Whether or not a Rottweiler can mate with a chihuahua is a question I was surprised to find, but even more surprising to me, is it is one that gets asked fairly often. My first thought was, “Why would someone want to? Would there not be a veritable risk of potential health issues?” But I decided to curb my skepticism and do the research. Here is what I discovered.
A Rottweiler and a Chihuahua can mate together, albeit it would need to be done so by pairing a male Chihuahua with a female Rottweiler, and some outside assistance would still likely be required. It is a rather peculiar mix of breeds and one that I found people ask about more often than I have actually seen pictures that they exist.
While there may be some dog owners out there breeding this unusual mix of dog, I have not been able to find any tangible proof that it is anywhere near as common as some might have you expect. There are a few things you should know about them if you have one or are interested in getting one. As with any dog (mix or purebred), it will always serve to your advantage if you know a little more about what to anticipate.
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How Does a Rottweiler and a Chihuahua Mate?
As with any large and small breed mix, the answer to the question of if they are able to breed is most certainly yes. Whether or not you should is another question entirely. They are both the same species, so the mating would biologically be able to occur. The mechanics of that breeding taking place is why this is not a mix you would typically see, with these dogs left to their own devices.
If the small dog (in this case, a Chihuahua) were the female, the mating itself could potentially cause a lot of damage, or even death, to the small dog. If the mating were successful, the babies could take the traits of the large dog (a Rottweiler in this case) and cause significant damage or death to the little dog. In order to keep the little dog alive, an emergency c-section would more than likely be required, and it may yet be plausible she would have more health problems down the line, due to that pregnancy.
Imagine if a woman gave birth to a 30-45 pound baby. Size-wise there wouldn’t be much difference between that and a female Chihuahua giving birth to puppies from a Rottweiler and them inheriting the Rottweilers size.
For this reason, when people decide to breed mixes like this – they typically do so with the male being the smaller of the two; and the female being the larger. The act of mating may be difficult either way, but this will allow the act of birthing to occur much more naturally, and with less risk to the female.
Aside from trying to get them to breed naturally, another way that someone might go about breeding this mix is with artificial insemination. Going about it this way would be more manageable than dealing with the mechanics of attempting to get a small male to mate with a large female.
What is a Rottweiler and Chihuahua Mix Called?
I have been unable to find one name for this mixed breed that everyone seems to agree upon, and they have been nicknamed several different things. The most common names that I found are:
- Miniature Rottweiler – although this typically infers that a Rott was bred with ANY small dog (not necessarily a Chihuahua), has dwarfism, or was a runt.
There isn’t a “correct” name, because this isn’t an actual breed, it is a mix of two breeds. Some people just refer to them as Rottweiler/Chihuahua mix or Chihuahua/Rottweiler mix.
Why would someone want to breed a Chihuahua and a Rottweiler?
In most respects, where I found people searching for Rottweiler and Chihuahua mixes, it was more for their curiosity’s sake rather than actually desiring to have that mix themselves. Chihuahuas, being known as the smallest breed, and Rotties being very popular as being one of the larger and more robust breeds, I think the people asking were typically just morbidly curious as to “how” they would mate. The reasons I found that people would customarily want this mixed breed had to do with wanting a smaller “cute” dog, with the Rotties’ well-known coloration.
Keep in mind that if you were to get one of these mixes, there would be no guarantee that the dog would be or stay small as it could inherit the size traits from either parent. That being said, there are other possible combinations of physical and mental characteristics that could be inherited. Let’s take a look at the attributes of both of those breeds.
Rottweilers are a large, muscular, and athletic breed. They are one of the descendants of the Roman drover dogs, which were bred utilizing some Asian mastiff-type dogs during the process. Rottweilers are robust and resilient dogs that are capable of fulfilling a multitude of tasks. They need to be able to exercise regularly, whether that is walking, running, swimming, playing, or any other good physical activity. They are intelligent and have the ability to learn quickly.
Male Rottweilers should typically be 24 to 27 inches (61 to 68.5 cm) in height, from the ground to their shoulders. Females are slightly smaller in size and muscular systems than their male counterparts. It doesn’t mean they are weaker than the males, but rather just more feminine in appearance.
What a Rottweiler should weigh depends upon their height. A proper proportion is vital. It is essential, because of potential medical problems, that they do not become overweight. Males will typically be between 110 to 135 pounds (49.9 to 61.2 kg), and females from 75 to 115 pounds (34 to 52 kg). With the correct weight for their height, they should appear lean and muscular.
A Rottweiler’s coat is coarse and dense. The hair is roughly medium in length and will lay reasonably straight. They have a little bit of an undercoat, but mainly around the neck and thighs. Rotties in a colder average climate may have a touch more undercoat, as temperature conditions may stimulate its growth to some degree.
Rottweilers should have 42 teeth, with a powerful scissored bite. Twenty of which are the upper teeth, and twenty-two the lower teeth.
While personality can and will vary between each Rottweiler, their overall temperament is a good one. A lot of that will depend on their genetics and the environment they were raised in. They are generally a very calm and confident breed that are alert to their surroundings. They usually approach situations with a “wait and see” attitude, and then will respond accordingly, rather than being impulsive or behaving sporadically. They portray a strong desire to protect their people and their homes.
Overall their temperament makes them an ideal all-purpose dog, as they can just as readily be your companion or your guardian – or both!
Possible Medical Issues
Rottweilers may have vision problems develop later in life. Some of these may include cataracts, retinal atrophy (PRA), deformities in their eyelids, as well as a few other eye difficulties.
Heart problems are not unheard of either, such as cardiomyopathy and subaortic stenosis (SAS). They are also one of the breeds that are more prone to hip and elbow dysplasia and may have problems with arthritis later in life. A Rottweiler that is overweight will carry an increased risk of having heart problems, as well as dysplasia and arthritis in their joints.
Some other potential health concerns are von Willebrand’s disease, hypothyroidism, gastroenteritis, folliculitis, and Addison’s disease. Bone cancer (like osteosarcoma) and lymphoma are somewhat common as well. While rarer, they also have the potential for cancer in their liver and spleen.
Depending on who you ask, the life expectancy of Rottweilers is anywhere from 8 to 12 years old. The majority of them live for 9-10 years.
Chihuahuas are known as the smallest purebred dog. Being small and fragile, they tend to have fairly weak bones and are susceptible to many health problems, as well as injury. It is not unheard of them to be overly aggressive. The majority of the time they are aggressive is when they are frightened. Depending on how socialized they are, this may be a rare occurrence or something that occurs an inordinately amount of the time.
Quick or unexpected movements tend to frighten or distress them. They are typically considered one of the less intelligent breeds and may take a bit of extra work to train them. Although this will vary between dogs in the breed, as some are able to learn faster than others, most canine phycologists agree that Chihuahuas are slightly below average in that department.
Chihuahua’s are typically between 6 to 9 inches tall (15 to 23cm).
A Chihuahua should never exceed 6 pounds (2.72 kg) according to the American breed standard and 6.5 pounds (2.95 kg), according to the UKC. If they do, they are overweight. Overweight Chihuahuas are much more prone to having health issues. The UKC also states that they should never be under 1 pound (.45 kg) as well, although I could not find a minimum in the American standard.
Both AKC and the UKC recognize two distinctively different coat types within the breed – long coat and smooth coat.
With the smooth coats, the coat is typically soft and shiny but lays down fairly uniformly close to their skin. They usually will not be “fluffy.” Bald spots (or patches, known as alopecia), can sometimes be a concern.
With the long coats, they may or may not have an undercoat. The outer coat can also be soft, but typically will not be as glossy. The hair is straight or may have a slight wave to it.
While dogs should have 42 teeth, it is relatively rare to find that many in Chihuahuas. In searching around, I found that most of them tend to have about 25-35 teeth instead of the standard 42. This could be because of their size or because a few of the teeth failed to come in properly after losing their ‘baby teeth.’ But the main reason is that Chihuahuas are more susceptible to periodontal and other dental diseases than about any other breed. Being a small dog can make them far more prone to tartar buildup, and gum recession than larger breeds typically are.
Chihuahuas are usually quite active and alert. They are typically devoted to their owners, although you may find it is just one of the owners they will bond with the most. They are supposed to portray confidence, but part of that is their defense mechanism. When there is little to no danger, they can be confident.
While they have earned a reputation of being aggressive, this is often due to them not having been raised properly. They have been known to ‘nip’ or bite strangers and small children, and this is often out of fear. This is their way of attempting to warn the person or child to be careful, as they do not wish to get hurt.
They are known to be exceedingly consistent barkers, and they are happy to let everyone know they are there. Between their personality and their size, it has made them a rather popular companion dog.
Possible Medical Issues
Chihuahuas, like most small breeds, suffer from an array of dental problems, as I explained above. They are also prone to having issues with their kneecaps becoming dislocated (called a luxating patella), weak often brittle bones, hypoglycemia, tracheal collapse, spinal injuries, bladder stones, kidney stones, obesity, and eye problems such as scleritis.
Probably the most prominent problem in the breed, aside from dental issues, is a condition known as hydrocephalus. This is caused by spinal fluid filling up inside their skull and surrounding their brain. It leads to a multitude of neurological symptoms, including, but not limited to, poor coordination, swelling in their head, and seizures. Hydrocephalus cannot be cured.
Chihuahuas seem to be slightly less prone to getting cancer than some other breeds are. While it may be less of an issue for them in general, obesity can significantly increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, and the joint problems mentioned above.
The typical life span for Chihuahuas is 12 to 20 years, with the majority of them living around 16 years.
Crossbreeding Large and Small Dogs
In most instances, when people choose to make a purposeful crossbreed of a dog, it is because they want certain traits or features that are persistent in both. They are attempting to make “a better dog” or one more suitable for a specific task. Responsible breeders will choose dogs of equivalent size and take into account possible health concerns. Their goal should be to make fewer potential health problems, rather than more. Until enough generations have been bred and ‘locked-in’ certain traits or characteristics, you never know exactly which of those you are going to get.
The problem with breeding dogs together of widely differing sizes is that while you may get only small dogs for 2 or 3 generations, all it takes is one puppy to inherit the ‘large genes’ and possibly kill the mother before she is able to give birth. From what we know of Mendelian genetics, this is not only possible but likely.
Other things to consider are their bone density, vascular system, respiratory system, joints, etc. There are so many severe combinations that could kill the dog or cause it to be in pain or discomfort its entire life. This is the reason that when people necessitate making a more petite dog, they do so in steps, not just spontaneously taking a dog they like and breeding it to the smallest thing they can find.
Rottweiler Chihuahua Mix Breeders
In my research, this is the part that confused me the most. This is where every article I read stated to be sure to find a responsible breeder after they had just finished naming some charming traits that the puppies may inherit from both parents.
I’m going to tell you now, though; someone that purposely breeds Rottweilers and Chihuahuas together is NOT a responsible breeder.
People that deliberately mix breeds can obtain any of the traits of both of those dogs by combining ones of more suitable sizes. It may take a little expanding of their knowledge to do so, but the result wouldn’t be littered with as many potential health problems. Whether the traits that they desire in a cross are size, color, temperament, or any of the others I listed above for Rotties and Chihuahuas, there are identical traits shared with many other breeds.
I am happy to say that in searching, I was unable to find any such breeder. My colleague and I both searched extensively, trying to find any definitive proof that someone had either accidentally or purposefully bred these two together. Aside from one article, we found here; we were unable to come up with any definitive proof of this breeding. The man that owned the Rottie in that article terminated the pregnancy via hysterectomy, causing the bitch to be sterile.
While there are quite a few images online of the supposed Rottweiler/Chihuahua mixes, most of them seem to look like they were named such because of the coloring on the dog. If you look closely at these pictures and not just looking at the dogs’ coloring, you will see that they typically appear to be chihuahua/terrier mix or other such things. Performing a reverse image search on several of the pictures took me to the site that originally posted it and showed it was a purebred Chihuahua.
In conclusion, if you are wondering if a Chihuahua and Rottweiler can physically mate, the answer is yes. While logistically, it wouldn’t be the most natural thing in the world, they are capable. Nevertheless, after reading this article, I hope that you agree it is not such a good idea.
If you decide to attempt it, you might get some charming and loyal companions, but you could just as easily get a mix that is rampant with health issues. If you are looking for a Chihuahua Rottweiler mix because you like the potentially small size with the coloration, Chihuahuas can come in this color, and there are several other purebred and mixed breeds that will accommodate your wishes there as well.
While the size of the dog may determine whether or not you can have one in your current place of residence, the coloration should not be the determining factor. The most important thing is to get a healthy dog, train it well, and give it a good life.