My 5 month old rott is getting A LOT of light brown hair

by Leah

We have recently purchased a female rottweiler. Harley Belle comes from the Von Diezel Tarheels line. She is registered through ckc. I also have the pedigree paper for her dad. Her mom did not have pedigree but she is registered.

When we picked her out she had a beautiful shiny black coat. She is now 5 months old and is turning colors. Its the middle of winter so we shouldn’t be seeing as much of her undercoat. I know that some visible undercoat is ok but she seems to have a lot. She lives inside our home and is not exposed to the sun that much.

When we bought her we also bought another one a month later. We fed them Purina Puppy Chow up until recently we were reading that it could make them grow to fast, so we switched about 2 weeks ago.

Our male Buddy Davis (purchased in 2 different states) has had the exact same environment as Harley and he hasn’t changed a bit. The light brown hair showed up a little over a month ago. It seems to be getting worse every day.

What is it? Is it bad? Will people shy away from buying her puppies because of it?

Leah – You’re right that this amount of light hair is excessive, in the photos it almost looks as though it is a LOT of undercoat that is showing through a thin top coat – but from what you say I’d guess the top coat is changing color itself.

This isn’t normal for a Rottweiler and I really don’t know what is causing it. As you have two Rotties in the same environment and with the same food/care, it’s unlikely it’s environmental so I think it’s more likely down to her genes.

She’s CKC registered, so although you don’t have a pedigree for the mom presumably both parents are CKC registered, but the coat coloration almost looks as though she has some mixed blood in her. Of course it’s possible for this to happen even if both parents are registered (if a breeder somewhere along the line hasn’t been honest or ethical) but unless you do a DNA test on her you can’t be sure. I would recommend doing that to rule out the possibility of mixed blood, you can buy tests that you can do at home just with a mouth swab from your dog, take a look here…. Purebred Dog DNA Test.

If you do this and she comes back 100% Rottweiler, or if you’re sure that this isn’t a problem, then it could just be a mutation in the genes. Rotties originally had more color variations than the breed standard accepts today, and white patches, red rottweilers and other variations can still show up due to recessive genes.

As for breeding her, honestly unless a dog has a stellar pedigree (and I mean Champions and Int. Champions in the first 3 generations, preferably in the first or second) or is a prime example of the breed both in looks and temperament then there’s really no good reason to breed him/her. Especially with a breed such as the Rottweiler who often gets bought for the wrong reasons, or by the wrong people.

If this coat color anomaly is genetic, then she will have the potential to pass it onto her puppies.

I would also suggest that you have your vet check her out just to make sure there’s no underlying health problem that could cause this. I’ve not heard of one, but I’m not a vet and it’s possible. Impetigo can cause Rottweilers to lose the pigment in their coat and skin, but that usually means white hair, not brown/tan. A vet would have a better answer for you though.

I’m sorry I can’t help more, hopefully you will be able to get to the bottom of this. Harley Belle looks like a very sweet girl and I’m sure that regardless of her coat color she is loved and cherished because the color of her hair doesn’t affect her personality or value.

Good luck.

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May 04, 2017

Love my rotti NEW
by: Anonymous

May be a rotsky rotti husky mix depends on the snout lenght but I also have a rotti and she was really black on the top of her head and now she is getting to the 5 month mark and more brown came out only on her head tho, i found her abandomed in the road huge bump on her head between her eyes two eye infections, respatory infection, worms, 400 + fleas 4 ticks, beggining signs of par42lbs lbs barely bigger than a 5″ tile. But now she is 42 lbs no infections worms etc. And she looks and is a rotti my vet said you can tell a few ways roof of the mouth all black pure, picking up while a puppy by the neck no howling yelping pure. Some rotti are known to howl, back to their mountian dog roots.

Sep 16, 2016

mine looks the same NEW
by: Anonymous

I, my rott is 9 months old and looks exactly The am??, did you get any answers???

Jul 16, 2014

my rottweiler NEW
by: Anonymous

Hello I too have the same problem she looks exactly the same her parents are both papered and beautiful and as she was growing up I noticed a difference in her although she’s not as brown she does look different and she is a lot smaller and has a bit more fur.

Jan 28, 2014

rotti NEW
by: nikola

Hi I am Nicholas, I live in Serbia, I’m a big fan of rotvajlera.I have a rottweiler who is 4 months old and I also have a problem with the hair a few months ago he started to come out of light hair in the ears. I took him him to the vet but vet insists that he was half German Shepherd and Rotti.

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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