16 Rottweiler Facts That May Surprise You

Rottweilers are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues. Not all Rottweilers will get any or all of these diseases, but it is important to be aware of them when considering the breed. If you are buying a puppy, be sure to find a reputable breeder who can show you health certificates for both of the puppy’s parents.

Health certificates prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a specific disease. With Rotties, you should expect to see Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) health certificates for hip dysplasia (with a rating between fair and better), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and Willebrand-Juergens syndrome, thrombopathy, from Auburn University and certificates from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) that the eyes are normal You can confirm health certificates by checking the OFA website (

#1 Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is an inherited disorder in which the femur is not securely attached to the hip joint. Some dogs will show pain and lameness in one or both hind legs, but there may be no symptoms at all in a dog with hip dysplasia. Arthritis can develop in aging dogs.

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, like the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program, perform x-ray techniques for hip dysplasia. Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be used for breeding. When you purchase a puppy, get proof from the breeder that they have been tested for hip dysplasia and that the puppy is otherwise healthy. Hip dysplasia is hereditary but can be made worse by environmental factors, such as rapid growth, high-calorie food, or injury, jumping, or falling on slippery surfaces.

#2 Elbow dysplasia

This is an inherited condition in which the elbow joint is malformed. The extent of dysplasia can only be determined by radiographs. Your vet may suggest surgery to correct the problem or prescribe medication to control pain.

#3 Aortic stenosis/subaortic stenosis (AS/SAS)

This well-known heart defect occurs in some Rottweilers. The aorta narrows below the aortic valve, forcing the heart to work harder to supply blood to the body.

This disease can lead to fainting and even sudden death. It is an inherited disease, but the mode of transmission is currently unknown. A veterinary cardiologist typically diagnoses the disease when a heart murmur is detected.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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