Australian Shepherd Rottweiler Mix — Good Idea?

Australian Shepherd Rottweiler MixI was recently asked by a friend to help her evaluate a dog from adoption.

The young dog she fell in love with was an Australian Shepherd Rottweiler mix.

Either pure-breed alone can be a real handful. So what did I think about putting them together and adopting the result?


Here’s the process of thinking I shared with my friend:

  1. These are two strong-minded, highly protective breeds bundled into one powerful body.
  2. My friend did not have knowledge of either parent’s temperament or treatment–or health issues.
  3. My friend had no knowledge of the early months of this young dog’s life, and therefore no knowledge of treatment or socialization.
  4. This pup’s health check showed no issues.
  5. Upon testing this dog’s temperament, she was playful and happy, and showed no signs of resource guarding.
  6. As would be expected for this mix, she demonstrated that she was very trainable.
  7. My friend has had experience with herding dogs, but not with Rottweilers.
  8. My friend has a fenced yard and is home most of the day.
  9. My friend has no young children.

There are no guarantees with how any dog is going to turn out, but you can significantly up the odds of having an awesome dog by starting with good breeding and temperament, and finishing with great socializing and training. And providing lots of leadership, love, and exercise for the rest of its life.

So while I had to nix the “good breeding” from the mix, temperament appeared solid and stable. And since my friend was an experienced dog owner who knew what she was potentially getting herself into, and was still willing to go ahead–I helped her pack up her new puppy to head home to a new happy life.

If this puppy had showed any instability of any kind, such as resource guarding, or lack of a good bite inhibition, or was easily spooked, I would have told my friend to keep on looking. Forget the cuteness factor–this breed combination is no joke, and should only be taken in by experienced dog owners.

There is no question–both Australian Shepherds and Rottweilers can make for incredible dogs. They can also easily spin out of control in the wrong hands. If you are thinking of adopting a Rottweiler Australian Shepherd mix, do yourself a favor and have someone who knows both these breeds evaluate the dog for you.  You could be saving yourself some major heartache.

Conversely, if the dog passes an evaluation with flying colors, you could have the dog of a lifetime!

94 thoughts on “Australian Shepherd Rottweiler Mix — Good Idea?”

  1. I have a rot/ Aussie female and I’ve had her for many years. She is one of the best dogs ever. She’s loving, very kind, loves to play ball, very healthy, she’s protective of me but would never just attack anyone. She is a total blessing and sweetheart, she is highly intelligent, was so easy to train. She behaved so well…nobody would ever be disappointed with this mix of breeds….

    1. Hi June, when you find a good mix, they do often combine the best of both breeds into one. Sounds like you found a terrific one. I am always so happy to hear these success stories.

    2. Greg Gathercole

      We too had an Aussie Rottie. My wife picked her as an 18 month rescue dog from the ASPCA. We had her for 14 yrs and never once had any issues. We did decide to take Reese to a 6 week class of obedience tranining. She was a quick learner and she took up frisbee catching but not so good at returning the “B” also exercised her along side on the bicycle with only one problem…squirls. She never did catch one. Reese was a loving creacher, she would stay with the grand kids when ever that were at the house never leaving them for one minute. Reese loved the water, boating and waves at the beach. We couldn’t have had a more loving, protective member of the family.

  2. I have a Rottie Aussie that is similar in color, but slightly shorter nose and larger chest, and long fur. He has been the best service dog I have ever had. By the age of two he flew in airplanes, took trains, subways, neither of us liked buses, and so on. For over eight years he has never left my side, loyal, loving, and has NEVER bitten a soul.

    1. Comments like this always make me so happy to know there are so many great dog people out there who have raised wonderful dogs.

      Sounds like you get to share your life with an amazing dog.

    2. My boy was Rottie Aussie mix I rescued him he was the biggest blessing in my life he guarded protected loved love his sister and he was my heart I just lost him last week and I have never had something ripped my heart out as bad as losing him he was the best he was perfect and I will miss him everyday he was also the most beautiful dog I ever laid my eyes on he was all Aussie but Rottweiler color he was so social he would go to the vet and sit up in the chair and all the girls will come out and talk to him and he was just so good with people but he also knew when someone wasn’t good and he wouldn’t let them in the fence what an amazing combination of breeds he was truly one of a kind. I would love to find another Boomer one day

      1. Susan I am so sorry for your loss. My Aussie girl was my heart dog… There’s nothing else like it that even comes close.
        I deeply hope that you will find another Boomer one day.

        1. We adopted Bodee in March. He is a handful. I’m sorry about your loss, we lost Chopper in Jan.
          We are taking Bodee to Zoom Room. I hope we can handle him!

      2. We adopted Bodee in March. He is a handful. I’m sorry about your loss, we lost Chopper in Jan.
        We are taking Bodee to Zoom Room. I hope we can handle him!

  3. I had an AMAZING Rottweiler and Aussie mix; it looked quite like the one in the picture. She really only bit anyone twice in her life and was the best dog in the world.

  4. The best dog I ever had was an Aussie/Rottie mix. She was just a little pup when she followed my dad home from a run, and her paws were worn down raw from wandering.
    We named her Pepper. She was absolutely sweet but would have been a stalwart protector if we’d ever been threatened. She no tail to wag just a nub, so she’d wag her entire behind instead.
    I was an autistic kid who was socially awkward and somewhat friendless, so I spent many hours in the backyard reading aloud to her. She just liked being with me.
    Pepper loved occasional roasted marshmallows (and didn’t care if they were slightly burnt). She had very diverse tastes from her early years on the road. She even showed our other dog how to dig up fat beetle grubs but she was the only one who wanted to eat those. She also produced the most magnificently awful farts of any dog I ever met, but she was so apologetic afterwards.
    I loved that her.

    1. Holly, thanks for sharing Pepper with us. She sounds like quite a girl! And how lucky for her that your dad let her follow him home, and that she had you for a friend. Your comment made my day! It’s a nice reminder about what’s wonderful about good humans and good dogs.

    2. One of best dogs I’ve had was a Aussie/Rottie, Dakota. I volunteered at the SPCA every weekend and was looking out for a dog that would alert me, by at least barking once in a while. I had two rescue Greyhounds and they are not alert dogs normally.

      I went in to volunteer and I saw her and immediately she was the one, and she looked like the dog pictured above. I was hoping for a medium sized dog and she was on the high end of medium so perfect. But she was 6 months old. Eventually, she was in the 93 lb range and very athletic. She was turned in by a roommate of the owner, which the owner must of have been a man. Her name was “Sativa” when they brought her in The first 6 months she often wanted to follow men that paid attention to her, when I had her out along a river with my other my dogs. She had been obedience trained already and was a jewel on all counts. Whoever, had her obviously loved her, and maybe they didn’t have a place to keep her anymore.

      The best personality ever in a dog, never aggressive, but just her size and look was intimidating to those who didn’t know her. She loved to trick new people that came into the house. As I would be speaking to someone, she had not met before, she walked up behind them and leaned against the back of their legs let out a low “bear like growl”. As the person stood in frozen fear, I had to assure them she was a jokester. Then when they got the courage to look down, they saw this large fluffy dog with a large stuffed animal in her mouth, and her short tail (and big butt) wagging from side to in a “gotcha” moment. One of her favorite games to play.

      I got quite a few offers to take care of her if I needed a pup sitter. She was one of a kind. Never aggressive to other dogs and must have been well socialized before I got her. Of course I had my dogs around other people and animals all the time also.

      Dakota loved camping and I often took her on trips, even group trips. She was serious, and left her playfulness at home. She was all business. I would sometimes go with groups of up to 15 -20 people. She would go from one end to the other of the hikers, to make sure no one was lost or needed assistance.

      She was not very social as she was at home or “off-duty”. She would lay in the middle of the campground, while visually scanning the horizon. Her goofiness not in evidence. She would immediately let us know with a deep growl, if there was anyone or animals approaching in the distance. She was a complete working dog out there, and everyone was fascinated with her and her dual personalities. She was one of kind.

      She was the perfect cross of the breeds. I met another woman with the same cross. She purchased her dog, and didn’t really look like either breed. She immediately recognized Dakota’s heritage. She was very surprised I found her at a shelter. So was I. I was very lucky. I put in the paperwork for her as soon as I met her.

      I had her for over 14 years. She was still healthy, but she had degenerative disc disease, and she would slip and fall and having trouble getting up. I worked long hours and I was afraid that she would fall in the house and not be able to get up all day. I let her go, and it was not easy.

      1. Serena, she sounds amazing on all counts. Even at 14yrs, it’s never long enough, is it… What a team you two made! And how I love happy endings dog stories. Thanks for sharing.

  5. We owned a Australian shepherd that was about 1/4 Rottweiler. She had been purposely bred by a veterinarian for intelligence and health. She was the smartest dog we have ever had the pleasure of owning. She was loyal, protective without aggression and so easily trainable. She just about read your mind. She lived to be 17 years old and we miss her ever day.

  6. Toby is my Australian Rottweiler Mix, we adopted him from a Lab Rescue, he looked like a lab at 12 weeks. But never demonstrated any Labrador traits, but instead at an constant appetite for adventure, wasn’t much of a couch puppy. Initially, he hated water, wouldn’t even walk across wet pavement, but now loves swimming, at two years he is the sweetest dog, loves to play fetch, both on land and in the water!
    He is without a doubt the smartest dog we have been so lucky to have in our family, loves to play, wants to consistently please his family, and is very protective. He loves to exercise, I typically run at least a 5k with him everyday, and he still has tons of energy. If your looking for a running partner, an Australian/Rottweiler mix would be a great pet to adopt.

  7. I have a rotti/aussi mix , female 7 years old. I have had many great dogs in my life but Lucy is by far the most perfect dog of my life. She is extremely loving and very protective.I talk to her as if speaking to a friend. She understands most anything I say. got her from a friend at 6 weeks. I am 64 and she goes everywhere with me. she loves to deer hunt and to swim every chance she gets . if someone were to break in my house to harm me she would make every attempt to kill them. unsurpassed loyality. so very gentle.

    1. Some people might think you’re exaggerating about being able to communicate and having Lucy understand. Not me. I could carry on a whole conversation with Kiera. They are beyond incredible dogs.

  8. Bags was the dog of a lifetime. He was a cross between a male Aussie and a female Rotty. Bags was a blue merle with short hair and no tail. Bags never once thought he was a dog, and his expressions and intelligence still amaze me to this day. He could sense things before they happened and was so aware of his surroundings. He loved people and other animals. But his energy was crazy..I work oilfield and would drive to my locations..somewhere miles off the main road. As soon as I turned down the road he would start to wine…” Let me out ” lol, and when I did, he was gone…the race was on! He had to beat me in, no matter what he had to do, like take a he knew it was a shortcut s anyone’s guess..but if the crop was high he would leap up once and a while and get his ran like the winding could jump like no other dog, even climb trees if I told him too…all I had to do was point and he would try, most of the time successfully ! He was with me night and day for 7 years..he passed away in my arms and broke my heart to this day 12 years later. My best friend !!!

    1. Mike, I laughed when I read this–I can so feel your joy at your boy’s antics. I completely get it. Kiera was the same for me. I still miss her every day, 5 years later. Those once in a lifetime dogs are so worth the gift of sharing their lives, but the pain of their loss almost makes it not worth it. Almost…

  9. Our first and only family dog was a Rotti Aussie and she is the sweetest thing that ever existed. I don’t think just because they are half Rottweiler it means it’s a bad breed whatsoever.

      1. Michelle Bensette

        We adopted a Rottweiler Australian Shepherd mix at at a year old. He was a rescue dog and was not socialized at all. The first few years were very challenging as he did not like anyone outside our family. He is very intelligent and has a great personality.
        He is now 10 years old. He stands 26 inches and ways over 70lbs. He is still very energetic. His temperament mellowed dramatically over the years and we couldn’t be more in love with a dog than we are with him. I wonder though what his life expectancy will be? We do worry as Rottweilers only live an average of 8 years.

        1. I can completely relate. I’ve had several rescue mixes over the years. And they all took a couple of years to settle in, get with the training program, and go on to live wonderful, beloved lives.

          Hard to say on lifespan expectancy with this mixed breed (and mixed breeds in general). It’s often higher than either individual breed norms. Seems the mixing of genes often is a good thing in terms of longevity.

          Our BC/Eskimo/Spaniel mix is going on 16 years old, and other than his cataracts, you’d never know he was over 5 years old–he still runs everywhere.

          Hope you have many more years to enjoy with your boy.

  10. We adopted a Rotti Aussi mix two years ago. She is just over 60 pounds and thinks she is a lap dog. She is the best dog we ever had. Extremely friendly, playful and well behaved. If you have a chance to get one by all means take it.

  11. Randi Slaughter

    Any of you who have owned an Aussie Rot (female) how big did they get? I recently adopted one myself, she’s the sweetest dog ever. But I can’t seem to find an estimate of her adult size anywhere!

    1. Randi, the average weight of female Rottie runs between 80 to 110 lbs, and height is 22-25 inches. The average weight of an Aussie female is 30 to 45 lbs, with height between 18-21 inches. So figure your pup will land somewhere in between the two averages. But depending on the dominant genes could wind up more toward one end of the spectrum or the other.

  12. Kacee Hardwick

    We have an Aussie/Rottie mix and he is our pride and joy! He has been completely perfect up until recently. He will be turning 2 years old on the 12th of this month, and recently at the dog park we go too he has been doing a low growl when other male dogs come near him. Usually the other males are not neutered, but my dog is neutered. I noticed it got worse after other dogs would try to mount him, but since then no other dogs have tried to mount him he just doesn’t seem to like other male dogs. So you have any tips on training him to not be as reactive toward other male dogs?

    1. Hi Kacee, This isn’t something I can really help with from a distance. I strongly recommend that you find and work with a Trainer who only works with Positive Training Methods to help evaluate your boy and how he handles being around other male dogs. His behavior may be entirely appropriate and he may just be communicating very clearly with these dogs who may just be behaving rudely and your guy is teaching them some manners. As well, not all dogs like all other dogs. BUT there may also be an issue brewing that you can help nip in the bud.

  13. I rescued mine a little over 3 years ago and the humane society believed he was about a year old as did my Vet. I could not ask for a better dog. He gets along great with people and other pets but is definitely dedicated to his owner and stays right at my side. He looks like the picture but hair may be a little shorter and he has bright blue eyes. I can’t walk him without people raving about his eyes. His weight topped out around 70 pounds. He was 44 pounds when I got him. I was worried how he might be as I live alone which means he is left alone in the house foe 10 hours or so daily. He treats my house like his own, which it is. When I get home he is sitting on my kitchen floor anxiously waiting for me to come through the garage door so he can greet me and we can take our walk to the park where I can throw the tennis ball for him. He doesn’t destroy anything and has no “accidents” in the house. We live in the very dog friendly town of Dunedin, Fl where we do a lot of walking and socializing at various bars and restaurants around downtown Dunedin. He has more people that know him than know me! I couldn’t be happier with him.

  14. I have a pure bred rotti who is almost 12 and in great shape though a little arthritis in the back end. She is not protective and is basically a Black and Tan lab. We did a lot of training when she was a pup – basic commands, getting in her food, pulling (gently ears, tail, paws) and she has been nothing but amazing with my 2 daughters. Rottis do have medical issues (mostly knees) and so we are looking for a rotti x Australian shepherd. Do you know of any breeders in Ontario? We’d be looking for a breeder that uses Rottis for family not protection/guarding purposes.

    1. Fiona, sounds like you have a wonderful dog, no doubt in large part because of your thoughtful training.

      Wish I could help, but I am not aware of anyone who breeds Aussie/Rottie mixes.

  15. I have an Aussie Rottie mix who is 1.5 years old. She’s my best friend (her and her little sister, a toy American shepherd)
    The owner of the mother was going to bring them to the pound at 5 weeks and I rescued her. Now she’s my big baby! I started her training when she was 6 months old. She is so smart! She listens very well.
    She does bark at people walking and things like that (but she grew up in a house with my parents’ dog who barks at EVERYTHING so that could be why)
    Took her today and she weighs 88lbs! The vet said she should lose some weight. She doesn’t look like an Aussie or a Rottie…she looks just like a Merle Beauceron! I mean identical!!! So crazy! But she’s beautiful!!!

    1. Courtney, she is a big girl at 88lbs! : ) But if she’s the size of a Beauceron, that seems about right. But listen to your vet.

      And Beaucerons do sort of look like a cross between an Aussie and a Rottie, if you think about it.

      This combo can become a handful if you don’t keep up with training. Good that you started her training early. Hope you keep up with it so that she stays your happy, big baby.

  16. I adopted a Rottweiler Aussie mix. The shelter wouldn’t confirm the mix fearing, I suspect, that she wouldn’t be adopted. She appeared to have had a rough beginning; she was fearful of men and children plus she appeared to be very sad. Depressed? She didn’t know how to play with toys or bark (“speak”). Over time, her fears have subsided and she has become an entirely different dog. She is playful, loyal and affectionate. She’s even made friends with the neighbor’s cat. They touch noses when they see each other. I have had dogs my entire life, including an Aussie and a German Shepard, and I can say that she is the best companion I have ever had. I wouldn’t hesitate to adopt another Aussie Rottie.

  17. I have an AMAZING 5 yr old Rottie/Aussie shepherd pooch. I could not have asked for a better dog! I got him at 7 wks old off of Kijiji, but he was a sick pup. It turned out he had beef and chicken allergies and after some tests, it was later discovered that he has hypo-thyroid, so he takes 2 pills a day and he’s as good as new!

    He’s *extremely* intelligent, so as a pup he would get into mischief if left to his own devices. However, he was house-trained in 4 days and now he knows every trick in the book! He loves his ball and his feline sister.

    Honestly, I don’t think I will ever find a better dog. He’s gentle with kids (he loves playing ball with them at the park) and he has -never- once gotten into a fight with another dog.

    If you are thinking of getting this breed, I highly recommend it –only if you are willing to invest the necessary time and training. If you are, you’ll have a loyal, loving, 4-legged companion for life!

    Hope this is helpful.

    1. Thanks for sharing Nancy. I heartily support your recommendation that people have to be willing to invest in the time and training. With all dogs, of course, but especially with this mix.

  18. Wow! This could be our dog. We adopted Buster when he was 3-4 years old. He has become a great family member, but still hasntriggees that he works to resist. He isn’t fond of small kids or anything that runs. He still snaps when he feels threatened, but can now enjoy playing with our goofy German Shepard and adores his human family. Super smart, stubborn, fast and strong. Not a mix for newbies or the faint of heart.

  19. I’m looking for that cross, a red one! Female. I have had Rotties and Aussies for years now and I want one cross. I never bred, but I want a cross to hopefully get the best of both. Just love them!

  20. we “saved” a rottweiler/australian shepard mix twelve years ago when she was eight weeks old. for us, she has been the “dog of a lifetime”. she is perfect! we had young-ish kids (ages 10 to 13) and she was easily house trained and had an inner sense of being gentle around babies and young children. she is perfectly even-tempered and very smart. she rings a bell hung on our back door knob to go out, and she rings the one on the outside of the door to come in. she does all the regular “tricks” (sit, shake, give me five, lie down, etc.) and many more that we’ve taught her. if i had known this mix existed i would have gotten one sooner. my only concern is that i don’t know how long she’ll live; i know nothing about her lifespan. i highly recommend the mix and if anyone has an idea of the expected lifespan, i’d love to hear from you!

    1. Debbie, my Aussie Kiera lived to 13. I know that dread as “a dog of a lifetime” gets up there in years, and you feel happy for every day you have with her. But, hopefully, she has a few more years in her.

      Yes these are two very smart breeds, when added together, makes for an incredibly smart dog. Sounds like you’ve given her a wonderful life.

  21. I have a 9 year old Aussie/Rottie mix. I got him when he was about 3 months old. Buddy is by far the best dog that has ever been part of my family. He is so smart, loyal and always wants to please his people. He is gentle with children and yet the best watch dog! He will bark like he is going to eat you at the door (but if he knows you his tail will be wagging) until I open the door and then he goes and lays down. I taught him by praise and treats that this is his job and he does it well, He is voice trained and will do anything I ask him (sit, stay, lay down, come, drop it, go in the house, stop, speak, etc). I rescued feral kittens from under the storage building next door and he let them crawl around him because I asked him to “be nice”. He tries to herd me and is never more than a few feet from me unless I tell him to “git”. He plays tug with me and my grandchildren but I taught him to let go if you tickle under his chin. I can walk him on a leash with one finger. I think this is a great combination of breeds. They do shed a lot and he can chew thru a gigantic rope in a few weeks, but that is the only drawbacks I can think of. If others are like my Buddy they will be a valued part of the family.

    1. WOW Kathy..he sounds like our sweet Levi was..they are so loving..yes and he always wanted to herd my hubby and myself. We miss him SO much..he was the best dog we ever had. You are so very lucky.

    1. Bonnie, consider yourself hugged. I know how large a hole the loss of a great dog leaves. It’s been 3 years since my beloved Kiera died, and there’s still not a day that I don’t think about her.

      1. Dear Karen;
        Thank you for your kind words..we cried again today. Hopefully we are going to bring Levi home tomorrow.
        We miss him so much..the house is empty without him.

  22. Hi Karen;
    We live in Ontario Canada..we had a rottie-australian shepherd mix. We had to put him down yesterday.We are heartbroken to say the least..he was only 7. He had autoimmune disease..which apparently his mother had. We have spent a fortune on him to try to get him better to no avail.
    We got him from a gal when he was 4..he was THE best dog we have ever had..loving,huggybear,kind..loved people and other dogs..SMART..unbelievably smart .always trying to please us.
    I wondered if you have ever come across this horrid disease in other rottie-shepherd mixes.

    1. Bonnie, you don’t mention the specific auto-immune disease your wonderful guy had, but sadly auto-immune diseases in general are becoming more common in many breeds.

      1. His biopsy report says that he had Pemphigus foliaceus and that it is very uncommon. It affected his epidermis and hair follicles..and believe you me it certainy did.

  23. We adopted a Rottie/Aussie mix (I think there is some APBT in there though) from the fetch-a-cure penpals program. She was a stray. They didn’t know her exact age but she’s one of the best pups I’ve ever had. She’s a bit rough when playing (only really likes to play tug-o-war and play wrestling). She’s terrifed of the 2 big golden retrievers up the road but gets along with every other dog she’s met.

    1. Dan, so nice to hear how much you are enjoying your pup! Just a slight caution, if I may… Because of the protective (possibly aggressive) nature of both breeds, I would not recommend playing tug-o-war or wrestling games with her, where playing could easily slip into something more not intended. Like a grab that unintentionally turns into a nip or bite. Maybe try clicker training, frisbee, jogging, or agility. The best way to prevent bites (accidental or otherwise) is to not put this breed mix in a situation where it could happen.
      May you and your girl have many many happy years together!

  24. Loads of training, highly intelligent, loved Frisbee, my best friend for 17+ years, one blue eye and one part blue, looked like Elsie the cow with all the mix of colors over mostly black body, knew atleast 100 commands/tricks , loyal , protective ,loved kids ,and seemed to have more common sense than lots of people , always looking into my eyes, 75lbs., I was going to buy a purebred rottie that week for personal protection, she was one of twenty pups that came to vets office with parvo. I took that money and saved her life :) I miss my sassy girl (1/2 Aussie ( dad), 1/2 rottie (mom)

  25. I rescued a pup that I was told was a German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix. He had a broken jaw and leg due to a dog attack. As he has gotten older he is now 8 months I think he is Austraian Shepherd/Rottweiler mix. He is incredible smart and I love him regardless! I wish I could post a pic of him but he looks a lot like the dog on this post.

  26. I actually have a Rottie-Aussie mix. She is 10 yrs old. I’ve had her since she was 5 weeks old because the owner of the mother was going to send all of them to the county shelter – two ended up going and died of parvo from being put in a kennel next to an infected older Cocker Spaniel.

    I call my girl a Rotten Aussie. She is the sweetest, goofy girl in the world. She truly is the best of both breeds. Highly intelligent. She needed challenges as a pup. Still does now. Her body is that of a full sized Aussie, plush, thick black & tan coat. And those wonderful honey/hazel colored speckled Aussie eyes.

    Now she does have the tendency to show the stubbornness of the Rottie, I think it’s worse because she is so smart. Honestly, I wouldn’t trade her for the world. She is great with kids – granted she used to be very over eager and wanted to herd them if they shied away from her.

    I think if you have the ability to train an active Aussie and the dedication to exercise them and challenges to keep them busy, then they are amazing dogs to have. I recommend them wholeheartedly.

    1. I think if you have the ability to train an active Aussie and the dedication to exercise them and challenges to keep them busy, then they are amazing dogs to have. I recommend them wholeheartedly.

      Well said! I couldn’t agree more. : )

      1. It makes me so happy to see the weird mix is loved by more than just me. And seeing photos of how much they all look alike. Because you can never have a true idea in a mix breed what they will look like.

  27. about a year ago an adorable little Aussie Rott mix came running over to me when I was out walking my yellow lab – we tried to find her owners with no luck and decided to keep her – she is without a doubt the sweetest most loving dog I’ve ever had – it’s a wonderful mix . We love out Gypsy .

  28. Do not forget, that Rottweilers are working/herding dogs. As they were used to work livestock, they are smart enough to work somewhat independently from a handler.

    Back in 90-91, I lived on a small beef cattle farm in TN, and had a female rottie mix. I was told that she was mixed w/ Australian shepherd. As a juvenile, she looked very much like the dog in the picture on this page, although her hair was not as long. As an adult, she had more of the traditional Rottweiler head shape.

    She was *hands-down* the smartest dog that I’ve ever had, although I also had the benefit of spending pretty much all day with her on the farm, and took her in my truck nearly everywhere. I saw her kill snakes, and I know she caught at least one young rabbit, and even a fish from a creek–the fish being about 8-10″ long!

    One odd thing about her, was that she would rarely bark at anything. She instead would sometimes stare at something in the distance, like a person, and emit something of a growl, except it sounded more like a car slowly attempting to start. It was almost as if she wouldn’t commit to a full bark, unless she were sure the situation required barking–which apparently was rare.

    I never tried to work her as a herding dog, but she would walk within the herd–not afraid of the cows, yet also not trying to chase them for no reason. The only times I know of her being anything resembling aggressive was backing off a stray (full-blood) rottweiler puppy that came to be on the farm a few days, but it was after he play-attacked at my stepfather’s hand–he was wearing a glove, and we think he was “trained” to play rough to a gloved hand. The pup grabbed and growled, and my dog snarled/barked at him. He let go, and she stopped.

    Lastly, after I had returned to CA, my family told me that she had a litter of puppies (I was lax in getting her fixed), and I was told this:

    The farmhouse had these bricked in box-spaces around the house–venting for the crawlspace (no basement)–which were about a foot-and-a-half deep. When the puppies were big enough to follow her everywhere, but not old enough to be safe on the grounds, she would put them in the ‘holes’, go do what she wanted, and then come back and take them out!

    Notes: I have also had Dachshunds and Poodles in my life, American Pit Bull Terriers, and a Rottweiler/Cocker Spaniel (a ‘Cockweiler’, if you will), and recently found a stray beagle puppy, although she went to a young couple with a Dalmation–and ONLY because I currently cannot have a dog!

  29. We have a five-year-old Australian Shepherd Rottweiler mix female named Sophie and we can’t imagine life without her. We got her when our six-year-old (then only 1) German Shepherd lab mix male named Cosmo was showing signs of depression, The day my sister brought Sophie home Cosmo became a new dog and the two are inseparable ever sense.

    She’s very protective of the property, barking at the usual mailman and squirrel but over the summer someone fleeing the police jumped our fence and she made a beeline (with Cosmo alongside her) towards the intruder (The guy was Smart enough to jump the fence again) but when we bring people in to the house, she’s a total love bug.

    She does have a very strong Hunter drive though I have to say, my dad has found a number of possum kills in the yard , I don’t know if that’s just her behavior or if it’s a common theme for this mix but I would recommend anyone who wants this mix to be mindful of the possibility that you may have to clean up after them in that regard. Other than that, definitely a highly intelligent happy go lucky loving dog that will always bring a smile, to both humans and fellow dogs.

    1. David, so glad that the match up worked out so well with Sophie and Cosmo. That’s always a very happy day!

      And, good point, Aussies and Aussie mixes may have a pretty strong prey drive. So smaller animals can become a target, both domestic and wild.

  30. We just rescused Basil, an aussie/rottie mix who is 5 months old. He is so smart and loving! Definitely great dogs. He is for sure a protector which causes him to take a while to warm up to new people though. Full of life and energy. Does anyone have any tips on the right food for his breed?

    1. Hi Kenzie, sounds like you found a keeper! Because both breeds are known for being protective, the more socializing you do, the better it will be for everyone. If you think you’ve done enough socializing, double the amount and you’ll be getting close to what these dogs need to stay safe and grow into phenomenal dogs. : )

      I mix 2 brands of dog food together– Wellness and Dick Patton’s Natural Balance. Both are excellent, high quality dog foods with no junk and good protein.

  31. We have an Aussie Mix. We are not sure what he is mixed with. He looks like part Rottie, German Shepard, and pit bull. He is colored like a Rottie and German Shepard (brindle). He has jaws similar to a Rottie/pit bull. He is 70 lbs at 10 months. He also has short wiry hair that soaks up water. What do you think he is mixed with. I wish I could upload a picture. He is also sweet natured.

  32. My Otis is now 7 years old. When he was younger, he looked exactly like the picture above. He is full grown now and weighs about 80 lbs. He is very active, when he wants to be. He loves to go on walks and loves to run, when the space allows for it. I just discovered that he loves to play frisby and is very good at catching it. This dog is very intelligent and is very easy at teaching new things. My only regret is that I didn’t breed him before I had him fixed. Hopefully there are alot of Otis’s out there because he has brought alot of joy into our lives.

  33. Karen,

    Thanks for your post! It’s hard to find information of Aussie-Rottie mixes online. We just rescued one yesterday – we’ve had dogs all our lives and I’ll be working from home for the next two years. We did our research on both breeds and decided that we’d be willing to put in the time and energy to raise him right. A few questions – do you know how big Aus-Rot mixes get as adults? I’ve also been told that Rotts are less energetic than Aussies (though both require exercise, and I am an active person so it’s no problem). Does being a half-breed imply that he truly has half of the Aus and half of the Rot’s personality?


    1. Holly, sounds like you have a very good setup plus experience to help your new boy become the best that he can be.

      Yes, Rotties tend not to need the level of exercise that Aussies do, but they absolutely benefit from a healthy dose of exercise. So it’s good that you’re already an active person. : )

      Being a mixed breed doesn’t necessarily mean that the gene pools divide equally. Just like a human baby can look way more like one parent than the other (and have way more personality traits), so can dogs. So I’d say you’re going to have to go by looks and behavior. Does he look more like a Rottie or an Aussie, ie, longer hair, thicker, multi-color coat (Aussie), or more of a barrel chest and block-y head (Rottie), etc. Does he act more like a Rottie or an Aussie, ie, has a lot of energy and wants to herd anything that moves (Aussie), and so on and so on.

      As for size, there can be a lot of variation in this mix. But I think you should guestimate that you’re looking at a 50-80 lb dog when full-grown.

      Good luck!

  34. We have a 7 year old Aussie/Rot mix named Otis. Very intelligent dog. My stepson found him abandoned at a rest stop in a trashcan in the middle of winter up in Oregon. Their loss, our gain. He’s my best friend. Hope to have many more fun years with him. A great combination of dog.

  35. I finalized an adoption process with a local organization CARE for my 4 year old Aussi/ Rott mix. I first came in contact with him at work in the Paws in Prison program. I fell in love with him . He is a sweet gentle giant and loves to lick. I have not heard him bark once in the 7 weeks he trained in the program or the 7 day trial period that I have had him home. He obeys commands very well. I own two resident cats and all three are inside. He is interested in them but has shown no signs of aggression towards them. He lets them drink out of his bowl , walk up to him eating a treat, or walk up and smell him. Did I mention that he was saved from being euthanize at a local shelter by the Care organization. I am so lucky to have him in my family. I would recommend this mixed breed to anyone.

    1. Carolyn, no question–you got a good one! That said, any dog being considered for adoption from a shelter should be carefully evaluated. Especially when you’re combining herding and protection breeds.

  36. We’ve had a Rottweiler / Aussie mix for 16 years. He was the most loving and sweet dog you could ask for. He looked almost exactly as the dog in the photo, I could send you one to prove it. Everyone loved that dog. He was a stray and about six months old when we got him. He had an abundance of energy, very strong body. He loved dogs, any size, loved children, any age, and was a real love bug. He growled at strangers only twice in his life, never snapped at anyone or tried to intimidate. He had a loud and serious bark, but safety was never, ever a concern. We miss him dearly.

    1. What a lucky find. And I’m sure the way you raised him added to his success in turning out to be an incredible dog. Believe me, I know–when you get to experience a dog like that, they are very hard to get over when you lose them.

  37. We have an Australian shepherd she had a litter of puppies with at least 4 different fathers. One was a Rottweiler. I’m thinking about keeping one of the Rottweiler Australian Shepherd puppies. He is really big but very love able. He loves to lay in my arms and have his belly rubbed. Would it be a good idea to keep him or keep the Black Lab Australian shepherd female puppy?

    1. Sally, you don’t mention whether or not you know the Rottweiler father or how old the puppies are. If you do know the dog and he has a sound temperament, then the Aussie/Rottie mix should be fine. If you don’t know the father, generally speaking, you would be safer keeping the Aussie/Lab mix. The other factor I always consider though is that if you have a female and you want to add another dog, a male is usually a better pick to avoid same-sex rivalry.

      I think the best advice I can offer is to have a reputable trainer come and temperament-test the puppies. That would more fully give you the information you need to decide about the Aussie/Rottie mix.

      Good luck!

    2. We rescued an Aussie Shepherd / Rottie Mix female. She is 10 weeks old and is a total lover! Very sweet and mild temperment. Having had a black lab before her, she is so much more laid back and easy.

    3. I have had mostly rough collies – sweet reliable dispositions, wonderful dogs. BUT, the love of my life was Mickey – an Australian Shepherd/Rottweiler mix. I inherited him at age 2 when his “dad”, my boyfriend, died. At first Mickey was highly aggressive. I had to turn the hose on him when he attacked the other dogs. When the vet had to give him shots he positioned him so his head was behind a partially closed door so he wouldn’t be able to bite. But, after a couple of years the vet proclaimed him “a changed dog”. He became a “pussy cat”, everyone’s favorite at the veterinary clinic. Just as with people it is both nature and nurture that combine to make us who are. With terrible genes there is probably little the best of environments can overcome, but with okay genes and lots of gentle consistent correction I think some of the so called dangerous breeds can be the most loving and wonderful.

      1. Nancy, I completely agree! Thankfully, there are very few dogs who are truly genetically unredeemable. But it can take a tremendous amount of love, patience, understanding, and the right kind of training to turn a dog around. Not a task everyone is up for. So glad for Mickey that you were. : )

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