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9 Alarming Reasons Why Your Rottweiler Is So Skinny (2022)

Why Is My Rottweiler So Skinny

Rottweilers are unrecognizable when they’re skinny.

You’d expect them to be stout and muscular…

But when they’re scrawny…

You can’t help but be worried.

Well, should you really panic over this?

Keep reading to learn:

  • 5 vital tips when your dog’s too skinny. 
  • At what point you should bring Fido to the vet.
  • 9 alarming reasons why your Rottweiler is so skinny (must read #3 and #9).
  • And that’s only the beginning…

Why is my Rottweiler so skinny? 9 reasons


#1: There are 3 types of Rottweilers

Your dog might not be skinny. 

After all, Rotties have a few variations. 

Specifically, here are their 3 types:

  • Roman.
  • German.
  • American.

Now, the last 1 is the smallest among the group. 

But, just how big could their size difference be? 

To make this simple, I prepared a table for you: 

Rottweiler typeHeightWeight
Roman23 to 30 in (58 to 76 cm)95 to 130 lbs (43 to 58 kg)
German25 to 27 in (63 to 68 cm)77 to 176 lbs (35 to 80 kg)
American22 to 27 in(55 to 68 cm)77 to 132 lbs (35 to 60 kg)

Clearly, Roman Rotties are much bigger. Especially when compared to the American ones. 

Now, German Rotts are heavier in weight. 

That makes these Fidos look bulkier than other Rottweilers. 

And in this case…

The American Rotties are the smallest of this furry family. 

So, if your dog isn’t the German or Roman type: 

Then, it’s no surprise that Fido looks skinnier. But in reality, their weight is just fine. 

#2: They’re still a puppy 

Look at your photos when you were young. 

Don’t you seem a lot different today?

Well, that also applies to your Rottie. 

So, if Fido’s a puppy… 

Their muscles are still developing.

In that case, it’s natural for them to look skinny. 

But I get that you’re worried. 

So, let me show you the growth chart for Rottweilers: 

Your Rottweiler’s ageAverage heightAverage weight
8 to 12 weeks13 to 18 in (34 to 45 cm)13 to 37 lbs (6 to 17 kg)
4 to 6 months19 to 23 in(49 to 59 cm)37 to 75 lbs (17 to 34 kg)
7 to 9 months24 to 26 in(62 to 66 cm)77 to 98 lbs (35 to 44 kg)
10 to 24 months24 to 27 (62 to 68 cm)88 to 120 lbs (40 to 54 kg)

As you can see… 

A Rott would only reach their full size around 1 year of age.

With this, you just have to keep Fido well-fed until they grow older.

#3: Due to illnesses 

According to research

Rotts are prone to many diseases, such as:

  • UTIs.
  • Bloat.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Cancers.
  • Diabetes.
  • Joint pain.
  • Parasites.
  • Parvovirus.
  • Heart issues.
  • Organ failure.
  • Dental problems.

With these illnesses, eating can be challenging for your dog. 

Due to that, a Rottie can easily lose weight. And that could make the pup look so skinny. 

Warning: Some of these conditions can be fatal. In that case, you should take your Rottweiler to the vet. 

That said…

How could you tell if Fido’s really sick? 

Experts say you should check for signs, like: 

Note: If you notice these symptoms, contact a vet right away.

Learn more: 11 Reasons Your Dog Vomits In The Morning + 3 Vital Tips

#4: Medicine effects

What if you already took Fido to the vet? 

And when your Rottie came back…

It seems that they lost more weight. Now, this might lead to a question:

“Did the clinic make my pup sick?” 

Well, that’s not impossible. 

Though, in most cases…

Your Rottie lost weight due to their meds. After all, some drugs have a lot of side effects. 

And sometimes, the drawback is: losing weight. 

So, if your Rott’s taking some medicine lately…

That could be the reason why they’re so skinny. 

Or this might also happen if Fido went through surgery. 

However, if you still have any doubts… 

It’s best to reach out to your Rottie’s vet.

#5: Genetics 

Your Rottweiler Is So Skinny Because Of Genetics

There’s a DNA called: ACSL4.

And it’s related to your dog’s muscles.

Now, what’s so interesting about this? 

Well, a study found that:

100% of Rottweilers have the ACSL4 gene. And they’re not alone in this case.

In fact, other pups also have this DNA, such as:

  • Mastiffs.
  • Saint Bernards.
  • Newfoundlands.
  • Dogue de Bordeaux.
  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs.

Now, thanks to the ACSL4 gene… 

These doggos look so muscular.

But, in this scenario, your Rottie looks so skinny. 

So, does that mean they don’t have the bulky DNA? 

Well, that’s possible. 

Though, it could only happen if your Rott’s not purebred. And an example of that would be Vizweilers.

Now, that’s a cross between Vizslas and Rotties. 

In this case, the former looks skinnier than the latter. 

So, when combined together… 

It’s no surprise that your Rottie would seem thinner too. Especially when compared to fully grown, purebred Rotts.

Thus, you don’t have to worry. As it’s only your dog’s natural weight.

#6: Improper diet

Your pup might be skinny cause they’re not eating enough. 

So, to help you out…

I prepared this Rottweiler feeding chart based on a vet’s guide:

AgeWeightCups of kibbles per dayDaily calories
8 to 12 weeks13 to 37 lbs (6 to 17 kg)1 to 2 ¼ cups464 to 969
4 to 6 months37 to 75 lbs (17 to 34 kg)2 ¼ to 3 ½ cups969 to 1474
7 to 9 months77 to 98 lbs (35 to 44 kg)3 ¾ to 4 ½ cups1629 to 1926
10 to 24 months88 to 120 lbs (40 to 54 kg)4 ¼ to 4 ½ cups1779 to 1926

Note: Experts say you should use a standard 8 oz. measuring cup. 

However, puppies or pregnant Fidos might need more food than healthy, adult Rotties. 

So, when you’re in doubt: 

You can ask the vet for a diet plan for your Rottweiler.

“But what if I’m feeding the right amount to my Rottie?” 

Well, you can look at more scenarios. 

For example: 

If you have other pups at home… 

These doggos might steal each other’s food. In that case, your Rottie can’t eat properly. 

Now, this mostly happens if no one watches the dogs during their meals. 

And in some cases…

Your pup’s diet doesn’t match their lifestyle 

Active dogs need more food to eat. After all, they burn so much energy. 

So, hyper dogs like Rotts must have a balanced diet.

Moreover, the AKC also states that: 

Giving new food to your Rottie can upset their stomach.

That’s because some pups have sensitive tummies

Plus, your Rott could be a picky eater too. Especially if Fido prefers human food. 

All in all, these issues can make your Rottie lose weight. 

Thus, they’ll look skinnier in the long run.

You might also like: Do Dogs Like Dog Food? 5 Vital Answers

#7: Too much exercise

Rotties have high energy levels.

With that, expect Fido to be active all day. 

Now, how much exercise do you give your Rott? 

In general, these dogs only need about 2 hours of work out daily. 

But, if your furry pal goes beyond that… 

Chances are, they’ll lose more weight. And that explains their skinny look. 

Now, this can also happen right under your nose. 

By that, I mean your Rottie might play more while you’re away. Especially if they have a lot of space to run around in.

And with more activities to do, these dogs will lose weight in no time 

But, this isn’t a healthy way to stay fit. 

After all, your Rottie might end up with injuries. Or sometimes, they might faint from being hyper too. 

So, what can you do to limit Fido’s activities? 

For one, you could train your Rott to stay calm. And there are many games that can help you with that, like:

  • Drop it.
  • It’s Yer Choice.
  • Grandma’s law.

Or, if your Rottie’s too hyper to handle… 

You can also ask for help from professional dog trainers.

With their guidance, you’ll learn how to keep your Rott in their best shape.

Continue reading: 15 Weird Reasons Why Your Dog Is So Hyper All Of A Sudden

#8: Anxiety or stress

Don’t forget your Rottie’s mental health too.

After all, specialists say these dogs are prone to separation anxiety. 

And when your Rottie feels stressed… 

They might stop eating. Now, that leads to being skinny.

In that case, you should help your Rottie relax. 

But how? 

First, find out if your Rott does have this issue

You can do that by checking Fido’s body language

With that, you’ll spot signs of stress, like:

Once you see these symptoms… 

You can calm your anxious Rottie by doing the following: 

  • Play soothing music.
  • Use an anxiety wrap.
  • Give Fido a massage.
  • Invite your pup to play with you.
  • Use calming medicine from vets.
  • Spend more time with your Rottie.
  • Find a safe resting place for your dog.

Now, many things could cause stress in your Rott. 

So, if you need more help, take Fido to the clinic instead. 

Or, you could also learn extra tips here: 

Suggested read: Why Does My Dog All Of A Sudden Have (Separation) Anxiety?

#9: Depression

Some dogs might stop eating for good. Even if that could make them sick.

And as tragic as it sounds… 

This really happens due to depression

Now, that’s 1 answer to why your Rottie could be skinny. 

That said, many things could lead to this issue in dogs. Such as:

  • Stress.
  • Boredom.
  • Loneliness.
  • Losing a loved one.
  • Sudden lifestyle changes. 

With that, you might notice Fido doing things like: 

And if you spot these symptoms in your Rottie… 

You should take them to the vet ASAP. 

PetMD says that dogs could die from: 

Broken heart syndrome. 

And with an expert’s help, your Rottie could get the therapy they need.