Rottweilers are one of the most recognizable and fascinating dog breeds in the world.
They’re loving, good-natured, intelligent, and fiercely loyal canines with an incredible sense of vigilance when it comes to guarding their owners.
If you’re interested in welcoming a Rottie to your house, you may need to choose a size. Although Rottweilers come in a standard medium/large size, today we’re focusing on a smaller-sized version known as the Miniature Rottweiler.
In this article, we’re sharing a detailed guide on the Miniature Rottweiler to help you learn more about this strain and figure out if it’s a good match for your needs.
Keep reading as we discuss everything related to this confident canine from its appearance, behavior, and size to its common health issues, care requirements, and cost.
Miniature Rottweiler History
In 1931, the AKC (American Kennel Club) officially recognized the Rottweiler as a breed. However, the history of the Rottie dogs goes back hundreds of years before their recognition.
The origin of this breed is linked to the Roman Empire where dog breeding was mastered by Roman geniuses to make tough, robust canines to serve the needs of their empire’s army.
The Romans’ quest to conquer Germanic armies caused them to bring their drover dogs to the areas witnessing their fights. After the downfall of the Roman Empire, the Roman drovers worked in the town of Rottweil as cattle herders and guardians.
Soon enough, they became known as the Rottweiler dogs. Starting from the 19th century, they found new work as watchdogs, police dogs, guide dogs, as well as search and rescue dogs.
Today, the Rottweiler is one of the most beloved canine breeds across the country. It landed the 8th spot (out of 284) in the 2021 AKC popularity rankings.
Where Did the Miniature Rottweiler Come From?
Miniature Rottweilers combine strength, loyalty, endurance, affection, and fearlessness in a compact package. But how did this fun-sized version happen?
Miniature Rottweiler dogs didn’t occur naturally. They’re created using one of three breeding techniques: reproducing the dwarfism gene, breeding runts, or cross-breeding with small-sized dogs.
However, only the last technique produces legit Miniature Rotties.
This first method involves breeding two Rottweilers that possess the dwarfism genetic mutation.
Dwarfism affects bone development in dogs, resulting in Rotties with an abnormally small skeletal configuration.
Typically, this breeding produces a smaller version of the Rottweiler with shorter legs. All traits -except for the size- remain intact.
Structural deformities are the main health risks in this technique. For example, bone issues such as dysplasia.
In this method, breeders choose the smallest pups in the Rottweiler’s litter and breed them together.
Unfortunately, undersized Rottweilers produced from runts have a high risk of suffering from health problems due to congenital abnormalities.
That’s because runts are typically the weakest and least healthy puppies of the litter. What’s worse, their immune systems are highly compromised so they’re the most prone to disease.
Rottweilers produced by breeding runts usually end up with a smaller build that looks like Miniature Rotties. But, they’re not considered true Miniature Rottweilers.
These pups may grow into healthy adults with proper care, yet they’ll need more medical care to pull it off.
Cross-breeding with Small Dogs
Cross-breeding a standard Rottweiler with a dog from a smaller breed is the legit way of producing True Miniature Rottweilers.
Although it may require a few trials, it’s the most ethical technique. Still, the associated potential health risks raise the question of whether or not people should be making Miniature hybrids in the first place.
That said, Miniature hybrid Rottweilers are the healthiest compared to runts and dwarf dogs. Things look even better when both parents are in good shape.
Chihuahuas, Pugs, Beagles, and Poodles are some examples of breeds that are often cross-bred with Rottweilers to get Miniature pups.
There’s a catch though. Hybrid dogs are a mix of the traits of both parents, so they may be mini but look more like the non-Rottweiler parent.
Miniature Rottweiler Interesting Facts
- True Miniature Rottweilers are hybrid dogs.
- Miniature Rottweilers tend to act out if left alone for longer than a few hours.
- The smallest Miniature Rottweiler is the one mixed with the Chihuahua.
Miniature Rottweiler Size
A normal-size Rottweiler dog is medium to large, to begin with. The standard measurements of this breed according to the AKC are as follows:
- The weight of an adult male Rottweiler dog falls between 95 and 135 pounds. They stand at an average height of 24 to 27 inches.
- The weight of adult female Rottweiler dogs ranges between 80 and 100 pounds. They stand at an average height of 22 to 25 inches.
As for an adult Miniature Rottweiler, its exact weight and height will vary according to the measurements of the smaller dog breed used in crossing. This is also why there are no standards set for Miniature Rottweilers, after all, they aren’t recognized as a breed.
That said, there’s a general estimate for the measurements of a Miniature Rottweiler. Its weight ranges between 30 to 60 pounds and stands no taller than 12 inches.
Comparing the dimensions of both dogs, it’s clear that the Miniature Rottweiler is visibly smaller than its standard counterpart. To be more precise, a Miniature Rottweiler is around 40 to 50 percent smaller.
Miniature Rottweiler Appearance
The look of a Miniature Rottweiler is tricky to predict as it depends on the breed of the other parent.
That said, some features usually repeat themselves in the fun-sized Rotties.
Aside from a smaller stature, they typically have black coats with tan markings on the face/chest, smooth hairs, and floppy ears.
Miniature Rottweiler Personality
The temperament of a Miniature Rottweiler is also tricky to pinpoint since it’s affected by the personality of the other parent as well.
But generally speaking, Miniature Rotties will inherit the smart, loyal, friendly, protective, and alert traits of their standard counterpart.
Is a Miniature Rottweiler Good With Kids?
If the affinity of the standard Rottweiler is anything to go by, you can expect the Miniature version to be great with kids. Its friendly and energetic nature helps it keep up with children while also being protective of the little ones.
Still, you should always keep an eye on kids when playing with a Miniature Rottie and provide early socialization/training to get the best results.
Is a Miniature Rottweiler Good With Other Pets?
A Miniature Rottweiler is more likely to get along with other dogs and animals if you provide early training and socialization.
This is important because Rotties have a prominent prey drive, so they can get aggressive toward other pets and even chase them around despite their smaller size.
Does the Miniature Rottweiler Bark a Lot?
Generally speaking, Rottweilers aren’t keen barkers. They mainly do it to alert their owners if they sense danger or to ward off suspicious figures.
Likewise, Miniature Rotties aren’t big on barking. Even more so because their barks lack the depth and power of their standard counterpart.
Miniature Rottweiler Lifespan
The expected lifespan of a regular Rottweiler is around 9 to 10 years. Its Minuatire counterpart may have the same life expectancy, but it could also put in a couple of extra years because it’s a hybrid and its body is smaller.
Generally speaking, smaller dog breeds live longer than large dog breeds. Additionally, the genetic diversity of hybrid dogs helps reduce the risk of some hereditary health issues.
Miniature Rottweiler Common Health Issues
Making Rotties smaller comes with a set of potential medical problems.
Also, purebred Miniature Rottweiler dogs (from runts or Rotties with genetic abnormalities) are more prone to pre-existing health issues than crossbred Miniature Rottweilers due to a lack of genetic diversity.
As a responsible owner, you need to be aware of these possible conditions so you can provide better care for your canine buddy.
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
This is a degenerative growth abnormality. Dysplasia affects both small and large dog breeds, often targeting the joints of the hip and elbow.
This condition causes the ball of the bone to fit loosely or improperly into its corresponding socket. As a result, the ligaments in the affected joint become weaker, and the bones are forced to endure excessive strain.
Over time, dysplasia makes the affected joints more prone to stiffness and breakage. It can also develop into arthritis.
Not only is this condition quite painful, but it also doesn’t have a definitive cure. The best you can do for a Miniature Rottweiler suffering from hip or elbow dysplasia is to give it management medication.
Your vet can prescribe painkillers and anti-inflammatories to help ease the symptoms and delay the progression of the disease.
This heart disease is common in Rottweilers, and maybe even more prominent in the downsized version of the breed.
Aortic stenosis is a condition where the aortic valve of the heart (through which blood leaves the heart to reach the rest of the body) is narrowed. As a result, the heart muscles need to work harder to pump blood and push it through the narrowed valve.
The extra effort can eventually lead to heart failure in severe cases. Symptoms of this disease include lethargy, shortness of breath, exercise intolerance, and fainting.
In mild cases and with early detection, your Miniature Rottweiler typically won’t require medication, only monitoring progression. But moderate and severe cases will require medication and even initial hospitalization.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Shortened to PRA, this ophthalmic condition is a genetic disorder that affects the retina of the dog’s eye(s) and causes it to degenerate as it grows older.
Unfortunately, there’s still no effective cure for PRA. What’s worse, it can lead to loss of sight within one to two years.
This is another ophthalmic condition that your Miniature Rottie could suffer from. It involves a cloudy layer covering your dog’s eye(s), which prevents it from having clear vision.
Luckily, cataracts don’t cause pain to dogs and are generally easy to treat.
Many cases are cured by surgery where the pooch regains its normal eyesight after the vet performs a procedure to remove the milky film. Sometimes, the dog doesn’t even require surgery and can be treated with just eye drops.
The important thing is to schedule a check-up as soon as you start to notice a change in the color of your dog’s eye(s). If you ignore cataracts and they’re left untreated, they can lead to glaucoma and may even end with blindness.
Miniature Rottweiler Care Tips
Now that you’re familiar with the appearance and personality of the Miniature Rottweiler, it’s time to learn about its basic care requirements.
Adult Miniature Rottweiler dogs need around 2 cups of food daily. Divide the amount over two portions, one in the morning and another in the early evening.
The amount can vary depending on the size and level of activity of the pup.
Miniature Rottweilers possess thick coats, so they need thorough brushing. The good news is that you don’t have to do it too frequently; once a week will do the trick.
This is assuming the pup got its coat from its Rottweiler parent. Otherwise, grooming will vary according to the coat type of the other parent.
Like their standard counterpart, Miniature Rottweilers are probably just as eager to please. Socialization, crate, and obedience training should all be easy enough to implement with this dog.
Use positive reinforcement techniques with treats and praises as screaming and punishment won’t get you far when dealing with Rotties. Be consistent, firm, and patient.
Despite being a smaller version of the bulky Rottweiler, Miniature Rotties still need plenty of physical activity to burn through their energy reserves.
Give your pup at least 45 minutes of exercise whether it’s walks, jogs, chase games, or playtime.
Miniature Rottweiler Price
The general price range of a Miniature Rottweiler puppy is between $900 to $4,000. Higher prices are assigned to pups from champion lineages.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, consider adopting a senior Miniature Rotties from a rescue shelter.