The Rottweiler Lab mix is a cross between two popular breeds, with very different personalities. Also known as a Rottador, or Labrottie, they have one Labrador Retriever parent and one Rottweiler parent.
In this article we take a look at what you can expect from a Rottweiler Lab mix, including size, shape, personality, and whether they are likely to be more or less healthy than their parent breeds.
But first, let’s take a look at the origins of the Rottador.
People Often Ask…
- How big do Rottweiler Lab mixes get?
- Are Rottweiler Lab mixes good family dogs?
- Are Rottweiler Lab mixes protective?
- Do Rottweiler Lab mixes have health concerns?
What’s In This Guide
- Rottweiler Lab Mix At A Glance
- In-depth Breed Review
- Rottweiler Lab Mix Training And Care
- Pros And Cons Of Getting A Rottweiler Lab Mix
Rottweiler Lab Mix: Breed At A Glance
- Popularity: Labs are the number one most popular breed in the United States, and Rottweilers are right up there at number eight
- Purpose: Companion animal or watchdog
- Weight: 65-110 pounds
- Temperament: Loyal, protective
Rottweiler Lab Mix Breed Review: Contents
- History and original purpose of the Rottweiler Lab mix
- Rottweiler Lab mix appearance
- Rottweiler Lab mix temperament
- Training and exercising your Rottweiler Lab mix
- Rottweiler Lab mix health and care
- Do Rottweiler Lab mixes make good family pets?
- Rescuing a Rottweiler Lab mix
- Finding and raising a Rottweiler Lab mix puppy
Origin Of The Rottweiler Lab Mix
As with any mixed breed dog, it’s pretty much impossible to pinpoint the exact origins. However, we can look at the origins of the parent breeds to learn about the Rottie Lab mix’s ancestors.
Labrador Retrievers got their start when they were imported from Newfoundland to England in the 1800s. They were hunting and fishing dogs. You can find out more about their origins here.
Rottweilers, on the other hand, are of German descent. They have been traditionally used as guarding, herding, and hunting dogs. Take a look at more information on this dignified breed here.
With both of the parent breeds being in high demand through the years, and enduring in popularity, it’s no wonder that someone thought of crossing them and creating the Rottador!
What To Expect From A Rottweiler Lab Mix
The Rottweiler Labrador mix is a bit of a dice roll, though that’s true of any mixed breed.
One of the best things about crossed breeds is the wide range of potential shapes and personalities your dog could grow to have. But this can have its downside as well. It’s really impossible to predict what traits a mixed pup will inherit from which parent.
Rottweiler Lab Mix Appearance
For clues on the size of a full grown Labrottie, the first place to look is the parents. Labradors and Rottweilers are different sizes, and your puppy may fall anywhere between.
Rottweiler height can be up to 27 inches at the shoulder, whereas Labs only grow to a maximum of 24.5 inches to the shoulder.
With those ranges, your Rottweiler and Lab mix could be anywhere on the spectrum of smallest Lab to largest Rottie.
Both breeds can vary in size within themselves, so it stands to reason that larger Labrador and Rottweiler parents will have a larger Labrottie pup.
Due to this large degree of potential variance, if you definitely don’t want a dog as big as a Rottweiler it’s probably best to steer clear. A Labrottie might well hit the higher end of the Rottweiler’s size range, and this could leave you with a dog that is bigger than you’re comfortable with.
Most, however, should fall somewhere in the middle. But you won’t know until they are older.
Labrador Rottweiler Mix Coat
Rottweilers are well known for their classic black and tan coloring. They have short, low-maintenance coats.
Labs, on the other hand, come in different colors. Yellow, chocolate, black — they could pass down their coloring to a Labrottie puppy, resulting in a unique coloration.
There’s likely to be a big difference, for example, between a yellow Labrottie mix and a black Lab Rottweiler mix.
Rottweiler Lab Mix Temperament
Labradors have a proud history as faithful retriever dogs, whereas Rottweilers have an equally proud history as guard dogs.
Labradors are generally friendly, and are bred specifically for the task of returning hunted game to their owners. A dog bred for this purpose needed to be comfortable around all sorts of people.
Rottweilers, in their guarding capacity, have been bred in a way that a fearful and distrusting attitude toward strangers.
After all, a guard dog who is happy to greet strangers isn’t much use in protecting your property or livestock.
But how does this combination affect your pup? Well, the problem is, you won’t know until they’re older.
First generation mixes are kind of like rolling a dice. You can’t be sure what combination of characteristics you’re going to get.
You might end up with a dog that looks almost like a Rottweiler, with the Labrador’s social personality. On the other hand, you might end up with a protective guard dog that looks exactly like a Labrador.
The worry of this is when you are bringing up a family pet, you don’t want them guarding your home aggressively.
Rottie Lab Mix Aggression
A certain amount of this could be to do with the sort of situations the breeds find themselves in, but we don’t know that for sure. And we can’t deny statistics. They certainly appear to be among the more aggression-prone breeds.
This should be seriously considered by people with kids. The overwhelming majority of people killed by aggressive dogs are children as they’re much more vulnerable.
Guarding dogs are generally good with their families, but families have friends. Kids bring over other kids, and a family pet needs to be accepting of this.
Labrador Rottweiler Mixes And Children
There are two ways we can help.
One is by meeting the Rottie parent and making sure they are totally at ease in the presence of you and your family.
Another important aspect in the development of a dog’s personality, though, is the way we raise them. Socialization is vital for any breed, but especially for a breed like the Rottweiler.
Rottweiler Lab Mix Socialization
The idea of using traditional training techniques on a Rottweiler mix may be a daunting task for some owners. You don’t want to be in a physical contest with a dog stronger than you are.
Fortunately, nowadays we have better and safer methods for training dogs. The first step is always socialization.
Introduce your dog to lots of other dogs and people at a very young age to help desensitize them to strangers. You want them to happily accept people coming and going in their home as nothing to be afraid of.
With a Rottweiler Lab mix puppy, make sure you have new visitors every day and that a large proportion of them are children. All puppies have a period of absolute confidence when they’re very young. In the wild they would be under the protection of their family, so fear would be unnecessary.
Therefore, this is the best time to throw them into all sorts of new situations. By the time they are full grown they shouldn’t have any instinctive fear of them; this is important, as almost all dog attacks are out of fear.
Training And Exercising Your Rottweiler Lab Mix
Positive training techniques also play a vital role in crafting the obedience and temperament of a dog.
For anyone still considering punishment-based training, I would strongly advise against it.
Studies have shown that dogs trained in this manner are less obedient, and more likely to attack both their owners and strangers.
Rottie Lab Mix Puppy Training
Like any puppy, your Rottador will require specialized training when they are young, in addition to socialization.
Rottweiler And Lab Mix Exercise
All dogs require a good amount of exercise to keep them in shape. This is especially true with physically capable breeds like the Rottweiler and Lab.
Given a good amount of space to run around in, your Labrottie will thrive.
This isn’t just nice for dogs, it’s good for them too. Lack of exercise combined with poor diet can unfortunately be deadly.
Dogs that don’t exercise enough and eat too much invariably put on more and more weight. Obesity in dogs, as in humans, leads to diabetes and other complications.
Rottweiler Lab Mix Health And Care
Pedigree dogs can suffer from genetic disorders. Although mixed breeds may be healthier in some cases, it doesn’t remove the risk.
Breeding two dogs that are genetically dissimilar results in a phenomena called hybrid vigor, whereby outbreeding undoes a lot of the harm done by inbreeding.
But this isn’t a magic wand. These dogs can still carry on genetic diseases from either of their parents given the right circumstances.
Both Labradors and Rottweilers suffer regularly from hip dysplasia, meaning their hips are improperly formed. One nasty complication of hip dysplasia is a disease called degenerative joint disorder.
A 2001 study found that around 11% of Labradors and 20% of Rottweilers suffered from this disease as a result of hip dysplasia.
One of the more commonly reported concerns in Labradors is exercise induced collapse. This strange condition means that Labradors in the full swing of physical activity may suddenly be unable to hold themselves up.
Itn has actually been linked to a gene, so it is doubtless inherited from dog to dog. If your dog suffers from this even once it’s important to talk to a vet, it’s likely to happen again and you can discuss a proper course of action.
Other problems commonly seen in Labradors include elbow dysplasia, PRA, obesity, ear problems, and skin allergies. Hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as PRA, can be tested for. Health testing is an important part of the process of taking care of our pets.
Elbow dysplasia is also a very common condition in Rottweilers. A study of German Rottweilers found more than half suffered from this ailment.
Rottweilers also appear to be susceptible to a few nasty neurological disorders, namely nueroaxonal dystrophy and leukoencephalomalacia.
Both of these diseases are degenerative, meaning they gradually get worse and worse. Unfortunately there is no cure or treatment for either, and they sadly can be fatal.
Rottweiler Lab Mix Health
Any of these problems could potentially be passed on to your Rottweiler and Lab mix.
Although he is potentially less likely to suffer from any of these diseases than a purebred dog, the risk is not removed. Health testing is still a vital part of good breeding practice, even for mixes.
Rottweiler Lab Mix Life Expectancy
Labrador Retrievers have a projected lifespan of 10-12 years. Rottweilers, on the other hand, have a shorter span of 8-9 years.
A Rottweiler and Labrador mix could fall anywhere in that range, depending on the health of the dog.
Labrador Rottweiler Mix Shedding
Labradors have a double coat that protects them from the cold in winter or while swimming in cold water. Because of this, they’re known to shed quite vigorously.
This is especially true during certain times of the year, as their winter coat starts to come loose.
Rottweilers, on the other hand, aren’t as well known for shedding. But it’s another aspect of a mix that is completely up to chance.
The Labrottie has the benefit of two parent breeds with generally low-maintenance coats.
Both Labradors and Rottweilers have short, easily groomed coats. So their Rottweiler Lab mix pups will definitely have the same length coat.
Do Rottweiler Lab Mixes Make Good Family Pets?
What makes a pet good depends on the person, and also the individual pet. One of the drawbacks of mixed breeds is that it’s a bit of a lottery.
Your Lab Rott mix could look like a Labrador, but with the guarding instincts and characteristic wariness of the Rottweiler. Equally, your dog could look much more Rottweiler-ish and have the gentle, easily trainable personality of a Labrador.
The likelihood is it will be somewhere in between.
Socialization and training go a long way to producing a happy and friendly dog. But genetics play an important role. Rottweilers have been typified as guard dogs and protectors, and you might be put off if you’re just after a furry friend.
A Labrador Rottweiler mix is best suited to an active adult home, where the family is around for much of the day and is committed to positive reinforcement training methods. If you have small children or don’t have the time and energy to train your dog as needed, you may want to look at a different breed, such as a purebred Lab or another mix.
Here are some other mixes that you may want to consider. They are very similar to the Rottador, but may tend to be more family friendly.
Rescuing A Rottweiler Lab Mix
Rescuing a dog can be the best thing you can do for the animal — but it also might be the best thing you can do for yourself!
Choosing to adopt a dog in need gives that pup a new lease on life. And, in return, you’ll be rewarded with love and affection.
Keep in mind, however, that if you adopt an adult dog, you have no sure way of knowing how they were trained — or if they were trained at all. With a Rottweiler mix, this can be a big concern.
Exercise extreme caution before bringing home an adult dog that may have been badly trained or poorly socialized, especially if there are children around.
Rottweiler Lab Mix Breed Rescues
We haven’t found any Rottador-specific breed rescues in operation. If you’re interested in rescuing this mix, we suggest getting in contact with rescues for the parent breeds.
Finding A Rottweiler Lab Mix Puppy
Mixes in general are growing in popularity, and Lab and Rottweiler mix puppies are as cute as any other. But they will need a lot of work in terms of socialization and training, to make sure you reduce the possibility of bad behavior later on.
You must see your Lab cross Rottweiler’s parents before committing to a puppy. It’s especially important to see the Rottweiler parent, as this is where potential guarding instincts are likely to come from.
Both parents should be friendly, healthy and confident. This is by no means a guarantee, but stacks more of the odds in your favor. Please avoid buying from puppy mills or pet stores, as these have no real concern for the health of their animals.
For more information on finding a puppy, take a look at our step by step puppy search guide.
Labrador Rottweiler Mix Breeders
Mix breeders are rather more difficult to find than the breeders of pure breeds, especially if you’re after a specific combination.
Recently, people have started to breed Rottweiler Lab puppies deliberately, but they have existed for quite a while by accident. As the Labrottie grows in popularity, you’ll probably see more deliberately mixed puppies advertised.
You need to avoid backyard breeders by only going to someone who has mixed a beloved pet due to their excellent health and wonderful temperament.
Good breeders ask lots of questions, and are happy to answer them in return. They won’t home puppies to places where the family is out all day.
Both the Lab and Rottie parent of your puppy must have excellent hip and elbow scores. The breeder should provide you proof of this. They must also be clear for PRA and have recent unaffected eye tests from their vet.
Rottweiler Lab Mix Products And Accessories
Is A Rottweiler Lab Mix Right For Me?
To summarise, let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of getting a Labrador Rottweiler mix.
- May develop separation anxiety.
- Will require extensive socialization and training.
- May have a strong guarding tendency and possibly aggression.
- Has some significant health risks.
- Likely to be extremely loyal.
- If the mix takes after the Lab parent, could be very friendly.
- Will be trainable and intelligent.
- Could be an excellent guard dog if properly trained.
Your Rottweiler Lab Mix
Do you have a Rottweiler Lab mix? We’d love to hear all about them in the comments below.
References And Resources
- Gough A, Thomas A, O’Neill D. 2018 Breed Predispositions to Disease In Dogs and Cats. Wiley Blackwell
- O’Neill et al. 2013. Longevity and Mortality of Owned Dogs In England. The Veterinary Journal
- Adams VJ, et al. 2010. Results of a Survey of UK Purebred Dogs. Journal of Small Animal Practice.
- Schalamon et al. 2006. Analysis of Dog Bites In Children Who Are Younger Than 17 Years. Pediatrics
- Duffy D et al. Breed differences in canine aggression. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2008
- Strain G. Deafness prevalence and pigmentation and gender associations in dog breeds at risk. The Veterinary Journal 2004
- Packer et al. 2015. Impact of Facial Conformation On Canine Health. PlosOne
- Prevalence and inheritance of canine elbow dysplasia in German Rottweiler R. Bueing et al
- Neurological diseases of rottweilers: Neuroaxonal dystrophy and leukoenceph- alomalacia
C. L. Chrisman
- Evaluation of risk factors for degenerative joint disease associated with hip dysplasia in German Shepherd Dogs, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Rottweilers
- A canine DNM1 mutation is highly associated with the syndrome of exercise-induced collapse E. E. Patterson et al
- Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998 J. J. Sacks MD et al
- Dog bites to humans—demography, epidemiology, injury, and risk K. L. Overall et al
- The myth of hybrid vigor in dogs … is a myth C. Beuchat PhD – The institute of canine biology
- Sewall Wright and evolutionary biology W. D. Proven
- The relationship between training methods and the occurrence of behavior problems, as reported by owners, in a population of domestic dogs E. J. Blackwell
- Dog training methods: their use, effectiveness and interaction with behavior and welfare E. F. Hiby
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website