Weight issues with adult female Rottweiler

by Susan
(New Jersey)

We have a female rottie around 5 years old. She's energetic and playful but my main concern is her weight. Many have question to me as to why she is so small because most Rottweilers are looked at as wide and heavy.

At her last check up she was at 73 lbs but the vet says she's healthy and blood work is normal but I'm still not understanding why she isn't gaining or appearing to fill out. She has been on Eukanuba since birth and I feed her 2 cups twice a day which is devoured in less than 5 minutes.

What can I do to put more weight on her and fill her out?

Hi Susan
The eventual weight and height of an adult dog is determined almost entirely by genetics. That is, the weight and height of her parents, grandparents and to some extent more distant relatives is what goes into her DNA and what decides her height, weight, coat color, pigment, ear set, eye color and on and on. General health and diet also play a role in skeletal structure, muscle development and ratio of fat, but it's fairly minimal usually.

At 5 years old your Rottie is fully grown and as she's in good health, she is probably the right weight for her bone size and framework. Of course if she looks very thin (ie her ribs and hip bones are very prominent) then there could be an underlying health issue but I would imagine your own vet would have noticed this.

So, I'm assuming that she's not skinny, just not as 'big' as most people expect a Rottweiler to be.... and she is a bit below the ideal weight for an adult female which is given by the ADRK as around 92lbs.

However, Rottweilers were not bred to be extra-large or giant dogs and size isn't the most important part of the dog as a whole, unless she is a show dog in which case that would be more relevant. Her health and happiness is much more important.

If you feel that her present diet isn't keeping her in optimal shape there are many excellent dog foods on the market that you could look at. All of the ranges shown on my Best Puppy Food page are premium foods which also have adult formulas. Eukanuba used to be considered one of the best foods, but since some changes in the company there formulas are thought to be less reliable and not as superior as they once were.

But, regardless of that, if the food does suit her and her coat is shiny, her eyes clear, her stools regular and formed and she seems happy and energetic, then I personally don't think it's necessary to change her diet.

I wouldn't be too concerned about other people's remarks. Honestly, most people know very little about this breed and myths and misconceptions abound. As long as your girl is happy and healthy, it doesn't matter if she's not the biggest Rottie around. Her temperament and personality are what makes her so special not her size.

There are also health issues associated with carrying extra weight, including bone and joint problems, heart disease, diabetes and more. It's healthier to keep her slender. Dogs who have been 'altered' (spayed or neutered) tend to put on weight, but that is not muscle and it's not going to make a dog bigger... just fatter! Not all dogs do this, but if they do you then have your work cut out to keep that weight in check for health reasons.

I hope this puts your mind at rest some and that it helps you to enjoy your Rottie for who she is, without worrying about her size. Best of luck.

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May 11, 2015
Don't Worry NEW
by: Anonymous

My old girl who died this last November, was the runt of her litter. At her heaviest, she only weighed in at 70lbs. People assumed she was a puppy or that she was a mix breed. Even when I told them she was pure they insisted that she couldn't be because she was small. At first it annoyed me but then I figured - who cares? I still loved my dog, and appreciated her for what she was so why worry about the opinion of a stranger. Her vet was okay with her weight and said that a leaner Rotti would live longer than an overweight one. She went through a surgery for breast cancer that reoccured after 2 1/2 years. She developed degenerative myelopathy and then one day just dropped when she out to urinate. It was extremely quick and I miss her every day. Would love to get another Rotti.

Jan 30, 2012
Weight Issues...not! NEW
by: Christopher Bayhi

If the dog is healthy according to your vet, who cares what other “uninformed” people have to say? I’m trying to be nice by saying “uninformed’. Don’t worry about it. Your girl is happy and healthy and that’s the #1 priority for any dog owner.

If you want to bulk her up a bit you can try offering her a scrambled egg at one feeding per day. My male was a little on the “slender” side. I checked with his vet and respected breeders in my area. They said either to add a mix of goat milk & baby rice to the consistence of pancake batter on the kibble, or just chop up a scramble an egg in his regular kibble. I did this every day for a month and he's looking great but not overweight!

You should be aware that the addition of any food items other than what she’s already used to may upset her digestive system. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. Introduce slowly and watch is she has any issues. If it doesn’t agree with her, try a change to a “premium” food as found on this web site that uses human consumable ingredients. When changing mix ¼ of the new food with ¾ of the old for a few days. Then do a 50% - 50% mix for a few days. Then 100% new food so her digestive system has a chance to adjust. Always provide clean fresh water.

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