Rottweilers are popular big dogs for work and play, but did you know there is a fun-sized version of this breed called the miniature Rottweiler?
The Rottweiler is loved for being a good working breed that serves as police dogs, guard dogs, and even service dogs for the blind and disabled.
At the same time, they are great companions for the family because of their protective and loving traits. However, as medium-large dogs, they also take up space.
Fur parents who wish to have a Rottie but do not have enough space can opt for a miniature Rottweiler instead. This kind has the look and temperament similar to the Rottweiler, but only fun-sized.
Curious about this smaller version of the Rottie? Read on as I share with you all you need to know about the miniature Rottweiler.
What Is a Miniature Rottweiler? Is There Such Thing as a Miniature Rottweiler?
Miniature versions of dog breeds are not uncommon, even with working dogs such as the Border Collie. The muscled guard and playful Rottweiler is no exception.
The miniature Rottweiler is a smaller version of the Rottweiler breed. It can either be a Rottweiler with dwarfism, a naturally small Rottie, or an offspring of a Rottie with a smaller breed.
The mini Rottweiler is perfect for those who want to own this breed but cannot commit to taking care of a regular full-grown Rottie. With its size and energy, caring for an adult Rottie, after all, requires a lot of hard work and space.
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Miniature Rottweiler Appearance: What Does the Mini Rottweiler Look Like?
Because miniature Rottweilers may either be purebred or mixed, what they look like depends on how they are bred.
Mini Rotties usually share a common set of physical traits. Remember, though, that this does not apply to all especially crossbreeds that may carry characteristics of the other parent.
- Small size: Mini Rottweilers are relatively smaller in size compared to the regular Rottie. Dogs classified as this weigh around 15 pounds upon birth and at most 30 pounds as a full-grown adult.
- Black fur coat with tan markings: One characteristic that helps us identify a Rottweiler is its black fur with tan markings. The fun-sized Rottie also has black hair with tan points on the face and body, particularly on the legs and chest.
- Smooth coat: Rotties have nice fur coats that are smooth and shiny. This may vary in some crossbreeds.
- Floppy ears: The ears of miniature Rottweilers are naturally floppy, just like the regular-sized Rotties.
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The Process of Breeding Miniature Rottweilers
Unlike the regular-sized breed, the mini Rottweiler is not recognized by the American Kennel Club or other kennel clubs. Because of this, there is no official manner or standards on how to breed this smaller Rottie kind.
Introducing to Dwarfism Gene
One reason why mini versions of dog breeds exist is dwarfism. This medical abnormality in canines results in undersized dogs.
How do dogs get this condition? Through the dwarfism gene that is responsible for this stunted growth. When our furry companions exhibit this gene, they may get limbs that are shorter than what is expected from their bloodline. As a result, they look like mini versions of their breed.
Did you know that there are breeds that naturally have this feature? Our short-legged favorites, the Dachshunds, Corgis, and Basset Hounds, carry this gene which explains their cute limbs.
On another note, miniature Rottweilers who have the dwarfism gene have shorter legs and are smaller than the typical Rotties. While they may look cute, these pups are actually at risk of a lot of health problems, especially those concerning the bones.
Some breeders pass off Rotties with dwarfism as “healthy purebred” pups. Remember that the Rottweiler breed is naturally bulky and stocky. Putting together a heavily muscled body with underdeveloped bones is a mismatch and may turn into a health problem later on.
Breeding Runts Together
Another way a mini Rottweiler is made is through breeding runts together. Puppies are usually born in groups or litters, and in some instances, there is a pup significantly smaller than the rest referred to as the runt.
Runts are usually the weakest of the bunch in terms of health. Their bodies may be less developed in comparison to their other pups in the litter. On top of that, they are also prone to sickness because of a compromised immune system.
Runts of the Rottweiler breed are typically smaller in stature and build which makes them look like miniature Rottweilers. Some breeders intentionally breed together runts to create smaller versions of the Rottie.
Because both parents are runts, expect these offsprings to be weaker in health and prone to problems. While runts can grow into healthy adults when taken care of, they may require more medical care which can be costly in the long run.
Breeding Rottweiler With Other Smaller Breeds
Crossbreeding is another method used to create miniature Rottweilers. It involves breeding a standard-sized Rottweiler with a dog from another breed, preferably of a smaller kind.
Among dwarf Rotties, runts, and crossbreds, mini Rotties of mixed breed and lineage are the healthiest. You will encounter fewer health problems especially when both parents are in good shape. This may perhaps be the safest and smartest way to produce a healthy miniature Rottweiler.
The common mixes of miniature Rottweilers are those with smaller breeds like the Beagle, Poodle, Chihuahua, and miniature Pinscher.
The gamble with crossbreeding, though, is that the offspring may not have all the physical traits of a Rottweiler. Because of its mixed genetic makeup, there is a chance for pups to inherit the appearance of the non-Rottie parent. It all boils down to genetics.
Miniature Rottweiler Temperament: Do They Make Good Family Pets?
Rottweilers are good guard dogs because they are known for being protective. Underneath the bulky and intimidating exterior is a playful dog brimming with energy for games and physical activity with its owner.
More often than not, miniature Rottweilers have the same temperament as the regular Rottie. They are easier to control, though, because they are smaller in size and require less room to move around.
Coming from a breed known for its protective instincts, the mini Rottweiler is loyal and alert. This fun-sized Rottie loves its family and feels the need to protect them from strangers. They are also aggressive which means they can attack intruders should there be the need.
Though they are wary of people they don’t know, mini Rottweilers can easily open up especially if you spend quality time with them.
You need to train them to socialize even as puppies so they can easily adapt. Early training also helps you control them when they need to go from protective to a playful mode or vice versa.
As for the fun aspect of its personality, the miniature Rottweiler also has the energy and excitement of the typical Rottie. This small version also enjoys playtime which usually involves a lot of running around and moving.
The protective and playful temperament of the mini Rottie makes it a great family dog. You can say it is the best of both worlds because you get a guard and playmate in one— plus, it’s smaller!
Miniature Rottweiler Lifespan: How Long Do Mini Rottweilers Live?
Rottweilers have a lifespan of 9 to 10 years. Their fun-sized counterparts may also have the same lifespan depending on several factors.
Mini Rotties with dwarfism or born runts may live a shorter life compared to crossbred mini Rotties. The former are more prone to health risks such as inborn diseases and abnormalities.
Miniature Rottweiler Health Issues: Are Mini Rottweilers Healthy Dogs?
Downsizing a medium-large breed such as the Rottweiler comes with several health risks. You are likely to encounter medical issues with purebred miniature Rottweiler dogs compared to crossbred ones because of pre-existing health problems.
Here are some health-related issues to look out for when taking care of a miniature Rottweiler:
- Achondroplasia: Also known as dwarfism, achondroplasia affects bone development in dogs. The dwarfism gene is not common in the Rottweiler breed, but there are still cases. The presence of this gene results in mini Rotties, most of which have skeletal abnormalities and problems.
- Aortic Stenosis: This cardiovascular disease occurs when there is a partial blockage in the blood flow to the heart. If left undiagnosed and untreated, this may lead to a heart attack.
- Cataracts: Eye disorders are common issues that mini Rottie owners may face. A cataract is an eye problem where dogs have cloud-like elements that block their vision. This can be addressed through surgery if it becomes severe.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This eye disease occurs when photoreceptor cells in the dog’s retina deteriorate over time. Progressive Retinal Atrophy usually manifests through the inability to see in the dark. As it progresses, dogs with PRA will eventually lose their sight. Ophthalmic exams can help detect PRA in dogs.
- Hip Dysplasia: A bone problem that generally affects medium and large dogs, hip dysplasia occurs when the thigh bone does not fit the hip joint. As a result, dogs may feel pain when walking and start limping.
- Elbow Dysplasia: Like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia is an orthopedic problem that concerns the elbow joint.
How to Care for Your Miniature Rottweiler’s Basic Needs?
The miniature Rottweiler is no ordinary Rottie. Though it is smaller in size, you still need to be attentive to its basic needs if you want it to live a long and healthy life. Knowledge is key to enjoying wonderful years with your beloved pet.
Food and Diet
Food is life, literally! Like humans, dogs need food to survive. You can’t just feed your miniature Rottweiler any kind of food as certain nutritional requirements must be met to keep your pup in perfect shape.
The recommended diet of a Rottie must include 22-28% protein. This is so your mini Rottie can keep up with its muscular build and energy level. You can also find food specifically made for miniature breeds that fulfill their nutrient needs.
Aside from the food you give, you should also monitor and control the amount your pup takes in. Rotties are known for eating more than what they need and sometimes gobbling up their food. This can cause bloating, weight gain, and in extreme cases, obesity.
Training and Exercise
Rottweilers are balls of energy and so are their fun-sized versions. Because they are highly energetic, you need to allocate time and energy for playtime and exercise.
Mini Rottweilers need enough physical activity to keep themselves healthy. They are smaller in size so you don’t need a big space for them to move around.
If you live in an urban area, taking them for a walk and going outdoors is already good. Spending 30 minutes of play and training with your dog daily goes a long way.
Aside from exercise, you also need to train your dog. Rottweilers can get a little too aggressive and territorial so it’s crucial that they listen to your commands.
Training includes allowing them to socialize and mingle with humans and other dogs as well. The more a miniature Rottweiler is exposed to other individuals, the friendlier it will get. If you have kids at home, it is also good to introduce them to your mini Rottie.
Cleaning and Grooming
Grooming is just as important as diet and exercise when it comes to caring for your pups. You also need to pay attention to your miniature Rottweiler’s grooming.
Rotties have thick fur so you have to brush their coat regularly to keep it looking tidy and beautiful. Mini Rottweilers that inherited their non-Rottie parent’s fur need grooming as well.
The kind of grooming you should provide depends on the kind of fur it has. Make sure that you are using soft bristles to avoid hurting your mini Rottweiler.
You also have to give it a bath from time to time to get rid of dirt and dust. Nails must be clipped and paws must be checked every once in a while.
How Much Is a Miniature Rottweiler? Puppy Prices and Other Expenses
You can find a miniature Rottweiler for as low as $250 if you are open to adopting a senior from a shelter.
If you prefer buying pups from a reputable breeder, prepare to shell out $900 or more. The price can even go as high as $4,000 for Rotties that are from champion bloodlines.
Factors that may affect your miniature Rottweiler’s price are bloodline, size, the reputation of the breeder, and breed if the puppy is mixed.
When you get a miniature Rottweiler, the cost of the dog itself isn’t your only expense. You have to take into consideration other one-time and regular expenses.
Costs to prepare for are the dog’s pen that’s about $50, dog food that is roughly $55 a bag, and other necessities such as a collar, leash, feeding bowl, blanket, and toys. You should also allot money for veterinary visits which may start at $100.
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Places to Find Miniature Rottweiler Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Though the miniature Rottweiler is not a kennel club-acknowledged breed, there are breeders who create and sell these fun-sized Rotts. You can find purebred and crossbred mini Rottweilers here:
- Countryside Puppies – This breeder has been specializing in breeding Rottweilers since 2007. Countryside Puppies initially created mini Rotties by crossbreeding them with the Pekingese and miniature Pinscher breeds. They eventually had a mini Rottie of Pug and mini Pinscher lineage.
- Keystone Puppies – An online platform for breeders, Keystone Puppies links interested fur parents with reputable breeders. They do due diligence to ensure that puppies advertised are healthy and are not from puppy mills.
- PuppySpot – With its database of breeders, PuppySpot can connect you to a Rottweiler breeder with purebred and crossbred mini Rotties.
- Lancaster Puppies–If you want a crossbred miniature Rottweiler, Lancaster Puppies can expedite your search by connecting you with Rottweiler mix breeders.
Adopting is another option for you to find your mini Rottie companion. Some adoption sites you can visit are:
- Adopt-a-Pet – The largest pet adoption site in North America, Adopt-a-Pet can provide you with a list of Rottweilers, including mini Rottie mixes, that are looking for a new home.
- Rotten Rottie Rescue – Dedicated to the Rottweiler breed, this volunteer group takes care of adult and puppy rescue Rotties while they are waiting for a new family.
Should You Adopt or Buy Your Mini Rottweiler? Tips on Getting a Healthy Mini Rottweiler Puppy
Want to make sure that you are getting a healthy miniature Rottweiler? The best thing to do is to find a reputable breeder where you can buy a pup from. If you are not as picky, save a rescue Rottie from a shelter!
Should you decide to spend much on a healthy mini Rottie, be careful about your purchase. Here are some tips you can follow:
- Knowledge is power. Read about this fun-sized Rottie to know what to expect and understand its needs.
- You get what you pay for. Always manage your expectations especially if you are willing to settle for the cheapest option.
- Research your breeders. Breeders accredited by kennel and breed clubs are the best sources of pups because they follow certain standards. The mini Rottweiler is not an acknowledged breed, though, so there are no set qualifications in breeding this kind.
- Be aware of the health risks of purebred mini Rotties. I listed earlier possible health complications that dwarf and runt-produced miniature Rottweilers may face. Be prepared to shoulder medical expenses for these pups.
5 Dog Breeds or Mixes That Are Similar to Mini Rottweilers
Rottweiler mixes are considered mini Rotties especially when they look more like their Rottweiler parent. These are some of the common Rottweiler crossbreeds.
A crossbreed of the Rottweiler and Beagle, the Reagle is a medium Rottie mix that stands at most 27 inches as a full-grown adult. Reagles often inherit the black fur and tan markings of their Rottie parent and the body shape of the Beagle.
Beagles are friendly dogs and warm up to people more than Rotties do. They also have a strong sense of smell. When crossbred with the Rottweiler, their Reagle offsprings are often friendly guard dogs with excellent smelling instincts.
What do you get when you put together the Rottie and one of the smallest toy breeds? You get a Rottie Chi!
This offspring of a Rottweiler and a Chihuahua may be small or medium in size. Because both parents are known for being aggressive, the temperament of a Rottie Chi may have twice the aggression.
Pugweiler or Pugrotti
Another breed that is commonly mixed with the Rottweiler is the Pug. The Pugweiler or Pugrotti typically takes after the body shape of the Pug and the color of the Rottweiler.
Shedding may be a challenge when you have this miniature Rottweiler dog because Pugs are notorious for heavy shedding.
Rottie-Poo or Rottiedoodle
When you combine two of America’s favorite breeds, you get a very lovely and lovable Rottie-Poo. Also called the Rottiedoodle or Rottle, this Rottweiler and Poodle mix usually flaunts a thick curly coat of black and tan fur.
While the Rottie-Poo barely sheds thanks to its Poodle genes, it is very high maintenance because of its hair.
Like the Rottie Chi, this mix may be small to medium-sized. The Poodle breed is playful and affectionate so this mini Rottweiler offspring is a loving guardian dog.
If you are not convinced with these mixed-breed miniature Rottweilers, you can get a dog that is similar to the Rottweiler in terms of temperament.
The Manchester Terrier is a leaner and smaller lookalike of the Rottweiler with its black and tan hair. This breed comes in two sizes: standard that weighs up to 22 pounds and toy that weighs at most 12 pounds.
Manchester Terrier dogs also love to play and have fun like Rotties. They also have good instincts and are always alert.
Commonly Asked Questions
Can Mini Rottweilers Be Left Alone?
Rottweilers love to seek attention and want to be by their owner’s side always. Miniature Rottweilers can be less clingy compared to the standard sized ones.
They can be left alone but only for a number of hours. Rottie owners say the maximum would be six hours. If you plan on being out more than that, expect to see a mess at home.
What Is the Smallest Mix of Rottweiler?
The smallest Rottweiler mix would probably be with small breeds such as the Chihuahua and mini Pinscher. Since these breeds are tiny, their offspring with the Rottie may also inherit their size.
Are Mini Rottweilers Good With Kids?
Kids will enjoy playing with mini Rottweilers because these pups can keep up with children’s energy. You have to socialize your mini Rottie with kids for them to get used to it.
Do Miniature Rottweilers Shed?
The volume of shedding a miniature Rottweiler experiences depends if it is purebred or a mix. Rottweilers in general have moderate to heavy shedding so purebred mini Rotties may encounter the same. For crossbreeds, it depends on what breed they are a mix of.
Final Thoughts: Is the Miniature Rottweiler the Right Pet for You?
The miniature Rottweiler is a great choice for those who love the Rottie breed but only have little room at home. This fun-sized version gives you the energy, guardian instincts, and playfulness of a Rottweiler but requires less space.
The dilemma with getting a miniature Rottweiler, though, is that purebred ones come with health problems. If you don’t mind getting a mix, a crossbred mini Rottie is an option.
Overall, the miniature Rottweiler is a nice pet to have because of its compact size, protectiveness, and fun-loving temperament.
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.
Thursday 7th of July 2022
I think there's a typo early on - No canine weighs 15 pounds at birth ;)
Small size: Mini Rottweilers are relatively smaller in size compared to the regular Rottie. Dogs classified as this weigh around 15 pounds upon birth and at most 30 pounds as a full-grown adult.
Great article, though! I very much enjoyed reading all through :) I appreciate all your work putting it all together!