Hpw long do Rottweilers live? As with any breed, the answer may depend on a lot of things. However, there are a few things that we can keep in mind to answer this question correctly. Read on to learn more about Rotties’ lifespan and what to expect.
Do Rottweilers Have a Relatively Short Lifespan?
According to RottweilerPuppyDog, Rottweilers live eight to 12 years. A closer look at the breed’s origins may reveal some facts about this dog’s lifespan.
What Do We Know About the Rottweiler’s History?
Rottweilers have had a place in history that may go as far back as ancient Rome. Similar dogs in ancient were drover’s dogs whose tasks included protecting and herding livestock, as well as hunting wild boar and even smaller prey.
According to Wag Walking, Rottweilers have probable common ancestry with the Cane Corso, a descendent of the Italian mastiff’s early ancestors. This ancestry contributes to many of its traits.
Besides hunting and guarding livestock, Rottweilers proved helpful for protecting army supplies against theft. The large size that can result in a threatening appearance has helped make these dogs effective deterrents against would-be thieves.
In recent times, these dogs have evolved from being used primarily for stock work, guarding, and hunting to being used as service dogs for the disabled, search and rescue, and police dogs. They are a versatile breed in all settings.
These dogs have also been used for hunting, both in the past and in the present, as seen in this video. This breed’s size helps contribute to its overall versatility.
The demands that this breed faces call for a larger size; however, there is a downside to the large size that these dogs enjoy. Selective breeding has somewhat contributed to some health issues that can shorten a Rottweiler’s lifespan.
Has Selective Breeding Harmed Rottweilers?
Selective breeding, also known as selecting dogs for mating based on preferred characteristics, has been a part of dog breeding for centuries. However, this type of breeding reduces the number of dogs available for future breeding.
When there are fewer dogs being bred, there is a bigger chance of a dog being bred to another dog that has inherited health conditions. Although most breeders try to minimize these effects, there is always a risk for these issues being passed on.
Without early screening to detect some of these conditions, serious health issues may occur without little warning. The health conditions that may shorten a Rottie’s lifespan are manageable, however, understanding makes a difference.
What Are Typical Rottweiler Health Issues?
Although Rottweilers generally enjoy good health, they can have some severe health conditions that may affect their average eight to twelve-year lifespan. Understanding what health conditions your Rottweiler may face will help prepare you.
Rottweilers are somewhat prone to aortic stenosis, which narrows the blood vessels supplying to the heart. The extra workload that the decreased blood flow places on the heart takes a toll on this organ, potentially causing a heart attack at some point.
Veterinarians can usually detect aortic stenosis early on with Doppler echocardiograms or X-rays. Preventative measures are easier to take before the dog has severe complications that are often costly and have a poor prognosis.
According to Canna Pet, cancer is the leading killer of Rottweilers. Lymphoma is the most common kind of cancer in Rottweilers, although bone, liver, and spleen cancer are also somewhat common, with varying outcomes following treatment.
Regular veterinary checkups can help catch cancer in its earliest stages. Many types of cancer in Rotties respond well to chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Veterinarians still have yet to learn why dogs get cancer, aside from genetics.
The Obesity Issue in Rottweilers
Rottweilers are large, powerful dogs that should have a healthy build under ideal circumstances. Rotties with an active lifestyle burn weight easily. However, obesity is a very real problem for these dogs because of their larger size.
According to pet writer Kristina Lotz, one Rottie in the UK made news for reaching 150 pounds. Although such cases are relatively rare, they serve as an important warning.
Obese Rottweilers are more likely to end up with heart conditions or diabetes. Although diabetes is not a death sentence for dogs in and of itself, this condition can lead to additional health problems that can shorten your Rottie’s lifespan.
Senior Rottweilers who are overweight are at a higher risk for life-threatening health problems. Owners who are concerned about their Rottie’s weight can use a few simple criteria to make sure their dog’s weight is within a healthy range.
Rottweilers who are so overweight that they do not get around easily are likely to have severe problems because of their weight. Difficulty with grooming itself is another sign of a severe weight problem, and no defined body shape is another.
A Rottie that is a healthy weight will have a defined waistline and have a good agility level. Although weight alone is not the determining factor for a dog’s lifespan, it is a factor that plays a substantial role in your dog’s health.
Do Size and Breeding Matter for Rottie Health?
According to RottweilerHQ, a Rottweiler’s lifespan is long relative to its size.
Many breeds of a similar or larger size have little chance of seeing 12.
Male Rottweilers enjoy an average weight of 100 to 130 pounds, while females average 75 to 115 pounds. Female Rotties often live an average of two years longer than males. The slightly smaller size of females may play a role in the lifespan.
Breeding plays a substantial role in the health of these dogs. Rottweilers are a popular breed, which has lead to an increase in the number of unethical breeders, as well as Rotties in rescue with unknown breeding origins.
Reputable Rottweiler breeders avoid breeding from lines known to produce dogs with heart conditions, cancer, or other health issues that can shorten lifespans. Dogs from these lines have been bred for their physical fitness and working abilities.
Dogs that come from unethical breeders are usually bred without concern for health or working abilities. Money is the strongest motivator, and the Rotties’ health may suffer because of it. Such breeding practices may lead to dogs with lesser lifespans.
Prospective Rottweiler owners who intend to acquire a dog from a breeder ought to inquire about genetic testing and learn about how long other dogs in the same line lived. These practices may increase the odds of getting a dog that lives longer.
In the case of rescue Rotties, inquiring about as much of the dog’s known history as possible is always a good idea. Any dog, regardless of origin, should have regular veterinary care to ensure its maximum health and wellness.
How Long Do Rottweilers Live? – It Depends on Several Things
Although many feel that Rottweilers have a short life span, they live for an average or better lifespan than many dogs of their size. Larger dogs, especially those the size of Rotties, generally live for a shorter time than smaller dogs.
This breed’s history and the demand for bigger, more muscular dogs have led to increased selective breeding. A smaller gene pool, coupled with greater overall demand, has increased the numbers of Rotties with shortened lifespans.
Selecting a dog from a healthy line, when possible, regular veterinary care, and an active lifestyle will help keep a Rottweiler healthy. When these dogs are healthier, they have a better chance of reaching or exceeding the typical maximum lifespan.