A non-profit organization based in Arizona, Rotten Rottie Rescue focuses on rescuing, restoring health, and placing Rotties in safe adoptive and foster homes. Their pups come with updated vaccinations, regular health checks, and spay or neuter procedures. If you wish to get your Rottie from them, check the application process on their website.
  • For the Love of Dog – Established in 2004, For the Love of Dog is based in New Hampshire with the goal of rescuing Rottweilers in the area. Since 2004, they have taken in over 1,900 animals and rescued more than thousands. Take a look at their website for more information and details.

If you need more options on where you can adopt or rescue your Roman Rottweiler, check out breeders and rescues on Facebook. These social networking sites are often used by breeders and organizations that don’t have established sites.

Frequently Asked Questions

Roman Rottweiler sitting on the grass
Image credit: max_the_rottweiler_nl / Instagram

What Is a Gladiator Rottweiler?

The Gladiator Rottweiler is a mixed breed obtained by breeding the standard Rottweiler with larger dogs such as German Shepherds. A Gladiator Roman Rottweiler, however, is not a recognized breed by any official association.

What’s the Difference Between a Roman Rottweiler and a German Rottweiler?

The primary difference between a Roman and a German Rottweiler is their size. A Roman Rottweiler is slightly larger than a German Rottweiler. 

In addition, a Roman Rottweiler is not recognized as a specific breed, whereas a German Rottweiler is recognized by the Allgemier Deutscher Rottweiler Club (ADRK) or the German Rottweiler Club.

What Are the Three Types of Rottweilers?

The three types of Rottweilers are Roman, American, and German. An American Rottweiler and a German Rottweiler are recognized as separate breeds, while a Roman Rottweiler is simply a type of Rottweiler.

Are Roman Rottweilers Aggressive?

Contrary to popular belief, Roman Rottweilers are friendly and affectionate. Despite being the largest Rottweiler type which gives them an intimidating appearance, they are calm and great dogs.

Lack of proper training, nonetheless, will make them lose control of their power and protective instincts, which may come off as aggressiveness towards others.

Final Thoughts

The typical Roman Rottweiler is an affectionate, loving, and good family pet. Their brave and protective nature also makes them ideal guard dogs or working dogs.

This re-creation of the original Rottweiler is good-natured and may be a dream come true for aspiring pet owners. Nonetheless, having a Roman Rottweiler requires great responsibility.

If you have the time, budget, and energy for this massive, wonderful breed with loads of vigor and affection, then they are your ideal companion.

Do you think the Roman Rottweiler is the perfect dog for you? Let us know in the comments.

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