When you are thinking about what dog is best for you, one big factor for many is if the dog sheds. I have always loved Rottweilers, but I have allergies, so it was important for me to know if they shed a lot or not. I’d like to share with you my findings.
Do Rottweilers shed?
A Rottweiler’s fur sheds moderately. They have a double coat, which is meant for regulating body temperature, that sheds mostly during the spring and the fall, known to many as “blowing coat”. Brushing a few times a week is the best way to deal with their shedding.
Many people initially think that because Rottweilers have short coats, they do not shed much, but this is not the case. Some Rottweilers shed as much as Golden Retrievers.
Rottweilers aren’t a dog that you think of as a heavy shedder… but it is true that a Rottie will shed moderately.
Some say that Rottweilers shed just as much as Huskies or Golden retrievers. The difference is that Rottweilers have shorter fur than these dogs, so when you pile the hairs together, you don’t see as much.
Since these dogs all have double-coats, it’s probably accurate to compare them. That means that you need to physically and mentally prepare to have a messy, hairy pup running around if you are set on getting a Rottweiler.
Shedding can really be a problem for some owners because of the hair that ends up all over the house. Since a Rottweiler isn’t exactly small, you will probably end up with a lot of fur… everywhere. That means cleaning up often.
It can also be harmful to those who have allergies, whether that is a guest or a family member. People are allergic to pet dander, not the hair itself. However, dander sticks to the hairs and Rottweilers have a lot and lose a ton of it.
It is important to remember that shedding is natural and in no way the dog’s fault. If you want to get a pet, there are just some things you have to deal with and embrace. Shedding is one of these things and there’s no way to stop it.
Why Rottweilers Shed
The reasons why Rottweilers shed is pretty cool. It’s similar to the reasons of why all dogs with dual-coats shed. The undercoat is a soft layer and this is actually the layer that causes all these problems.
The undercoat is insulation. It protects the Rottweiler from sunburn and makes it a little bit easier
The top coat is the one that we see. It’s a little tougher and made to protect from all the other outside elements like rain and wind. Pretty cool, huh?
When you see your Rottie shedding, it’s the undercoat coming out because the fur has finished its life cycle. This is why the fur may seem a little bit softer and less rough.
To break down it a little bit more, there are a few phases in the hair/fur cycle. These phases are the anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen phases.
Anagen is the growth phase. This is when the fur will grow. The length is determined by the breed of dog. For Rottweilers, the growth period isn’t very long.
Catagen is the regression phase, or when the hair stops growing.
The Telogen phase is the period of time that the hair/fur rests while a new hair/fur is growing to replace this hair. Healthy shedding happens only when there is a new hair to replace the current one.
The last stage is exogen, where the hair/fur exits – or sheds. So shedding happens when the hair has reached the end of its cycle and can be followed directly by another.
This happens a lot when it gets warmer but light to moderate shedding will happen year-round. Shedding is done as a way for dogs to regulate body temperature.
Rottweilers are from Germany, from a city called Rottweil that gets quite cold. So, this dog breed adapted to be able to live in colder weather, and even to live in moderately hot weather.
The way they adapted to prolong their lifespan was by shedding. So it does have a real purpose!
When Rottweilers Shed
Since Rottweilers and other dogs with two-coats shed to regulate body temperature, the times when shedding happens the most is in the spring and in the fall.
As the weather starts to warm up, a Rottie will start to blow coat. During this time, brushing will become an everyday activity.
This heavy shedding season lasts about 3 weeks.
Having a Rottweiler will be a little bit more difficult if you like to keep everything nice and clean, or if you have allergies.
As the weather starts to change again in the fall, you’ll find that your Rottweiler needs to be brushed more. This is all prep for the new weather, and partly because of the life cycle of the hair on your pup.
This is all totally normal for Rotties. However, if you live somewhere warm, you are more likely to have a dog that sheds all the time. This is because the undercoat is insulation, and your dog doesn’t need as much of it in tropical areas.
Minor to moderate shedding will happen year-round, as well as these other seasons. Brush your dog once a week, and more as is needed.
One of the most important things to remember is that each dog is different. Even Rottweilers within the same litter can shed differently. Some things like genetics play a role, but it’s not always predicitable.
The best thing to do is to watch how much your Rotties sheds so you can compare that to times when over shedding might occur. Excessive shedding can be a sign that there is something wrong.
However, if you don’t have anything to compare the shedding to then it can be hard to tell.
Having a dog that sheds isn’t the worst thing in the world, and there are so many great reasons to get a Rottweiler. Don’t get discouraged!
Things that Factor into the Amount of Shedding
We talked about why Rottweilers shed but there are some other things that can determine how much a dog will shed. Some of these factors are in your control, but most of them will not be. There are genetic aspects as well as environmental factors.
The biggest things that factor into how much your Rottweiler will shed are:
- Parentage/Ancestral Line – Some breeders breed with low shedding dogs to get pups that shed less
- Age – Pups from about 1 – 3 will shed a little bit more as they grow and mature into their adult fur
- Sex of dog
- Pregnancy or Lactation
- Exposure to sun
Maybe you notice that your Rottie is shedding too much. Not as in “that’s too much for me to deal with”, but as in there is more shedding than usual, and it is concerning.
If you notice a ton of shedding and it’s not the right time of year, or it is way more than usual, there could be an underlying issue.
Itching and balding are both signs that this shedding is not so good. Don’t get into too much of a panic. Some of these things have an easy fix. If you are concerned, it is always great to double-check with a vet.
Here are some of the reasons why a Rottweiler will shed out of season:
- Pregnancy or lactation – this could be the root cause if your Rottie is not spayed
- Parasite – mites, fleas, or lice (watch for itchiness)
- Reaction to medication or supplements – if you recently started your dog on medication, this could be the cause, talk to your vet
- Food allergies – this is a common one. Happens when you change dog food, or your pup isn’t getting the right amount of nutrition
- Bacterial or Fungal infection
- Allergy to shampoo
- Liver, thyroid, adrenal, or kidney disease
- Immune Disease
- Sunburn – shaved dogs are at a higher risk for this
A healthy coat is usually sign that your dog is healthy, but it starts to become patch or itchy, there is usually something else going on.
Sometimes the best solution is to switch dog food or shampoo. Other times you will need to go see the vet. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.
Tips for Shedding Season
There is nothing that you can do to completely stop shedding, and that is something you must come to grips with. Shedding is okay. If shedding really isn’t something that you are prepared to deal with, a Rottweiler is not the best match for you.
There are ways to help you and your dog out when it is shedding season and throughout the year.
These tips will help you keep your house a little bit cleaner and keep a little bit more of that pet dander and allergy mix out of the year.
What to Do About Shedding
The best and most important thing to do is to brush your Rottweiler. Throughout the year, you should brush your dog about once a week. If you seem to have a particularly shed-y dog, then you can brush more.
With a dog with such short fur, you are going to want to use a soft-bristled brush. It will work, I promise. You can try this brush, it has 4.3 stars.
You will honestly be surprised on how well a little brush will work, plus it will feel more comfortable for your Rottie. Make sure that you clean the brush of hair as your continue to brush.
If you have a Rottweiler mix or one with a more wavy coat, then you can use a pin brush.
Make sure you brush down everything and brush in the way that the fur is growing. Be careful around the tummy and tush because these areas are more sensitive.
One great trick is to brush outside. Make sure the wind, if any, is blowing the hair away from the house. Brushing your Rottie outside will keep the mess outside and you won’t have to vacuum nearly as much.
If you are going to brush indoors, then vacuum right away. You can even lightly vacuum your dog with the hose to pick up those stray hairs.
Another thing that you can do is to bathe your Rottie once every 4 – 6 weeks. If you are using some high-quality shampoos, and really lathering it up, loose hairs will become free.
In other words, a good bath is a good way to stop shedding. It will get rid of dirt and anything else that makes your pup so itchy. You can use a good conditioner as well.
What Not to Do About Shedding
Do not shave your Rottweiler. It might be tempting to shave him or her to get rid of the shedding, but you can be putting too much at risk.
When you shave a Rottweiler, or other dogs with double coats, you are getting rid of two layers of protection. A shaved Rottie does not have any protection from the sun and insulation when it’s cold.
Overheating can happen because there is no way to regulate body temperature.
Shaving can also make your dog very itchy and uncomfortable.
The other thing that you want to make sure that you avoid is bathing your Rottie too often. Baths weekly or even bi-weekly are too frequent. Too much will dry out your dogs skin and make him or her itchy.
Shampoo takes out the natural oils, so using it too often is harsh and leaves the skin so dry. Stick to a bath every 4 – 6 weeks. If your dog gets muddy, it’s okay to wash him or her off really well. Just try to not make it a habit.
Just one other thing! Don’t buy the cheapest food that you can. Cheap food can often times not have the right balance of nutrients and make your dog sick. This shows in the less-than-shiny coat.
Make sure you watch your Rotties health and especially watch out for allergies. Food allergies in dogs are more common than you would think.
Other Dogs that Shed
There are a lot of other dogs that shed moderately, and heavily. They are great companions, but maybe not the best for you.
If you are not down with cleaning up the hair constantly, or are worried about allergies, here are some dogs that you are going to want to avoid getting:
- Golden Retriever – You can tell just by petting one of these puppies that they shed a ton. There are hybrid retrievers that do not shed as much.
- Akitas – They come from a cold, mountainous area so, like Huskies, they have a thick double coat to keep them warm.
- German Shepherd – They blow coat two times a year, just like huskies, but often will shed year-round!
- Cardigan Welsh Corgis – These small and friendly dogs have a double layer coat that will shed all year.
- Dalmatians – Even though Dalmatians have short hair, they will still shed.
- Belgian Sheepdogs – These hairy dogs will shed a lot too. All 4 breeds.
- Bernese Mountain Dogs – Having adapted to live in the cold mountain tops, these beautiful beasts will no doubt shed all over.
- German Shorthair Pointer – The name might make you think these puppies don’t shed – but they do!
- Chow Chow – Is it any surprise that these dogs shed? They will shed every day, so invest in a good brush.
- Alaskan Malamute – Similar to Huskies, these dogs were sled-dogs so they have thick coats for the winter. They might be the dog breed that sheds the most.
Dogs that Don’t Shed Much
Now that we have talked about other dogs that shed, let’s go over the ones that don’t really. A dog of one of these breeds might be better for you!
All dogs shed a little, but these dogs are the ones that you don’t really notice it, and a lot of people don’t have trouble with.
Heres the list of dogs to consider if you want a pet that sheds a little to none:
- Shih Tzu
- Italian Greyhound
- Australian Terrier
- Scottish Terrier
These dogs don’t really resemble a Rottweiler in anyway, but they still do make great pets. You should know, these are going to be smaller animals, more like lap dogs. However, the shedding might make all the difference for you.
Do Rottweilers shed a lot? Rottweilers shed moderately throughout the year, and heavily in the spring and fall. This is because they have a short, yet thick double coat. Brushing is the best way to help with shedding.
What color coat does a Rottweiler have? Rottweilers are generally black with tan, rust, or rich brown accents on the stomach, legs, rear and on areas on the face. Every dog is different but a reddish brown and black combo is most common.