Pippa Elliott
Dr Pippa Elliott (BVMS MRCVS, University of Glasgow)
Photo of adult Rottsky
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The Rottsky is a hybrid dog, which is a mix between a Rottweiler and a Siberian Husky. This creates a physically imposing dog with tremendous stamina and a strong personality. Their physical size and strength, along with knowing their own mind, means they are not a suitable breed for first time owners.

On the plus side, they are athletic and intelligent, and in the right household, have many excellent qualities. Their need for exercise, ability to learn, and natural guarding instinct make them a good candidate as a working dog, or a good match for the active owner that is committed to training their dog to a high level of obedience.

About & History

As a new arrival, the story of the Rottsky is that of the two parent breeds.

The Rottweiler

The Rottweiler, as a distinct breed, was developed in Germany whilst their ancestors go way back to mastiff-type dogs belonging to Roman soldiers. These were large, fearless guard dogs known to fight in battle. In more settled times, this boldness lent itself to protecting homesteads and other tasks that required strength and determination, such as pulling carts or herding livestock.

The Rottweiler was a valuable asset until the late 19th century, when the need for such a fierce dog started to decline. Numbers remained low, until the first half of the 20th century, when the two World Wars saw an uptick in the need for brave, guard dogs.

The Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky as a breed dates back around 3,000 years. They were developed by the Chukchi Indians – a match for the harsh climate of the Soviet Artic. Such was this dogs’ ability to thrive in ice and snow that they were introduced to Alaska and Canada. Their qualities of endurance, obedience, and tolerance of cold made them perfect as sledge dogs.


Rottsky Large Photo
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There is no guarantee as to what a hybrid pup will look like. They may favour one parent more strongly than the other; hence appear more Rottweiler than Husky, or vice versa. However, those pups that inherit a true blend of characteristics are likely to be a large sized dog, with a black and tan coat with distinctive tan eyebrows, and the piercing blue eyes of a Husky. The overall impression is that of a strong, powerful dog with an alert attitude.

The somewhat chunky Rottweiler snout is lengthened under the influence of Husky blood. The Rottsky tends to have triangular ear flaps that are either softly folded or partially erect. They have a powerful neck, broad shoulders, and deep chest. Their stand thigh-height to a man with their body being slightly longer than they are tall. This is capped off with a long tail, which may have a slight curl at the end.

The Rottsky’s coat is typically thick with a dense undercoat. The dominant colouration tends to be that of a Rottweiler with their distinctive tan marking on a black background.

Character & Temperament

The Rottsky has an imposing physical presence with the strength of character to match. They are an intelligent breed but with a strong instinct for guarding and protection. This can make them bold enough to challenge an owner who does not set firm and consistent boundaries. Given the sheer physical size of a Rottsky, it is important their owner has control of their dog, or risk the dog getting out of control.

In addition, the Rottweiler can be destructive when bored, whilst a Husky leans towards roaming widely. Both dogs may be intolerant of other canines, and may be overly protective of their owner or property. All in all, the Rottsky has potential to be a demanding on many levels and requires an experienced owner to bring out the best in them.


Although the Rottweiler is much misunderstood and has an unwarranted reputation for aggression, it remains true that they and their close relations, the Rottsky, are not suitable for first time owners. Whilst the Rottsky is highly trainable and responds beautifully to reward-based training methods, they require a dedicated owner that is prepared to train on a daily basis throughout the dog’s life.


As a newcomer on the scene, there is a lack of data about the health problems to which the Rottsky is prone. However, it is fair to consider those issues affecting the parent breeds, since these may show up in their offspring.


Large breed dogs are over represented when it comes to cases of bone cancer (osteosarcoma). Indeed, the Rottweiler is considered an ‘at risk’ breed along with other breeds, such as the German Shepherd, Doberman, Golden Retriever, and Greyhound.

Recent studies show that early neutering (before 12 months of age) increases this risk. Therefore it is sensible to wait until after a Rottsky’s first birthday before opting for desexing surgery.

Gastric Dilation and Volvulus (GDV)

The Rottsky’s deep chest predisposes them to a serious condition known as bloat (gastric dilation and volvulus). This occurs when the stomach flips over on itself and there is no exit for the gas to escape. Any owner suspecting their dog has bloat, should phone a vet without delay.

To reduce the chance of bloat developing never exercise a dog immediately after eating. Also, feed a good quality diet (low in fermentable ingredients such as soy) and use slow-feeders so the dog can’t bolt down their food.

Hip & Elbow Dysplasia

Hip and elbow dysplasia refers to joints that have poor anatomy. Instead of moving smoothly, they clunk and grind which causes inflammation, leading to pain, and in the long term – lameness.

Joint dysplasia develops for a number of reasons, of which one is the genes inherited from their parents. To reduce the risk of a pup developing dysplasia, a prospective pet parent should look for pups born to parents that are screened and found to have healthy joints.

Exercise and Activity Levels

The Husky heritage of the Rottsky means this is a dog that must have plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. With the Husky bred to sledge all day, the need for strenuous activity runs through them like lettering in a stick of rock. The Rottsky owner should also know their dog has a strong instinct to roam and, if their exercise requirements are not met, the dog is likely either escape or run off and create their own entertainment.

The wise owner not only commits to at least two long and energetic walks a day, but also participates in dog-centric sports, such as Canicross, agility or flyball.


The Rottsky coat is all about protecting the dog from harsh weather and from the environment. For this purpose, it has a particularly thick undercoat,with medium-length guard hairs. These dogs are heavy shedders, and require daily brushing to remove shed hair without it either choking up the coat or reupholstering the soft furnishings. A slicker brush or deshedding glove is ideal for this.

The Rottsky produces natural conditioning oils to weatherproof their coat. It is important to avoid over bathing this hybrid, since it strips away those oils and can lead to a poorer coat in the long term.

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