Are Rottweilers Related to Bernese Mountain Dogs?

by Sue Gabel
Bernese mountain dogs and Rottweilers both worked as drover dogs in ancient times.

Bernese mountain dogs and Rottweilers both worked as drover dogs in ancient times.

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The Rottweiler and Bernese mountain dog have several similar characteristics including the fur colors, size, family origin, and each breed's original function and origin era. According to Animal Planet and American Kennel Club, these two working dog breeds are distant relatives, since their ancestral lines are traceable back to the mastiff and livestock dog families.

Similarities Between the Breeds

In ancient times, Rottweiler’s and Bernese mountain dogs were working breeds known as drovers, which were used for driving cattle and herding purposes. Each of these large, purebred dog breeds is highly intelligent, and a loyal, loving companion to his family, but unfortunately, only lives a few short years -- between 6 and 10. The Bernese mountain dog and Rottweiler's short life span is due to the high incidence of cancer found in each breed’s lineage. Rottweiler’s and Bernese mountain dogs have black, brown and tan colors in his or her fur coat, and can grow between 24 and 27 inches tall.

Differences Between the Breeds

While both the Rottweiler and Bernese mountain dog are smart and capable breeds, the Rottweiler is easier to train and is more protective. The Bernese mountain dog is the friendlier of the two breeds, toward people and other dogs, while the Rottweiler can be shy and at times prefers to keep to himself. The Bernese mountain dog's energy level and exercise requirement is lower when comparing it to that of the Rottweiler's, whose alertness level is higher, as is his energy level and therefore welcomes daily exercise.

Rottweiler Dog Breed

Rottweiler’s are originally from Germany and are commonly used in a working capacity as either police or guard dogs. The Rottweiler's automated protection instinct can change his mood quickly from being happy-go-lucky to fiercely intense and protective. A Rottweiler's weight ranges from 80 to 135 pounds and he has short, dense hair that sheds seasonally. The Rottweiler's coat color is mostly black with some brown or tan on the lower part of the legs, on the lower chest area and toward the bottom of his face and neck.

Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese mountain dog comes from Switzerland, but his ancestors were brought there by Roman soldiers more than 2,000 years ago to be used as watchdogs in farm yards. The Bernese is a tricolor breed with a coat of white, black, brown or tan colors. Coming from a colder region of the world, Bernese are equipped with a long, thick fur that requires constant care and upkeep to avoid matting. Adult Bernese weigh from 70 to 120 pounds and shed moderately throughout the year.

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