How old do German Rottweilers live? A Magical Look at the Lifespan of These Loyal Companions

Rottweilers—with their stocky builds, intimidating stance, and deep, rumbling barks—have gained a notorious reputation over the years.

But those who know and love this breed understand their docile nature and fierce loyalty that makes them such treasured companions.

As a proud owner of a German Rottweiler named Fang, I’ve come to appreciate not just his protective instincts but his goofy personality that fills our home with joy.

Like any puppy determine, I do marvel—how lengthy will I’ve with my liked four-legged Frag? What is the everyday lifespan of a Rottweiler? Do they suffer age-related health issues like humans?

In this article, we’ll dive deep into the life stages, common medical conditions, and longevity of German Rottweilers. Pull up a chair by the fire and let’s discuss one of the most magnificent breeds known to wizard and Muggle alike!

An Intro to the Stalwart Rottweiler Breed

The Rottweiler originated as a drover dog in the Roman Empire, driving cattle for butchers and herders. Their name comes from the German town Rottweil, where these hearty canines were selectively bred for their physical strength and guarding instincts.


When the Roman armies traveled Europe, they brought Rottweilers along to herd livestock and protect camps from thieves and wild animals. This continued through the Middle Ages, with Rottweilers working as cattle dogs, police dogs, and guard dogs.

The breed nearly went extinct within the nineteenth century until German breeders revived the population. Inside the Nineties, Rottweilers soared in recognition across Europe and North Ameria thanks to their devotion, bravery, and flexibility.

Today, these exquisite puppies work as service animals, therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, and of path, dependable family pets. The yankee Kennel membership ranked Rottweilers as its eighth most famous breed in 2021.

How old do German Rottweilers live?

The typical life expectancy of a German Rottweiler is tragically more limited than numerous other canine varieties, running between 8-10 years by and large.

Male Rottweilers will quite often live close to 9 years, while females live somewhat longer at 10 years. A few very really liked Rottweilers can live beyond 10 years and, surprisingly, up to 12-15 years, yet this life span is more uncommon.

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Rottweiler?

For the sort of strong breed, Rottweilers unfortunately have a shorter-than-average lifespan as compared to other dogs. The typical longevity for German Rottweilers is:


  • 8-10 years on average
  • 9 years for males
  • 10 years for females

Some Rottweilers exceed expectations and live over 10 years, especially with diligent health care. The oldest known Rottweiler reached nearly 16 years! Proper nutrition, exercise, vet care, and genetics determine your dog’s lifespan.

Exploring the Rottweiler Life Stages

Rottweilers mature quicker than humans in those adorable puppy and adolescent phases. Let’s break down the phases of a Rottweiler’s life:

Puppy (8 weeks – 1 year)

The puppy days fly by in the blink of an eye! Rottweiler puppies grow rapidly during their first year, gaining 7-10 lbs per month. Their baby teeth start falling out around 4 months old. Make sure to socialize your puppy properly and attend training classes for good behavior.

Adolescent (1-3 years)

Gangly and goofy, adolescent Rottweilers are full of energy. They need plenty of exercise, training, and chew toys at this age. Adolescence is an important time for health testing too, like X-rays and heart exams.

Adult (3-8 years)

In their prime adult years, Rottweilers make alert watchdogs and affectionate companions. Their energy levels taper off compared to adolescence. Schedule annual vet visits to catch any emerging conditions early.

Mature Adult (8-10+ years)

As senior citizens, Rottweilers start displaying signs of aging like gray fur, stiffness, or lumps. Take your mature dog for biannual senior wellness exams. Keep their mind and body active to prolong good health.

What Health Issues Affect Rottweilers Later in Life?

Way to decades of selective breeding, Rottweilers are predisposed to positive age-related situations:



Unluckily, most cancers is the leading purpose of loss of life in Rottweilers, in particular:

  • Bone cancer (osteosarcoma)
  • Lymphoma
  • Mast cell tumors

Spaying/neutering your dog early reduces cancer risk. Check for unusual lumps, limping, or swelling on legs.

Joint Dysplasia

Hip and elbow dysplasia plague many Rottweilers later in life. Arthritis is common too. Joint supplements, medication, therapy, or surgery can help manage discomfort.

Heart Conditions

Subaortic stenosis (SAS) is a congenital heart defect in the breed. An annual heart exam screens for murmurs or irregularities.

Eye Problems

Rottweilers are prone to cataracts, eyelid abnormalities, and progressive retinal atrophy. Monitor their eyesight and see a veterinary ophthalmologist if issues arise.

With attentive vet care and some luck, Rottweilers can power through their golden years!

What Is the Typical Rottweiler Lifespan?

Now that we’ve covered the developmental phases and health risks, what is the normal lifespan range for Rottweilers?


  • Average Lifespan: 8-10 years
  • Oldest Known Rottweiler: 15 years, 144 days
  • Median Lifespan: 9.4 years

For a large breed, that’s a decent lifespan—but we Rottie parents wish we had longer with our beloved pets. Some factors affect longevity:


Larger Rottweilers tend to have shorter lifespans. Overbreeding for size can cause health problems. Stick to standard sizes from reputable breeders.

Spay/Neuter Status

Intact (unaltered) Rottweilers may live 1-2 years less than dogs spayed or neutered before maturity. Reproductive cancers are a major risk.

Exercise & Diet

Overweight Rottweilers who lack exercise die up to 2 years earlier than active, fit ones. Stick to a healthy diet with regular walking, playing, training.


Dogs who receive consistent vet exams, prevention & early diagnostics fare better. Don’t skip annual visits and necessary procedures.

If considering a Rottweiler, opt for females from health-tested lines for your best shot at a longer-lived pup. But there are no guarantees when it comes to longevity.

What Are the Oldest Living Rottweilers?

While the expected lifespan caps at 10 years, some Rottweilers beat the odds and live well into their teens. What are the oldest Rottweilers on record?


  • The oldest Rottweiler was a female named Chanel who lived 15 years, 144 days. She passed in 2009.
  • Another female named Maggie lived until 14 years and 297 days.
  • The oldest male Rottweiler reached 14 years and 62 days.
  • One rescue Rottie lived to the ripe old age of 13 years despite health issues.

These long-lived outliers prove with attentive care and a bit of luck, Rottweilers can live years beyond the expected lifespan.

Common Signs of Aging in Senior Rottweilers

As Rottweilers enter their golden years, what age-related changes might you notice? Signs your dog is considered a “senior” include:

  • Graying fur, especially on the muzzle and around eyes
  • Cloudy eyes or difficulty seeing, especially at night
  • Lumps, bumps or warts on skin
  • Difficulty standing up, limping, or stiffness
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Loss of hearing or vision
  • Decreased stamina on walks
  • Weight gain or muscle loss
  • Bad breath or dental issues

If you notice any of these senior changes in your mature Rottweiler, discuss pain management, medications, or therapy with your vet. Keeping your dog active and fit will help minimize age-related decline.

Are Memory Problems Common in Elderly Rottweilers?

Many owners notice their senior Rottweilers start to seem “forgetful” – wandering aimlessly, getting “stuck” behind furniture, or having accidents in the home. This is known as “cognitive dysfunction” and some compare it to Alzheimer’s disease in humans.

Signs of cognitive decline include:

  • Disorientation
  • Getting “lost” in familiar places
  • Staring blankly into space
  • Poor recognition of family members
  • Loss of housetraining
  • Changes in sleep-wake cycle
  • Irritability or anxiety

This dementia-like condition is not a normal part of aging. Talk to your vet about medications like Anipryl that may alleviate symptoms. Keep your dog’s mind active with games and training to delay onset.

While some forgetfulness crops up in old age, dramatic personality changes warrant a full veterinary work-up. Some medical issues like urinary tract infections can mimic cognitive dysfunction.

How Can I Increase My Rottweiler’s Longevity?

Want to maximize your Rottweiler’s lifespan and keep them thriving into old age? Here are tips:


  • Pick a healthy pup: Select from tested, reputable breeders – never pet stores or puppy mills!
  • Spay/neuter early: Altering before maturity reduces cancer risk.
  • Prevent obesity: Follow an approved feeding guide and avoid unhealthy human foods.
  • Exercise daily: Regular walks and play stimulates body and brain.
  • Enroll in training: Well-trained dogs have better lifespans. Socialize them early.
  • Brush teeth: Daily toothbrushing reduces bacteria and enhances overall health.
  • Give joint supplements: Glucosamine/chondroitin and fish oil supports bone/joint health.
  • Do annual vet exams: Screen for issues early – bloodwork, heart/eye/thyroid exams.
  • Try dog sports/jobs: Working dogs like therapy, agility, or obedience live longer.
  • Manage pain properly: Speak to your vet about pain relief – don’t let them suffer.
  • Adjust home for seniors: Add ramps, orthopedic beds, hire dog walkers as needed.
  • Keep their mind active: Food puzzles, learning new tricks/cues keeps them healthier.
  • Monitor quality of life: When the bad days outnumber the good, consider euthanasia. Better a week early than a day late.

While the Rottweiler’s lifespan is limited, proper preventative care and management of age-related diseases allows them to stay active and thriving well into their golden years.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rottweilers Lifespan

How long do German Rottweilers live?

  • The common lifespan for German Rottweilers is eight to ten years. Females tend to live around 1 yr longer than males on average. Some live even longer with diligent care.

Can a Rottweiler live 15 years?

  • While rare, some Rottweilers do surpass 15 years of age. The oldest known Rottweiler lived 15 years and 5 months. With genetics, preventative vet care, proper diet and exercise, reaching 15 is possible.

What is the most common cause of death in Rottweilers?

  • Cancer is the leading reason of loss of life in Rottweilers, particularly bone most cancers, lymphoma, and mast cell tumors. Hip/elbow dysplasia and heart conditions also take many Rottweilers prematurely.

What is the oldest lifespan of a Rottweiler?

  • The verified oldest Rottweiler lived 15 years and 144 days before passing away in 2009. A few other Rottweilers have exceeded 14 years. But anything over 12 years is quite remarkable for this breed prone to cancers and joint issues.

Does Rottweiler have memory loss?

  • Some senior Rottweilers can develop cognitive dysfunction leading to disorientation, forgetting commands, loss of housetraining, and other dementia-like symptoms. It’s not a normal part of aging. Medication and mental stimulation helps.

How can I increase my Rottweiler lifespan?

  • You can maximize your Rottweiler’s longevity by choosing healthy lines, spaying/neutering, preventing obesity, exercising daily, training & socializing early, attending annual vet exams, managing pain properly, and keeping their mind active into old age.


While saying goodbye to our beloved Rottweilers is always difficult, focusing on providing the best quality of life during their regrettably short time with us is what matters most. Reward their loyalty with responsible health management and compassion.

Here’s hoping science soon discovers how to extend the lifespans of man and dog’s best friend alike. Until then, I’ll cherish every drooly kiss and goofy grin sweet Fang gives me as we embark on our magical journey together.


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