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The Black Rottweiler: Does It Exist & Can You Get One?

black Rottweiler

The black Rottweiler is a unique, rare color variation of the Rottweiler breed that has gained popularity in recent years. While Rottweilers are known for their distinctive rust, tan, or mahogany markings, black Rottweilers do not have these markings and are completely black in color. But in black Rottweilers, the rust markings are usually a darker sooty color, giving them an almost completely black appearance.

As a powerful dog, it’s crucial to have good control over Rottweilers, especially in public spaces to avoid accidents. A strong no-pull dog harness can be an effective tool in managing a Rottweiler’s behavior during walks. When it comes to black Rottweilers, it’s important to note that while they may not have the traditional markings, they still possess the same physical and behavioral traits as their rust and tan counterparts.

To understand more about this fascinating breed, it’s important to consult the Rottweiler breed standard and explore the genetics that can lead to all-black Rottweilers.

Many people prefer this nearly black color, but it’s not preferred in the show ring.

While there are some Rottweilers with darker coloring, most have some red, rust, or mahogany markings on their face, chest, and legs. This is due to the breed’s genetics, as Rottweilers have a specific gene that controls their coat color.

It is important to note that some breeders may try to sell a dog as a “black Rottweiler,” but this is not a recognized color by the American Kennel Club (AKC) or other reputable breed organizations. These dogs may have been bred with other breeds like a Labrador or a Cane Corso to achieve a darker coat color, which can lead to health and temperament issues.

In conclusion, while Rottweilers with darker coloring do exist, it’s extremely rare to find a completely black purebred Rottweiler. It is important to do research and only purchase a Rottweiler from a reputable breeder who follows breed standards and prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs.

The Genetics of a Black Rottweiler

The typical coat color of a Rottweiler is determined by the A locus genes responsible for the genes that make Rottweilers their iconic black with rust, tan, or mahogany points. Specifically, the “at” gene is the gene for black and tan dogs, which creates a black body with yellow (or tan) markings on the head, legs, and paws. With most Rottweilers that one could consider black, they simply have sooty or dark markings rather than clear red ones. This means they still have the “at” gene, but their red markings are just very dark. 

Recessive black (a) is the lowest in the dominance hierarchy and is known as recessive because a dog needs two copies to produce a fully black dog. This is a lesser cause of fully black dogs as most are caused by a KB/KB or KB/ky result at the K-Locus (the K-locus is what creates a solid color). 

The recessive black allele is the cause of fully black German Shepherds and Shetland Sheepdogs.

For any A-Locus coloring to be visible, a dog must also be ky/ky at the K-Locus and E/E or E/e at the E-Locus. The E-locus is the gene that creates black pigment in a dog (eumelanin), instead of red pigment, (phoemela​nin).

If this all sounds confusing, what it basically means is that for a Rottweiler to be completely solid black, there would need to be a variation in the color genetics that almost every Rottweiler has. This is quite rare, so most “black” Rottweilers are simply still black and tan/red dogs that have very dark red markings.

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History and Origin of Black Rottweilers

Rottweilers have a rich history that dates back to ancient Rome, where they likely reached Germany with the Roman army. At that stage, they were called the Mollossus, and they worked as sentry dogs, guard dogs, war dogs, and drove livestock. The Romans created a fort in Germany that would later become a town called Rottweil, and the early Roman guard dogs eventually evolved into the Rottweiler.

They were originally bred as herding dogs and were used to drive cattle to market and to pull meat carts for butchers.

Black Rottweilers are a variation of the Rottweiler breed. The black coat color is a result of a recessive gene. It is not a separate breed, but rather a color variation of the Rottweiler.

The black coat color was not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) until 2003. Prior to that, only Rottweilers with a black and tan coat were recognized by the AKC.

Black Rottweilers are not as common as the traditional black and tan Rottweilers. However, they are gaining popularity among dog owners.

In terms of temperament and personality, black Rottweilers are no different from their black and tan counterparts. They are loyal, protective, and make excellent family pets.

Physical Characteristics of a Black Rottweiler

When it comes to physical characteristics, black Rottweilers share many similarities with their brown and tan counterparts. However, there are a few distinct differences to note.

Size and Weight

Black Rottweilers are a large breed, with males typically reaching a height of 24-27 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 95-135 pounds. Females are slightly smaller, standing at 22-25 inches and weighing between 80-100 pounds. It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and individual dogs may fall outside of these ranges.

Coat and Color

As mentioned earlier, a black Rottweiler is usually not completely black. Their rust or mahogany markings are very dark and may merge with the black fur, making them less clearly defined. This is considered a fault according to the American Kennel Club Breed standard, which specifies that Rottweilers should have clearly defined rust markings in specific locations.

Eye and Teeth

Black Rottweilers have dark brown eyes that are almond-shaped and set deeply in their skull. Their teeth should meet in a scissor bite, with the upper incisors overlapping the lower incisors.

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Black Rottweiler Temperament

Personality Traits

Black Rottweilers are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and protective nature. They are confident and fearless dogs that make great companions for families who are willing to provide them with proper training and socialization. They are also known to be very affectionate and loving towards their owners, and they enjoy spending time with them.

Behavior with Family

Black Rottweilers are very loyal and protective of their families. They are known to be great with children and are very patient with them. They are also very affectionate towards their owners and enjoy spending time with them. However, they can be quite reserved and aloof with strangers, which is why it is important to socialize them properly from an early age, as they are a powerful breed with a strong defensive instinct.

Interaction with Other Animals

Black Rottweilers can be quite dominant and territorial, especially with other dogs. They have a strong prey drive and may be aggressive towards smaller animals. It is important to socialize them properly with other animals from an early age to prevent any aggressive behavior.

In summary, Black Rottweilers are intelligent, loyal, and protective dogs that make great family pets. However, they require proper training and socialization to ensure that they behave appropriately around strangers and other animals.

Health and Lifespan of a Black Rottweiler

Common Health Issues

Like all dogs, black Rottweilers are prone to certain health issues. Research shows that some of the most common health issues that black Rottweilers may face include hip and elbow dysplasia, dental disease, cruciate ligament tears, kidney disease, obesity, ear infections, heart disease, von Willebrand’s disease, allergies, bone tumors, and cancer.

Hip and elbow dysplasia are common in large dog breeds, including Rottweilers. This condition occurs when the hip or elbow joint does not develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain. Dental disease is another common health issue in dogs, and Rottweilers are no exception. Regular dental care, including brushing and professional cleanings, can help prevent dental disease.

Cruciate ligament tears are also common in Rottweilers and can cause pain and lameness. Kidney disease is another concern, as Rottweilers are prone to developing chronic kidney disease. Obesity is a growing problem in dogs, and Rottweilers are no exception. Maintaining a healthy weight is important to prevent obesity-related health issues.

Average Lifespan

The average lifespan of a black Rottweiler is around 8-10 years. Interestingly, studies show that female Rottweilers who aren’t spayed until they are 6 are nearly 5 times more likely to reach 13 years old. 

However, with proper care and attention to their health, some Rottweilers may live longer. Regular veterinary check-ups, a healthy diet, and plenty of exercise can help ensure a longer, healthier life for your black Rottweiler.

Caring for a Black Rottweiler

When it comes to caring for a black Rottweiler, there are a few things that owners should keep in mind to ensure that their furry friend stays healthy and happy. Here are some important factors to consider:

Diet Requirements

A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for a black Rottweiler’s overall health and well-being. It is recommended to feed them high-quality dog food that is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. 

Owners should avoid giving their Rottweiler table scraps or human food, as this can lead to obesity and other health issues like pancreatitis. Additionally, it is important to monitor their food intake and adjust accordingly based on their age, weight, and activity level.

Exercise Needs

Black Rottweilers are active dogs that require regular exercise to stay healthy. Owners should aim for at least 45 to 60 mins of physical activity, such as daily walks, runs, or playtime in the backyard. It is important to note that Rottweilers have a tendency to become overweight if they do not get enough exercise, so owners should make sure to provide them with enough physical activity to maintain a healthy weight.

Grooming Tips

Regular grooming is important for a black Rottweiler’s coat and skin health. Owners should brush their Rottweiler’s coat at least once a week to remove loose hair and keep their coat shiny.. Additionally, they should clean their Rottweiler’s ears and eyes regularly to prevent infections and irritation. Use doggy ear wipesas Rottweilers are prone to ear infections. It is also important to brush their teeth and provide them with dental chews or toys to maintain good oral health.

Caring for a black Rottweiler requires attention to detail and regular maintenance. Owners should prioritize their dog’s diet, exercise, and grooming needs to ensure that they stay healthy and happy. It is also important to use hypoallergenic dog shampoo and conditioner, ear wipes to prevent ear infections, eye wipes to clean off any eye gunk, and dental care such as a dog mouthwash in their water to maintain their overall health.

Training a Black Rottweiler

Basic Training

Training a black Rottweiler is similar to training any other dog breed. The key to successful training is to start early and be consistent. The following are some basic training tips that can help you train your black Rottweiler:

  • Socialization: Socialization is important for all dogs, but especially for Rottweilers. It is important to expose your black Rottweiler to different people, dogs, and environments from a young age. This will help your dog become more confident and well-adjusted.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is the most effective way to train a dog. Reward your black Rottweiler with treats, praise, and affection when he does something right. This will encourage him to repeat the behavior.
  • Consistency: Consistency is key when it comes to training a black Rottweiler. Use the same commands and rewards every time you train your dog. This will help him understand what is expected of him.

Advanced Training Tips

Once your black Rottweiler has mastered the basics, you can move on to more advanced training. The following are some advanced training tips that can help you take your black Rottweiler’s training to the next level:

  • Agility Training: Rottweilers are athletic dogs and enjoy physical activities. Agility training is a great way to keep your black Rottweiler physically and mentally stimulated.
  • Obedience Training: Obedience training can help your black Rottweiler become a well-behaved and obedient dog. Teach your dog advanced commands like “stay,” “heel,” and “come.”
  • Protection Training: Rottweilers are known for their protective nature. Protection training can help your black Rottweiler learn how to protect you and your family in case of danger.

In conclusion, training a black Rottweiler requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. With the right training and socialization, your black Rottweiler can become a well-behaved and obedient dog.

Best Names for a Black Rottweiler

Choosing a name for your black Rottweiler can be a fun and exciting experience. It’s important to choose a name that fits your dog’s personality and characteristics. Here are some suggestions for the best names for a black Rottweiler:

Table of Name Suggestions

OnyxA black gemstone
MidnightReferring to the dark color of the dog
ShadowA name that suits the dog’s dark and mysterious appearance
CoalReferring to the black color of the dog
JetA name that refers to the dark color and sleek appearance of the dog
RavenReferring to the black color of the bird
NoirA French word meaning black
EclipseReferring to the dark and mysterious appearance of the dog
PantherA name that suits the dog’s fierce and powerful appearance
ZorroA name that means “fox” in Spanish, but can also refer to the masked hero with a black costume

When choosing a name for a black Rottweiler, it’s important to keep in mind that the name should be easy to pronounce and easy for the dog to recognize. It’s also important to choose a name that you and your family will be comfortable using for many years to come.

Overall, there are many great names that would be perfect for a black Rottweiler. Whether you choose a name that reflects the dog’s dark color or a name that suits their personality, the most important thing is to choose a name that you and your dog will love.

Where to Adopt a Black Rottweiler

Adopting a black Rottweiler can be a great decision for anyone looking for a loyal and protective companion. There are several places where you can adopt a black Rottweiler, including rescue organizations and shelters. Here are a few options to consider:

  • R.E.A.L. Rottweiler Rescue: This Ohio-based organization rescues Rottweilers from shelters and abusive situations and places them in loving homes. They have a variety of Rottweilers available for adoption, including black Rottweilers. You can apply to adopt a Rottweiler on their website.
  • Rottweiler Rescue Foundation: This foundation supports over 45 Rottweiler rescue groups in the United States. They help rescue Rottweilers from shelters and find them forever homes. They have a list of adoptable Rottweilers on their website, including black Rottweilers.
  • Mid America Rottweiler Rescue: This rescue organization serves Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. They rescue Rottweilers from shelters and abusive situations and place them in loving homes. They have a list of adoptable Rottweilers on their website, including black Rottweilers.
  • Florida Rottweiler Rescue Ranch: This Florida-based organization rescues Rottweilers from shelters and abusive situations and places them in loving homes. They have a gallery of adoptable Rottweilers on their website, including black Rottweilers.

If you’re interested in adopting a black Rottweiler, these organizations are great places to start your search.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a black Rottweiler puppy cost?

The cost of a black Rottweiler puppy can vary depending on several factors such as the breeder, location, and lineage. On average, a black Rottweiler puppy can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000.

What is the rarest color of Rottweiler?

The Rottweiler breed standard only recognizes the black and tan coloration. However, some breeders have been known to produce Rottweilers with a rare blue or silver coloration. These colors are not recognized by the breed standard and are considered rare.

What are the 3 types of Rottweiler?

There is only one type of Rottweiler recognized by the breed standard. However, there are variations in the breed based on their country of origin. The German Rottweiler is the most common type, followed by the American Rottweiler and the Roman Rottweiler.

What 2 breeds make a Rottweiler?

The Rottweiler breed is believed to be a mix of several breeds, including the Mastiff and the Roman Cattle Dog. However, the exact breeds that make up the Rottweiler are not known for certain.

Is a black Rottweiler common?

Black Rottweilers are not as common as their black and tan counterparts. However, they are still a recognized coloration within the breed standard.

What is a black Rottweiler Lab mix?

A black Rottweiler Lab mix is a crossbreed between a Rottweiler and a Labrador Retriever. This mix is often referred to as a Labrottie and can inherit traits from both breeds.

Are black Rottweilers more aggressive than other colors?

There is no evidence to suggest that black Rottweilers are more aggressive than other colors. Aggression in Rottweilers is typically a result of poor training and socialization rather than their coloration.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the black Rottweiler is a unique and stunning variation of the Rottweiler breed. While their black coat may set them apart visually, they still possess the same loyal, protective, and affectionate qualities as their brown and tan counterparts.

It’s important to note that the black Rottweiler is not a separate breed, but rather a result of a recessive gene in breeding. This means that black Rottweilers can still have the same health issues as other Rottweilers, such as hip dysplasia and obesity.

If you’re considering adding a black Rottweiler to your family, it’s important to do your research and find a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs. Additionally, proper training and socialization are crucial for any Rottweiler to ensure they become well-behaved and happy members of your household.

Overall, the black Rottweiler is a beautiful and wonderful addition to any family who is willing to put in the time and effort to care for them properly.


Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.

Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

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