by Neil
(Cold Lake, AB, CANADA)

Hello there. Riley (male) will be turning 1 year this month. I am curious to know about his “flat-foot”. This primarily would be his front paws. I notice his nails stick out much more than other dogs. I am wondering if this is contributed due to his size. Last time I had him weighed he was 10 months (88lbs).

One of my obedience instructors had said to give him Vitamin C & MSM to assist with bone strength. However, should I be concerned with the flat foot? He seems to be handling everything fine (runs, plays, doesn’t complain that he has to move, etc).

Please advise.

Neil Deshmukh
Cold Lake, AB

Hi Neil
I think I know what you’re describing when you say ‘flat foot’ and in my opinion it’s probably more genetic than anything else.

It’s difficult to see from this photo but I’m thinking it may be a combination of him having weak pasterns (front lower leg joint) and feet that are ‘splayed’ rather than ‘tight’.

This is what the AKC Rottweiler Breed Standard has to say about this part of the body – ‘Pasterns: Slightly springy, strong, not steep. Front feet: Round, tight and well arched..’ It seems as though Rileys’ pasterns are more angled than they could be, and his feet not as tight or arched as is preferred. BUT most likely this is a cosmetic, conformation problem rather than a big physical issue.

Conformation is mainly hereditary, but diet also plays a role in these big, fast growing dogs. Even though he is a year old, Riley still has a lot of growing to do and at his weight, he’s going to be a BIG boy. Make sure he’s eating a premium food so that he gets all the nutrition he needs. There are many different opinions about this, but I keep my pups eating puppy food until they’re mature and it seems to work very well. Whether you continue to feed puppy food, or change over to an adult formula, just make sure it’s good quality. You can also check out the handy canine calorie calculator on the puppy food page I’ve linked to earlier in this paragraph. It will help you figure out exactly how much food Riley needs each day.

I doubt that this flat-footedness is going to cause Riley any real problems in everyday life. Depending on how angled or weak his pasterns are, he may have some discomfort if he walks too far or jumps too much, but it doesn’t seem as though it’s bothering him now so I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

A premium food should provide all the nutrients he needs, but giving him an appropriate supplement shouldn’t hurt and may help. Don’t be tempted to give him calcium as that will be counter productive. Vitamin C, Glucosamine and MSM are all good. I’d recommend a product such as
Nupro Silver Joint Support Dog Supplement 5 lb. for Caine
, it’s natural and well-balanced and will help improve your pups’ general health and immune function as well as support his bone/joint growth.

Hope this helps, Riley looks happy, healthy and handsome and I doubt this problem will cause him much trouble. Best of luck with him.

Comments for Flat-foot

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 20, 2016


Hercules NEW
by: Nis

Hello everyone. My rottie is also flat-footed in his rear feet ive noticed. Hes still a pup at 7mo old today and weighing in at a hefty 78lbs. Hes not overweight hes just big! Im wondering if his flat-footedness could be due to a limp from his rt shoulder he recently had? Hes had been limping for about a month and a half ago. There was no trauma but my vet took xrays and did chechup and said there were no broken bones or torn ligaments and it most likely came from the big growth spurt he had from 3mo to 5mo of age. The went from 27lbs to 75lbs in 2 months. Like i say hes not overweight and i feed him just as the bag says. I feed him Iams large breed puppy food since i got him at 8wks old. Is there anything that can help his feet?

May 16, 2014


flat foot NEW
by: Catherine

I bought a 15 week old rotti over the web. When I met the seller they placed the puppy in my arms and said by the way she is flat footed. I took the puppy home and took her to the vet with in 3 days. Vet says she feels it is gentic however it could be diet and puppy being on tile and concret her whole life. I got the recommended food and I have added 1000 miligrams of vitiam c every other day, and keep her in the yard (sand and grass all day with a borrowed (thearpy) puppy 2 weeks later she is starting to walk correctly on her front feet and back legs are showing progess (but very shaky). The seller did offer to “take her back and refund my money” but she is here to stay there is hope. I feel it was poor diet more than gentic because she is getting better. good luck

Feb 12, 2010


You’re Welcome Neil
by: Sue

Glad I could help and I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing more about Riley as he grows.

He’s a beautiful dog. Best of luck with him :o)

Feb 11, 2010


Thank You
by: Neil

Thank you Susan for your reply. Riley is on “Dog Chow” Purina as this would be the only real premium food available in my town. The vet office here sells food, but it is quite expensive in regards to what the dog would be getting.

I will keep this page updated with pictures and on goings with Riley.

Best Regards,

Cold Lake, AB

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Your Rottweiler Questions.