One of the reasons we all love Rottweilers so much is because of their size. They’re big and soft and make the best cuddle buddies. It can be concerning if you don’t think your Rottweiler is growing fast enough. Small and Rottweiler aren’t usually two words that go together in the same sentence.
You’ll probably ask yourself, “Why is my rottweiler so small?”
There are a few things that can explain why your Rottweiler isn’t as big as you expect them to be. Your Rottie’s parents could be on the small side and don’t forget, females are always smaller. In some cases, small Rottweilers may be malnourished, not getting enough exercise, or could even be sick.
In this article, we’ll go over some explanations as to why your Rottweiler is so small. We’ll discuss whether your Rottweiler size is normal or abnormal and what you can do to make them grow larger. First, let’s go over how big a Rottweiler should be in the first place.
How Big Should A Rottweiler Be?
There are specific standards for how big a purebred Rottweiler should be.
Because Rottweilers are a large breed dog they don’t reach full maturity until about two years old. As adults, male Rottweilers generally weigh around 120 pounds while females weigh about 100 pounds.
If we’re talking about height, Rottweilers usually reach their full adult height at about nine months. For more information about just how fast Rottweilers usually grow, check out our article with all the important growth charts here.
Although these numbers are sort of a breed standard for weight and height, there is still a lot of variability even among purebred dogs. For example, American Rottweilers tend to be much smaller than European Rottweilers. Female American Rottweilers only weigh around 90 pounds while males only weigh about 100 pounds as adults.
If you have a mixed breed Rottie, these numbers go out the window. Your Rottie may be bigger or smaller than the breed standards and still be healthy depending on what they’re mixed with. Now, let’s get to some of the reasons why your Rottweiler is so small.
5 Reasons Why Your Rottweiler Might Be So Small
Small Rottweilers aren’t always a bad thing and some of the things that caused them to grow more slowly naturally. But, other causes of slow growth can be a sign that something is going wrong.
Reason 1: Mom And Dad Are Small Too
One of the biggest reasons why your Rottweiler is so small is that its parents are small too.
If you know your Rottweiler’s genes, you have a big advantage. You can ask about your pup’s parents and see how big they were. If both of your Rottweiler’s parents were small, odds are your pup will be small too. Genetics plays a huge role in how fast and big dogs will grow.
If your pup’s parents were on the smaller side don’t worry that your Rottweiler is little.
Reason 2: It’s A Female Rottie
Another natural explanation for why your Rottweiler is so small is that they’re female.
In general, female dogs tend to be smaller than male dogs. This is true for most other breeds like Great Pyrenees and even German shepherds. While there may be exceptions to this rule, expect your female dog to be smaller than a male dog of the same breeding.
This video shows some great examples of just how different female Rottweilers are from males.
Reason 3: They’re Not Getting Enough Food
A less normal reason for your Rottweiler to be small is that they’re malnourished.
Rottweilers need tons of food as they’re growing. Even though it might seem like you’re young Rottweiler can’t possibly eat more, maybe they need to. It’s always important to check the feeding guidelines for your dog’s food. Unfortunately, some people can mistake the meal amount for the daily amount of food and end up only feeding their dogs about half of what they should get.
It’s also important to make sure you’re feeling high-quality dog food. For example, puppies should get a special puppy diet while dogs with sensitive stomachs should be put on foods that have fewer ingredients overall. You should consult with your veterinarian if you think you may need to feed your dog something different.
Reason 4: They’re Not Getting Enough Exercise
If your dog isn’t getting adequate exercise it may affect how small or large they are.
Initially, you might think that if a dog doesn’t get enough exercise they’ll become overweight and larger than they should be. But, the opposite can often be true, especially for puppies who aren’t getting enough exercise. Young Rottweilers only need anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes of exercise per day depending on their age. Adults usually only need about 40 minutes to an hour of exercise.
When young Rottweilers don’t get enough exercise they aren’t able to build strong muscles. They may become weak and underdeveloped from lack of exercise. Rottweilers are naturally athletic and need to stay moving to maintain a healthy body weight.
Reason 5: They’re Anxious Or Ill
The last reason your Rottweiler may be so small is that they’re feeling anxious, stressed, or even ill.
A sudden loss of weight is usually a good indication that something like this is going on. Stress and anxiety from new situations can cause dogs to rapidly lose weight. Diseases like cancer can also cause dogs to lose weight and appear smaller very quickly. This sounds anything like you’re suddenly small Rottweiler, take them to a veterinarian ASAP.
How To Make Sure Your Rottweiler Gets Bigger
If you want to make sure that your Rottweiler crest big and strong there are a couple of things you can do to give them the best chance. Remember that some Rottweilers are just small by nature and no matter what you do they’ll never be as big as the breed standard.
Talk With Your Veterinarian
Any sudden weight gain or abnormal growth definitely deserves a chat with your veterinarian. Some things that make individual Rottweilers so small are treatable and can be easily fixed. Even if it’s not a quick fix your veterinarian can help you manage the issue and make sure your dog is as happy and healthy as possible.
Feed A High-Quality Diet
It’s obvious to say that so much of your dog’s growth has to do with the food that they’re eating.
Generally, commercial dog foods are safer to feed them at home diet unless you’re being very intentional with what your dog eats. Commercial dog foods contain vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in homemade diets. Another plus about commercially produced dog food is that the feeding guidelines are provided for you and you don’t have to guess if your dog is getting enough food or not.
Give Them Enough Exercise (But Not Too Much)
Lastly, you can help your dog grow big and strong by making sure to give them enough exercise.
We talked above about how important it is to give your Rottweiler plenty of exercise. On the other hand, it’s also important not to over-exercise your Rottweiler. Not only can overexertion lead to injuries for your pup but it can also make it hard for them to gain weight. There’s a sweet spot that you can find that will keep your pet happy and healthy.
Should You Be Worried If Your Rottie Is Smaller Than Normal?
There are so many acceptable reasons that can make your Rottweiler so much smaller than the average.
You don’t need to worry about a small Rottweiler if their parents were small, if they’re female, or if they’re mixed with another smaller dog breed. Plus, if you’re in the continental U.S., remember your Rottie will be smaller than European Rotties.
If your dog seems to get smaller suddenly or isn’t growing at a normal rate then you might start to worry. Causes of abnormal growth or sudden weight loss include anxiety, malnutrition, illness, or inadequate exercise.
Hopefully, we’ve answered your initial question, “Why is my Rottweiler so small?”
While it’s not a black-and-white answer for the most part it’s normal for some Rottweilers to be smaller than others. By observing your Rottweiler you can make an educated guess as to what might be causing them to be so small. If you think something is wrong, talk to your veterinarian. If not, know that even though your Rottweiler may be a little bit smaller they still love you just as much as a bigger dog would.