If you’re considering adding a Rottweiler to your family, you may wonder about their shedding habits. Shedding is a natural process for many dog breeds, but the amount and frequency of shedding can vary greatly from breed to breed. As a Rottweiler owner or potential owner, it’s important to understand whether these dogs shed and what to expect regarding shedding frequency and volume. In this article, we’ll explore the shedding habits of Rottweilers and offer tips for managing their shedding to keep your home clean and your pup healthy. Whether you’re a first-time Rottweiler owner or simply curious about their grooming needs, this article will provide valuable insights into the shedding habits of these beloved dogs. So do Rottweilers shed? How much do Rottweilers shed? Let’s find out.
Spoiler alert: Yes, they shed.
But, as always, there is more to it than the short answer, so read on to find out more.
To understand why Rottweilers shed so much, it’s essential to dig into the science of shedding a little bit. We won’t go far, just enough to help us understand our pooches.
Why do dogs shed?
Your dog’s coat – explained
A dog’s coat will be (for the most part) single or double-layer. Double-layer coats, or 2-layer coats, consist of an undercoat and an overcoat.
It’s interesting to note that, technically, some dogs have hair while others have fur. And since we’re making generalizations, dogs with fur shed faster than dogs with hair. Dogs with hair have a likelier chance of being hypoallergenic, even though the actual fur or hair is not a factor here (but rather the dander produced).
To keep this simple, I will refer to it as “hair” throughout this article unless the difference is meaningful in what is being discussed.
The interesting lifecycle of a dog hair
Each dog’s hair grows differently, and, significantly, some dogs have continuously growing hair, and others have hair with shorter lifespans. The longer the lifespan of the hair, the less shedding (usually). A Poodle, for instance, has hair that continuously grows and never sheds. There are reports of Poodles with the same strands of hair upwards of 4+ years.
There are well-defined phases in the lifecycle of hair growth. If you can believe it:
- Anagen phase – hair is actively growing and will continue to grow until it reaches its genetically programmed length. Some dogs, such as Poodles, have no end length, so the hair can conceivably continue growing.
- Catagen phase – hair has stopped growing, and the follicle experiences degenerative effects.
- Telogen phase – hair falls out and is replaced by new hair; technically speaking, the telogen hair falls out and is replaced by anagen hair.
Rottweilers are a telogen-dominant breed, meaning – for the most part – their hair is always falling out. Contrast that to an anagen-dominated breed such as a poodle whose hair is always growing, and you can see the stark difference between a dog that sheds a lot (Rottweiler) and a dog that sheds very little (Poodle).
By the way, all dogs shed, even Poodles. They just shed less. Even “hairless” dogs, such as the Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog) or the Peruvian Inca Orchid breed, still have some hair and still shed.
So do Rottweilers have hair or fur?
Rottweilers have fur.
Does the weather or season affect how much a dog sheds?
We are all familiar with dogs shedding hair as the weather warms up. We have a red dog, and we still don’t know what she is to this day. She loses large splotches of her hair every year, and she looks terrible.
She goes to the groomer, or my wife breaks out the clippers.
As summer ends, her coat tends to fill in thicker again, getting her ready for winter.
Interestingly, this has less to do with the temperature changes and more to do with daylight. Shorter daylight indicates it’s time to thicken up the fur, even in climates where it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be cold.
For the true geeks out there, it’s called the photoperiod and refers to the number of light hours in the day, and it doesn’t matter if that light is natural or artificial.
We consider this seasonal shedding, and most dogs do at least some. The more hair they have, the more noticeable it is, but even dogs with relatively thin coats of hair will still do this, but it may not be as noticeable on the dog itself.
Dogs also shed to get rid of damaged hair. Think of us and our skin. We also replace our skin regularly, although we don’t really notice it. It’s a way to get rid of old skin, scars, etc. Dog hair is the same way. It gets old and needs to be replaced. Nature takes care of that for them (and for us!).
Your dog’s diet can also affect how much they shed. If their diet consists of good, healthy choices, their coat will reflect their health and must be replaced less often. When a dog’s diet is unhealthy, its hair isn’t healthy either, so it will shed more. You’ll notice this on stray dogs who have not been eating well and may be sick.
What to know about Rottweilers and shedding
The Rottweilers coat – explained
If you’ve looked around our site, you’ll see we have been rescuing dogs for over 20 years. In all that time, we’ve only had a single Rottie named Cody. So our personal experience with Rottweilers shedding is limited to Cody, but we have had friends who own Rotties that confirmed our common experience.
A Rottweiler’s coat is a defining feature of the breed, and it is one of the things that make them so distinctive. Rottweilers have a short, dense, and shiny coat that is typically black with tan markings on the face, chest, legs, and eyebrows.
The Rottie’s coat is double-layered, with a thick and soft undercoat that provides insulation and a coarser outer coat that protects them from the elements. This double coat makes Rottweilers well-suited for colder climates and also helps to protect them from injuries and scratches.
The texture of a Rottweiler’s coat is smooth and glossy and relatively easy to maintain. They require regular brushing to remove loose hair and dirt, but they do not need to be bathed frequently unless they get particularly dirty.
Overall, the Rottweiler’s coat is an important part of the breed’s appearance and serves a practical purpose in protecting them from the elements and injuries. It is also one thing that makes them so beloved by their owners, as it adds to their rugged and imposing appearance.
And they always shed.
Now that we understand the hair lifecycle, I think of the Rottweiler anagen phase as measured in minutes. That’s how much they shed.
Did I mention they shed a lot?
Because they do
You’ll read in some places that Rottweilers don’t shed very much. I don’t care if they are shedding hair, fur, or carrots…they shed a lot.
Rottweilers constantly shed, year-round, although it will increase when the hours of the day get shorter.
Their hair is short, however, so less noticeable. You won’t see long strands of hair as you would with a collie. So the individual hairs are less noticeable, but they are there.
…and they’ll pile up!
How much do Rottweilers shed on average
As mentioned, we’ve had Rottweilers for many years. Multiple Rottweilers for many years. So we’ve had the chance to go through the shedding cycle many times.
I can confidently say that Cody, our 80-pound Rottweiler, sheds approximately 300 pounds of hair each month.
Just kidding, of course.
It just feels that way when you sweep the floor.
Rottweilers do shed. Like all dogs with fur, they will lose hair throughout the year, and they typically have two heavy shedding seasons in the spring and fall. During these times, they will shed their undercoat to prepare for the changing weather.
Regular brushing can help to manage shedding and keep loose hair under control. A good brushing once or twice a week with a slicker brush or a de-shedding tool can help to remove loose hair and keep the coat looking healthy and shiny. It can also help to minimize shedding around the home.
While Rottweilers do shed, their short coat and relatively low shedding frequency mean that they are not excessively high-maintenance when it comes to grooming. With regular brushing and basic care, their coat can be kept in good condition, and shedding can be managed effectively.
There’s no way to measure “how much” a Rottweiler, or any dog, actually sheds. The hair will fall off inside the house, outside the house, in the car, in the bathtub, or anywhere else, so measuring it would be near impossible.
What is important is to notice if your dog is shedding too much, and “too much” can really only be defined as “more than normal” for your dog.
Over time you will get in tune with the shedding cycles, so if something is off, you’ll notice.
Splotches of bald spots or an uneven look to your dog’s coat may indicate an unusual amount of shedding, resulting from fleas, stress, sicknesses such as mange, skin infections, and even sunburn.
So spend time noticing how much Fido sheds normally so you can pick up on when things aren’t normal.
Grooming tips for Rottweilers
Not much to say here other than bathe and brush regularly.
Brushing regularly is the best defense against having a house full of loose Rottweiler hair.
In the summer months, our pups spend a lot of time beating each other up in the yard, so we hose them down frequently. Brushing at this time is a welcome treat for them. We have quite a few brushes around here, but the two we use the most are Pet Grooming Gloves (good for cats and dogs) and the HOP Short Hair Dog Brush. I prefer the glove approach as it lets me bond better with the pups, but I believe the HOP short hair brush is more effective. The silicon side of the brush is kind of like a hair squeegee if you can imagine.
As the weather cools off, the baths are done inside about once a month. Lord knows sometimes it stretches out over a month, but we try! One of the best “anti-shed” shampoos you can buy is TropiClean Lime & Coconut Deshedding Dog Shampoo for Shedding Control – great shampoo, hugely popular with great reviews, and is safe and effective on dogs and cats.
Any bath is followed by brushing, but we also brush pretty regularly between baths.
How to reduce the amount of shedding from your Rottweiler
Thank you for asking how to reduce, rather than how to stop, the shedding.
Dogs have been shedding their hair and fur for thousands of years so we aren’t likely to stop that anytime soon. In fact, any characteristic with that much momentum will be difficult to alter in any meaningful way, meaning even slowing it down is tough.
There are certain foods you can buy that are purported to slow the process, but, again, you are fighting against thousands of years of evolution. Look for foods or treats with Omega-3 shedding supplements if you want to try this. Just remember that it won’t stop shedding, but it can help keep your dog’s skin and hair to the point where it sheds less.
We do two things to help in this respect.
- First, keep the dogs healthy. A healthy dog will shed less. You see strays and feral dogs with bad-looking coats. Healthy dogs have nice coats, and they won’t shed as much.
- Secondly, give up the fight and enjoy the dog. If nothing else, it gives you a great excuse to spend some time brushing your pooch, which you and the pooch will both love.
Hair vs. fur
Fur and hair are made up of the same exact protein, keratin, which makes them scientifically identical. Incidentally, this is not just found in dogs – it is the same protein found in human hair (and skin and nails).
How to deal with excess fur and pet mess around the house
Once the mess is in the house, it’s the same as dirt or anything else your dogs are tracking in so dealing with it is the same. Sweep it up, vacuum, etc.
What I would say here is the best offense is a good defense. Do what you can to prevent the hair from accumulating in the first place, and the two basic things here are frequent brushing and ensuring your dog is healthy.
What does blowing coat mean?
This is also called “seasonal shedding”, which is pretty easy to interpret. When “blowing coat”, your dog is shedding his or her winter coat in preparation for summer. Depending on the breed, this can result in much more hair falling out than normal (undercoat and overcoat).
What makes some dogs hypoallergenic?
The issue of hair vs. fur doesn’t come into play as to whether a dog is hypoallergenic. Hair and fur is made of the same thing – scientifically, they are identical. What comes into play is the dander or dead skin (mostly) held by the hair or fur. Fur tends to hold more dander than hair.
What are some other heavy-shedding dogs?
Conclusion – do Rottweilers shed (and how much?)
Do Rottweilers shed? Yep, they sure do. How much? Quite a bit, in my opinion, although others seem to disagree. It’s not impossible that some Rottweilers shed more than others, and maybe Cody just shed more than others. Dunno – in my experience, though, they shed a good bit.
But, they are worth every loose hair you are forced to sweep up. Rottie’s are the best.