How Bad Is It For A Rottweiler Puppy To Have An Overbite?


by Terry

Our last dog we got was a rottweiler/dobie who we kinda saved but poor baby had some heath issues and only lived 2 years. My two rotties I owned prior both lived to 10-11 years no health issues. Very healthy happy girls.

We are getting a new puppy and I am a little skittsh with health issues. So I am asking for your advice. We have a breeder here who has produced outstanding puppies and though our puppy is just a part of the family and not a show animal I have this question.

I am number 4 pick for a female and the litter only had 4. The puppies are 7 weeks and I will get to know which one I get in two weeks. The owner has kept us in the loop of progress from the day they were born and she just emailed to let us know that there are two female pups who are overshot in their bites. I am not sure what this is and sent her an email as well.

Someone is taking one but I still have a chance that I will be left with a puppy that has this. In looking at all the photos of the pups and many at close facial range I honestly can’t tell the difference the puppy is eating fine and is very good looking. Since we are not breeding or showing our dog is this ok or is this condition something that could cause the puppy problems/pain as she grows.

If she is left I have the option to opt out but we have been waiting awhile and if it will not pose a health issue I have no problems with it what so ever.

I appreciate any words of advice you may have. Thanks!

Hi Terry
This is a good question, and as overbites are often an imperfection that separates show-quality puppies from pet-quality ones, it’s likely that many other people will be looking for similar answers.

A correct Rottweiler bite is the ‘scissor bite’, which is when the top front teeth (top incisors overlap the bottom front teeth (lower incisors) very closely. A dog who has an overbite, underbite or ‘wry mouth’ (basically uneven or crooked teeth) isn’t show quality and these are disqualifying faults.

However, regardless of whether a pup is to be shown or kept as a pet, you’re absolutely right to be buying from a responsible, reputable breeder who produces excellent dogs. Rotties are prone to some health issues (as are all other breeds) and it only makes sense to be as proactive as possible in making sure you purchase a healthy pup – both mentally and physically.

In terms of the overbite affecting your pups health in any way, this is very (very) unlikely. Now I’m not a vet and obviously every case is different so I can’t say 100% for certain that there won’t be a problem, but I’ve never heard/seen that happen. Most overbites are minor and are a cosmetic issue really…. although as you say, it can be difficult to recognize a minor overbite unless you’re looking up really close.

Also, it’s good to bear in mind that your pups jaws will be growing and changing until she’s anywhere up to between 9 months and a year old, and that although she has an overbite right now – that could possibly become a scissor bite before she’s mature.

This shouldn’t cause her any problems eating, or pain etc. Sometimes vets will recommend having the lower puppy ‘fangs’ (canines) taken out surgically when a pup has an overbite…. to prevent discomfort of the lower canines putting pressure on the roof of the pups’ mouth. However, again I’ve never know this to be necessary and if your pup doesn’t seem bothered by her teeth then I’d leave well enough alone.

Obviously this is a very personal decision and you’ve taken time to find an excellent breeder and to wait for a puppy, so only you can decide whether or not you want to purchase this pup, or wait for another litter. And I do know how difficult these types of decisions can be.

I can’t give you ‘professional’ advice I’m afraid, but I can say that if I were in your shoes and a slight overbite was the only problem this pup had, then I would go ahead and take her, providing I didn’t want to show her. I doubt this imperfection will have any real impact on her health or any other aspect of her overall wellbeing.

I hope this helps, and I wish you the very best of luck with whatever decision you make.

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About The Rotty lover 2159 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone