I’ve been there with my female Rottweiler.
At some point, someone will have something to say about your Rottie’s body.
You are either faced with the misconception that every Rottie must be fat and bulky and therefore yours must be too skinny.
Or you are confronted with well-meaning dog owners who chew your ears off because your furry friend is too fat.
Thank you very much, I know my dog’s weight.
But do you really do that?
Your Rottweiler may be overweight if his ribs and spine are not palpable, if there is no fold from the chest to the abdomen, or if your dog has difficulty breathing, grooming, or simply lacks endurance.
Not sure if your Rottie is suitable?
Don’t worry, I’ll go into detail below on exactly how to tell if your pup has a little too much fat.
It is important to ensure that our dogs are at a healthy weight and we should not ignore the concerns of others if they can help improve our dogs’ longevity and quality of life.
No matter if another dog owner or vet has brought up this issue, if you’re unsure because of the symptoms, or if you’re wondering about the fat Rottweiler next door, I have some helpful tips.
Unlike most of the other articles you’ll find out there, I actually own a Rottweiler and have been in your situation.
So let’s take a look at why obesity is a problem and how you can spot it.
Recommended Reading: Rottweiler Growth Chart (Puppy to Adult)
Fat Rottweiler: Why Obesity is a Problem for Your Rottweiler
If your Rottweiler is overweight, it significantly increases the risk of several medical problems, such as hip or elbow dysplasia, heart disease, diabetes, or even cancer, which can shorten your Rottweiler’s lifespan.
Problems such as urinary bladder stones, less tolerance to heat, and complications from anesthesia are also possible.
Obesity is a common cause of many diseases in dogs, regardless of breed.
Owners of overweight Rottweilers often have a distorted view of what a healthy Rottweiler should look like, partly due to the established aesthetic of barrel-shaped Rotties. I’ll go into more detail below.
What can you do?
If your Rottweiler is overweight, consult a veterinarian and introduce a good exercise routine and an appropriate high-quality diet for weight loss, possibly under the supervision of a licensed pet nutritionist.
But also keep in mind that being overweight can be an indication of health problems.
If the cause of your dog’s obesity cannot be determined or if your dog experiences other symptoms, your veterinarian may order blood tests and other diagnostics.
But how do you even determine if your Rottweiler is overweight?
Is my Rottweiler overweight? 8 characters
Your Rottweiler is overweight if he scores low on the body condition score or if symptoms occur during daily activities such as walking, playing, grooming and breathing, or if your dog falls outside a regular growth chart.
- You cannot feel the ribs and spine
- No folding from belly to chest
- Can’t nurse
- Less active
- Refuses to walk
- Lack of stamina
- Experiencing difficulty breathing
- Is outside the growth chart
Most of these factors are self-explanatory and I won’t bore you with the details.
You’ve probably noticed behavioral changes if there are any.
Please note that you should observe your dog when he tries to groom himself, note his activity level and willingness to walk or play, and check for any behavioral or physical changes.
Your best indicator is the body condition chart.
Also keep in mind that obesity or weight gain can be an indication of underlying medical problems.
If you are concerned about your dog’s weight, consult your veterinarian.
Important: Find a vet who knows large breeds and is especially familiar with Rotties.
Another great resource is my Rottweiler Growth Chart to help you compare your furry friend.
The problem with breed standards and BMI charts
I would not advise Rottweiler owners to rely on the breed standard when it comes to weight ranges or training recommendations. Likewise, BMI charts are inaccurate.
The AKC notes that females weigh 80-100 pounds (36-45 kg) and males 95-135 pounds (43-61 kg), which is better than what others recommend, but it’s not the end of the world if your dog this includes.
My female Rottweiler reaches the maximum height according to the breed standard.
And yet, when she barely lost 100 pounds, I noticed that it wasn’t perfect and that less would be better.
If you have a small or medium Rottie, they should not be at the end of the weight range.
Conversely, it may be okay for small individuals to fall below the estimated range.
I have seen small 75 pound females or 85 pound males achieve the body condition score.
Likewise, a BMI calculator for dogs would put my 4-year-old female at “normal” if she weighed 110 pounds.
That’s just ridiculous.
Do you need to be able to see a Rottweiler’s ribs?
No, you shouldn’t be able to see a Rottweiler’s ribs, but you should be able to feel them without a prominent layer of fat.
Seeing the ribs is quite unusual for Rottweilers, given their build and coat.
If you can see your Rottweiler’s ribs, contact your vet.
Severe underweight can also lead to health problems and may be associated with malnutrition.
Health problems can also be the reason a Rottweiler is underweight, so it is important to discuss this with your vet.
The body type of different breeding lines can vary drastically.
Working line Rottweilers are usually much leaner, which does not mean the dog is too thin.
Even if your Rottie is just a pet and likes to snuggle on the couch, being overweight can significantly harm his health.
You may want to evaluate whether their body shape is healthy and whether there are any symptoms that could indicate your Rottie is carrying a few extra pounds.
What other Rottweiler owners are interested in:
Disclaimer: This blog post does not and does not intend to replace veterinary attention. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows signs of illness, call your vet.