German Shepherd vs Rottweiler. Who would win?

The Rottweiler is a formidable dog and many people wonder if any dog comes close to the strength of this breed. One breed, in particular, comes to mind, the German Shepherd whose name we would associate with strength and power. 

But in a show of power, would a German Shepherd kill a Rottweiler? 

The Rottweiler and the German Shepherd come out as almost equals though Rottweiler with stronger bite force and the larger size has an edge.  

Let’s compare both of them in terms of characteristics and behaviors to see how they fare against each other. 

Interested in the strength of a Rottweiler? Find out who would win in the Pitbull vs Rottweiler. 

German Shepherd vs Rottweiler – Size comparision

Looking at both these dogs side by side, you will notice something immediately. The Rottweiler is visibly more muscular than the German Shepherd!

But does this bulk mean he is automatically stronger than the GS? Here are the brief specifications

Specification  German Shepherd    Rottweiler
Average Weight (male)65-90lb (29.5-40.8kg)95-135lb (43.0-61.2kg)
Average Weight (female)50-70lb (22.6-31.8kg)80-100lb (36.3-45.4kg)
Average Height (male) 24-26 inches (61-66cm)24-27 inches (61-68cm)
Average Height (female) 22-24 inches (56-61cm) 22-25 inches (56-63cm)

When it comes down to size, the Rottweiler does pull rank. He is some 20kgs heavier and 1 inch taller than the opposing German Shepherd dog.

Appearance/Build (Athleticism) 

It takes one glance to distinguish between a German Shepherd and Rottweiler dog. There are just so many differences.

For one the Rottweiler is visibly larger and has a more muscular and stocky build. While the German Shepherd has a longer and low-set back. 

Furthermore, the German Shepherd dons a medium to long coat while the Rottweiler dons a short one. The texture of the coats also differs, the German Shepherd one is rough while the Rottweiler one is silky smooth. 

Both the faces of these dogs have their own trademark features. The German Shepherd’s face is long with upright ears while the Rottweiler has a rounder, shallow face, with floppy ears.


Which of these dogs is the more aggressive of the two?

Both dogs are aggressive in their own ways. Training can make them capable of protecting their owners, territory, or even used for defense services (herding, police dogs, sniffer dogs, etc). 

There is no distinct winner in deciding which is more likely to attack first!

Any dog when given enough stimulus will attack. So, to a great degree, the environment and situation of the moment affect the dog’s aggressiveness. 

Modern-day Rottweiler and German Shepherd dogs are very much different from their ancestors. Some might not even descend from a working line, meaning that they are completely meant to be companions. 

Read to find out if the Doberman Rottweiler Mix is too aggressive.

Bite Force

What is bite force? And how do you measure it?

Bite force measures how much pressure a bite exerts on every square inch of space. Its measurement value is PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch).

All dogs can bite, but for some dogs, their bite is their strongest weapon!

This is true for the Rottweiler. This dog boasts of a high bite force of 328 PSI! This shadows the minimal bite force of the German Shepherd which only clocks in at 238 PSI. 

The German Shepherd sure can’t bite as hard as the Rottweiler (Rottweiler’s jaws are specialized for biting).

But, this does not mean that he is not as protective and capable of doing damage as the Rottweiler! Both these dogs are capable of being dangerous if they want to be.

Energy Level

The dog that has more energy will also naturally need more exercise. But, failure to provide exercise will result in destructive behavior! Imagine a large dog the size of a Rottie or German Shepherd tearing up the furniture. Not a pleasant sight is it?

That said, you will need to have a large yard to entertain these dogs. An apartment is not suitable! 

The German Shepherd will require double the time of exercise as a Rottweiler. Hence, if a Rottweiler needs 1 hour of exercise, the Shepherd needs 2 hours!

The German Shepherd is undoubtedly a high-energy level dog while the Rottie is more of an average energy level canine. 

But, if both do not receive this exercise, we suspect the Rottie will do more damage in the house.

We pin this down to his high bite force and his powerful jaws. More so if you did not train your pooch well!


As you may expect, both these dogs are not a great choice for novice dog owners who have no prior experience with dogs.

They do require a stern owner and constant training to instill good habits and avoid any dangerous situations.

Particularly the Rottweiler is known to adopt the dominant role if his owner is too lax around him. This makes it that much more difficult to train a Rottie.

The German Shepherd is slightly easier to train when employing the ideal practices.

Both come off as dominant dogs when they are left to their own without training and care. Making them both dangerous dogs for the wrong people! No wonder why these two dogs are among the best guard dogs. 

But, on the other hand, when you train your Rottie or German Shepherd properly, they are loving and affectionate. Although this is rewarding, it also requires a lot of effort from your side to ensure they receive the right training. 


Dogs are intelligent animals and can couple their intelligence with their physicality to achieve their goals.

When considering the German Shepherd and the Rottweiler, training the way they think is important. Doing this will go a long way to avoid dangerous and biting incidents. 

The German Shepherd’s intelligence is actually one of his strong points. His intelligence and high learning capability make him one of the most productive dogs in defense.

Rottie uses his natural intelligence for fighting purposes, guarding private properties, and protecting his owners. 

But, an owner of a Rottie or Shepherd should be proud knowing that they own a very intelligent dog breed.  They are capable of being a protector or a friend, depending on your training and how strong a bond you can form with them. 

Curious to know what a St Bernard and German Shepherd Mix is called? A Saint Shepherd.


Training both these breeds is possible, but you must put in a lot of effort to reap the rewards. But consistency is elemental to success and skipping a day or two in a row will land you back to square one! 

What makes training either of these two breeds more troublesome is that they can easily overpower their owner. This is why a novice dog owner shouldn’t dare dream of getting a Rottweiler or German Shepherd as their first dog. 

One silver lining is you can motivate a Rottweiler with food, as they are the greedier of the two breeds. Similarly, the German Shepherd responds well to praise and play during training. 

The German Shepherd is capable of learning commands faster, hence, his vital role in police and military work.

It is the Rottweiler who will be observant and looking for a way out of training, you will have to be a bit sterner with him! Don’t slack with either dog. 

Which Is More Likely To Bite? German Shepherd or Rottweiler?

It is known that a poorly trained German Shepherd or Rottweiler can be prone to be involved in biting incidents. This is due to their natural aggression and guarding instincts. But what is the likelihood of these biting or bite attempts?

Rottweilers are more active and likely to be the aggressor in dog-on-dog aggression. In fact, Rottweiler dogs are notorious for such dog fights.

It is not advisable to walk them without a strong supportive leash. Likewise, a muzzle may be required depending on the laws in your area.

German Shepherds are more likely to initiate owner-directed aggression. This could stem from ill practices or a serious behavioral issue with the dog. Perhaps he was not trained properly or has been passed off to new owners. 

Both dogs show strong aggression against strangers and trespassers on their property should beware!  


Often the Rottweiler gets a slightly higher price tag than the German Shepherd.

Though, your German Shepherd could easily get a higher price depending on the type of breeder chosen. What also can affect your GS’s price is if he is from a working line or not.

Rottweilers cost around $1500+ while a German Shepherd will most likely start at $1000.  

Rottweilers are mostly privately owned dogs that work as guard dogs and to some extent as companions. A Rottweiler dog is mostly sought for its guarding capability. People with large houses and yards to protect find the Rottie an apt fit. 


We can’t begin to compare these two dog breeds without taking a brief look at each dog’s respective history. 


The earliest record of the Rottweiler breed dates back to Rome. The local roman farmers found these dogs efficient herders that are capable of watching over and protecting livestock.

Seeing the guarding instinct of the Rottweiler, butchers took these dogs to help protect their meats.

Named after the city (Rottweil) they were taken to for this job, Rottweilers were efficient at their job and named “the butcher dog of “Rottweil”.

These dogs had such good natural guarding instincts that butchers would tie their money-bags onto their necks. 

However, with the advance of industrialization, the Rottweiler’s job was no longer on offer.

German Shepherd

Originating in Germany, a group of various herding breeds were crossbred to develop the ultimate herding dog breed. Although the German Shepherd had a herding background, it did not take long to discover their physical capabilities. 

It wasn’t long until the German Shepherd was taken in for police and army duty. Ever since this, the German Shepherd breed is the most popular K9 police dog. 

Today, German Shepherd dogs are popular around the world as police/military dogs, companions, and even herding dogs. In some parts of the world, they are more commonly known as Alsatians.


Having a look at the character and physical skill set of both dogs, it is hard to pick a clear winner! Each breed has its positives and negatives, the German Shepherd and Rottweiler are no exceptions.

It is quite evident at this point that we cannot declare a clear winner. Both dogs are very strong and capable of killing an opposing dog as a last alternative. 


German Shepherd vs Doberman, who would win? 

The Doberman has a slightly higher PSI and is slightly taller than the German Shepherd. But,  this does not guarantee him as the winner every time! 

Some cases will favor the German Shepherd whose low hind legs facilitate easy and rapid mobility.

Plus the German Shepherd’s instincts and working lineage may give him the edge. That said, a great deal of deciding the winner depends on the individual dog, his temperament, and training.