The average life expectancy of a Rottweiler is 9-10 years. So, if you’re a current or future Rottie owner, you can expect this breed to give you a decade of love and loyalty.
Rottweiler life expectancy has been affected by the breed’s history. This herding, carting, and guard dog was originally bred for strength. But when the breed became a popular family pet (due in part to the Rottweiler‘s gentleness with kids and its overall sweet nature), there was a period of overbreeding to meet the high demand for Rottweiler puppies. Overbreeding increases the prevalence of genetic health problems in purebred dogs, and Rotties are prone to several health issues that can shorten the dog‘s life.
We’ll take a look at the factors that affect Rottweiler life expectancy, the breed‘s most common health problems, and the steps Rottweiler owners can take to keep these dogs healthy for as long as possible.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), dogs typically live between 8-15 years. The Rottweiler life expectancy of 9-10 years is on the lower end of this range primarily because of its large size. But other factors can also affect the Rottweiler lifespan, including the dog’s gender and breeding.
A scientific study involving more than 74 dog breeds found that small dogs live longer than large dogs, in part because large dogs have an increased risk of developing cancer.
Another study of more than 2 million dogs found that a dog‘s size was the single most important factor in predicting its lifespan. In this study by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), small dogs had a median lifespan of 14.95 years, while big dogs had a median of 13.38 years.
This places the Rottweiler life expectancy slightly below the average for big dogs. So, the life expectancy of a Great Dane or a Mastiff will be significantly shorter than that of a Chihuahua. The life expectancy of a Rottweiler will also be shorter than a small dog like a chihuahua — or even a medium dog like a beagle. But, the Rottie’s lifespan does align with the average lifespan of many other large breed dogs.
The Rottweiler life expectancy is similar to that of German shepherds, golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, and Doberman pinschers. While some large breed dogs — like pit bulls, huskies, and Dalmatians — can live to be 12-15 years of age, these long life expectancies are the exception rather than the rule.
Much like how human women live longer than men, female Rottweilers appear to live longer than male Rottweilers.
In order to better understand the factors that contribute to longevity in both people and animals, The Center for Exceptional Longevity Studies looks at remarkably long-lived Rottweiler dogs — including dogs that are the equivalent of over 100 years old in human years. In an academic review, they found that the majority of exceptionally long-lived Rotties were female dogs.
Purebred dogs have shorter lifespans than mixed breed dogs, according to research by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the United Kingdom. One of the reasons behind this shorter lifespan is a lack of genetic diversity, which can lead to inherited health problems.
Both American Rottweilers and German Rottweilers are prone to similar health problems in spite of their slightly different genetic lineages. Working with a responsible breeder who runs all of the AKC’s recommended health screenings for Rottweilers can help you avoid some of these health issues.
Rottweilers are prone to a variety of health problems that can affect their longevity. Because they're a large breed, these dogs often have issues with their bones and joints, and those issues can lead to immobility, which will shorten a dog's life. A responsible breeder will run health screenings to ensure they’re producing the healthiest possible puppies, but there’s still a chance your Rottie will inherit one of these conditions.
There‘s a lot that dog owners can do to decrease the likelihood of their Rottweiler suffering from genetically inherited health problems. And there are steps you can take to ensure your dog leads a healthy life for as long as possible, keeping issues at bay into the dog‘s golden years.
The Rottweiler life expectancy of 9-10 years may seem short, but it’s actually comparable to many other large breed dogs, including German shepherds and Labrador retrievers.
Large dogs tend to live shorter lives than small dogs, and Rottweilers are prone to several genetically inherited health problems that can lead to immobility and further shorten their lifespan.
But, for as long as your Rottweiler lives, you can be sure that they will fill your life with love and loyalty. Show them the same love by ensuring they live a good life.
Get your Rottweiler puppy from a reputable breeder, feed them a high-quality dog food, support their health with all-natural supplements, and make sure they get regular exercise to prevent obesity.
We hope you and your Rottie have many happy years together. For more information on your favorite breeds, visit the Native Pet blog.
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