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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am stuck between 2 breeds German shepherd and Rottweiler and am asking on breed forums for both in hope you can help me with my decision as I've been to many shows and just can't pick between the 2 so I'm wanting to know if a few things I've been told about the 2 is true.

I was told by a breeder who has both that Rotties on average are more laid back and get compared to GSD's and that Shepherds have more energy? And she said they are softer than GSD's in that they are more soppy and playful than GSD's.

she also said Rotties are silent guards compared to GSD's who tend to bark more. She said GSD's can be more serious.

She's also found Rotties to be more stubborn than GSD's but found them more willing to ease their owner when they get it.

Id really love to know if any of this is true or if anyone has had both and can tell me the differences between the 2.

And this won't be my first dog I've had Golden retrievers and a Bernese mountain dog but always admired these 2 breeds.

My dad has always had Rotties so I have more experience around them.
 

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Really think about trainability of both breeds and your own personality.

For myself who has both of these dogs, my GSD is way more bidding and willing to train. The rottie is stubborn and it needs to be “her” idea. She also is a great “thinker” and thinks for herself more than my boy, which isn’t always a good thing. My personality does not align with the rottie and we have had our moments, but we are working to get along. I personally would not get a rottie again (to be fair, it is my partner’s dog though I am the main caregiver), but will forever get GSDs because I like the way they think, among all the other great GSD qualities.

Something to consider- your training style and personality. You might find people biased here ;)
 

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I had a male and female Rottie together and 4 female GSD and now 2 male GSD together.

I think generalizing about breeds can be a dangerous things since there is so much divergence in all facets (including temperament, size, nature) just within the singular breed itself.

My female Rottie was soft, approachable, good with kids. The male was huge, hard, aloof and dangerous in the wrong hands. Not overly biddable but trainable nonetheless. Medium exercise requirements and good off switches. Few people even knew what they were back then, I was often asked if they were large Dobermans lol. I left that breed due to over breeding poor quality dogs when they got entirely too popular and biting incidents were all over the news for a year or so.

GSD are a level above in training ability imo, can be independent but still eager to please. Can be aloof or friendly or assertive/aggressive.

Firm training is the key to each imo but GSD think more and need mental stimulation or a job to do. The hair is a huge deal as far as differences go. German Shedders are notorious.

I don't see many Rotties around whatsoever any more and don't know of any local breeders. I'd be curious if they've cleaned out the bad actors and brought the breed back to its good roots.
 

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I like grooming my dogs - you don't get that with a rottie. With a GSD you get plenty. I've been sold on GSDs because of the way their brain seems to operate. mostly. latest dog put that to the test a bit. Some rotties I like more than others. So pretty much would depend on the individual.
 

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Tough decision. There is so much variety in lines in both breeds and then within each litter. Can you visit breeders? That may help making your decision. I love both breeds but a well-bred GSD is attached to your hip. That's why they will be always my Nr. 1 breed.
 

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I think you should ask yourself what you want to do with the dog. Do you want to show or do any sports like agility, dock jumping, etc. or are you looking for a family dog that just chills after a walk. I've know a couple of Rotties that were big goofy, lunk heads who would rather lick your face and act a like a lap dog.

My GSD will let us know if there is someone around and protect us, but she also likes to chill on the couch. Like today with it being over 100degrees outside she hasn't had her usual exercise, but that's ok with her because she is chilling on the couch with her daddy in central air probably watching Alien shows and snacking on treats. LOL

Both breeds have their pros and cons and I think either one could be a good choice, but again depending on what you want to do with the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for your advice , I did a bit of thinking about my personality and my lifestyle and I know a Rottie suits me better.

Thinking about it the reason I'm not committing to the Rottie is due to their size I know male Rotties can get to 54kg and I'm not sure if I can handle a dog that size how do you handle a Rottie that's so big? I suppose it's down to how well you train them on the leash. As in not get pulled to the floor I'm thinking of when they pull out of the blue when a squirrel runs across the road ect.

All my dogs including my Bernese have been under 40kg so far and all boys so I have a preference for boys
 

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My very large male has massive prey drive but will not break for a squirrel or rabbit even 10 feet in front of him while on the prong. He was corrected only twice in his life on it; they are super smart. He weighs more than my daughter and she can walk him without issue.
 

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Maybe I missed it, but do you currently have a dog? If your preference is male, I know Rotties can be SSA.

With that said, neither Rotties (we thought Agis was part Rottie; he's not), once with a GSD, I have twice had 3-dog all-male household with peace in the kingdom - a couple of small scuffles that we quickly put a stop to, but that's it.
 

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Regarding weight, any dog can pull you off your feet. I was pulled to the ground when my 26 pound Whippet saw the lure at a coursing meet. That's her instinct to chase. The next time I was prepared . It's all about training and the correct material. You teach your Rottie from day one not to pull and as an adolescent you may have to resort to a prong if his strength can overpower you. Think of horses who lead well; they don't have a clue how strong they are. Let us know when you get your dog and pictures please!
 

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Ive had Rotties and it's true that they are generally more laid back than typical GSD's. I have a close friend that breeds Rotties occasionally and his preference is based on the larger size (120 lb males min) compared to GSD's. He feels a Rottie of that size is going to be a better man stopper than a typical GSD, Malinois or Doberman. I understand his philosophy because he breeds dogs for fenced in property protection not for police work. If one of his dogs had to go over an obstacle course to reach a suspect he would be beaten to the punch by a GSD every time.
I also noted that (my) Rotties were not necessarily slower to learn but they were slower to react. They seem to be able to do everything a GSD can do but at a slightly slower rate of speed so if you prefer a snappy response type of dog the GSD will be better for you.
Another factor is the lines your Rottie comes from. I recently watched on You Tube a Schutzhund trained 75Lb Rottie that was as fast and agile as any GSD but he wasn't the typical 110 to 120 lb male.
Finally (and I may be wrong on this) based on my personal experience the Rotties typically do not live as long as GSD's. It is something to consider because mine hardly lasted 10-11 years while one of my longest living dogs was a female GSD that lived to 16 yrs.
In the end I think either breed can be a great companion and performance dog. I would place a little more emphasis on the traits of the individual dog rather than base selection strictly on breed.
 

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Other than the part about them being more willing to please their owners, most of what she said is generally true. Obviously there is a wide range of Rottweilers and an even wider range of shepherds, so individual results may vary.
Thinking about it the reason I'm not committing to the Rottie is due to their size I know male Rotties can get to 54kg and I'm not sure if I can handle a dog that size how do you handle a Rottie that's so big? I suppose it's down to how well you train them on the leash. As in not get pulled to the floor I'm thinking of when they pull out of the blue when a squirrel runs across the road ect.
The size doesn’t change how you handle them. It doesn’t for me anyway. The thing to consider with a dog that size though, is they can do a lot of damage in very quickly. An angry mastiff that is willing to bring the fight is a dangerous proposition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Other than the part about them being more willing to please their owners, most of what she said is generally true. Obviously there is a wide range of Rottweilers and an even wider range of shepherds, so individual results may vary.

The size doesn’t change how you handle them. It doesn’t for me anyway. The thing to consider with a dog that size though, is they can do a lot of damage in very quickly. An angry mastiff that is willing to bring the fight is a dangerous proposition.

I'm not worried about controlling them in that sense I know how to be firm with a Rottie and fully understand and am aware the damage they can do.
 

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I would go with the GSD. They are an intelligent, loyal, versatile, and a naturally beautiful breed. They are low maintenance and close to it's natural ancestor the wolf. They also come in variety of colors, coats, and temperaments to suite your individual needs/preferences.

I love the outdoors and the GSD is perfect for me as they are an outdoors type of dog. I can spend hours just looking at this handsome dog, very addictive. The most common compliment I get is "He's a beautiful dog"
Mannix comes from a working line of GSDs and is a high drive dog. He also can be gentle, loving, and kind. Very trainable and tentative. I could go on and on.

If you decide on a GSD you wont regret it. It's been the only breed for me the past 30 years and 4 GSDs so far. So I might be somewhat biased.
I highly recommend the GSD.

Natural unaltered beauty.
Flower Plant Carnivore Dog breed Tree
 

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Max’s breeder bred shihtzu. I remember the shiatsu is another breed that strongly has dna closest to wolves. That was very interesting to me. Also small breeds like a chihuahua share a small gene mutation that existed in a certain type of wolf. If you want a dog that looks more wolf like and has more wolf like drives the Shepherd is the way to go though. German Shepherds are a relatively new breed and dogs like shitzus and salukis are considered to be ancient dog breeds so makes sense in that way. Never had a Rottweiler but females are easier and less intense then males in any breed, so it can be a good way to get into a a new unfamiliar breed.
 
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