Golden Rottie

Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Golden Rottie
The Tedster /

Two formidable dogs, the Golden Retriever and the Rottweiler, have joined forces in the creation of a hybrid breed known as the Golden Rottie or Golden Rottweiler. With two power house parents, this was always going to be a special dog. Owners appreciate this cross-breed for its intelligence, kind heart and protective nature.

Interestingly, while the name may suggest otherwise, these dogs generally have the black and tan coat of the Rottie, however, the fur itself will be longer and is more similar to the length of the Golden Retriever’s fur. This is a large dog that sheds a ton and will slobber all over your home, so overly house-proud individuals need not apply!

About & History

It is thought that the very first Golden Rottie litter was bred in the 1980s when the hybrid movement was in its relative infancy. As both parents are popular internationally, the fact that this crossing happened so early on in the designer dog days is no real surprise.

The Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are Scottish dogs bred to hunt and were used by the upper classes to retrieve fowl and other prey from water, as well as land. As well as being biddable and athletic, it was essential that they retrieved with a soft mouth, so as not to damage their catch. Over time, the Golden Retriever became known as one of the best family pets around thanks to its gentle soul and genuine eagerness to please its owner.

The Rottweiler

The Rottweiler was first bred in Germany and was used to pull carts, drive cattle and perform other ‘heavy’ work around farms. In some parts of the world, such as Ireland and Portugal, these dogs are classified as ‘restricted’, meaning owners need to abide by certain regulations if they are to keep them.

Rottweilers are oftentimes a misunderstood breed, with misinformed members of the public assuming they are all aggressive. While the Rottie is, no doubt, a powerful dog, they are usually loving and loyal by nature. There is the potential for some breed members to be fearful and hostile, so early socialisation with both people and other animals is critical.


Golden Rottie Large Photo
The Tedster /

The Golden Rottie is quite the misnomer as this dog is rarely golden after all. They typically inherit a black and tan colouring and their fur is thick and of a medium length. Many will have expressive brown ‘eyebrows’, adding to their charm. Their coat tends to be longest and waviest on their ears, chest and tail.

An adult Golden Rottie is a large breed measuring from 61cm to 71cm and is solidly built, weighing in at anything from 27kg to 41kg. They tend to be less muscular than the Rottweiler and will have a deep and broad chest. Typically, the facial features are more representative of the Golden Retriever as their muzzle is rather long and not as ‘fat’ as that of the Rottie.

Character & Temperament

The jewel in the crown of the Golden Rottie is its wonderful personality. Typically, this is a dog that has a lot of love in its heart and will dedicate itself whole-heartedly to its family. It will show affection openly and will enjoy cuddling up in the evening, despite its large size! This character trait can also lend itself to the development of a protective and sometimes territorial nature, so owners need to work hard to ensure the dog is welcoming of new people in the home and accepting of others when outside.

A dog with a bounce in its step, the Golden Rottie is energetic and likes to be entertained. Most will get on well with children and will enjoy long hours spent chasing them and playing about. However, it should not be assumed that a good relationship will naturally develop and owners need to work hard to socialise these dogs from when they are puppies. Most breed members are not lacking in confidence so anxiety-based behaviours tend to be rare. Some individuals will be exuberant and loud barking can be a common trait.


Training is absolutely vital when it comes to a Golden Rottie developing into a sensible and well-rounded adult. Without training, it is possible that these dogs can become rambunctious, bad-mannered and even hostile. They need a firm and patient owner who gives clear training cues and rewards heavily and consistently for good behaviour.

Most Golden Rotties like to get things right and are keen to show off to their owner. This can make for a fun training partner who can be taught a great deal of cues and tricks.


Certain health issues are prevalent in the Golden Rottie population and we should keep an eye out for them. By selecting affected individuals to be neutered and removed from the breeding pool, we can ensure a healthy population of Golden Rotties going forward.

Hip Dysplasia

This is a big issue within the breed (as it is in many other large breed dogs). Hip dysplasia leads to arthritis, which can be debilitating for some. X-rays can diagnose the condition and there are procedures which, if performed early enough, can preserve the health of the hips.


An underactive thyroid is a condition that typically develops in middle age and can lead to a number of issues, including weigh gain, a dull and brittle coat and lethargy. A blood test will reveal a low level of circulating thyroid hormone. This hormonal condition can be well managed by giving daily medication.

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic skin disease is prevalent in many purebreds and hybrids and can lead to chronic itchiness, red skin and secondary bacterial infections. It is not always easy to diagnose and must not be confused with other common issues, such as flea infestations.


Cancers, such as osteosarcoma (a tumour of the bone), lymphosarcoma (cancer of the lymphatic system) and haemangiosarcoma (a tumour of the blood vessel), are seen more frequently in the Golden Rottie than in other hybrids. Nowadays, many cancers can be treated with a combination of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery; especially if discovered early on.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Though the Golden Rottie has the ability to sit nicely inside and relax, this won’t be the case unless they are given plenty of exercise each day. A good one to two hour a walk is needed and this would ideally include some off-lead time and possibly even a dip in some water.


This is a dog that sheds a lot and so owners will need to brush them frequently if they are to keep on top of the fur loss. Areas where the fur is longer can be prone to matting, so care should be taken to brush through these places (such as the ears, armpits and tail) at least twice a week.

The heavy-set, pendulous ears of the Golden Rottie need to be routinely checked for any sign of infection. Dogs who get waxy build-ups will need their ears cleaned out about once every one or two weeks.

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