Pregnant Rottweiler – Signs And Symptoms

A Rottweiler mother with her puppies, after having a successful pregnancy
Credit @taneven_rottweilers

Many new breeders are curious about what signs and symptoms to look for to determine if their Rottweiler is pregnant. This blog post will outline the most common symptoms of a pregnant Rottie. Knowing what to watch out for can help you prepare for your new additions early on!

Pregnant Rottweiler: first signs and symptoms

Initially, there are very few outward signs of pregnancy in Rottweilers. Symptoms of pregnancy are very difficult to determine with your dog if she’s expecting until she’s at least halfway through her term. Early detection is almost impossible unless you were there for the act that induced her into becoming pregnant.

Your first warning of pregnancy is if your Rottweiler went into heat and if she had access to an intact male at that time. Keep in mind that Rotties can have “phantom pregnancies” after being on heat and show all they signs. So how do you know if your Rottweiler is pregnant?

1. Get confirmation from a vet

If you suspect that your female Rottweiler is pregnant, take her to the vet for an examination. If she’s pregnant, they will be able to give you a better idea of pregnancy with an ultrasound or a pregnancy test about three weeks (about 21 days) after breeding. 

If your vet confirms a pregnancy, be sure to take your expecting mom back for an examination and x-ray to find out how many puppies she is carrying. This is essential so that when labor starts, you can know when she is done or if there is a problem with a puppy being born.

Many vets will also screen your Rottweiler for other common pregnancy issues, such as worms or malnutrition.

First signs of Rottweiler Pregnancy

There are several observable changes to your female Rottweiler, which may be an indication she’s pregnant – not all of which will happen at the same time. As we explained earlier, many of these signs can also indicate other fairly common circumstances, such as parasites or malnutrition, so keep that in mind until you’ve had a vet check her out.

1. Unusual Behavior

As part of the hormonal changes that come with pregnancy, many pregnant Rotties will show some behavior changes. You may see her become more clingy with you or more apathetic. Sometimes they become more irritable with other dogs and are likely to start squabbling.

2. Mood swings

They might appear to be in a good mood one minute and then unexpectedly aggressive the next because their hormones are altering without warning. When this happens, it’s important that you remain calm and don’t respond negatively for fear of triggering an attack.

3. Protective behavior

Pregnancy can also cause your pet to become defensive and protective over her stomach area, which she could perceive as a threat to the puppies inside her during this time. Be sure not to push or prod at your dog’s belly or attempt to touch any swollen areas because this may trigger an aggressive response.

4. Denning behavior

Many dogs experience what’s known as ‘nesting’ behaviors in the later stages of pregnancy, where they give up activities such as running around or playing in favor of a secluded place where they can prepare a space for birth to take place.

Physical Signs

Credit @taneven_rottweilers

While your Rottweiler is pregnant, you will start to notice some changes to her body. Your Rottie may develop discolored nipples, and her teats may become swollen and larger than usual over the course of several weeks.

About 50% of the way into a Rottweiler’s term, she’ll typically start looking more uncomfortable than normal. She may walk around less and start spending more time lying down. She may also seek out a secluded area to spend time in, so try not to disturb her if she seems quiet or tired.

Towards the end of her pregnancy, you’ll notice that Rottweiler’s nipples will begin to leak milk. Your pregnant Rottweiler female should start looking noticeably pregnant around her midsection, even if she still has some fat on her frame.

Weight gain

Weight gain in your female Rottweiler during pregnancy is normal. . If you are concerned, consult a veterinarian to determine if your Rottweiler’s weight is normal. Your vet will also be able to advise you about any dietary changes required during this period of time and can also perform a blood test if needed.

You’ll also notice that your dog’s belly will begin to swell with the weight of the growing puppies inside her uterus, even if she’s still carrying some fat around her midsection.

Pregnant Rottweiler Morning Sickness

Morning sickness affects Rottweilers, usually in the later stages of pregnancy. It’s characterized by lethargy and nausea​ accompanied by excessive salivation. Dogs experiencing morning sickness will display symptoms until they receive treatment or until their pregnancy has reached full term.

Towards the end of their pregnancies, many Rotties may be disinterested in food or appear queasy when offered a meal. This is because the increasing number of puppies within them limits movement and digestion, making it difficult for your dog to manage large quantities of food at once. The best thing you can do during this time is to ensures small portions are often offered throughout the day.

Enlarged teats

Another big indicator that your Rottweiler is pregnant is that her teats grow larger and may even change color. This will be less noticeable in young pregnant females for the first time, but by the last two weeks, you should see engorged teats. They may also produce milk if pressed.


Caring for your pregnant Rottweiler

Taking Your Pregnant Rottweiler to the Vet

Visiting the vet during pregnancy is essential, even in the earlier stages. Visiting the vets lets them monitor blood tests and temperature to ensure your pet is healthy and developing normally.

A blood test during pregnancy will confirm whether or not your Rottweiler is pregnant and if there are any concerns about blood sugar levels, blood pressure, or protein levels in its bloodstream that may indicate illness. If you notice anything unusual about your dog’s behavior, visit a veterinarian for advice before it worsens. An early diagnosis can save weeks of worry and discomfort for both you and your pet.

What to feed your pregnant Rottweiler

Your pregnant Rottweiler needs proper nutrition and a high-quality diet to provide the energy she needs to give birth. Not all pet food is appropriate for pregnant animals, so ask your vet for specialized products that are suitable for both the mother and her puppies.

It’s important to switch your Rottweiler’s diet to a more nutrient and calorie-dense diet about a month into her pregnancy. About three-to-two weeks before birth, her puppies begin to grow rapidly and she will start to double in size. At this point, she needs more food in smaller portions throughout the day.

Do not take your Rottweiler’s diet into your own hands at this point. Stick to a diet properly formulated for pregnant and lactating large dogs. A common mistake among owners is to try to give their dog as much calcium as possible to help her milk production. However, excess or an imbalance in calcium at this point can cause deadly eclampsia.

Instead, we recommend feeding your pregnant Rottweiler Royal Canin’s Mother and Puppy Large Breed formula.

Smaller portions spread throughout the day will also help your pet maintain her appetite despite pregnancy discomfort.

Exercise and Fatigue

A pregnant Rottweiler with a swollen abdomen
Credit @myelle_kennel

During their final months of pregnancy, many female dogs become lethargic and inactive. This is because the puppies inside her are taking up most of her energy, leaving little for movement or exercise. Additionally, Rotties will also experience disinterest in playing with their owners during this time, which can lead to an increased risk of them becoming overweight.

Fortunately, there are several ways you can encourage your pregnant pet to get more exercise if they begin showing signs of fatigue or lethargy. Making sure she has a comfortable place to sleep and frequently resting throughout the day will help your dog conserve much-needed energy until she feels up for a walk again. However, you must be careful not to overdo it, as fatigue can lead to complications during birth.

How long will my Rottweiler be pregnant?

A Rottweiler pregnancy is typically 63-73 days (or 9 weeks) in duration, but the dog’s age and overall health will influence how long she stays pregnant. Depending on these factors, you may find your Rottie experiences a longer gestation period if she is particularly young or old. Contact your veterinarian for advice about this issue.

Over this period, there are several stages that your Rottweiler will go through. The first 40 days are classified as “the pregnancy phase” and the final stage is “the birth phase.”

Why Do Rottweilers Have A Long Gestation Period?

The gestation periods for dogs are different, but why do female Rottweilers have to endure a long pregnancy? A Rottweiler’s pregnancy period is typically longer than other breeds. It’s because their litters often consist of more than six puppies that will need additional time inside the womb before they are ready to be born. You will need to wait around an extra three weeks before your dog delivers her pups.

Rottweiler pregnancy stages

There are six stages that female Rottweilers go through when they are pregnant. These developmental stages include the following:

Reaching Sexual Maturity

Rotties reach sexual maturity between 6 and 10 months of age, but this will vary depending on their size and genes. She should then come into heat roughly every 6 months. If you want to breed her dog, it’s important to wait until she is between 16-24 months old to allow enough time for her body to develop fully before giving birth.

Always conduct full health and temperament tests before breeding a Rottweiler.

Being in heat

A Rottweiler will become receptive to male dogs when she is in heat. Typically, a Rottweiler is in heat for about three weeks. You should see bloody discharge in this time that thins and becomes more watery over time. Her vulva should swell, and you may see some behavior changes.

A Rottweiler is not receptive for the whole time she is in heat. In fact, there are several stages of being on heat:

1. Days 7 to 10 are proestrus. The vulva will swell, and the discharge will be bloody, but she will not yet be fertile and needs to be kept away from male dogs.

2. After proestrus are 5 to 10 days of the fertile estrus period. The discharge should become more watery. At this stage will be far more interactive with male dogs. She will also ovulate several days after mating.

3. Diestrous is the final phase, where the Rottweiler is either pregnant (in the fertilization phase) or recovering.

Fertilization Phase

During this stage of pregnancy, female Rottweilers will release eggs, where they remain until they are fertilized by sperm cells from another dog. It’s important to remember that fertilization isn’t immediate and can take anywhere from 4-6 days to complete. This means you should allow around three weeks before taking a Rottweiler pregnancy test.

The Pregnancy Phase

 The length of this period is different in every female Rottweiler and can last anywhere between 63 – 73 days (9 weeks). Your dog may become very restless or overheated as her abdomen swells, so it’s vital to keep her cool and comfortable. Also, reduce stress in her environment, especially from other dogs.

The Delivery Period

During the final stage of pregnancy, Rotties will give birth to their puppies. Sometimes, your pet may require a caesarian section from her vet if she experiences any complications during this time.

The delivery period can take between 2-4 hours before your dog begins to pass the placenta. Usually, all of the pups have been delivered within 4 hours, but in rare cases it could take up to 24 hours for them all to emerge.

Credit: @aliciacavalcanti18

How often do Rotties go into heat?

Female Rottweilers come into heat around every six months, but it can vary depending on the individual dog. If you notice that your pet suddenly increases her food intake or becomes very clingy towards you, then there is a chance that she may be in heat and ready for mating!

What do female dogs look like when they are in heat?

Female dogs go in heat in order to reproduce and will bleed when their reproductive organs are ready to take sperm cells from a male dog.

A female dog in heat will usually have a swollen vulva, which turns bright pink in color. This is when it’s easiest to tell if your dog is experiencing estrus. They are also known for excessive licking in the genital area due to the strong odor of their urine that attracts male dogs.

Pregnant Rottweilers often start experiencing pain during this time which can last up to 10 days. You should inspect your dog’s rear end at least once daily while she is going through this process since there could be blood present after she urinates or defecates due to internal bleeding of her canal during this time. Male dogs will be able to recognize when a female goes into heat and often become very excited!

Some other signs you may experience when your pet is going through her first heat include:

Blood spots on bedding or surrounding areas – Stronger odor during urination – Frequent urination which occurs every 30 minutes or less – Restlessness, irritability, aggression, lethargy – Extra affection shown towards owners which can sometimes turn into nipping or excessive licking.

How many puppies are in a Rottweiler litter?

On average, an expecting Rottweiler, can birth around 6 to 10 pups in one litter. However, there are some cases when the amount of babies born is more than ten. This all depends on how big or small their mothers are and what size breeding dogs they were bred with.

Final Thoughts

If you are a Rottie owner, knowing the signs of pregnancy is important so that you can provide your female dog with the necessary care and support. Although there are few outward signs of pregnancy in Rottweilers, some changes in behavior may be observed. If you think your dog may be pregnant, have her examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible to ensure a healthy litter.

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!