The Red Rottweiler & Other ‘Rare Rottweilers’

Have you heard about the red Rottweiler? Wondered about blue rottweilers, or been offered an albino Rottweiler pup?

Does the idea of owning a red Rottweiler, or one of these ‘rare Rottweilers’ (often advertised as being valuable and highly prized) sound attractive?

Well, before you go out and buy one, you may want to learn a little more about these unusual Rottie varieties.

There can be health problems associated with a dog from any breed that is a very unusual color.

Plus a truly purebred red Rottie is extremely rare and although not black-and-tan, they’re a Rottweiler in every other way. But unscrupulous breeders may try to pass off mixed breed puppies as ‘rare rottweilers’ and that’s never okay.

So, make sure you do some research before committing to a dog of any breed that doesn’t fit the recognized breed standard.

About Red Rottweilers

A red Rottweiler may sound exotic, and there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with wanting to own a dog that’s a little bit ‘different’.

But, when it comes to purebred dogs, a lot of effort and work has gone into generations of breeding to produce a dog that looks, acts, and moves in a certain way.

The Breed Standard for any breed is basically a ‘picture in words’ of the IDEAL representative of that particular breed, and all reputable and responsible breeders are trying to produce a dog that matches the breed standard as closely as possible.

When talking about a red rottweiler (or blue/albino etc.), it’s significant to note that although the Rottweiler Breed Standard varies a little from country to country, you won’t find any of the ‘rare’ Rottweiler varieties recognized or accepted in any of them.

Rottweiler Color

If you compare the German, British and American standards, for example, you will see slightly different wording or description of the Rottweiler color and coat.

BUT it’s clear that the only acceptable color for the base coat is black, and the markings are to be a shade of tan/rust/mahogany.

According to the AKC Breed standard, “The markings should be located as follows: a spot over each eye; on cheeks; as a strip around each side of the muzzle, but not on the bridge of the nose; on throat; triangular mark on both sides of prosternum;

On forelegs from carpus downward to the toes; on inside of rear legs showing down the front of the stifle and broadening out to front of rear legs from hock to toes, but not completely eliminating black from the rear of pasterns; under the tail; black penciling on toes.

No mention of a red, blue or white coat at all. In fact, in the AKC Breed Standard these qualities appear under the section for disqualifications…..

‘Entropion; ectropion. Overshot; undershot (when incisiors do not touch or meet); wry mouth; two or more missing teeth. Unilateral cryptorchid or cryptorchid males.

Long coat. Any base color other than black; absence of all markings. A dog that, in the opinion of the judge, attacks any person in the ring.’

What Exactly Is A Red Rottweiler Then?

To understand how a red Rottweiler (or a blue Rottweiler etc.) can be born, you need to both look back at the early days of the breed, and also realize that a purebred dog only looks the way it’s supposed to if its ancestors are all purebred too!

Credit @girassollefi

Although the history of the Rottweiler breed isn’t ‘written in stone’, it’s a progression from companion to the Roman Army to today’s versatile dog, has been pretty thoroughly documented.

In the very early days, it seems that there were almost two different types of dogs that formed the basis of today’s Rottweiler. Large, muscular dogs (of the molosser/mastiff type) were used as guardians/weight-pullers/companions for the Roman Army, and a bit later as protection for the cattle herders/butchers (and their money) on their way to and from the market.

The smaller, faster, more agile dogs were used to herd and ‘drive’ the cattle as they were better suited to the job. The smaller herding dogs often seemed to have more white patches in their coats, and this may have been believed to indicate that they were quicker and more trainable than the dogs who didn’t carry these genes.

History indicates that there may have been the introduction of other breeds into the gene pool now and again at this point and that these two ‘types’ began to be combined to produce a dog that could ‘do it all’ – the forebears of the dog we now know as the Rottweiler.

This is borne out by the fact that the earliest Breed Standard for the Rottweiler allowed for a much greater variation in color/coat than todays’ standard. In addition, if you look at photographs of some of the first Rotties to be registered in Germany, you’ll notice that they look longer, ‘leggier’, and lighter than you would expect, and you can even see some of the differences in coat length and color.

In 1883, the acceptable colors for a Rottweiler were…

‘… black with russet or yellow markings…. Alternatively, black stripes on an ash grey background with yellow markings, plain red with black nose, or dark wolf grey with black head and saddle, but always with yellow markings.

White markings on the chest and legs occur very frequently and are admissible if they are not too extensive.’

So, it’s easy to see how the genes carried by some of these dogs could possibly result in today’s ‘rare’ red Rottweiler or blue Rottweilers, and how the white marks and spots (that still appear in even well-bred puppies) originated.

It wasn’t until 1921 that the ADRK (Allegmeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub) in Germany decided to limit the acceptable Rottie coat to ‘black with clearly defined mahogany to yellow markings’, and the other coat colors and variations become undesirable.

Is The Red Rottweiler A Real Rottie?

Since these early times, generation after generation of Rottweilers have been bred to produce only black with tan/mahogany markings, and dogs of any other color (and dogs who produced pups of any other color) were disqualified and not considered ‘breedable’.

This means that the chances of a red Rottweiler being produced naturally by two purebred parents are extremely low! That doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen, but it’s VERY unlikely.

Which makes Kayla – the gorgeous red Rottie featured on this page – so unusual. She’s Rottweiler through and through but has a beautiful deep red coloring that is stunning…..

For purebred Rottweilers to produce a red Rottweiler puppy, they would both need to carry this very elusive gene.

So, where does a red Rottweiler today come from?

Most breeders and Rottweiler experts believe that these types of rare Rottweilers are the results of cross-breeding (breeding a Rottie to a dog of another breed). Not necessarily (and usually not) the actual parents of the ‘rare’ puppy, but definitely within their individual or collective family trees.

This is why a red Rottweiler or blue/albino Rottweilers aren’t recognized or accepted by Rottweiler Breed Clubs or registering organizations, and why dogs with more than a few white hairs are not considered to be of show quality.

There are other issues in addition to the cosmetic ones too. Some breeders and experts believe that various health issues appear more often in the rare Rottweilers, possibly due to the inbreeding that produced them, or as a genetic/hereditary issue.

Some of these include eye problems (more often associated with the lighter colored eyes seen in red rottweilers and blue rottweilers), heart problems, and hip/joint problems.

Given this information, you can clearly see why breeding red Rottweilers (or any rare Rottweiler) isn’t a good idea, and how it could potentially damage the breed as a whole.

Some unscrupulous breeders are willing to jeopardize the wonderful Rottweiler breed in this way, and try to pass these rare puppies off as being ‘special, unique, desirable’ and so on, all the while charging you extra for the privilege of owning one!

While a true purebred red Rottweiler definitely is a rarity, he (or she) is not eligible to be registered or shown. He should never be used as a breeding dog either.

To learn more about Kayla, the purebred Red Rottweiler whose photos appear exclusively on this website, check out this page…

My Red Rottweiler Kayla!

Submitted by a visitor to this site, these are some of the best photos of a purebred Red Rottweiler that I’ve ever seen.

If you come across one of these dogs and want a pet that is a little bit different, by all means, buy one (but don’t allow yourself to be conned into paying throught the nose for it), but remember you may find yourself with a dog who needs extra veterinary attention and care.

The Rottweiler is an awesome dog, and red/blue/albino (or whatever) Rottweilers are likely to make great pets and a be a ‘talking point’ with your friends.

But if lots of people want to buy one we end up encouraging a breeder to try to continue to produce ‘red’ puppies – and as they occur so rarely naturally, that lends itself to all sorts of problems (and can’t be a good thing in my opinion).

Other Rare Rottweiler Colors

Apart from Red Rottweilers, there are some other rare colored Rotties which are the blue, albino, and white Rottweilers.

Blue Rottweilers

Credit @jlkauffman

This is a rare Rottweiler color that is usually a result of the normal black pigment of the Rottie’s coat being diluted. The color thus appears to be lighter than it should be. This type of coat color, together with other unusual colors is usually a result of poor breeding practices

Although these colors can cause the dog to look a little different from other Rotties, they are not cool at all. Blue Rottweilers are more prone to some health issues than normal Rotties.

Albino Rottweiler

As with humans, dogs can also suffer from albinism, and the Rottweiler is not an exception, although albino Rottweilers are uncommon. Albinism in rottweilers is a disorder that results from inbreeding (breeding close relatives like father and daughter, overbreeding, or cross-breeding. Albino Rotties suffer from different health challenges that may not affect pure-bred Rotties.

White Rottweiler

White Rottweilers are also extremely rare and are usually a result of crossbreeding between a Rottweiler and another dog breed. The crossbreeding does not necessarily have to be done with the direct parents of the animal, but can also be from any of the parents in its lineage.

If for instance, a Rottweiler is crossbred with a German Shepherd and the white color of the German Shepherd dominates, then the dog would inherit the white coat, but will retain the looks of the Rottweiler parent.

Vitiligo, a rare skin condition that turns the hair completely white – usually in patches – can also be a cause for the ‘White Rottweiler’. This condition is caused by a lack of Melanin. There are multiple causes, but this is not a dangerous condition and a dog will almost always have a perfectly normal life with this condition. It will cause the skin and coat to turn white. However, it normally appears over a period of about 3-6 months.


Red Rottweilers and other rare Rottweilers such as blue, white, and albino Rotties are not recognized by the official Rottweiler sites, and it is not difficult to see why. These dogs are usually a result of crossbreeding and, as such, are not true-bred Rotties. 

Before getting any of the rare Rotties, you should be aware that these animals are prone to many health challenges that purebred Rottweilers are not prone to. You could end up spending a lot of money taking care of your rare Rottie. 

About The Rotty lover 2159 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone