Do Rottweilers Drool? Answers and Solutions for Slobber

A Rottweiler with glasses drooling heavily
Rottweiler wearing a neck scarf and sunglasses enjoys summer afternoon in park.

If you are thinking of getting a Rottweiler, it’s worth asking “do Rottweilers drool?” After all, some of us are more tolerant of gloopy streaks on our furniture or on our work clothes than others. But the problem when considering drooling in Rottweilers is that they don’t just do it over food like Pavlov’s dogs.

Drooling can be a sign that something is wrong with your dog, either mentally or physically. Dogs can drool for a range of reasons so in this article we will look at if and why Rotties drool, and when drooling is a sign of a problem.

Do Rottweilers drool?

All Rottweilers drool, the difference is only in how much. As with any mastiff-type dog with heavy flews (lips) and a shorter (brachycephalic) nose, slobbering is common in Rottweilers. The bigger the head, the shorter the nose, and the heavier the lips, the more drool there will be. So large male Rottweilers are often moderate-to-heavy droolers.

First things first, drooling is normal and expected for a Rottweiler. It’s a normal reaction of any dog breed to stimuli like heat, excitement, fear, or anxiety. Rottweilers are a dog breed well known for their drooling, and even though it may be a bit of an unpleasant sight (and sensation, if you’re on the receiving end of a slobbery kiss), there’s actually a perfectly good reason behind it.

Why do Rottweilers drool?

Rottweilers drool because they produce saliva that starts the digestion process in their mouth. Drooling happens when the saliva escapes the mouth. Because Rotties have big upper lips and wide jaws, it is easier for the drool to leak from their mouths.

Drooling, or the saliva glands, are activated by the nervous symptom. The primary reason dogs drool is because they taste, smell, hear, or see something that suggests food is nearby. But drool can also be caused by stress hormones, oral problems, nausea or stomach pain, and a number of severe life-threatening health issues.

What should Rottweiler drool look like?

Rottweiler drool should be clear or white and watery. If it is brown or yellow, this could be a sign of an infection and you should take your Rottie to the vet as soon as possible. If it is thick and ropey, it is a sign of stress or pain.

In this video, you can see a Rottweiler drooling for her favourite treat. You can see that the drool drips like water. This is normal drool. 

Why is my Rottweiler drooling more than usual?

If your Rottweiler is drooling excessively and you can’t figure out why it’s always best to err on the side of caution and take them to see the vet just to be sure. 

Normal is just the saliva that a dog’s saliva glands produce. Dogs produce saliva mostly from sensory stimulation, like when they smell something yummy. But excess saliva is called ptyalism or hypersalivation. It can happen for a number of reasons, depending on which part of your dog’s nervous system is stimulating the saliva glands.

This can sometimes be a sign of a more serious health issue, so it’s always best to get them checked out by a professional just to be safe.

The most common reasons Rottweilers drool excessively

  • Eating or drinking 

All Rottweilers will drool when they see or smell food. They may even start to salivate when they hear you open a packet of treats. Anything that signals food is on the way triggers the saliva glands to start working and start the digestion process, and this can lead to drooling.

Likewise, when Rotties drink a lot of water, it tends to leak from their mouths along with the saliva causing tons of slobber.

  •  Rottweilers drool from anxiety and stress

Rottweilers drool when they get nervous or excited. If your Rottweiler is drooling more than usual and you know they haven’t been sick or eating anything unusual, it’s possible that something has them worked up. A Rottweiler that is drooling from stress usually has thick, ropey strings of drool and you will see them panting a lot.

This is because a stressed dog releases noradrenaline in the brain, and this creates a different, thicker drool than normal. It also spikes the heart rate, causing excessive panting.

Maybe there’s a loud noise outside that’s bothering them, or perhaps you’re getting ready to go for a walk and they’re just really excited about it. In any case, if you think their drooling might be due to anxiety or excitement, try to identify the source of their stress and see if you can remove it from the equation.

  • Oral health issues cause drooling

Another common reason why rottweilers drool excessively is an oral health issue. If your dog is having trouble chewing or swallowing, they may drool more than usual. This could be a sign of 

  • gum disease, 
  • a mouth injury, 
  • an abscessed tooth, 
  • Stomatitis
  • Infections
  • Foreign objects like a splinter, 
  • or the very common periodontal disease. 

It’s common for a dog with dental issues to have bad breath, blood or even pus in their drool.

If you suspect that your Rottweiler’s drooling is due to an oral health issue, take them to see the vet as soon as possible so they can get the treatment they need.

  • Teething:

A Rottweiler puppy will go through a teething process just like human babies do. During this time, they may drool more than usual as their teeth are growing in. If your puppy is drooling excessively, you can try giving them a frozen chew toy to help relieve some of the discomfort.

  • Nausea from stomach issues

Sometimes Rottweilers drool when they’re feeling sick and nauseated. This means they can have a number of gastrointestinal issues, such as:

  • Tummy ulcers, 
  • Car sickness
  • An obstruction in the stomach
  • Inflammation or infection in the oesophagus, intestines, stomach, or pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Bloat.

As you can see, some of these are life-threatening, so always watch your heavily drooling dog for signs of a medical emergency.

  • Hot weather & Heatstroke

One of the most common reasons for excessive drooling in dogs is hot weather. If it’s warm out and your Rottweiler is panting and drooling more than usual, it’s probably just because they’re trying to cool themselves down. 

Rotties have shorter noses than dogs like German Shepherds, and this means they can’t cool down as effectively (although most dogs don’t handle heat well). A long nasal passageway is vital for a dog to deal with the heat by sending warm blood to the mouth and nose where it can cool down through exposure to cooler air. The shorter the nose of the Rottweiler, the harder it is for the dog to cool down.

Rotties also have a dark, thick coat and heavy body. All this makes the heat very difficult for them. Panting and drooling are a way for them to dissipate the heat. When they are panting and drooling heavily on a hot or humid day, beware of heatstroke.

Heatstroke is a serious condition that can be fatal if not treated; usually the result of poor care from Rottweiler owners not providing enough shade or leaving their dog in a hot car. It can also happen from exercising in the heat of the day.

  • Pain and Rottweiler drooling

Another possible reason Rottweilers drool excessively is pain. Pain can cause stress and a rush of noradrenaline, and this can cause drooling. More often, the pain is in the stomach area, so you may see:

  • bloat, 
  • vomiting, 
  • diarrhoea,
  • a “play bow” pose to relieve discomfort,
  • restlessness,
  • And refusing to eat.

Another common cause of drooling is electric and chemical burns. Electric burns can happen if a dog chews through an electric cable. Chemical burns may happen if a dog licks some kind of caustic substance like battery acid. You will usually see bleeding and pawing at the mouth.

  • Underlying diseases

Respiratory problems and heart problems like Chronic Heart Failure (CHF) can sometimes cause dogs to drool more than usual. If your Rottweiler is having trouble breathing, their gums are turning blue, and their drooling seems excessive, it’s best to take them to see the vet immediately.

But a variety of diseases can actually cause drooling in Rottweilers. Possibilities to have your vet looking out form include:

  • Neurological — look for difficulty swallowing uneven pupils, listlessness, or weakness.
  • Metabolic issues such as hepatic encephalopathy or uremia, 
  • Infections like rabies or tetanus,
  • immune-mediated diseases like masticatory muscle /myositis.
  • Congenital defects such as liver shunts.

9. Cancer

Unfortunately, cancer is another possible cause of excessive drooling in dogs. This is because tumours can grow in the mouth or throat and block the saliva glands, causing drooling. If you think your Rottweiler’s drooling might be due to cancer, take them to see the vet as soon as possible so they can get the treatment they need.

10. Toxins, poisons, and drugs

Another issue to be alert about is that excess drooling can happen when a dog ingests something toxic to them. A Rottweiler may eat something poisonous to them like garlic (signs of garlic poisoning like vomiting may only occur four days after ingestion), or rat poison in the garage.

They may also be bitten by snakes or spiders.

In some cases, a dog can have a bad reaction to medication or a drug that can make them feel sick and start to drool.

Tips & Treatments for Excessive Drooling

  • Deal with underlying health issues

The first thing you need to do is to take your Rottweiler to the vet and have them checked for any health problems that might be causing the excessive drooling. You can do this as part of your yearly checkup. Some health conditions that can cause drooling include heat exhaustion, neurological problems, or ingesting something toxic. 

If your Rottweiler is healthy, then you can move on to the next step.

  • Inspect Their Mouth

    An owner checking their Rottweiler's mouth for problems that may cause drooling
    check your Rottweiler’s teeth and mouth if they are drooling excessively

Once you’ve ruled out any health problems, you need to inspect your Rottweiler’s mouth for any foreign objects or food that might be stuck in there. If you find anything, try to remove it carefully. If you’re at the vet’s you can ask for a full oral exam. Your dog may need to have professional dental scaling or an extraction.

  • Give Them Plenty of Water

If your Rottweiler is drooling excessively, it’s important that they stay hydrated. Make sure that they have plenty of water to drink and that they’re getting enough moisture in their diet. You can also give them ice cubes to help keep them cool and hydrated in the summer heat.

5.  Wipe Their Mouth Frequently

Another thing you can do is wipe your Rottweiler’s mouth frequently with a clean cloth or paper towel. This will help to remove any excess saliva from their mouth and keep them from swallowing it. Keeping the area dry also protects your Rottie against secondary skin infections around the muzzle, such as muzzle acne or skin fold pyoderma.

So keep face wipes nearby to help your dog.

6. Help them lose weight

Rotties are large, muscled dogs and this makes it harder for them to cool their bodies (thermoregulate. Ideally, you want to be able to see the last two ribs of your dog. If your dog is a little too well-padded, getting the excess weight off them can help them better deal with a warm environment. This will reduce drooling.

7. Keep Their Environment Cool

This will help to keep them from getting too hot and will also help to reduce the amount of drooling. This means keeping the air conditioner on in summer and making sure their yard has plenty of shade and a lawn, as gravel and dirt tend to retain too much heat.

Also, don’t leave your dog in a hot car or exercise them in the heat of the day.

8. Reduce stress and anxiety

If your dog has any problems with stress and anxiety, whether it’s noise phobia, separation anxiety, moving house, do what you can to help alleviate their stress. This can mean:

  1. Behaviour modification with a professional
  2. Keeping a calm environment
  3. Introducing routine and structure to help dogs feel secure
  4. Increasing exercise and playtime to flush out stress and anxiety.

9. Keep your dog out of the kitchen and limit their proximity to food

Feed your Rottie during training and at mealtime. The rest of the time, they don’t need to be around sights and smells that make them salivate. Instead of letting your Rottweiler watch, you eat pizza, send them to the crate with a chew toy. This way you aren’t constantly triggering their food response.

Do all dogs drool?

All dogs drool to some extent, but some are more prone. Rottweilers drool more than some other dog breeds. Additionally, certain health conditions can cause a dog to drool more than usual. If you’re concerned about your dog’s drooling, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian.

Certain Big Dog Breeds are Known for Drooling

Typically big breed dogs with loose skin around their jowls are the ones most known for drooling, like the Rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Mastiff and Newfies. Some other breeds that may surprise you are Bloodhounds, Bulldogs and Boxers. 

Some dogs are more prone to drooling because of their anatomy. For example, dogs with long, pendulous lips (like the St. Bernard and Bloodhound) or excessively loose skin around the head and neck (like the Bullmastiff and Neapolitan Mastiff) are more likely to drool. Dog breeds with short noses (brachycephalic) like Pugs and Shih Tzus sometimes have trouble keeping saliva in their mouths too!

Dog breeds known for drooling:

– Rottweiler

– Saint Bernard

– Bloodhound

– Mastiff

– Neapolitan Mastiff

– Newfoundland

– Bullmastiff

– Great Dane

– Boxer

– Newfoundland

– Bernese Mountain Dog

Final thoughts

Rottweilers are known to droll like many dogs and generally, it’s not a problem and a normal reaction to many different situations. Sometimes though, their drool gets out of control. If your Rottweiler is drooling excessively, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the amount of drooling. However, if the problem persists, you should take them to the vet to have them checked for any health problems that might be causing excessive drooling.

About Tamsin de la Harpe 17 Articles
Tamsin has worked extensively in dog behavior problems and is passionate about canine nutrition. She has worked with trainers who specialize in Shutzhund and protection training, and worked with many Rottweilers. Her passion for dogs shows in her writing and she loves sharing her knowledge with Rottie lovers!