White Rottweiler: What Is Up With This Unusual Pup?
The white Rottweiler is so rare that most Rottweiler breeders have never seen one. Reputable Rottweiler breeders do not try to breed white Rottweiler dogs. There are many reasons why, but the most urgent is dog breed health.
However, it is possible for the rare white Rottweiler to be born. Because dog breeders still do not know everything there is to know about canine genetics, surprises still occur.
But it is important to understand that an all white coat is not the norm for the Rottweiler breed. If you see a white Rottweiler advertised for sale, you will want to read this article first before making a decision to adopt that puppy or rescue dog.
The all white Rottweiler is so close to nonexistent it might as well be. The truth is, Rottweilers may have patches of white fur, but the breed genes do not include all white-coated dogs.
So then how can a white Rottweiler even exist? There are three possible avenues to produce a white Rottweiler. The first is albinism. The second is intense in-breeding. The third is mixed breeding. We will discuss all three options in this article.
See a White Rottweiler Puppy
This short YouTube video gives you a glimpse of the amount of white fur that is typical for the Rottweiler breed.
An all white Rottweiler is incredibly rare. And there can be significant health concerns and/or concerns about lineage purity. In this article, we will go into detail about what to know about a white Rottweiler.
How Can a Rottweiler Be White
To understand how a Rottweiler could be born white, you need to understand just how intricate canine color genetics can become. So let’s stop for a moment to learn where the white coat color comes from and how it is created in the canine genome.
VCA Animal Hospital explains that there are two basic color pigments in the canine genome: eumelanin and phaeomelanin.
Eumelanin is the black canine coat color pigment
Eumelanin is the main color pigment. This pigment produces basic black and all the dilute versions of black. Eumelanin controls not just coat color but also eye color, eye rim color, paw pad color, gum color, and skin color.
Phaeomelanin is the red/yellow canine coat color pigment
Phaeomelanin is the second color pigment in the canine genome. This pigment controls only coat color. It produces red, yellow, and all the various dilute shades.
Of course, neither of these produces a white color. So where does white come from? As Dog Coat Colour Genetics highlights, white is not a pigment at all, but rather an absence of any pigment.
In other words, any area on a dog’s body that shows up white does so because the pigment-producing cells did not produce any pigment.
In hair, the result of lack of pigment is white. In the skin, gums, eyes, eye rims, and paw pads, it often appears pink.
So Does This Mean a White Rottweiler Is An Albino
The natural question then becomes, if a Rottweiler is born white, is this dog an albino?
Albino is a very rare genetic condition that causes the total absence of pigment.
As VDR Rottweilers emphasizes, true albinism in Rottweilers is extremely rare and can be dangerous for the dog.
There is a number of very serious health issues associated with deliberately breeding for an all white coat in Rottweilers, including blindness, deafness, gastrointestinal issues, eye malformations, and nervous system issues.
For this reason, if you come across a breeder that is advertising pure white Rottweilers or albino Rottweilers for sale, this is not a breeder you want to work with.
Reputable Rottweiler breeders that care about the health of the breed line and the puppies they produce would not try to breed a pure white Rottweiler.
What Are the Rottweiler Breed Coat Colors
The American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standard for the Rottweiler dog states that the well-bred purebred Rottweiler will be a black-coated dog with rust to mahogany markings.
The rust markings should not be greater than 10 percent of the outer coat. The undercoat is to be black, tan, or gray.
The breed standard does not mention the white color except to say that any white on a Rottweiler is considered to be a serious fault in the show ring.
So if white is a fault, how can a well-bred Rottweiler have a white coat? Where do the genes to produce white hairs come from?
Here again, the answer is found in the mysteries of canine genetics. The respected Nature journal states that the full canine genome was sequenced for the first time in 2005.
But there is still so much more to learn about how genes combine to influence canine color traits. This is especially the case when so many so-called “purebred” modern dog breeds were developed through calculated crossbreeding efforts.
So let’s take a closer look at the Rottweiler’s breed history to discover where the genetics for white hairs could have come from.
A Quick Look at the Rottweiler Breed History
The Rottweiler dog breed is suspected to date all the way back to the ancient empire of Rome.
The original Rottweiler prototype dogs were most likely giant mastiffs – dogs of enormous size and strength who could haul heavy loads, herd large masses of livestock and even fight alongside human soldiers.
These were all-purpose working dogs that could handle just about any job that needed doing.
The original mastiffs first appeared in modern times in dogs like the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Greater Swiss Mt. Dog, both of which have the genetics to produce white patches in the coat.
In fact, both of these modern purebred dog breeds have tri-colored coats today, including black, rust, and white.
This is important to know because, as the Mississippi Rottweilers breeder explains, the Bernese Mountain Dog and Greater Swiss Mountain Dog breeds were crossbred with other dog breeds to create the prototype dog for the modern Rottweiler breed.
This strategic crossbreeding is what passed along the genetics capable of producing some white in the modern Rottweiler coat. While knowledgable and experienced Rottweiler breeders strive to reduce or eliminate the white hairs, they still crop up sometimes.
What Happens If a White Rottweiler Is Born
There is a big difference between a Rottweiler with a few white hairs, a Rottweiler with significant white patches on the coat, and a Rottweiler that is all white.
A Rottweiler that grows up to have a few white hairs in the coat here and there is considered normal.
Because there is some genetic lineage to suggest small amounts of white fur could still remain in the canine genome, this is generally overlooked for show purposes.
A Rottweiler with significant and noticeable white patches in the coat may not be permitted to participate in dog shows and may not do well if permitted. The goal among purebred Rottweiler breeders is to discourage white patches in the coat.
This requires a dedicated study of the Rottweiler canine genome and the genetics of breeding pairs. Experienced Rottweiler breeders come to know their breeding stock genetics sufficiently well to minimize the chances of white patchy Rottweiler coats.
Canine genetics is so important to understand so you choose the healthiest possible white Rottweiler puppy or rescue dog to add to your family.