The Rottweiler’s distinctive black and tan coat is one of the most recognizable things about the breed. Unfortunately, many Rottweiler owners learn that this distinctive coat has a tendency to end up all over their home.
Why does my Rottweiler shed so much? Rottweilers shed so much because they have a short, thick, sleek, double coat that sheds seasonally as well as year-round. Your Rottweiler may be shedding excessively because of anxiety, fleas, allergies, a poor diet, hormone balance, or a medical condition.
Excessive Rottweiler shedding can make a mess of your home. Here is everything you need to know about why Rottweilers are prone to shedding, why your Rottweiler may be shedding more than average, and what you can do to deal with shedding in your home.
A Rottweiler’s Coat is Prone to Shedding
The primary reason that your Rottweiler is shedding so much is that the Rottweiler coat is particularly prone to shedding. Historically, Rottweilers haven’t spent as much time on the couch as they do today, and shedding wasn’t as much of a problem for past Rottweiler owners as it likely is for the modern Rottweiler owner. Here are a few features of a Rottweiler’s coat that make it particularly prone to shedding:
Many people are surprised to learn that the Rottweiler has a double coat since the coat is so short. Usually, when we think about double coats, we think about longer coats like a husky’s.
The Rottweiler is from extremely cold regions of Germany, and they developed a coat that could keep them warm even in the most inclement conditions. The Rottweiler’s lush coat is composed of a soft, dense underlayer that tends to be slightly lighter in color and a smooth, hard outer layer that completely covers it.
Rotties shed both layers of hair year-round, but they more prolifically twice a year. Rotties shed a lot as it gets warmer in the spring to get rid of their thick undercoat. They shed again in the fall as the undercoat grows in and pushes out old hair. Typically the spring shed is the worst.
The Rottweiler may have a lush double coat, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at them. The Rottweiler appears to have a very shiny, tight coats that shows off their musculature.
The look is not unlike the shiny appearance of a Doberman’s coat. To keep that sleek coat looking its best, Rottweilers shed their guard hairs regularly. By continuously shedding and regrowing their outer guard hairs, the hair does not have time to become broken or dull. Rather, it retains its shiny, new, sleek look constantly.
You may think that a dog with short hair would shed less, but in fact, they shed the same amount of hair as a longer-coated breed. Unlike a dog with longer hair which traps shed hair in the coat, a Rottweiler’s coat is short enough that the shed hair falls out all over your home.
That means that while your Husky and Rottweiler mix shed the same amount, you may actually notice more hair in your house from the Rottweiler than you do from the Husky.
Other Reasons Your Rottweiler May be Shedding
The Rottweiler has a coat that is very prone to shedding, but if you notice that your Rottweiler sheds more at some times than others not related to the changing seasons, there may be some other causes for shedding at play.
Many dogs, including Rottweilers, shed when they feel anxious. While Rottweilers are not a breed particularly prone to anxiety, they are a breed that tends to take many aspects of life pretty seriously.
Your Rottweiler may be stressed because there are new people or animals around, which can trigger their guarding instincts and create confusion about how they ought to behave. Your Rottweiler may also feel stressed in situations that most dogs find stressful, like going to the veterinarian or the groomer.
There are many reasons that your Rottweiler may feel anxious. If you notice that they shed a lot during particular times, it may be anxiety that’s the cause. Anxiety is even more likely to be at the root of your Rottweiler’s shedding if you noticed other indications of anxiety, like excessive panting, wide eyes, and a tight-lipped expression.
Rottweilers can suffer from environmental or dietary allergies. Allergies typically do not cause shedding in themselves, but they can cause itchiness and dry skin which will cause your dog to scratch and increase shedding.
Allergies often time with seasonal shedding in the spring, which can make it confusing to determine why exactly your Rottweiler is shedding a lot. If you notice not only shed hair but signs of dry skin like skin flakes such as dandruff, and if your Rottie is scratching a lot, it may be allergies that are at fault.
If your Rottweiler suddenly sheds more than usual, particularly if it’s in the summer when pests are more common and if they are not on flea preventative, fleas may be the cause of your Rottweiler shedding. Fleas irritate your dog’s skin, which causes them to scratch more and leads to shedding.
Many dogs experience an allergic reaction to flea bites, which will make the reaction even worse. If you notice little black specks, particularly on your dog’s back and at the base of the tail, or if you actually see fleas, it’s very likely that fleas are the cause of the problem.
The Wrong Diet
A poor diet can cause food allergies that can cause more shedding. Failing to give your dog the proper nutrients to maintain a lush coat can also cause them to lose hair.
If you’ve noticed that your Rottweiler begins shedding more after a diet change, you should consider switching to higher-quality food. Look for foods with soothing grains like oatmeal and oils that will help your dog’s coat, like fish oil and flaxseed oil.
Washing your dog too much or using a shampoo that is too harsh can cause your Rottweiler to shed more than usual. Rottweilers naturally have a slightly oily, water-resistant coat.
If you strip that oil from the coat more often than is necessary, it can result in the coat drying out and shedding more than usual. Always use a shampoo that is designed specifically for dogs and choose one that is very mild and ph balanced. You should only need to wash your Rottweiler once every three or four weeks or when they get dirty.
Here’s a clip on how to brush and bathe your Rottie using positive reinforcement.
An imbalance in hormones can cause more shedding than usual. Some dogs shed more when they are pregnant or after giving birth. Excessive shedding may also be a response to having your dog spayed or neutered.
You may notice your female dog shedding more when they go through heat cycles or a male dog begin shedding when they catch the scent of a female in heat.
If you notice shedding in particular areas or if the coat appears patchy, it may be that your Rottweiler has caught an infection in their skin. Bacterial skin infections, ringworm, fungal infections, and more can all result in uneven shedding.
Your dog may shed more over their entire body and have bald or thin patches in certain parts. Your dog will also likely scratch at the area.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Rottweilers may be particularly prone to inflammatory bowel disease, compared to some other breeds. IBS can cause similar symptoms in dogs as it does in people, like diarrhea, indigestion, vomiting, and gas.
However, IBS causes some signs in dogs that aren’t necessarily as easily recognizable in people, such as a poor coat. Similar to getting an insufficient diet, being affected by IBS means that your Rottweiler isn’t getting all the nutrients that they need, which can cause them to shed excessively.
Inflammatory bowel disease cannot be cured, but it can be managed with lifestyle and diet choices, so talk to your veterinarian about how to help your Rottie if you think that IBS is the culprit.
What to do About Rottweiler Shedding
If you want a pristine, hair-free home, the Rottweiler is probably not the breed for you. Rottweilers are incredibly devoted to their people, and they do not do well being left outside alone.
If you can’t handle your Rottweiler shedding in the house at all, you may have chosen the wrong breed. However, there are things that you can do to reduce the impact of Rottweiler shedding on your home and life:
Brush Outside Regularly
The best way to keep your Rottweiler from shedding inside is to make sure they do most of their shedding outside. Since Rottweilers don’t tend to trap hair in their coat easily, you may find that it is best to brush them outside every day or even several times a day to keep as much shed hair outside as possible.
A Slicker brush is a classic and highly functional tool for de-shedding your Rottweiler. However, it’s important that you pick up a self-cleaning slicker brush otherwise you’re going to have quite a challenging time actually getting the hair out of the brush. This Hertzko brush on Amazon is my go-to (and it also has more than 30,000 five-stars reviews so I’m not the only one).
You’re likely to find that grooming gloves are also extremely effective on a Rottweiler’s short, dense coat. A technique that works very well on Rottweilers is to use the gloves to rub all over and loosen hair and then use the slicker brush to remove hair. If you need a pair, these are my favorite grooming gloves on Amazon.
Using these two tools in combination can make it much easier for you to eliminate your Rottweiler’s shed hair while also keeping the coat in beautiful condition.
Get a Robot Vacuum
A robot vacuum can be an invaluable tool to help you clean up whatever hair does manage to drop inside. The Rottweiler’s short hairs are very easy for a robot vacuum to pick up. By running the robot vacuum daily, you can pick up those hairs before they stick to you and end up all over your furniture and in your bed. There are a ton of robot vacuums on the market, but my favorite is this budget-friendly one on Amazon.
If you want your Rottweiler to be on your couch or bed with you, but you don’t want their hair in your upholstery, it’s a very good idea to cover surfaces with a washable blanket. It is much easier to machine wash a blanket than try to get the hair out of your upholstery.
You can switch out blankets so that you don’t have to wash or clean every time you want your furniture to be hair-free
Keep Lint Rollers on Hand
For the inevitable times when you want to pet your Rottweiler and they leave a puddle of hair on you or the furniture, it’s wise to have a lint roller always available. Keep a couple on the coffee table, on end tables, in your car, and anywhere else where your Rottweiler may tend to shed.
Enjoy Your Rottweiler And a Nearly Hair-Free Home
With a Rottweiler in the house, you’ll always have some shed hair around. However, with the proper management and by understanding what makes Rottweilers shed, you can significantly reduce the volume of shed hair in your home.