Skip to main content

PawTracks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

5 important reasons your Rottweiler needs a grooming appointment ASAP

With their intense eyes and powerful frames, Rottweilers are intimidating pooches. (Damien Thorne’s devilish protector in The Omen comes to mind.) But everyone who’s spent time with a Rottweiler knows the truth: they’re lapdogs in big bodies. Rottweilers are famous for being affectionate, gentle with children (if properly trained), and oftentimes silly dogs, making them ideal for families. One thing to keep in mind before you adopt a Rottweiler, though: Rotties need more grooming than you might think. Here’s everything you need to know about Rottweiler grooming. 

A closeup shot of a Rottweiler with a pink speckled nose.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Rottweiler’s Roman beginnings

As one of the world’s oldest dog breeds, the Rottweiler’s ancestry dates back to the days of the Roman Empire. The Roman legions needed hard-working, loyal dogs to help haul and defend their food source–herds of wild animals–through soon-to-be-conquered lands. These enterprising Romans bred Asian mastiffs with other breeds, creating the Rottweiler’s oldest ancestors. The breed eventually found its way to the German town of Rottweil, hence the name Rottweiler, which means “dog of Rottweil.” 

Despite their fearsome appearance, modern-day Rottweilers–affectionately known as Rotties–are much more likely to climb onto your lap for a snuggle session than drive cattle. But with their intense desire to please, durability, and devotion, Rotties have proven to be incredible service dogs, law enforcement offers, and therapy dogs. Even so, our caring companions require a spa day occasionally.  

Do Rottweilers need haircuts? 

Rotties are known for their glossy, black-and-rust-colored coats. Regular brushing and the occasional bath may be enough to keep your pup’s coat in tip-top condition. However, even short-coated dogs can have the odd patch of fur that becomes overgrown. If your dog has slightly longer patches of hair, trim his coat with high-quality clippers or scissors designed for hair cutting. (Not your kitchen scissors, please!) 

How bad do Rottweilers shed? 

While Rotties don’t shed as much as some breeds, these hardy pups shed a moderate amount of hair year-round. Your Rottie will also go through a period of heavy shedding twice a year, making regular grooming a must. And don’t forget to toss your pup’s bed in the wash at least once every two weeks. You’ll probably want to vacuum your dog’s bed, too, especially during his twice-yearly sheds. 

Is it okay to shave a Rottweiler? 

A common myth most dog parents have heard at least once is that shaving your dog cuts down on shedding. Technically speaking, it isn’t a myth. Your dog will shed less when he’s bald, but that doesn’t mean you should shave your dog. Not only does your dog’s coat provide protection against both heat and cold, but leaving your pup’s skin exposed to sunlight could result in a nasty sunburn

A Rottweiler puppy sits with his paws on a picnic table.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why your Rottie needs regular grooming 

There’s no need to worry about a costly appointment with a professional; as long as your pooch is accustomed to being groomed, you can give him a spa day in the comfort of your own home. (Just make sure to feed and exercise your dog beforehand. He’ll be much more cooperative if he’s full and tired from playtime.) Here are five reasons why you need to groom your Rottie:

#1: Rotties are prone to skin conditions

Rotties have stunning, shiny coats, so it may surprise you to learn that the breed has a genetic predisposition to developing skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, eczema, and skin allergies. Monthly baths with nourishing, hypoallergenic shampoo can help reduce flareups. As always, see your vet if your pup has dry, irritated patches or uncontrolled itching.

#2: They drool… a lot

Like all dogs with jowls (also called flews), Rotties tend to drool a lot. Males typically have looser jowls than females, meaning Fido is more likely to slobber than Fifi. Even so, all that drool can mix with food particles, dirt, and debris, leaving behind a goopy mess on your pup’s face—and then he’ll still want to kiss you. So we recommend keeping his face clean for his sake and yours!

#3: They need their ears cleaned

While dogs with erect ears can get away with monthly cleanings, your Rottweiler’s floppy ears need to be cleaned every week. If you see your dog pawing at his ears, or if you notice unusual discharge or a noxious odor, take your dog to the vet for a checkup. 

#4: They need their nails done

Not only does keeping your dog’s nails neatly trimmed protect you, and your floors, from scratches, but it also benefits your pup. The quick (the pink part of the nail) is filled with blood vessels and nerves. If the quick extends the full length of the nail, your pup is essentially walking directly on her nerves. Ouch! Thankfully, monthly trims naturally decrease the quick’s length, allowing your pup to walk painlessly.

#5: Their health may depend on it

You might not think regularly bathing your dog could save his life, but it’s true. As you wash your dog, you’re able to feel the length of his body from teeth to tail. If you find a tender spot or feel a suspicious lump, you’ll be able to seek treatment much sooner than pet parents with less hands-on knowledge of their dog. 

A shot of three adult Rottweilers lying in a field.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Bathing your dog doesn’t have to be difficult, but it can seem intimidating when you need to bathe a massive Rottie. Thankfully, these sturdy dogs are typically eager to please. Just remember: never force your dog into a tub or shower. You’ll only succeed in frightening him. Take your time, make a game of it, and you may end up jealous of your pup’s shiny coat.

Editors' Recommendations

Mary Johnson
Contributor
Mary Johnson is a writer and photographer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work has been published in PawTracks and…
5 important health factors to know before putting your pet on flea and tick meds
A shallow focus shot of a smiling black and white Border Collie.

Fleas and ticks can lead to itching, discomfort, and skin infections for the entire family. But as frustrating as bites can be, these minuscule pests can also cause serious illnesses, or worse. Both Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can be spread via the bite of an infected tick. If left untreated, Lyme Disease can cause symptoms that run the gamut from a bullseye-shaped rash to facial paralysis, nerve pain, and arthritis. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, on the other hand, is even more dangerous. If the infection progresses without proper treatment, it may cause severe headaches, a high fever, and potentially death. It goes without saying that flea and tick meds are essential, but medications aren't a one-size-fits-all solution. Here's what you need to know about flea and tick safety.

How to prevent fleas and ticks the safe way
Did you know there are over 800 tick species worldwide? Fortunately, you'll only find four different species in the US. (And we happen to think that's four too many.) While fleas and ticks are most active throughout summer and early fall (and their patterns can vary from state to state), flea and tick prevention is a year-round battle. Prevention should start with your lawn, but that doesn't mean you should leave your fur babies unprotected. However, not all flea and tick medications are safe for every pet. These are the five most important questions you should ask your veterinarian before you start your pet on a flea and tick prevention regimen. 
1. Is my pet healthy enough for flea and tick medication?
Some pets, particularly those with a history of seizures and neurological symptoms, and those who are pregnant or nursing may not be the best candidate for flea and tick medication. Your vet knows your pet's medical history, so you should always request a consultation before medicating your dog. 
2. Is my pet too young or too old for flea and tick medication?
"As soon as they're old enough, place them on a veterinarian-recommended topical or oral flea and tick product, and never take them off," says Kansas State University veterinary parasitologist Michael "Dr. Flea" Dryden, DVM, Ph.D. How old is old enough? According to the experts, your puppy (or kitten) should be at least eight weeks old before you start them off on a flea and tick preventative. Will you need to discontinue use when your pet is a senior? Maybe. Your pet's immune system gradually weakens with age, and harsh medications can make matters worse. Always speak to your vet before discontinuing any medication. 

Read more
Bulldogs 101: Everything you never knew about your little tank
A brown and white English Bulldog offers his paw to his owner

When it comes to looks, bulldogs are incredibly distinct. No one can resist the sight of those sweet wrinkles, but there’s so much more about these dogs that you should know before deciding upon the right breed for you. Even if you’re looking for the sake of curiosity and not potential adoption, these bulldog characteristics and fun facts will give you a new appreciation for these pups.
From common behavior tendencies to health facts — including a few big concerns — we’ll go over everything you need to learn. For the sake of clarity, this article focuses on the English or British bulldog, which is the breed called simply "Bulldog" by the American Kennel Club. They aren’t to be confused with American bulldogs, French bulldogs, or any of the other bulldog breeds — there are quite a few!

What are bulldogs known for?
Much of the bulldogs’ fame comes from the breed’s extensive history. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), these dogs were originally bred for the "sport" of bullbaiting, which is where many of the famous bulldog characteristics come from. Breeders aimed to create a dog with a broad head, fearless nature, and loose skin that could aid in bullbaiting. Thankfully, this grisly activity was banned in the 19th century and has been obsolete since.
Around the mid-20th century, the bulldog became a symbol of England and its fiery Prime Minister Winston Churchill. While many go as far as associating the dog with Churchill’s jowly look, it’s said the prime minister preferred the company of poodles (via AKC).
Unfortunately, there are several health issues that bulldogs are known for, too. For example, this breed, as well as their relatives, account for the majority of cesarean sections performed in vets’ offices. Dr. Patty Khuly, VMD, told Vetstreet that this is because of the breed’s large head size, which is a product of selective breeding.
Bulldogs are also extremely prone to respiratory difficulties, which we will expand on below.

Read more
Not all pups have what it takes to be a guide dog — does yours make the cut?
German shepherd in a grassy field

Guide dogs accomplish amazing feats. They help keep their handlers safe, willingly go to work each day, and give their handlers a sense of independence. But it's not easy to find a dog that will make a great guide dog. The selection process often starts by choosing one of the most popular guide dog breeds, but there's a lot of training that goes into the process too, and not all dogs go on to have careers as guide dogs. Whether you're waiting to be matched with your first guide dog or want to adopt or buy a dog with the same characteristics that make so many guide dogs successful, it's important to understand just what goes into preparing a dog for this interesting career.

What breed of dog is used for guide dogs?
VCA Hospitals explains that while German shepherds were most often used as service dogs early on, many breeds serve as guide dogs today. Breeds like boxers, border collies, labradors, golden retrievers, standard poodles, collies, and Dobermans all tend to work well as guide dogs because of their size. Some mixes, like the standard poodle and labrador, are desirable because they don't shed much, but they still have an ideal height to work as a guide dog.
Keep in mind that in addition to good breeding, a dog needs to have an ideal temperament, energy level, and walking stride to be able to do guide work well.
If you're looking for a guide dog, you might not be able to select your dog on your own. According to the American Kennel Club, nonprofits carefully pair guide dogs with their handlers. These nonprofits consider everything from your lifestyle to your hobbies, your family, your living arrangements, and other pets that are present in the home to help ensure that the dog you're matched with is a good fit. Then you will spend many hours training with your guide dog to develop a working relationship.
A handler needs to build a strong relationship with the guide dog for the dog to work at full potential. That's why it's so important to carefully pair dogs with handlers to help support that powerful bond.

Read more