Rottweilers are the ultimate guard dogs, perfect for a family that needs a loyal companion to protect the home. Their good-nature is something that meshes well into any family. But if you’re allergic to dogs, you may wonder how much Rottweilers shed.
Rottweilers are moderate-shedding dogs that may experience heavier shedding depending on the season. Thanks to their double coats, Rottweilers blow their coats twice a year while preparing for a change in weather. However, other factors such as nutrition, allergies, living situation, and how they were bred, may affect a Rottweiler’s shedding as well.
If you plan to raise a Rottweiler, shedding is unavoidable. In fact, it’s a natural process for these dogs. We will dive into the factors that affect shedding in this breed. Plus, we have several tips on how to deal with your Rottie’s shedding.
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5 Reasons Why Rottweilers Shed
Nearly all dog breeds shed – Rottweilers are no exception. While hypoallergenic dogs shed less, they’ll still lose hair like human. And even if you decide to go with one of these hairless dogs, you need to spend a lot of time with skin care.
As mentioned, Rottweilers are moderate shedders that may become heavy shedders during shedding season (in spring and fall). However, what makes them shed more than other dog breeds? So you won’t be surprised – these are the reasons they’ll shed.
1. They have “double coats” that experience seasonal shedding
Rottweilers have short double coats, as opposed to single coats. It’s not a terribly difficult concept to grasp – it just means they have two layers of fur. But with double the fur means double the opportunity to shed hair.
The first layer of the Rottweiler’s coat is called the undercoat, which refers to a dense and short layer that almost mimics wool. If you dig your fingers into their coat, you’ll know what I mean. Plus, it’s meant for good insulation – just like your wool coat!
Above the undercoat sits the top coat, which is a layer of hairs developed for protecting the dog from external elements. Most working dogs, such as Rottweilers, have this extra layer of protection because they spend a lot of time outdoors.
It’s that time of the year! Doesn’t matter if they are inside or out, they will still shed out.– Thorvone (Rottweilers Online)
But the real reason why double-coated dogs shed so much is because of the coat-blowing season. That is, when Rottweilers shed their coats in preparation for a significant change in the temperature.
During winter, your Rottweiler needs a thicker fur coat for the colder weather. However, they shed that coat during spring as they prepare for warmer summer temperatures. Similarly, in the fall, they’ll shed their lighter summer coats to grow out their thicker winter coats.
You’ll know when your Rottie is experiencing coat blowing, as it’s very different from typical everyday shedding. Instead of individual strands falling, Rotties will typically see clumps of hair falling out. Don’t be alarmed, this is completely naturally.
2. The Rottweiler’s thick coat was bred for the cold
Rottweilers are dogs from Germany. While the country of beer and bratwurst can see mild temperatures during the summer, winter time can be cold. In fact, it’s not unusual to see temperatures reach negative 1 degree celsius.
Combine this with the fact that Rottweilers were mainly outdoor dogs, bred for driving cattle and pulling carts, these dogs needed protection. As a result, Rotties were bred with a thicker fur coat, capable of withstanding harsh temperatures.
It’s not unusual to see more fur on working dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors in colder climate. For example, Siberian Huskies were bred to pull sleds in some of the coldest areas in the world. Huskies also have double coats with even more fur than Rotties.
Had Rottweilers been bred with the coat of, say a Chihuahua, they would simply be too cold and wouldn’t be as effective on the field. Either way, we still don’t recommend leaving your Rottie outside in polar vortex conditions.
3. Being an outdoor or indoor dog can affect shedding
Depending on if you keep your Rottweiler indoors or outdoors, you may see changes in the habit of shedding. Because modern Rottweilers are frequently used as guard dogs, many owners keep their dogs outdoors.
But by keeping your Rottweiler outdoors, sunlight plays a huge factor into the frequency of shedding. A Rottie’s coat is smarter than you think. And by that, I mean the coat is a very complex insulation system that adjusts to various variables.
We have Rotts as pets, so we have them indoors! I find that the 2 that have access to outside shed less than those who are house dogs and prefer to be indoors.– Kaza (Rottweilers Online)
According to The Nest, the two main signals are daylight and temperature. And like we’ve discussed, this is the reason for seasonal shedding. But what this means is that an outdoor dog may be more likely to blow their coats in response to weather.
On the other hand, indoor Rottweilers that are exposed to consistent artificial lighting and controlled temperatures may have an atypical shedding cycle. Instead, indoor dogs tend to have more consistent shedding year-round, comparatively.
So while outdoor Rottweilers may go through heavier shedding twice a year, an indoor dog may experience heavier shedding throughout the year. However, there’s no guarantee that indoor dogs won’t experience coat blowing to a lesser degree.
4. Malnutrition will lead to excessive shedding
Rottweilers are muscular and durable dogs. As such, they need the proper diet to maintain their healthy and active lifestyle. But did you know, not getting their essential nutrition can lead to excessive shedding in your Rottweiler?
According to Pets WebMD, proper nutrition is sometimes the key to preventing excessive shedding in dogs. While commercial pet-food companies will met the bare minimum requirements, there’s often not enough nutrition in discount kibbles.
The number one reason for excessive shedding is a poor diet. People go to discount stores, buy a 40-pound bag of cheap food, and then see their pets’ shedding increase.– Roy Cruzen DVM (PetMD)
Your Rottweiler’s diet should consist of six basic nutrients: vitamins, proteins, fats, minerals, carbs and water. Unfortunately, not enough is given to dogs through cheap dog food. When shopping for food, try to spend around $4 per pound of food.
Things can be tricky, as two dog foods that contain 27% protein can differ in digestibility. They intend to make it difficult for customers to figure out. However, dog foods that list corn as the first ingredient tend to be higher quality compared to those that list meat.
According to VCA Hospitals, the reason for this is because ingredients such as meat will contain a lot of water. As a result, much of the ingredient gets lost during the processing of the kibbles. So if you have a lot of concerns, consult with your vet.
5. The bigger the dog, the more shed fur
Needless to say, Rottweilers are not small dogs by any means. Rather, they’re officially classified as a large dog breed. And given the Rottie’s massive size, there will undeniably be more opportunities for more shed fur.
Rottweilers can weigh between 77 and 110 lbs for an adult female and 110 and 130 lbs for an adult male. Just as impressive, these big dogs can stand as tall as 27 inches depending on genetics and gender. That’s a lot of surface area on the dog.
For example, Great Danes are relatively low shedding dogs. But because Great Danes are the biggest purebred dogs in the world, they’re classified as moderate to heavy shedders. There’s just so much dog that consistent coat maintenance is necessary.
Excessive Shedding: When to Visit the Vet?
Shedding in your Rottweiler is normal. However, I can understand how alarming it can be if your dog starts to excessively shed out of nowhere. That being said, when is it time to visit your local vet?
There’s a big difference between “fur loss” and “shedding.” For instance, if your Rottweiler is losing large patches of fur during non-shedding season, there may be a health condition that requires the attention of a professional.
There are plenty of health issues that may lead to excessive shedding, such as infections or Cushing’s Disease. In some cases, it can even be trauma to a specific region of the body or even hypothyroidism in your Rottweiler.
Sometimes skin conditions may arise simultaneously with the shedding. If the following skin symptoms last for more than a week, it’s important you consult with your vet:
- Skin irritation (rashes, bumps or redness)
- Open sores on the Rottie’s body
- Bald spots or coat thinning in a specific region
- Huge decrease in shine on coat, dry hairs
- Abnormal or excessive scratching with your Rottie
- Constant foot licking or biting (often to scratch an itch)
If you suspect your Rottweiler is experiencing unusual shedding, it’s even more important to take notice of the dog’s actions. Always be vigilant and don’t be afraid to visit the vet!
How to Deal With a Rottweiler’s Shedding
For normal shedding, Rottweilers aren’t terribly difficult to deal with. However, it’s important that they receive at least basic grooming to maintain a healthy coat. For most cases, this just means regularly brushing and bathing.
1. Brushing Rottweilers
The coat of a Rottweiler is fairly easy to brush because it’s a short double coat. The hair is not too thin, but also not too long. In other words, it’s extremely difficult for matting (tangles) to happen with their coats.
That being said, you won’t need need a de-matting comb for Rottweilers. Instead, I highly recommend getting a Furminator De-shedding Tool. It’s the perfect dog brush made for double-coated dog breeds, such as Rottweilers.
The brush glides on the skin and really gets deep into the Rottie’s undercoat to remove any and all loose hairs. There’s a reason why thousands of happy Rottweiler owners will swear by the Furminator. It really is that great of a product!
But when brushing your Rottweiler, you may want to take them for an exercise to reduce any pent-up energy. You’ll need to be careful as to not cut the skin of your Rottie, and a hyper dog isn’t the most ideal for Furminator brushing.
We use a FURminator and swear by it. You do have to be careful not to overuse…be especially careful with the corners of the tool when doing legs/pits).– Nightsbeauty (Reddit)
Compared to other dog breeds, Rottweilers don’t need to be brushed as often. According to the Carson Animal Hospital, Rotties need to be brushed at least once a week. However, if the dog is going through seasonal shedding, every other day is a good idea.
Make sure to brush down the full length of the Rottweiler’s back in the same direction. Try to start from the head and work your way down towards the tail. Some large dominant dogs, including Rottweilers, may not like this as it may come off as a “challenge.”
However, to prevent any aggressive tendencies, start your Rottie’s brushing regime as early on as possible. If they get used to being brushed like this as a young puppy, it’s likely you won’t run into problems in adulthood.
2. Bathing a Rottweiler
The second most important aspect of coat maintenance is bathing your Rottweiler. While it is great to frequently bathe your dog, too many baths can be detrimental to the coat. There is a balancing act with bathing.
Bathing too frequently can lead to dryness of the skin, which may lead to more dander on the dog. Plus, every time you wash your dog, you’re also washing away the natural oils on the coat that protect them from allergens and bacteria.
With that said, we recommend bathing your Rottweiler once a month. However, it depends on how often they play outdoors. Even if you increase this regimen to twice a month, there shouldn’t be any harmful effects on the coat.
One thing to be aware of is the shampoo used on your dog. You never want to use human shampoo for your Rottweiler – or any dog! That’s because the Ph balance of your skin and your dog’s skin is different.
By using human shampoo, you’re essentially breaking the acid mantle of their skin. This will lead to dry skin, leaving them vulnerable to bacteria. That being said, you’ll want to go with shampoo formulated specifically for dogs.
Best Rottweiler Dog Shampoos
There are a lot of great dog shampoos on the market, but also a lot of terrible ones. When picking out shampoo, make sure to go with an all-natural shampoo. All the best and most popular ones are oatmeal-based.
We’ve tried many, but our favorite has to be the Pet Pro Works Dog Shampoo. Not only is it made in the USA, but it’s an oatmeal-based hypoallergenic shampoo and conditioner. It’s perfect for Rottweilers – considering their susceptibility to skin allergies.
The shampoo is recommended by veterinarians and it’s fragrance-free. We’ve used this on our dogs for many years with no problems. But if this isn’t for you, you may want to look into these other dog-safe shampoos:
- Earthbath All Natural Dog Shampoo – The Earthbath is a longstanding brand with a truly time-tested shampoo. Many thousands of dog owners rave about this and given the quality, it’s easy to see why.
- Paws and Pals Dog Shampoo – We’ve used Paws and Pals with our Corgi. Paws and Pals Shampoo also comes from a reputable brand. Though they aren’t the most popular, they do have a good product that we can vouch for.
If your Rottweiler is reacting adversely to the shampoo, it’s likely they need an all-natural option. The recommended hypoallergenic shampoos won’t usually lead to shedding. But if it does, you’ll want to consult with your vet.
How Much do Rottweilers Shed?
Obviously, not all Rottweilers will shed the same. Although some dog breeds shed more than others, shedding in individual dogs will depend on genetics. So to better gauge how much Rottweilers shed, we decided to ask real owners.
We surveyed the popular Rottweiler subreddit and other dog forums to collect answers to the question. Here’s what these Rottie owners had to say:
Real Owner Answers:
1. Dedlobster says Moderate: “We have a Rottweiler that sheds a lot a couple times a year and then just a medium amount the rest of the time. But we also have a huskyweiler that sheds basically 500 days a year“
2. Foodbeerbikesmusic says Mixed: “I have two Rotties – one who has a fuzzy undercoat and sheds like madness and the other (breeding very, very solid) who sheds not at all.”
3. Nightsbeauty says Moderate: “We seem to go through seasons. Spring and fall require a little more sweeping than any other time. Plus brushing more often to help pull the loose hair out.”
4. Shamayawn says Heavy: “Our rottie doesn’t ever stop shedding. It’s bad year round but come spring time, he’s a whole new monster.”
5. Dumptytherottie says Moderate: “Typical shedding, as in moderately throughout the year and a slight increase during the season. We’ve owned rotties in the past and every single one has the same amount of shed fur.“
6. Upshift says Low: “My Rottweiler doesn’t really shed that much, but she also gets fairly regular brushings with a de-shedding comb.”
7. Rourk says Heavy: “I have two Rottweilers. Love them to death. I think I must have accidentally eaten about a pound of hair a year from them. My wife and I keep the house as clean as possible but there’s always some hair somewhere.“
8. Theberg512 says Heavy: “I’ve just accepted black hair all over everything as the norm in my house. Sure I’ll pick up the clumps and vacuum if it gets terrible, but it doesn’t really bother me anymore.”
9. Timsonsation says Moderate: “It’s a bit crazy seeing how some rotties shed like mad in certain seasons. Ours will shed a good amount, but consistently throughout the year.”
10. Ara_venti says Heavy: “We call him the ‘shed monster’ so much that he now sometimes will respond to that name. It’s amazing how much hair can come from one dog.”
So does your Rottweiler shed? And how much does he or she shed? Let us know in the comments section below. Also, feel free to leave any grooming tips for fellow Rottie owners.
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