Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your Rottweiler puppy so he lives a long healthy life and seldom needs to visit the vet. Learn about the most common health problems and issues in Rottweilers, the best dog food diet for feeding Rottweiler puppies and adult dogs, the truth about vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and natural health care.


11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, my best-selling dog health book

Rottweiler dog breed

Rottweiler Health Problems and Raising a Rottweiler Puppy to be Healthy

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013

Quiz – How Long Will Your Dog Live?
How To Raise a Healthy Dog
Feeding the Best Dog Food
Feeding the 2nd Best Dog Food
Vaccinations: Needed or Not?
Are You Sure Your Vet Is Good?

The most common health problems in Rottweilers:

The Rottweiler Club tried to conduct a health survey of their breed, but out of over 1200 questionnaires sent to their own club members, only 225 owners responded – a 19% response rate. Which means that over 80% of owners wouldn't reveal anything about their dogs' health. Still, the 225 owners who did respond gave information about over 1000 Rottweilers, so some health data was obtained.

Of the deceased dogs reported in the survey, cancer claimed the lives of 43% of them. The most common cancer in Rottweilers is osteosarcoma (bone cancer), followed by lymphosarcoma, then mastocytoma, melanoma, histiosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma.

Orthopedic diseases are rampant in Rottweilers: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cruciate ligament rupture, panosteitis, osteochondritis, intervertebral disk disease, wobbler's syndrome, and luxating patella.

  • The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 85,300 Rottweilers and found 20.5% dysplastic. That's bad, and the true rate is even higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation.
  • Elbows are much worse – 41% of 9400 elbow X-rays were dysplastic – the 2nd WORST rate of 82 breeds. Again, the true rate is higher.

Heart disease (mostly sub-aortic stenosis, but also cardiomyopathy) is a very serious problem in Rottweilers.

As with all deep-chested breeds, Rottweilers are at higher-than-normal risk for the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat – in fact, of all breeds, they are the 11th most likely to develop it.

The most common disease of the hormonal/endocrine system is hypothyroidism. According to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, up to 14% of Rottweilers have low thyroid levels. Addison's disease is a growing concern in the breed, and diabetes occurs occasionally.

Skin diseases in Rottweilers include allergies (which cause itchy skin) bacterial skin infections (pyoderma), non-tumorous growths (sebaceous cysts), demodectic mange, and occasionally vitiligo.

Colitis (inflammatory bowel disease) is a common cause of chronic diarrhea in Rottweilers. Pancreatic insufficiency is another digestive disease that has been reported.

Epilepsy is a concern, as is blood-clotting disease (von Willebrand's).

Veterinary ophthalmologists report that 1 in every 4 Rottweilers has an inherited eye disease, especially cataracts, retinal dysplasia, eyelid abnormalities (entropion or ectropion), or progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

Rottweiler puppies are more susceptible to parvovirus/coronavirus than most other breeds.

Other health problems reported in Rottweilers include autoimmune hemolytic anemia, polyneuropathy, urinary infections, and kidney disease.


You probably want to know if you can prevent those health issues from happening to YOUR Rottweiler.

Yes, often you can.

  1. Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Rottweilers today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Rottweiler puppy who is genetically healthy.
  2. Other health problems are environmental, which means they're caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Rottweiler puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.

Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Rottweiler puppy or adult dog:

Dog lifespan quiz How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.


Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Rottweiler lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Rottweiler
The best diet for feeding your Rottweiler is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Rottweiler. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Rottweiler
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Rottweiler. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Rottweiler puppy really need? Does your adult Rottweiler need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what some vets aren't telling you....


Information on choosing the best vet for your Rottweiler. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Information on spaying your Rottweiler. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Rottweiler.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.