Rottweiler Puppies Guide: Expert Tips for Training and Care

Whether you’re a new breeder or in store for one of life’s happy surprises, preparing your Rottweiler for giving birth, also known as whelping, is essential in ensuring your Rottweiler puppies have a healthy and safe experience. Proper preparation entails several crucial steps to protect the mother's and her puppies' health and safety.

This article will explore some things you can do while your Rottweiler is pregnant, during the birth event, and a little about post-natal care for your Rottweiler and her new puppies.

1. Rottweiler Gestation Period

Although it might vary significantly from dog to dog, a Rottweiler's gestation (or pregnancy) lasts on average 63 days. The gestation time is measured starting from the first day of mating, which may or may not correspond to the day of fertilization. It's crucial to remember that a dog's natural gestation might last anywhere between 58 and 68 days.


If you've been keeping track of your Rottweiler's mating dates and want to make an educated guess as to when she will give birth, you can start counting from the first day of mating. However, bear in mind that this estimate can be impacted by variables like the time of ovulation and fertilization.


It's a good idea to keep an eye out for the behaviors and telltale signals that she is approaching close to giving birth as the due date draws near. Regular prenatal veterinarian examinations can also support maintaining the well-being and health of your Rottweiler and her puppies throughout the pregnancy.

2. Health Examination

A good practice for someone new to this is to get your Rottweiler's prenatal health examined at the veterinarianbefore the anticipated delivery date. The veterinarian will verify the pregnancy, evaluate the mother's health, and offer recommendations for what to do next!

3. Supplies

Gather necessary supplies, including clean towels, heating pads (for emergencies), disposable gloves, sterilized scissors, dental floss (for tying off umbilical cords), a scale (for weighing puppies), and an emergency contact number for your vet.

We have gathered a comprehensive list of supplies you'll need to prepare your Rottweiler for giving birth (whelping):

  1. Bedding:

    • Soft blankets, towels, or washable pet pads for lining the whelping box.
    • Extra bedding for changing and cleaning as needed.

  2. Heating Source:

    • Heating pad or heat lamp set on low for maintaining a warm environment for the puppies.

  3. Nesting Area Accessories:
    • Clean and soft towels for drying off newborn puppies.
    • Clean and soft cloths for cleaning the mother after each puppy is born.
    • Small digital thermometer for monitoring the temperature of the whelping area.

  4. Health and Emergency Supplies:

    • Disposable gloves for assisting with the birth and handling the puppies.
    • Sterilized scissors for cutting umbilical cords (if needed).
    • Dental floss or thread for tying off umbilical cords (if needed).
    • Bulb syringe or aspirator for clearing mucus from puppies' airways.
    • Lubricant, such as mineral oil, for assisting with difficult births.
    • Digital kitchen scale for weighing puppies after birth.
    • First aid kit with items like gauze, hydrogen peroxide, and antiseptic wipes.
    • Contact information for your veterinarian and an emergency vet clinic.

  5. Feeding and Hydration:

    • Nutritious food for the mother, formulated for pregnant and nursing dogs.
    • Fresh water available at all times for the mother.
    • Puppy milk replacer and nursing bottles in case supplemental feeding is necessary.

  6. Identification and Record-keeping:

    • Colored ribbons, soft collars, or other safe identification methods to distinguish between puppies.
    • Notebook and pen for recording birth times, weights, and other important information.

  7. Comfort and Relaxation:

    • Calming scents, such as lavender, to create a soothing environment.
    • Music or white noise to help mask outside sounds.

  8. Other Supplies:
    • Newspapers for easy clean-up.
    • Trash bags for disposing of soiled materials.
    • Cleaning supplies for maintaining the whelping area's cleanliness.
    • Comfortable and easily accessible seating for you, as you'll need to be present during the birth.

3.1. Keep in Mind!

… that while having these supplies on hand is essential, it is also critical to be attentive, patient, and ready to adjust to the demands of the mother and her puppies. Ask your veterinarian for advice and support if you ever have questions about any part of the whelping process.

4. Nesting Location

Providing a cozy, peaceful, and secure location for your pregnant Rottweiler to give birth and care for her babies is essential to creating the finest nesting area. Here are some things to think about when establishing the nesting area:


  1. Location: 
    • Select a room in your house that is peaceful and has little traffic so the Rottweiler can get some privacy. Good choices include a spare room, a private area in a peaceful area of the house, or a corner of a quiet room.

  2. Whelping Box or Pen: 
    • To provide the mother Rottweiler and her puppies with a secure area, use a whelping box or a sizable pen. This makes it possible for the mother to conveniently access the puppies while still keeping them safe and controlled.

  3. Size: 

    • The nesting space should have enough room for the mother to stretch out and move around comfortably, but not so much room that the puppies could become lost. A good rule of thumb is a box with sides that are between 1.5 and 2 times the length of the mother.

  4. Bedding: 

    • Use soft, clean bedding to line the whelping box. It works well to use used blankets, towels, or washable pet pads. Be sure to keep additional bedding on hand so you can quickly change any items that become dirty.

  5. Warmth: 
    • Puppies initially struggle to control their body temperature, so make sure the nesting location is warm. To add further warmth, you can use a heating pad or heat lamp set on low, but watch out that it doesn't get too hot and that the puppies have access to a cold place to go if necessary.

  6. Simple Cleaning

    • Opt for bedding that is simple to wash and clean. Given that pups can be dirty, you'll need to periodically clean the nesting place.

  7. Accessibility: 
    • The walls of the whelping box should be high enough to contain the puppies as they begin to move around, but low enough for the mother to step in and out with ease.

  8. Privacy: 
    • It's crucial to allow the mother some privacy, even while you want to be able to observe and help if necessary from the nesting location. A busy, noisy, or high-traffic section of your house should not be where the nesting space is located.

  9. Security: 
    • Make sure that there are no dangers or other pets or kids nearby the nesting place. If required, put up a barrier to keep curious animals or people away.

  10. Location: 
    • Take into account where the nesting region is about the clinic of your veterinarian. It's a good idea to have quick access in case you need advice or to see the veterinarian while giving birth.

4.1. Keep in Mind!

… that every dog may have different tastes and needs. You can modify the nesting area as necessary by keeping an eye on your Rottweiler's behavior and degree of comfort. Always put the mother's and her puppies' security and welfare first. 

If you're on a budget and are handy with a bit of carpentry, you can build your own pen! This will give you a some flexibility as to where you want to put it and how big you'd like to make it. Check out this video for some ideas on how to build your own whelping pen:

5. Nutrition

Provide your pregnant Rottweiler with a high-quality, nutritionally complete meal. For specialized nutrition advice during pregnancy and breastfeeding, speak with your veterinarian, but here are some tips that can help you have an educated conversation with your vet.


It is essential to provide a pregnant Rottweiler with a balanced and suitable food in order to promote both her health and the development of her puppies. Here are some recommendations for consuming healthy diet when pregnant:

  1. High-Quality Commercial Dog Food:
    • Choose a high-quality commercial dog food that is specifically formulated for pregnant and nursing dogs. Look for brands that have undergone feeding trials and meet AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards.


  1. Increased Calories:
    • During pregnancy, the mother's caloric needs will increase, especially in the later stages of gestation. Gradually increase her daily food intake to accommodate this increased energy requirement.


  1. Protein-Rich Diet:
    • Protein is essential for the development of the puppies and the mother's overall health. Look for a dog food that contains around 25-30% protein. High-quality protein sources include meat, poultry, fish, and eggs.


  1. Healthy Fats:
    • Adequate fat intake is important for energy and supporting the puppies' brain development. Look for dog foods with moderate fat content, usually around 15-20%.


  1. Balanced Nutrients:
    • The dog food should contain a balanced ratio of essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals like calcium and phosphorus. Excess calcium intake should be avoided to prevent complications during pregnancy and lactation.


  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
    • Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil or flaxseed, can support brain and vision development in the puppies.


  1. Digestible Carbohydrates:
    • Carbohydrates provide energy, but choose dog foods with easily digestible sources like whole grains (rice, barley) or complex carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, peas).


  1. Avoid Fillers and Byproducts:
    • Avoid dog foods that contain excessive fillers, artificial additives, and meat byproducts.


  1. Consult Your Vet:
    • Every dog's nutritional needs can vary, so consult your veterinarian for specific feeding recommendations tailored to your Rottweiler's individual needs.


  1. Feeding Frequency:
    • Instead of two large meals, consider feeding the pregnant Rottweiler smaller, more frequent meals to prevent overloading her digestive system.


  1. Hydration:
    • Ensure she has access to fresh water at all times to stay hydrated.


  1. Supplements:
    • In most cases, a high-quality commercial dog food designed for pregnant and nursing dogs should provide the necessary nutrients. Consult your vet before adding any supplements to her diet.

5.1. Keep in Mind!

… to prevent intestinal discomfort, it's crucial to introduce the pregnant Rottweiler's new food gradually. To make sure she maintains a healthy weight during the pregnancy, keep an eye on her weight increase and physical condition. Consult your veterinarian for advice if you have any worries about your pet's nutrition or health.

6. Exercise

Provide your Rottweiler with moderate exercise throughout the pregnancy to keep the mother healthy, but avoid strenuous activities that could stress her.


7. Whelping Date

As your Rottweiler's whelping date approaches, several physical and behavioral indicators can tell you she's getting close to giving birth. Keep in mind that each dog is unique, so not all of these signs may be present, and the timing can vary. Below we list some common indicators that your Rottweiler is nearing her whelping date:


  1. Change in Body Temperature:
    • About 24 hours before labor starts, the mother's rectal temperature may drop below 100°F (37.8°C). You can anticipate labor by regularly checking her temperature in the days preceding her due date.
    • She may start nesting behaviors like scratching at the bedding, and rearrange her whelping environment to make it more comfortable for her and her puppies as she becomes more restless.
  2. Loss of Appetite: Some dogs may become less hungry as labor draws near.
  3. Increased Panting and indicators of Discomfort:
    • As she begins to feel contractions, you might observe an increase in panting, pacing, and indicators of discomfort.
  4. Licking and Vulva Swelling:
    • The vulva may appear swollen, and the dog may frequently lick the area as part of her nesting behavior.
  5. Changes in conduct:
    • Changes in conduct, such as an increased need for solitude or your companionship, can be signs of approaching labor.
  6. Mammary Glands Change:
    • As the body gears up for milk production, the mammary glands may grow, and the nipples may darken and protrude more.
  7. Decline in Appetite:
    • As labor draws near, a decline in appetite may be felt.
    • A decrease in appetite might be noticeable as labor approaches.
  8. More Sleeping:
    • She might begin to spend more time sleeping or lying down in her nesting location.
  9. Anxious or Whining Behavior:As labor draws near, some dogs may become more worried, restless, or noisy.

7.1. Keep in Mind!

... that not all canines will exhibit all of these symptoms, and some symptoms could not occur until labor is about to start. You can tell when your Rottweiler is about to give birth by keeping an eye on her behavior and physical changes, especially in the days before her due date. Contact your veterinarian for advice and support if you have questions or concerns about any part of the procedure.

8. The Whelping Process

Learn the symptoms of labor, which can include agitation, nesting behavior, hunger loss, and increased panting. The mother may lick her vulva, scratch at the bedding, and suffer contractions while giving birth. Be prepared to assist if necessary.

9. Assisting Birth

Most dogs can give birth without human intervention. If there are difficulties, such as a puppy getting trapped in the birth canal, be prepared to help. For advice if you're unclear or worried, speak with your veterinarian. Below are some signs to look for when thinking about when considering assisting your Rottweiler with her whelping.

In general, helping your Rottweiler give birth should generally be done as a last resort as the majority of dogs can do so naturally. To preserve the mother and her puppies' health and safety, there are some circumstances in which you may need to intervene and offer aid. Before helping with the birthing process, always get advice from your veterinarian. Here are some scenarios where you might be required to assist.

  1. Prolonged Labor (Stage 2):
    • If the mother has been in active labor (strong contractions and visible straining) for more than 30-60 minutes without producing a puppy, it's possible that a puppy is stuck in the birth canal. Contact your vet for guidance.

  2. Stalled Labor:
    • If the mother is experiencing strong contractions but no puppies are being born, there might be an issue. Your vet can advise you on how to proceed.

  3. Visible Distress:
    • If the mother appears to be in distress, extremely fatigued, or experiencing severe pain, you should seek veterinary assistance.

  4. Puppy Stuck in Birth Canal:
    • If you can see a puppy's head or a limb protruding from the birth canal but it's not progressing, you may need to assist gently. Consult your vet for instructions on how to do this safely.

  5. Umbilical Cord Problems:
    • If the mother doesn't chew through the umbilical cord or if a cord is wrapped around a puppy's neck, you may need to gently intervene to prevent suffocation or detachment.

  6. Puppy Not Breathing:
    • If a puppy is born but not breathing, you may need to clear the airways, stimulate breathing, and rub the puppy to encourage breathing.

  7. Retained Placenta:
    • If the mother doesn't pass the placenta within a few hours after giving birth to a puppy, it could lead to infection. Contact your vet for advice.

  8. Excessive Bleeding:
    • If the mother is bleeding heavily after giving birth to a puppy or if bleeding persists between puppies, it could indicate a problem.

  9. Puppies Not Nursing:
    • If the puppies are not nursing within a few hours of being born, they might need assistance latching onto the mother's teats.

  10. Mother's Inability to Care for Puppies:
    • If the mother shows signs of neglecting or rejecting her puppies, you may need to step in to ensure their care and feeding.

9.1. Keep in Mind!

Always remember that your priority is the health and safety of both your Rottweiler and her puppies. If you're unsure about how to assist or if complications arise, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian for guidance and professional assistance.

10. Placenta and umbilical cord

After each puppy is born, your Rottweiler will naturally chew through the placenta and eat it. This is a typical instinct that contributes to some nourishment and cleaning of the area. If she doesn't, you might need to intervene and offer assistance, but first speak with your veterinarian.

11. Post-Whelping Care

After each puppy is delivered, keep a close eye on them to make sure they're nursing, staying warm, and gaining weight. Keep the nesting place comfortable and tidy. Continue feeding the mother a healthy diet.

12. Post-Whelping Health Examination

Schedule a puppy vet checkup as soon as possible after the puppies are born to make sure they are strong and healthy.

13. Socialization

To guarantee their general health and well-being, Pit Bulls need frequent veterinary care, exercise, and a balanced diet like any other dog.

Socializing Rottweiler puppies is crucial for their development and overall well-being. Rottweilers are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and protective nature, but without proper socialization, they can exhibit behavioral issues and become overly cautious or aggressive.

13.1. Keep in Mind!

… that every pregnancy and whelping experience can be unique, so keep a careful eye on your Rottweiler and be ready to make adjustments as necessary. Consult your veterinarian for advice and support if you're uncertain about any part of the procedure.

14. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do I need to do anything if my Rottweiler is pregnant?

It is important to have the pregnant dog examined by a veterinarian at least three weeks prior to whelping; this will ensure that both mom and puppies are healthy. As your dog's abdomen grows, she may begin acting more tired, thirsty, and irritable.

How long are Rottweilers pregnant for?

All dogs are pregnant for around 63 days, including Rottweilers. However, this can vary slightly. Because their gestation is shorter than a human's, their due date tends to vary much less

How can you tell if a female Rottweiler is pregnant?

There are signs of dog pregnancy you can watch for, including: - Increase in appetite. - Weight gain. - Increase in nipple size. - Swollen belly. - Tires more easily. - Nesting behavior. - More affectionate. - Irritability.

Should I isolate my pregnant dog?

During the final 3 weeks of pregnancy, the mother dog should be completely isolated from other dogs at home

How long should i keep puppies after birth?

Eight weeks after birth, the puppy is eating solid food on their own, they have benefited from socializing with litter-mates and observing mom, and they are well within the ideal timeframe to bond with new owners. Breeders may also opt to keep the puppies until 10 or 12 weeks of age.

15. Conclusion

If you're a new breeder or you found yourself “blessed” by life's surprises, the health and safety of your Rottweiler friend hinges on how prepared you are to help them during their pregnancy. We hope you were able to learn something from this article, I know I did. 

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