Saint Bernard vs Rottweiler – A Comparison

Big, strong, and hard-working breeds are always held in high esteem among dog owners.

Even more so, if they’re loyal, lovable, and playful. This type of dog is a wonderful addition to nearly any family.

Two breeds with very different backgrounds, Saint Bernard and Rottweiler, fit this description almost perfectly.

Even though you may not be able to tell just by looking at them, these two share a lot of common traits.

However, when shooting a dog that will suit you and your family, it’s more important to concentrate on differences.

In this article, I’ll compare Saint Bernard vs Rottweiler to see what separates them and which dog is more suitable for a certain type of owner.

AttributesSaint BernardRottweiler
Good For First Time OwnersNoNo
Good Guard DogAverageYes
Apartment FriendlyNoYes
Good Family DogYesYes
Barking And HowlingModerateLow
Height26-35 inches (65-90 cm)25-27 inches (64-69cm)
Average Life Expectancy8-10 Years8-10 Years


Saint Bernard – Dog Breed Information

Among the giant dog breeds, there’s probably none more popular than Saint Bernard.

These cuddly giants are well known for their appearances on movies and TV, but also for their heroics and for saving people’s lives.

They got their name after the Great St Bernard Hospice in the Alps where they served as invaluable help in search and rescue missions.

While they’re still often engaged in that line of work, they have also gained a lot of popularity as family dogs.


One of the largest breeds in the world, St Bernards are very big, powerful, and strong. Beneath the fluffy looks, they hide a proportional build and a muscular body.

As dogs with mountain origins, they feature a double coat, protecting them from extreme weather conditions.

The coat comes in two types – long and short. Short-haired Saint Bernards have a smooth and flat coat, while their long-haired counterparts have a coat that is rougher and thicker.

They come in various colors, but the most common are the combinations of white and either brown, red, or brindle.

The head of Saint Bernard is very large and round, with a slightly raised muzzle. The high-set ears are short and flopped down, while the eyes are dark-colored and droopy.

Males are 24-28 inches (63-71 inches) high and weigh 119-199 pounds (54-90 kg).

Females grow 23-28 inches (60-69 cm) and weigh 114-188 pounds (52-85 kg).


Saint Bernards are calm, loving, and gentle dogs. They’re very affectionate towards their family and enjoy every moment spent with them.

St Bernards get along with kids and are very patient and careful with them which is very important as their size can be an issue with little ones.

Being very sociable, they don’t like being left alone.

When they’re on their own for longer periods of time they can get depressed or even a bit destructive.

While very friendly and accepting towards strangers, they still make good watchdogs due to their alertness, devotion, and loyalty to the family.

As they’re rather smart, hard-working, and eager to please, St Bernards are relatively easy to train.

However, the training and socialization should start early. They can be difficult to handle as they grow bigger.

They’re not among the most active breeds and can often seem lazy, but still need moderate exercise.

Rottweiler – Dog Breed Information

Rottweilers are an ancient breed, with lineage reaching back to Roman times.

Throughout history, they served as guardians, assisted people hunting big game, and took care of the livestock.

All this helped them develop as a versatile and hard-working breed capable of performing a variety of tasks.


The first thing you’ll notice about Rottweilers is their formidable build and muscular body.

They’re slightly longer than tall and very agile with an energetic gait.

They commonly have a double coat, although in hot climates they may be missing the undercoat.

The topcoat is harsh, flat, dense, and medium long.

Rottweilers are always black with mahogany, rust, or tan markings that don’t take up more than 10 percent of the body.

Their massive heads and square and strong muzzles, coupled with an imposing frame, give them a somewhat menacing appearance.

The ears hang down, fairly close to the head, while the eyes are dark brown and almond-shaped.

The adult male can be as high as 24-28 inches (61-69 cm) and weigh up to 110-133 pounds (50-60 kg).

Females are 22-25 inches (56-63 cm) high and weigh 77-106 pounds (35-48 kg).


Rottweilers have somewhat of a bad reputation and are often considered to be too unpredictable and aggressive.

However, their aggressiveness has more to do with irresponsible owners than it is a natural personality trait.

When properly trained and with early socialization, Rottweilers are fantastic dogs, both for family and working purposes.

They’re loving and devoted to their humans. In addition, they have strong protective instincts and make great guardian dogs.

This breed can also be very playful and enjoy the company of children.

In general, they love to be surrounded by people and may engage in bad behavior if left alone for long.

Owners must be prepared to dedicate a ton of time to this dogs. Rottweilers are very active and energetic and need plenty of physical activity.

They’re also very intelligent, eager to please, and fairly easy to train, especially in the hands of an experienced trainer.

Saint Bernard vs Rottweiler – What’s the Difference?

Saint BernardRottweiler

The most notable difference between the two breeds is in their appearance.

While Saint Bernards look like big fluffy balls of fur, Rottweilers are smaller but more lean and muscular.

As for personality, both breeds are very loyal and affectionate.

The Rottweilers, however, have an advantage when it comes to intelligence as they’re one of the smartest dog breeds.

As a result, they learn better and are more suited to a variety of tasks

They’re also better as guardians, but, unlike St Bernards, can get overprotective and, in some cases, become too aggressive.

St Bernards are also more friendly towards other animals, including dogs.

The two breeds have a similar life expectancy, around 8-10 years, but Saint Bernards are the healthier of the two.

They have fewer potential health issues and will require less frequent vet visits.

Saint Bernard vs Rottweiler – Which One is Better?

While these are both great breeds, they’re not a perfect fit for every owner. Neither of them is recommended for first-time owners, especially Rottweilers.

They are more stubborn, independent, and can be a handful for an owner with less experience.

Although they are more trainable, they need strong leadership and a commanding owner who can establish dominance.

Rottweilers are more adaptable and are a better choice for those living in the apartment.

St Bernards, although perfectly content to lie around all day, are not suitable for small spaces due to their sheer size.

On the other hand, Rottweilers need a more active owner, with plenty of time on their hands and willingness to provide them with enough exercise.

However, Saint Bernards are higher maintenance. They shed more and the potential owner will have to invest more time in grooming and cleaning up after them.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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