Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Labrottie

A relatively popular hybrid, this mix of a Labrador and Rottweiler is now widely seen around the world. The Labrottie is a large-sized dog that is robustly built and has a dense, double coat. Its short fur is often black or black and tan but may also be grey or brown.

A superb watchdog and guard dog, the Labrottie is fiercely protective of its family and always full of confidence. They bond closely with all members of the household though can sometimes become over-reliant on them. Providing them with plenty of things to do in the form of both mental and physical activities can help prevent the development of separation anxiety.

About & History

A new hybrid dog breed, the Labrottie is a mixture of the incredibly popular Labrador Retriever and the much-loved Rottweiler. As with many of these 'designer dog' breeds that have popped up over the last few decades, their history is unclear and it is likely that many breeders and owners all over the world have been breeding Labrotties independently.

Their ancestors, however, have plenty of history. The Rottweiler comes from Germany where they have worked for hundreds of years, assisting farmers in both the movement and protection of their livestock. The Labrador, on the other hand, hails from Newfoundland and was established as a breed in the late 1800s. As well as being used as a hunting gundog, Labradors are widely used in society as service and therapy dogs.

The Labrottie is also known as the Rottwador and is known for its big personality and protective nature. While the American Canine Hybrid Club do recognise this breed, they are not yet members of the American Kennel Club or any other major kennel clubs.


As is the norm for mixed breeds, it can be very difficult to predict what a Labrottie puppy will look like when older, as some will display more of their Labrador genes, while others will more closely resemble Rottweilers.

A large and muscular dog with a powerful chest and athletic limbs, the Labrottie is built for both strength and stamina. While there is a variation between breed members, the general rule of thumb is that most dogs will have a head that resembles a Labrador and a body that is very suggestive of their Rottweiler parent. Their round eyes are alert and watchful and may be either brown, amber or green. The triangular shaped ears are medium in size and sit close to their face. Their large nose may be either brown or black.

The fur of the Labrottie may be black, tan, black and tan or grey. Their coat is thick and short. Weighing anything from 30kg to 50kg, these dogs are substantially sized once fully mature. When fully-grown, a dog will reach heights of between 61cm and 69cm.

Character & Temperament

Some describe the creation of a hybrid dog as a 'gamble' because their personality is so variable. In general, it is true to say that most Labrottie dogs are calm and loyal, bond closely with their family and have a lot of energy.

Most Labrotties are naturally protective and feel that it is their duty to protect their home and their family. They will always be alert when in their house and will alert their owner to any new arrival by barking loudly. Territorial behaviour can pose a challenge when the dog continues to bark, even after their owner has assured them that the new arrival is welcome. Early training and socialisation can help to combat this potential issue. Aggression is rare and practically never unprovoked.

A breed that enjoys human company, some dogs may become over-reliant on their owners and can become excessively needy. In the most severe cases, this behaviour can progress to full-blown separation anxiety, whereby the dog cannot be left alone. The Labrottie is not recommended for an owner that spends much of their time away from the home.

Socialising with other dogs, as well as children, tends to go well and should begin as early in the puppy’s life as possible. Acceptance of small furry pets, such as rabbits or guinea pigs, is far less likely, and there is a real risk of the Labrottie going into 'hunting mode' in their presence.


Confident and smart, the Labrottie is generally a pleasure to work with and takes to most training tasks well. They enjoy working and achieve a sense of satisfaction when they master a task. Positive reinforcement training should be used to encourage their enthusiasm and participation.

Some Labrotties will attempt to assert their dominance over their owner so require a firm hand and a steady training plan. For this reason, first time owners may be better opting for a different breed. Keep any training session short and interesting to ensure they do not zone out.


While no health studies have been performed on the newly-developed Labrottie, plenty of scientific data is available on both their parents. From this information, we can predict the potential conditions that may be prevalent in this new breed:

Hip Dysplasia

A genetic condition affecting the hips joints, the hips fail to develop as they should, resulting in osteoarthritis and chronic pain. Dogs will struggle with their mobility as they age. As this condition dramatically affects a dog’s quality of life, it is essential that all breeding dogs are screened for hip dysplasia and any affected animals are not bred from.


Most large-breed dog owners will be familiar with bloat, a potentially devastating condition that can kill a dog within hours. Initial symptoms include: restlessness, retching, drooling and a bloated abdomen. At the first sign of bloat, the dog should immediately be brought to the vet for assessment and treatment, as the longer this condition is left untreated, the poorer the prognosis.

Ear Infections

Ear infections can cause chronic pain and discomfort and may be recurrent. Any dog with ears that flop down is more prone to the development of these infections as there is poor ear drainage and air flow within the canal. The incidence of infections can be reduced by avoiding contact with moisture, cleaning ears regularly and treating any underlying allergies a dog may have.


Hypothyroidism is another name for an underactive thyroid, which typically affects middle-aged dogs. Symptoms can vary from patient to patient and may come on slowly, making them harder to spot. The most common symptoms are difficulty losing weight, chronic skin infections, fur loss and a reluctance to exercise and play.

To diagnose the condition, a vet will normally run some blood tests. A low T4 (thyroid hormone) level raises suspicion that the dog has hypothyroidism – although can also be caused by other illnesses. Treatment consists of daily medication and the thyroid level is monitored over time.


Cancer of the bone is more prevalent in some breeds than others and osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone tumour found in dogs. This is an invasive cancer that can be very difficult to treat. Often, if a limb is affected it will need to be amputated. Sadly, even amputation does not guarantee that this cancer will not spread, and many osteosarcomas will have metastasised before diagnosis. For this reason, adjunctive chemotherapy is usually recommended.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Though Labrotties are quite calm and inactive when indoors, this is only the case if they receive adequate exercise outside of the house. Most dogs will do best when provided with an hour or so of solid exercise each day. As well as long hikes and walks in the park and local fields, these dogs enjoy a variety of activities, such as Flyball, Frisbee and Agility.

The ideal home would have a large garden with a secure fence that the Labrottie can choose to go into when they like. Back yard games, such as fetch and 'find the treat', are always greatly appreciated.


The double coat of the Labrottie tends to shed a moderate amount though shedding will change seasonally. While coat lengths will vary, most dogs require a thorough brushing once to twice a week.

As well as claw clipping every few months and daily tooth brushing, the ears of the Labrottie should be examined and cleaned out every week. Any wax or debris should be removed from the canal after using a dog-specific ear cleaner.

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