Rottweilers are known as dogs that have a big and strong presence. This intimidating appearance is something that this large breed is known for, but what if they do not reach a certain size? The first thing that a dog owner will ask is, ˝Why is my Rottweiler so small?˝
This is a perfectly normal question because it can add a lot of different questions to it, like whether or not the dog is sick, fed properly, etc.
It can be quite concerning that your dog is not growing the way it is supposed to, but don’t worry. We are here to help you out by listing all the reasons why your Rottweiler may be small.
Why Is My Rottweiler So Small?
There can be various reasons for your Rottweiler not growing as fast or staying smaller than they are usually supposed to be. Some reasons might be a bit scary, and can affect the dog in many ways. Others can be fixed easily, and are up to us to fix them.
You need to know that if they stay like that for a longer period of time, they can also cause some more serious problems for your dog.
Here are some reasons why your Rottie might be a bit smaller than according to breed standards.
1. Sex Of The Dog
It is a known fact that male dogs are a bit bigger than female ones, and this can be true with Rotties as well. Male Rottweilers are known to be bigger than female Rottweilers. This is mostly connected to their muscle ratio.
Usually, the male Rottweilers will have bigger muscles and gain muscles easier than the females do. This, of course, is not in every case. There are female Rottweilers that are the same, or even bigger, than the males.
When it comes to this size difference, you need to know that it will not be that noticeable. You may see it slightly, but you will not get worried or ask yourself why your Rottweiler is so small.
When searching for a Rottweiler puppy, it is very important to find a reputable breeder. This is a popular breed, but it is also one of those dog breeds that will be used in dog fights. For these reasons, some breeders might either breed them just for this purpose or to gain a profit.
You also need to know that there are American and European, which are often called German, Rottweilers. American Rotties are a bit smaller than the German ones, and this is something that the breeder needs to emphasize.
There is also a chance that a Rottweiler is naturally smaller because of the long breeding of small dogs. Your dog may have parents that are on the smaller size, and your pooch will also stay smaller than the standard size.
You also can get a mixed breed without even knowing it. A popular mixed breed is the Rottweiler Doberman mix, and they can look a lot like a purebred Rottie, but a bit smaller. This is the reason why you need to do a lot of research to find the proper breeder that will give you a purebred Rottweiler that has been well taken care of.
3. Health Conditions
There are some health problems that can affect the growth of the dog, and it can make them not achieve their full size. Some health issues might be more serious and harder to cure your dog from.
There are some health issues like vomiting and diarrhea that can make your dog lose its appetite, and make him weaker and smaller. This can affect the growth of the puppy for a bit, but in most cases, when the dog gets better and regains its appetite, it will grow normally.
Hip dysplasia is something that can also affect the size of a dog.
We will list some health issues that you should keep an eye on, and that can make your dog stay small.
Congenital hypothyroidism is a medical condition where the thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormones, and it can cause a lot of problems for a dog. A dog that has this condition can have problems with its skeletal development.
There is a big chance that these dogs will develop dwarfism. In this case, the dog will not be just a bit smaller, but it will be extremely smaller than normal. They will not have the proper growth spurts, and the skeleton will not enable them to grow to their adult height and adult weight.
Parasitic worms are something that affects puppies, and it is not that uncommon. These worms can be treated easily, and your dog will continue to grow normally. If this is not diagnosed and treated for a long time, it can cause the dog to stop growing, and even cause much more serious problems.
These worms prevent important nutrition from absorbing, and because of that, the dog will not grow properly. They can also damage some organs, and the body will try to fix that, but it will not be able to process the food where it is needed.
The dangerous thing is that your dog will most likely start to lose weight, and it can become malnourished. This can be fatal for the dog if the problem is not treated.
Lymphocytic Thyroiditis is also a very common health issue that affects the thyroid gland. This condition will make your Rottweiler a smaller dog because growth will most likely be compromised.
You need to keep an eye on this health issue while your Rottie is still a puppy because that is the period when it showcases. It can be diagnosed a bit later on, but with frequent visits to the vet, you shouldn’t have any problem.
4. Inadequate Exercise
A balanced exercise routine is very important for every dog breed, including Rottweilers. Not every dog breed will have the same needs when it comes to exercise and being active. Big dogs will need more exercise while smaller dogs will not.
It also depends on the energy levels of the dog, whether or not the dog will have high or medium energy levels, or whether they will be on the low energy side.
Rottweilers need a lot of exercise, but there is always a chance of them being over-exercised. In this case, they will lose their body weight, and even muscles, and because of that, they can appear to be smaller.
Exercise is also very good for the dog’s muscle and bone development, but this is when exercise is done properly. If you over-exercise the dog, it can damage its bones, which can cause the Rottie not to develop correctly.
5. Inadequate Diet
A balanced diet is very important for every dog, especially for large dogs that are in development like Rottweilers. These dogs need to eat a lot, approximately around 2000 calories per day.
If they are really active, they will need even more than that. You need to make sure that the diet that you are giving your pooch is balanced, and that it has all the nutrients that will help them develop and maintain their strong appearance.
The most difficult type of diet to maintain is home-cooked. You need to do a lot of research in order to know what foods are the best for Rottweilers.
You also may be giving your dog the wrong type of store-bought dog food. Puppy food is something that you can be giving your dog to a certain point in their life. If you do not give them puppy food when it is needed, your dog might not develop correctly, and stay smaller.
Puppy food is specially formulated for puppies. These foods have the nutrients that can maintain the rapid growth that they go through in this period.
In the first year of its life, try to keep track of what you are giving your dog. This way, you will be able to show the vet, and they will easily tell you if you are doing the right job or not. This problem can easily be fixed and your dog will continue to develop normally.
Try picking high-quality foods because these active and muscular dogs will need it for sure. These foods are packed with nutrients that are all listed on the back of the packaging. This way, you are sure of what you are giving your dog.
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6. Spaying Or Neutering Too Early
There is a rule when it comes to spaying or neutering your dog. This is a procedure that if done too early, can cause your dog some problems. One of those problems is that your dog will not develop correctly.
When they are spayed or neutered, they do not have hormones that are included in their growth, and because of that, Rotts can stay smaller.
If you decide on this procedure, make sure that you do it correctly, meaning that you do it at the right time, and choose the right vet who has some experience.
RELATED: When To Take The Cone Off Of A Dog After Being Neutered, And 4 Cone Alternatives
7. Your Dog Had A Tough Life Prior To Living With You
This might be a shock for some people, but dogs that had a traumatic life can stay smaller than they should normally be. The most logical thing connected to this is them being starved for a long time.
Anxiety and stress are also some things that can really affect a dog, and can mess with a Rottweiler’s growth.
They might also be kept in kennels where it is cold, and they might develop some health issues that can affect their growth and keep them from getting to a healthy weight.
This is one of the reasons why you need to make sure that you are taking your time with finding a reputable breeder. Avoid places like puppy mills because they keep their dogs in inhumane conditions.
Dogs can suffer from anxiety just like we humans can, and one of the symptoms is loss of appetite. This can cause your dog to appear smaller than normal. There are a lot of triggers that can cause your dog to develop anxiety.
If you are absent a lot because of work, your dog might develop separation anxiety. In this case, you should find ways to keep your dog entertained while you are at work.
If you recently moved, had a new baby, or got a new dog, then these are some of the things that can make your dog anxious. This is something that can be hard to detect, but when you realize that this is the problem, you can do some things that will make your dog calm.
After that, they will gain weight and be right back to normal.
How Big Do Rottweilers Get?
A healthy purebred Rottweiler will grow to be 22 to 27 inches high, and will weigh around 80 to 100 pounds. This is also something that you can read in the breed standard that was set by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
This can fluctuate a bit, but it should never be far over or under these numbers. A young dog will have moments of fast growth while others might not, but this is not something that should scare you.
When they are in the old puppy phase, you might notice this fast growth. If you think that something might be wrong, take it to the vet, but if your dog is not as big as the Rottweiler growth chart might showcase, do not panic that quickly.
They will reach their adult size when they reach two years of age. Some will fully grow sooner, while others might pass the two-year mark, but not by much.
It could always happen that your dog has the right height, but not the right weight. There is a weight chart that you can easily find to make sure that your Rottweiler’s weight is correct. If there are some differences, you should contact the vet to make sure everything is fine.
To Sum It All Up
Getting a dog comes with great responsibility. There are a lot of factors that come into raising a dog. Some of the issues that are the most difficult are the ones that either are or can be health-related.
Why is my Rottweiler so small is one of those concerns that can really take a toll on a dog owner. A lot of reasons might pop into our head, and we will most likely think that this has to do with something that we did wrong.
Reasons like too much exercise or not having a proper diet are things that can happen not because we do not take good care of our dogs, but because we do not have that much experience. Yes, you can do some research to figure it out, but sometimes we might be thinking that we are doing a good job, but it is not the best in reality.
Do not feel bad because these things are fixable. You can always contact your vet who will assess the situation and help you out.
Other reasons will be out of our control.
Whatever the case might be, we are sure that you will either solve the problem or be strong enough to push through it, for example, if it is a medical condition.