Rottweilers are considered moderate shedders; they have a double coat, so they shed seasonally, but it isn’t unmanageable, and they’re much lower maintenance than a longhaired or curly breed. Any Rotty owner knows grooming is essential to keep shedding under control and maintain the health of their coats.
Grooming is also crucial for another reason—it’s an excellent time to check for any sores, lumps, or bumps that weren’t there before. So, we’ve gathered 10 top tips to help you groom your beloved Rottweiler!
The 10 Tips on How to Groom a Rottweiler
1. Start Them Young
As adults, Rottweilers weigh around 70 to 120 pounds and are strong and muscular. Therefore, you should introduce grooming to your Rottweiler puppy as soon as possible. Not only will it keep their coat clean and healthy, but it will also get them accustomed to the routine.
This will lower their stress and anxiety levels when they’re adults and make them more willing to sit still while you do things they might not love, like sticking a toothbrush in their mouths.
2. Establish a Brushing Routine
Dogs appreciate routine, so figuring out a grooming routine early will make your life easier. Rottweilers must be brushed weekly at a minimum, but ideally, you will need to brush them around two to three times a week during shedding season to maintain their coat.
Ensure you find an appropriate brush; the best one for a double-coated dog is a traditional pin brush. A de-shedding tool will also come in handy during shedding season, and it might not seem worth it as you’ll only use it two or three times a year. However, it will be helpful when fur gets everywhere during those summer months.
3. Bathe Your Rottweiler Just Enough
Some Rottweilers have more sensitive skin than others. So, unless they are rolling around in muddy puddles, they will only need to be bathed occasionally. If you over-bath your Rotty, their skin can become dry, as it will strip away their natural oils.
You should also never use human shampoo or conditioner on your dog; a dog’s skin has different pH levels than humans’ and can be damaged by acidic products. It would also make them more vulnerable to viruses and parasites. Ideally, pick a good-quality dog shampoo with natural ingredients.
4. Never Stick Anything Into Your Dog’s Ears
When cleaning your dog’s ears, ensure you’re gentle and don’t stick anything into them. First, check your Rottweiler’s ears for any sign of swelling, redness, or discharge. A healthy ear is clean and light pink. If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian.
To clean the ear, gently lift your Rottweiler’s ear flap (pinna) and fill the ear canal with a cleaning solution. Massage the base of the ear; some dogs find this soothing, then step back and allow your Rotty to shake, which will loosen any debris from their ear canal. Using a cotton pad or ball, gently wipe the ear flap and the top part of the ear canal.
5. Take Care of Their Teeth
Dental care is essential to your dog’s overall health and should be part of your grooming routine. Ideally, you should clean your dog’s teeth daily. At the least, you should brush their teeth three times a week.
Always use toothpaste and a toothbrush designed for dogs. There are also dental chews, dental sprays, and chew toys that help maintain your dog’s teeth if they are stressed about getting their teeth brushed.
6. Trim Your Rottweiler’s Nails
If your Rottweiler’s nails make a click-clack sound when they walk on tile, hardwood, or vinyl, they’re too long. Ideally, they shouldn’t touch the floor when your dog is standing, as this forces weight into the pad and causes their paw stress.
Broken and brittle nails can get caught on furniture and injure your Rotty. They can also result in infections. You can trim or file your dog’s nails at home, and if you are thinking of doing so, make sure you invest in a good-quality nail clipper specifically designed for dogs. You can take them to a professional groomer if you are uncomfortable doing it.
7. Check for Lumps and Bumps
Giving your Rottweiler the once-over while grooming them is a great routine to get into. Look out for problems you might not notice when their hair is a little longer or dry.
A lump or bump is usually nothing to worry about, but getting anything you find checked out by the veterinarian is essential. Common lumps found on dogs can be fatty tumors, warts, abscesses, or even skin cancer.
8. Don’t Do Everything at Once
Trying to fit everything that needs to get done into one day can be overwhelming for your Rottweiler. Instead, stick to your schedule of brushing their teeth and coat regularly and fit in jobs such as bathing or nail trimming on free days.
9. Don’t Rush
Grooming your Rottweiler will introduce several processes that will be a bit scary. Getting them wet, putting a toothbrush in their mouths, and cutting their nails will cause them concern. If this is still relatively new to your dog, take your time. Allow them to sniff the equipment before you start and touch their nails without cutting them.
Keep checking in with your Rotty, and if they seem stressed or anxious, stop. It doesn’t matter if you’ve only cut half their nails; you can finish later or another day.
Additionally, make sure you pick your times right. Your dog is more likely to sit still if you’ve taken them for a long walk before. Trying to keep a dog still that needs the toilet or has lots of pent-up energy is a recipe for disaster.
10. Use Positive Reinforcement
Treats, praise, and cuddles will go a long way when grooming your Rottweiler. Harsh words and impatience will only stress them out and make the whole experience challenging for both of you. Keeping calm and patient will help your Rottweiler get through this experience and make them more willing to do it again!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Shave a Rottweiler?
No, you should never shave your Rottweiler’s coat as it serves as insulation and protects them from the hot and cold weather. The outer coat also repels moisture and dirt. Shaving your Rotty could irritate their skin and leave them vulnerable to sunburn and insect bites.
Do You Need to Clean a Rottweiler’s Eyes?
Generally, your Rottweiler’s eyes won’t need much attention, but it’s a good idea to check them, and you could always clean them when you’re bathing them. Check their eyes for signs of irritation or redness and gently wipe away any discharge from the corners with a washcloth or a cotton ball moistened in warm water.
Be careful not to touch their eyeball. Discharge from the eye is perfectly normal and shouldn’t be mistaken for a sign of infection. Consult your vet if you notice changes to the eye or any swelling or redness.
Does Your Rottweiler Need to Go to a Professional Groomer?
You don’t have to send your dog to a professional if you don’t want to. Some owners take them to the groomer if they’re not confident with certain parts of the grooming routine, such as nail trimming. Alternatively, you could groom your dog at home and then send them to a professional groomer every 6 months for a more thorough job.
It’s essential to introduce a grooming routine to your Rottweiler as soon as possible, or else it could become an issue when they’re an adult. They are large dogs, and trying to control them when they don’t want to do something might end up being more than you or any professional groomer can handle!
Grooming can be a stressful experience, so start gradually and make sure you don’t try to cram everything into one day. Stick to your routine of brushing them daily and schedule other times for bathing and trimming their nails.
Featured Image Credit: PhotoDOGraphy, Shutterstock