Before jumping right into life expectancy, let’s get to know our furry friend! We’ll also touch on the lifespan differences between males and females a little later on. The Rottweiler is also known as the Rottie, Rottweil Metzgerhund – Butcher’s Dog, or just simply the Rott. They are gentle, obedient, and all around good natured dogs. So the big question is, what is the life expectancy of the Rottweiler? Well, first we must understand what a Rottweiler really is and where they came from.
The Rottweiler was first believed to have been a descendant of the ancient Roman drover dog, which means they were herding dogs, a stock dogs, or working dogs. In other words, they have been man’s helpers for many years. They are believed to be kin to the Italian Mastiff, or just simply the Mastiff in general.
During the Roman Empire, the Rottweiler was used for driving and herding cattle as well as for guarding their group’s supplies from other rebel groups who may have an interest in stealing their supplies when they were sleeping or otherwise distracted. And even today, they are still used as guard dogs. They are not limited to just guarding, though! They also make excellent police dogs, search and rescue dogs, and guide dogs for the blind and/or disabled.
Yes, I know, I still have not gotten to the important issue in question: what is the life expectancy of a Rottweiler? Well, now that you know where they come from, maybe we should also discuss their health and well being.
The Rottweiler happens to be a relatively healthy and disease-free breed. But there are some common issues our big buddies tend to have.
One of the most common health issues is hip dysplasia, which is the alteration or malformation of the hip joint. This means the femoral head, which is the highest part of the thigh bone, does not sit properly in the hip socket. This can cause your dog a whole lot of discomfort and prevent him from doing some of his favorite activities, such as running around like a madman, and jumping the fence into your neighbor’s yard. But that isn’t the only health issue you need to be concerned about. All of these concerns must first be addressed before we can accurately determine the lifespan of your favorite companion.
Rottweilers have also been known to suffer from Osteochondritis dissecans, which is an issue in the shoulders. This condition occurs when a piece of cartilage, along with a sliver of bone underneath it, detaches from the end of the bone. This is yet another unfortunate disease that affects our buddy the Rottie. The most common cause of early death in Rottweiler’s is cancer, but more specifically, bone cancer. There is treatment available, but generally the prognosis is poor.
There are also several things we can do to help prevent some health issues that affect our Rottweilers. The Rottweiler is more susceptible than other breeds to parvovirus, which is a highly contagious infectious virus that generally attacks the intestines and causes vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and unfortunately very commonly, death. Early vaccination in young puppies radically reduces the risk of parvovirus, so always get your puppy vaccinated at a very young age to help prevent this awful ailment.
Rottweilers are also very prone to obesity. Along with obesity, there are some other common health issues which tend to come hand in hand when you are dealing with an overweight dog. Some of these common issues include arthritis, breathing problems, heart failure, reproductive problems, diabetes, skin disease, and overheating. This can generally be prevented by feeding your Rottweiler a proper diet and making sure they get plenty of exercise.
They Are Big!
While on the topic of obesity, we should also discuss what the common size of this large dog breed should be. Rottweilers are indeed a large breed, and their size does greatly depend on the sex of the dog. A male Rottweiler generally weighs 45-60 kilograms (99-130 pounds), and stands 61-69 centimeters (24-27 inches). The female Rottweiler is slightly smaller than her counterpart. She generally weighs 35-52 kilograms (77-115 pounds), and stands 56-63 centimeters (22-25 inches). These weights and heights are based on an average, healthy, adult Rottweiler.
As far as large breeds are concerned, generally the bigger the dog, the shorter the lifespan. A very small dog, such as a chihuahua, is known to live longer than a large breed dog like the Rottweiler. While a chihuahua may live to be 15-20 years, the average lifespan for the Rottweiler will be significantly lower.
Now knowing what we know about the Rottweilers health, size, and history, we can begin to determine their life expectancy. For a healthy, average size Rottweiler, we can expect our comrades to live 8-12 years. That is pretty good for a big dog! Also, it is common for a female Rottweiler to live an average of 2 years longer than a male.
So, if you are planning on adding a Rottweiler to your family, or already have one, you now know that you can expect your friend to live around 8-12 years. Please remember to take your Rottweiler to your vet regularly and monitor their diet and exercise so you will have a happy and healthy friend for a long time to come.