A Rottsky is a sizeable hybrid dog that is the intentional cross of the imposing Rottweiler and the athletic Siberian Husky. Being a mixed breed, Rottskies can take after the personality and physical traits of either parent.
To understand what Rottskies are, we’ll need to understand the distinguishing characteristics of the two parent breeds.
Rottweilers come from Rottweil, a small town in Germany. Thought to be descended from cattle driving dogs, Rottweilers are working dogs serving humans as far back as the Middle Ages.
Stocky and imposing, Rottweilers are powerful medium-large dogs that are highly trainable, intelligent, and vastly loyal and protective. They like testing their boundaries and can be stubborn. They won’t suit inexperienced owners or apartment living.
In addition, they are dominant dogs that might challenge other animals or even humans.
Their guarding instinct makes them wary of strangers, and they are moderately barky, only warning when they feel there might be a threat.
The most distinctive physical characteristic is the black and tan markings on the chest and paws of Rottweilers. Their thick double coats shed moderately and allow them to thrive in cold climates.
They stand 22 to 27 inches at the shoulder, can weigh 77 to 132 lbs, and have an unfortunately short lifespan of 8 to 10 years.
They are moderately active dogs that need constant mental stimulation. An hour of walking and running combined with lots of training and activities scattered throughout the day will keep a Rottweiler happy.
The breed was officially recognized in 1931 by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
The Siberian Husky
First bred by the Chukchi people of Siberia as sledding dogs, the Siberian Husky is a loyal, energetic breed suited for cold climates.
Although now kept mainly as pets, Siberian Huskies are active, vocal dogs that love a good run. After all, they were bred to run several hours a day, pulling weight in harsh conditions.
They are known to be escape artists, with some Huskies able to jump six-foot walls. They are friendly and affectionate and will probably make terrible guard dogs, more likely to welcome a burglar than bark at one.
Their unique vocal skills often include howling and “woo-wooing” in the place of barking.
They are medium-sized dogs, standing 19 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weighing 35 to 60 lbs, with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.
Close relatives of the Alaskan Malamute and Alaskan Husky, Siberian Huskies have high exercise needs and will not suit a sedentary lifestyle.
The American Kennel Club registered the first Siberian Husky in 1930.
So What Is A Rottsky?
Rottskies are a designer dog mixed breed that can take after either parent breed’s physical and mental characteristics.
They will likely have the black and tan markings of a Rottweiler, with the dense, thick coat of the Husky. They have long bodies and can either take after the stocky profile of a Rottweiler or the leaner built of a Husky.
Their eyes will likely be light brown or striking blue. In addition, they might take over the heterochromatic gene passed down from the Husky, resulting in different colored eyes.
The Rottweiler’s ears fold down while the Husky’s are erect. A Rottsky could have either one.
They are medium to large dogs that can weigh up to 95 lbs for males and 80 lbs for females.
In addition, males stand 22 to 26 inches at the shoulder while females stand 20 to 24 inches.
Rottskies will eat moderately high amounts of food and will do well with between two and a half to three cups of food a day, depending on their age and activity level.
Use only premium food meant for large breed dogs; rottskies are active dogs that require fuel to function well.
Both the Siberian Husky and Rottweiler are known to have stubborn streaks, so your Rottsky is expected to inherit those traits. They are active dogs that require large amounts of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them out of trouble.
Without adequate exercise, Rottskies can be destructive and exhibit behaviors like chewing and digging. Because of the strength and size of Rottskies, destructive chewing can potentially lead to some pretty expensive damage.
In addition, Rottskies are intelligent dogs that will benefit from obedience classes, weight pulling, agility, or Schutzhund.
Their thick coats make them unsuitable for hot and humid climates. Their thick coats shed a moderately high amount, making them unsuitable for folks with allergies.
A happy Rottsky is a loving, amicable dog that might still be aloof to strangers. Rottweilers are picky dogs and take some time to warm up to a person, while in contrast, Siberian Huskies love everything and everyone.
They will have moderately high prey drives and could chase cats and smaller animals. Proper care must be taken while introducing a Rottsky to another dog or animal.
While Siberian Huskies are sociable dogs likely to play well with others, Rottweilers have a protective, dominant streak and can show aggression.
The trainability can vary significantly from the Siberian Husky’s happy-go-lucky attitude and the Rottweiler’s instinct to work in partnership with humans.
The lifespan of a Rottsky can vary significantly according to which parent they take after more.
Rottskies can live anywhere between 8 and 14 years. In addition, they inherit certain genetic traits that might leave them vulnerable to:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia, the abnormal formation of joints characteristic of larger breeds
- Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer
- Bloat, or GDV (Gastric Dilation Volvulus)
- Subaortic Stenosis, a condition where the heart valve is blocked
- Hemophilia, a bleeding disorder
- Hemivertebra, a spine deformity
- Leukodystrophy, a neurological disease
A qualified veterinarian should perform hip and elbow x-rays, electrocardiographs, and skin and eye examinations with experience in both breeds to ensure the Rottskies have no genetic faults.
Rottskies will have relatively high grooming needs. Both Rottweilers and Siberian Huskies are double-coated dogs with thick undercoats to protect them from the harsh climates of Siberia and Germany.
Depending on the climate, they will need a brush several times a week to remove dead hair and dander and a bath every week or so.
Siberian Huskies might not be water-loving dogs and may dislike baths. If your Rottsky throws a fit during a bath, distract him with a lick mat coated with peanut butter like this one from Amazon.
Like all dogs, their ears and eyes have to be cleaned regularly and checked for a build-up of dust, dirt, and debris that could cause infections.
Their nails will have to be cut short unless they are active enough to wear them down naturally by running long distances over rough terrains like asphalt or concrete.
Who Will Rottskies Suit?
Because of their large size, they might not suit families with very small children. Although Rottskies can be gentle, they are playful dogs that can bowl over or hurt a young child with boisterous play.
They have high energy levels and will not do well in apartments or small spaces. If left in a yard, they might try to jump the fence and escape. Siberian Huskies are athletic dogs that have been known to jump six-foot-high fences.
Their high energy levels make them unsuitable for any but the most active seniors. In addition, they can be enthusiastic pullers on leashes and can drag a less athletic person around.
Rottskies will suit active dog owners like runners, cyclists, and long-distance hikers that want an equally enthusiastic canine companion that loves to run.
In addition, a Rottsky is not a good choice for a first-time dog parent. Huskies are known to be stubborn and might prove challenging to control.
Rottweilers, although loving, courageous dogs, can have a dominant streak, especially in males. They will constantly test your boundaries and might even challenge your place as leader of the pack. Consistent, firm training is necessary to keep a Rottweiler in line.
Lastly, Rottskies come from parent breeds with high prey drives, making the introduction to smaller animals a little trickier.
If properly socialized and trained, a Rottsky is a beautiful dog that is fiercely loyal, loving, and affectionate.
How Much Are Rottskies In 2021?
Rottskies are designer dogs that can vary wildly in cost. A quick check with some breeders showed prices between $600 and $2,000.
Factors determining the cost of a Rottsky include:
Breeder Location: Basic laws of supply and demand apply when puppies are priced. One litter of Rottsky puppies a year from a single breeder in the whole state will cost more than one litter each from five different breeders.
Bloodlines: A Rottsky from two purebred Siberian Husky and Rottweiler parents might cost more than a Rottsky crossed with a Rottweiler or two crossed Rottskies.
Breeder Ethics: Although not definitive, cheap puppies often come from puppy mills and backyard breeders that do it for profit and not the welfare of the animals.
Ethical breeders spend way more on healthcare, food, and maintenance of the parent animals and invest heaps of time and effort to socialize their litters.
As a rough guide, here are some telltale signs of a backyard breeder.
- They don’t screen potential buyers. Responsible breeders will be diligent in making sure their litters go to good homes.
2. They sell on sites like Craigslist, eBay, or at pet stores. Most responsible breeders will have websites with educational information on the breed, care instructions, and details on their dogs.
3. They cannot provide adequate documentation. At the very least, breeders should provide registration papers, DNA testing results, and genetic testing on all breeding pairs to ensure a defective gene isn’t passed down to future litters.
In Rottskies, OFA-certification to clear elbows and hips from genetic defects should be available.
4. They don’t provide a health guarantee. Ethical breeders guarantee the health of their pups for a year, and some even for a lifetime.
5. Responsible breeders will always have a “return to breeder” policy on their sales contract that says you’ll need to return the pup to them should you want to give the dog up for any reason. This ensures their puppies never end up in a shelter or on the streets.
6. They lack medical records. All breeders should have updated vaccination schedules and health certificates from veterinarians.
7. They are suspicious of too many questions and try to avoid giving clear and honest answers.
8. They won’t let you visit the premises where the puppies are being kept. Often, backyard breeders conduct their operations in unsanitary or overcrowded conditions.
9. They sell puppies below eight weeks old. Puppies below eight weeks cannot be separated from their mothers and littermates. In some states, selling puppies below eight weeks is illegal.
10. They have frequent litters, indicating overbreeding. Smaller breeds can have two litters a year, but Rottskies should have just one.
In addition to the purchase price, you should consider other factors before bringing your Rottsky puppy home.
- Enzymatic cleaner to tackle accidental potty accidents.
- Odor eliminator to prevent puppies from peeing over the same spot because of the scent.
- Vacuum cleaner. Despite your best brushing efforts, your Rottsky is going to shed!
- Shampoo, nail clippers, brush, and ear and eye cleaners.
- A strong leash and collar. Rottskies also tend to pull on the leashes. Although obedience classes can correct this instinctive behavior, a head halter like the Gentle Leader can help with the pulling.
- Crate training is an invaluable tool for potty training puppies and, when done right, provides your Rottsky with a safe place he can be alone and den. Crates should only be big enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around, and lie down.
You’ll need a large crate that might be too big for a puppy. Use dividers to restrict the size until the puppy is old enough to use the whole space.
- Treats, toys, and chewing bones. Rottskies are energetic dogs with high energy levels. Interactive toys can help burn off their energy and keep them entertained for hours.
Rottskies will love dog balls with kibble in them that they can chase around earning their treats. In addition, they are enthusiastic chewers, so they have an ample supply of dental bones on hand to distract them from going after your stuff.
- Food. Rottskies can have voracious appetites. They should be fed between two and a half to three cups of kibble a day of high-quality dog food meant for large breeds.
- Pet bed. Puppies are avid chewers, so perhaps leave the expensive dog bed for when they are older and less likely to rip it apart.
- More shots will be required to complete the vaccination schedule of your new puppy, and booster shots are needed every year. The remaining rounds of vaccinations can cost between $200 and $400.
- In addition, spaying and neutering can cost between $400 and $600. Some breeders have specific spay and neuter clauses in their sales contracts.
- Any incidental emergency costs can also add up. Consider pet insurance to protect against any unexpected veterinary bills.
As a general guideline, expect to pay about $2,000 to $3,000 during the first year and $1,500 to $2,500 subsequent years.
Rottskies are intelligent dogs that need mental stimulation. In addition, both Siberian Huskies and Rottweilers can have a stubborn streak. They will benefit well from obedience classes or agility training.
In addition, although Rottweilers tend to be independent dogs, Huskies are devoted family dogs that are prone to separation anxiety.
Group training classes cost between $30 and $50 per session which private sessions cost $45 to $120 per hour.