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How to Groom a Rottweiler: 10 Expert Tips

Written by: Kerry-Ann Kerr

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

Rottweiler Taking bath

How to Groom a Rottweiler: 10 Expert Tips


Dr. Amanda Charles Photo


Dr. Amanda Charles

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Rottweilers are considered moderate shedders; they have a double coat and shed more heavily in the spring and fall, but it isn’t unmanageable, and they’re much lower maintenance than a long-haired 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!

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The 10 Tips on How to Groom a Rottweiler

1. Start Them Young

Introduce grooming to your Rottweiler puppy as soon as possible. Start slow and always make it a positive experience for them. Early grooming helps puppies become comfortable and happy with being handled, touched, and examined. This not only helps with grooming but also with veterinary visits, especially when your pup is a 70- to 120-pound muscular adult!

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 always love, like sticking a toothbrush in their mouths.

Rottweiler puppy taking bath
Photo Credit: Caseyjadew, Shutterstock

2. Establish a Brushing Routine

Dogs appreciate routine, so figuring out a grooming routine early will make your life easier. Rottweilers should be brushed weekly at a minimum, but ideally, you will need to brush them around two to three times a week during the shedding seasons 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. Although it might not seem worth it, as you’ll only use it for a few months of the year, you’ll be thankful for it when that dense undercoat is shedding everywhere in the spring and fall.

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 usually only need to be bathed occasionally, every 6 to 8 weeks on average. If you over-bathe 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 and become irritated by more acidic products. Ideally, pick a good-quality dog shampoo with natural ingredients. Dog wipes can also be helpful to deal with small areas.

When it comes to choosing the right products for grooming your pup and avoiding skin irritation, there are two products we cannot recommend highly enough. The Oatmeal Pet Shampoo from Hepper is formulated with aloe and oatmeal to soothe skin and hydrate the coat; and for a convenient on-the-go option to quickly refresh sensitive areas, Hepper's Wash Wipes will help you keep your dog clean from head to tail with moisturizing ingredients. Both products are pH-balanced and formulated with pet-friendly ingredients, free of harsh soaps, chemicals, and dyes. Give this duo a try to soothe, heal and nourish your dog's coat, and leave them with an irresistible just-left-the-spa cucumber and aloe scent.

Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Wash Wipes - Soft Pet Cleaning Wipes...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Wash Wipes - Soft Pet Cleaning Wipes...
Great for ears, eyes, paws & bottoms
Works right down to the skin
Great for on the go
Natural ingredients
Hypoallergenic formula
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Great for ears, eyes, paws & bottoms
Works right down to the skin
Great for on the go
Natural ingredients
Hypoallergenic formula
Hepper Pet Wash Wipes - Soft Pet Cleaning Wipes...
Hepper Pet Wash Wipes - Soft Pet Cleaning Wipes...
Great for ears, eyes, paws & bottoms
Works right down to the skin
Great for on the go
Natural ingredients
Hypoallergenic formula

At Dogster, we've admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool pet company!

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 formulated for dogs. 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 diets, chews, and treats that can help maintain your dog’s teeth. Look for products with the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal of acceptance.

black brown rottweiler dog lying on grass
Photo Credit: Rebecca Scholz, Pixabay

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 on a firm, level surface. If they are too long, they can cause abnormal weight bearing and are more likely to get caught or broken.

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 or unsure how to do 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.

Check for the following:
  • Broken, brittle, damaged, or overgrown nails
  • Foreign objects like splinters
  • Growths, lumps, bumps, pimples, or skin tags
  • Inflammation or redness, particularly in the ears, between toes, or on their belly
  • Open wounds, scrapes, or cuts
  • Parasites such as fleas or ticks
  • Signs of pain, such as your dog not wanting to be touched

To be on the safe side, always have any new lumps or bumps checked out by your vet, even if you think they look harmless. Many are nothing to worry about; however, many lumps look similar from the outside, so your vet may need to take a small sample to find out what it is. Common lumps found on dogs include fatty growths, warts, abscesses, cysts, or even skin cancer.

close up of rottweiler dogs panting
Photo Credit: Degtyaryov Andrey, Shutterstock

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 may all 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.

Happy rottweiler dog running in the yard
Photo Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

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 enjoy the experience and make them more willing to do it again!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can You Shave a Rottweiler?

No, you should never shave your Rottweiler or any other double-coated breed. The outer coat, made up of guard hairs, repels moisture and dirt, and the undercoat provides insulation in cold weather. Shaving your Rotty could irritate their skin and leave them vulnerable to sunburn and insect bites.

In addition, shaving damages the natural cycle of the double coat. The dense undercoat grows back more quickly and can take over the coat, leaving your dog hotter and less able to regulate their temperature.

Do You Need to Clean a Rottweiler’s Eyes?

Generally, your Rottweiler’s eyes won’t need regular cleaning, but it’s a good idea to check them as part of your grooming routine. 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 eyeballs directly. Consult your vet if you notice changes to the eye, such as redness, swelling, or discharge.

Chow Chow & Rottweiler Mix
Photo Credit: piImage Credit: Rawpixel

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.

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Final Thoughts

Start getting your Rottweiler used to grooming when they are young by introducing it gradually and making it a positive experience for them. Using treats and praise during and after can help with this! Older dogs can also learn to enjoy grooming, but it can take more time.

Grooming can be a stressful experience, so start slowly and make sure you don’t try to cram everything into a single day. If you notice your dog becoming worried or stressed, stop and give them a break. Stick to your routine of brushing them daily and schedule other times for bathing and trimming their nails.

Featured Image Credit: PhotoDOGraphy, Shutterstock

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