Rottweiler Breeding: Everything You Need to Know
Rottweilers are a recognized breed for their attributes of being very muscular and beautiful dogs with distinct markings.
They are lovingly called Rotties by their owners and family members. This breed is very popular, and proper breeding practices can produce beautiful litters of puppies.
You must remember that you want a female and male Rottweiler to be safe during the breeding process because some younger dogs can be aggressive while breeding.
German Rottweilers and American Rottweilers
The original German Rottweilers were held to very close standards of the breed with the correct temperament, confirmation, testing, and health standards. The American Rottweilers have much less rigid standards for dogs.
This means that German Rotties are usually more sought after because they more closely represent the dogs as the breed was first recognized.
This is not to say that there are not Great American Rottweilers bred yearly, but the American versions are generally more masculine and shorter in height than the German Rotties.
Both German and American Rottweilers have the same markings of a black body with tan markings on their chest, muzzle, cheeks, and cute little “eyebrows” of tan over their eyes that give them an intelligent appearance.
Rottweilers, as a whole, are very energetic and active breeds of dogs, and they are very loving and loyal to their families when they are properly trained and socialized from a young age.
This breed of dog can be a bit stubborn when training them, and they can be very silly at times, but they make lovely four-legged family members.
Checklist Before Breeding Your Rottweiler
As a responsible breeder and in best practices, you should always have both parents thoroughly checked over by a veterinarian for any signs of health issues.
All breeds of dogs have some health issues that are common to them, and they’ve been inherited from their bloodlines.
You don’t want to breed dogs that will have puppies with a chance of being unhealthy as a whole, and you should be aware of any health concerns before the breeding process.
Rottweilers are generally healthy, but some health issues can be present in a small percentage.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) can be present in a Rottie. This condition can lead to night blindness when the dog is between 2 and 5 years old, progressing until the dog is blind within about a year of night blindness.
Because Rotties are fairly large dogs, they may have either elbow dysplasia or hip dysplasia that affects the front or rear joints as a genetic disorder.
If you see signs of limping or bunny hopping when it first occurs in a dog, it is possible to have it corrected through physical therapy or surgery.
Rottweilers can have a type of cancer, such as bone cancer, which can eventually become fatal, and heart disease of aortic stenosis, which overworks the heart and leads to death.
Fortunately, your veterinarian can predict most health issues after performing x-rays and blood work on your Rottweiler, so you know if you should breed your dog or not.
The Breeding Process
When breeding Rottweilers, you should properly take care of both the male and female so that neither dog is hurt.
They should both be on a slip-resistant surface, and if the female is bigger than the male, the male needs a stair riser to reach her without putting too much stress on the female’s back.
If it’s the first time for a female to breed, you should put a muzzle on her because she may feel uncomfortable and try to bite the male during the breeding process. This also protects you from the female trying to nip people around her.
Dogs can be overly aggressive during their first breeding, so it helps one person to hold the female’s head to keep her steady without slipping out from under the male.
The male may also need some assistance and guidance to be in the right position for breeding. When the male penetrates the female, her muscles will contract and hold the union of the two dogs together.
When the breeding is complete and the male stops thrusting, you should turn the dogs around, so they face opposite directions.
This eases the weight of the male on the female’s back, and as the male unswells, he will be able to slip out of the female.
Your next move is to put the female in a separate room with the door closed in a quiet area for her to recover.
Only breed your female after 2 years of age and when she is in heat twice a year. When the breeding process is successful, you will see a swelling in the female’s vaginal area, and a month later, her nipples will become easier to see as they start to grow slightly and protrude from her stomach.
Female Rottweilers, like any females, can have symptoms much like morning sickness in humans. They carry their litter for 58 to 68 days before giving birth.
Assembling the Whelping Box
Rottweilers usually have 8 to 10 puppies, and the mother needs a nice area to have them so that she feels comfortable–especially if it’s her first litter.
Instead of building an elaborate wooden box, many dog owners enlist the help of a kiddie pool for their whelping box with a few additions to be safe for both the mom and the puppies.
You’ll need a large plastic kiddie pool, zip ties, a drill, and foam pool noodles. You should find a pool that is 46 inches in diameter so that the mother will have enough room and won’t tend to lay on the newborn puppies.
Measure 4 inches upward from the bottom of the pool and mark the area with a marker.
Place a pool noodle with the bottom on the 4-inch mark and make another mark at the top of the pool noodle. Continue measuring and marking around the entire circumference of the pool.
You will make a set of two marks about four inches apart for each pool noodle that it takes to go around the swimming pool.
Drill a hole in each of the marks on the pool. Set your pool noodles in place and put a zip tie through the top and bottom holes on each end of the pool noodles to hold them in place.
This is what is called a pig rail. It keeps the puppies from being right at the outer edges of the kiddie swimming pool, so the mother can’t accidentally lay on them and smother them without realizing it.
Then you should place a washable incontinence pad at the bottom of the pool. It will give traction to the puppies, and you can easily take them out and wash them while replacing them with another pad.
It’s important to keep the whelping box, puppies, and mom all as clean as possible without using chemicals to clean them.
Helping During Whelping
Some female Rottweilers need no help whatsoever when they are delivering their puppies.
However, others may need a hand from you–especially if it’s her first litter of pups. When the pups arrive, they are in a fluid-filled sac. The mother will break open the sac and lick the pups to stimulate them to start breathing.
If your dog doesn’t break open the sac, you may need to help her with the first few puppies, so she understands what to do.
Take a towel, wipe the puppy to remove the sac, and then wipe the puppy’s face and nose. If the puppy isn’t breathing, wipe its sides vigorously to stimulate it to start breathing.
If the puppy doesn’t start breathing, hold it firmly and swing your arms as if you are hitting a ball with a baseball bat. This will toss any fluid in the lungs outward so the puppy will start breathing.
You may need to repeat this process a few times for the puppy to start breathing.
As your female Rottie has more puppies, she may be too tired to take care of each one as they are born because sometimes the puppies are born close to one another in time.
You can help her with the babies to clean them up, get them to breathe, and then place them near the mom’s tummy but out of the way, so she doesn’t lay on them.
Your female Rottweiler may need a helping hand from you for the first time she breeds and for assistance when she has her first litter of pups.
Some don’t require any help because it comes naturally to them from their instincts. Whether you need help or not, a litter of healthy puppies is the goal when you breed your dog.