You snuggle up on the couch for a movie, get nice and comfortable…and suddenly notice that you’re covered in dog hair. You grab your favorite shirt to put on in the morning—and it’s covered in dog hair. You climb in bed at the end of a long day—and it’s covered in dog hair. More specifically, hair from a big, goofy Rottweiler!
We all love our Rotties, but wow are they good at shedding. Sometimes it seems that no matter how often you clean your floors, they always need to be done again.
So is there anything you can do to help minimize the layer of fur that seems to permanently cover every surface in your house?
In other words, how can you stop your Rottweiler from shedding so much?! Although Rottweilers will always shed a little, you can reduce the hair loss by keeping your Rottie’s coat clean and healthy with regular baths, brushing them on a frequent basis, making sure they’re eating a healthy diet, and reducing any extra stress in their lives.
We’re going to look a little closer at each of these no shedding solutions but first let’s learn a little bit more about the coat of a Rottie.
What is a Rottie’s Coat Like?
Rottweilers are super adaptable to their environment, and their coats reflect that. Typically, they range somewhere in the short to medium-length hair. Yes, even though they don’t have long-haired coats, they will definitely still shed!
Their coats also have two layers. Their outer coat is meant to be more a “guard coat,” that protects their skin from things like sunburn. The outer coat is more prominent on their neck and thighs and you’ve probably noticed that your Rottie’s fur is a little thicker there. You’ve probably also noticed that the little tufts of hair that can form and fall off, especially around the thighs. That means you’ll want to spend extra time brushing those spots.
However, Rottweilers also grow an undercoat to help protect them as well.
When it’s cold outside, they’ll grow a thicker undercoat in order to protect them and insulate them from the weather. But during the summer, they don’t need that coat. That’s the layer of coat your Rottie is losing when they shed, and it’s totally normal. Rottweilers’ undercoats are typically lighter-colored than their topcoat.
Rottweilers aren’t the only breed that has this kind of coat! German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Huskies also have this same double-layered coat. Like a Rottweiler coat, their coats also help protect them from the weather- both hot and cold.
Keep in mind that every Rottweiler’s coat is unique, so every coat will shed a little bit differently. Even their lifestyle can affect their coat. If your Rottie spends a lot of time outside, or if you live in an especially cold climate, their undercoats will grow a lot thicker which can also mean more hair in the house during shedding season!
Rottweiler Shedding Season and Blowing Coat
Rotties are considered to be moderate shedders when compared to other breeds. They won’t shed as much as a German Sheperd but you should still expect a least a little bit of shedding year-round from your Rottie.
However, because Rottweilers have two coats, they also go through a seasonal “coat blow” where their undercoat adapts to the change in season. While the timing can sometimes get thrown off by our climate-controlled world, the prime shedding season is usually fall and spring. As the weather gets warmer, Rottweilers will go through a massive shed of their winter undercoat to make room for their warm weather undercoat. The same thing happens as the weather gets cool and Rottweilers will shed their summer coat for their winter one.
The result is coat blowing which is when the undercoat sheds in large tufts of hair that you can literally pluck off your Rottweiler. You’ll need to step up your brushing game during this time and I highly picking up a Furminator off Amazon which you can do by clicking here. This brush is specifically designed to remove loose hairs from the undercoat and it does a great job.
How to Reduce Your Rottweiler’s Shedding
Because of the way their coats are built, Rotties will always shed some, especially during spring and fall.
However, there are a few things you can do in order to minimize the damage!
1. Brush Your Rottie on a Consistent Basis
For most of the year, you can keep up with shedding by brushing your Rottweiler about once a week with a soft brush. However, during Rottweiler shedding season when they start to blow their coat (spring and fall), you’ll want to increase the frequency of brushing. In some cases, it may be best to brush every day in order to keep up with the shedding.
Brushing will help get rid of all the loose hair and can especially make a difference in the undercoat where hair can really build up and “get stuck”. Make sure you’re brushing outside, so none of that loose hair ends up in your house. Your Rottweiler will also probably love the combination of outdoor time and a good brushing!
When brushing your Rottie, there are several different kinds of brushes you can use to achieve the best results and not all brushes are created equal!
I suggest starting with a rubber curry brush or a “shedding brush” as it’s sometimes called. This type of brush has soft rubber teeth that will help remove the old dead hair that’s just waiting to be shed, and it comes very handily during those heavy shedding seasons. You can check out one of my favorite rubber curry brushes on Amazon by clicking here. Not only does it have a whole pile of positive reviews, but it’s easy on the budget.
After the curry brush, I suggest working with something like the Furminator. This brush is specifically designed to remove hair from the undercoat and most pups seem to enjoy the feel of it. As I’ve already mentioned, this is perfect for the seasonal coat blow. You can check out the Furminator and see some reviews from happy Rottie parents on Amazon by clicking here.
You can also see the brush in action (along with a whole pile of Rottweiler undercoat) in this video:
2. Give Your Rottweiler Baths on a Regular Basis.
In most cases, how often your Rottweiler needs a bath depends on how active they are and as well as what their environment is like. If your Rottie spends a lot of time outdoors, enjoys rolling around in the mud, or loves to dig holes, he’ll need a bath fairly often.
But when it comes to shedding season, you may want to give an already clean Rottweiler a bath just to catch up on the hair!
However, be careful not to give your dog a bath too often as this can dry out your Rottweiler’s skin and coat, causing hairs to become brittle. Damaged, brittle hair is more likely to break and fall out which means even more shedding in your house!
In most cases, you can bathe your Rottweiler every four to six weeks. If you’re bathing your Rottie more frequently than that it’s important to use a quality and gentle shampoo that’s specifically made for dogs. I usually recommend this one from Vet’s Best on Amazon but if your goal is just to manage shedding (and not remove any dirt) you could even just give your dog a rinse with plain water.
3. Make Sure Your Rottie Is Eating a Healthy Diet
Dogs’ coats are heavily affected by their diet. A poor diet or some kind of nutritional deficit can lead to dry skin, brittle hair, and even more shedding. Your Rottweiler’s food intake depends on their age, weight, and activity level. If you need help finding the perfect food, you can check out some of our food reviews that are specific to Rottweilers but your veterinarian will always be the best resource.
Typically, Rottweilers need to eat a high-protein diet and get plenty of micronutrients as well. Omega-6 fatty acids can also help improve overall coat health, and thus reduce shedding. According to veterinarian Dawn Logas omega-6 fatty acids can “be helpful just to give a shine to the coat, add some luster back, and help replace the oils in the skin.”
In most cases, dogs are getting enough fatty acids from their diet but if your pup needs a little help you can always add in a fish oil supplement that’s specific to dogs. One of my favorites is this one from Vita Pet which you can see on Amazon. My pup is plenty happy to eat these right out of my hand!
4. Keep Your Rottweiler Hydrated
Even though it’s closely related to diet, hydration is something that’s often overlooked when it comes to managing shedding. According to AKC Pet Insurance, “Dehydrated skin is a major cause of hair loss and can increase the amount of loose fur you have to clean up around your home.”
But how much water is enough?
Fetch (part of WebMD) suggests one ounce per pound which means a 100 pound Rottweiler should get 12 and a half cups of water a day. So pay attention to how much your Rottweiler is drinking, especially during shedding season because our big pups will actually need a lot of water!
5. Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Stress can be a major factor when it comes to your Rottie’s excessive shedding.
But stress can be difficult to control.
While we might not think of our brave Rottweilers as feeling particularly stressed in their very loving home, many pups have some level of separation anxiety. These dogs may shed more as they anxiously wait for you to come home.
Separation anxiety is a complex issue and I suggest this resource from the ASPCA to help you learn more. But if you’re worried your pup has a mild case of separation anxiety or some other source of anxiety simply adding in distractions can go a long way. If you don’t already have one, a Kong toy can make a great distraction for most dogs. Just put a little bit of their favorite treat, or even kibble inside, and let them go to work. You can pick up a Kong on Amazon by clicking here.
Exercise is another great way to manage stress and get your Rottweiler outside so they can shed there (instead of on your couch). It’s hard to be anxious when your Rottie is physically and mentally tired! We’ve got a list of our favorite Rottweiler games that are worth checking out if you need some ideas!
6. Create A Safe Space for Hair
Okay, this isn’t exactly going to reduce your Rottweiler’s shedding but it will help keep your house a little more hair-free.
Make sure your Rottweiler has a comfortable place to hang out and lay down that isn’t in the main area of the house. Of course, Rottweilers will often want to be in the center of the action so they aren’t required to spend all their time there but this can really make difference during the heavy shedding and coat blowing season.
You don’t need anything fancy, just a decent dog bed and a spare blanket.
Don’t Shave Your Rottweiler (Even Though It’s Tempting)
No matter what method you choose to take to minimize your Rottweiler’s hair loss, do NOT shave or clip your Rottie’s coat. Since Rottie’s have double-layered coats, shaving or clipping too closely disturbs the natural protection the coat is meant to offer.
After a shaving-clipping episode, a Rottweiler could potentially have some issues as their coat grows back in. It may not look the same as before, and it could even grow in patches. It could also trigger heavier shedding because the undercoat will most likely grow back in thicker.
When All Else Fails…
If you’re the owner of a Rottweiler, you’re always going to have to deal with some degree of shedding, even if you are following all of the steps above.
In order to deal with the natural amount of shedding from your Rottie, invest in a good vacuum. Chances are you’ll be using it a few times a week. Better yet, find a vacuum that comes with a furniture attachment. That will make it easy to clean the furniture after your Rottweiler spends some time on the couch or in your favorite armchair.
Also, buy yourself some handy lint rollers. This is a quick and easy way to remove stray hairs from clothes, blankets, furniture, or anywhere else your Rottweiler’s hair may land. Keep a few of those around in your house, car, or even your office.
How Does Shedding Even Work?
All dogs, Rottweilers included, go through a hair growth and shedding cycle. This cycle has four phases:
- The Anagen Stage: This is the expansion stage when the hair grows. In Rotties, this stage is fairly short.
- The Catagen Stage: This is the regression stage, when all the hair stops growing and reaches its full maturity.
- The Telogen Stage: This stage is a little more complicated. As the old hair nears the end of its lifespan and starts breaking down, the new coat will begin growing in.
- The Exogen Stage: This is the very end of the cycle, where the old, dead hair falls out in order to be fully replaced by the new hair—also known as shedding.
This cycle occurs all year long, but it will happen more drastically during spring and fall, with the changing seasons.
That’s when you’ll most likely notice your Rottie shedding the most. If you pay very close attention, you can actually pick up which cycle your Rottweiler is on and have your brush and lint roller ready!
If your Rottie sheds too heavily during other times of the year, there could be another factor at play. We wrote extensively about all the possible factors in this article explaining why your Rottweiler may be shedding so much. It’s worth checking out so you can get the full picture of Rottie shedding!
If you own a Rottie, you should probably own a vacuum too. They’re awesome dogs, but they will shed, especially during spring and fall seasons. Be prepared and knowledgeable on how to minimize shedding, and you can make the best of it.