Rottweiler Head Growth: What To Expect as Your Dog Matures

A happy, relaxed Rottweiler with his mouth partially open and a clear blue sky in the background.

While a Rottweiler grows, the body steadily becomes larger and larger and the muscles gradually start to develop,  but what can you expect as far as the head is concerned? 

When does a Rottweiler’s head fill out? Generally, a Rottweiler’s head grows a bit faster than the body, which usually takes longer to develop, but the head will continue filling out until two to three years of age. It is normal for head growth to seem disproportionate compared to the body until all growth is complete.

Here’s everything to know about how your Rottweiler’s head will grow as they mature to check and ensure that your puppy is growing on track. 

Rottweiler Head Growth: What To Expect

The Rottweiler breed’s predominant feature is the shape and size of the head.

You can often see Rottweilers’ heads be of two types: a slender skull (light head typical of an American Rottweiler) or a massive skull (heavy head typically of German and European lines).

However, a Rottweiler ideally should have a medium-sized skull with a great distance between the ears and moderately protruding fronts. 

First Year

A Rottweiler puppy will have a growth spurt in the first seven months with the head and legs growing at a faster rate than their bodies.

Between eight and 12 months, sometimes younger, they start to grow to their adult height, which means a Rottweiler will look a little lanky and almost reminiscent of a bobblehead in its first year. 

Second Year

Once Rottweilers have reached their full height in the second year, it’s time for them to get stocky. Here, they will start to fill out, grow to their adult weight, and develop considerable muscle. 

Your once lanky-looking Rottweiler puppy will start looking like a healthy, very large dog at two years old.

However, their physical appearance, including the bulk of their head, still has the capacity to change in size, and their muscles continue to develop. 

Third Year

Many Rottweilers won’t quite reach their full adult weight at two years old and will continue to gain a few pounds and appear more bulky well into their third year.

Though the head should already be close to full size by the end of the second year, some Rotties’ heads will keep getting more massive for a few more months.

Their large heads and bodies will have fully developed by the end of the third year and will now stop growing.

Male and Female Head Size Differences

Normally, the proportions or size of the head of a Rottweiler corresponds to his/her sexual identity.

Male Rottweilers, when properly developed, usually have bigger head sizes than female Rottweilers.

Head Size Difference Due to Type

Some Rottweilers look different than others with bigger or smaller heads, making it a common belief that there are different types of Rottweilers.

In reality, a purebred Rottweiler is a Rottweiler – period. However, different lines produce different characteristics, and you’ll likely hear about the two main “types” frequently.

  • American Rottweilers: These dogs are usually without the signature wide, blocky Rottweiler head. They weigh less, are shorter, and do not generally have a massive, powerful build, though they are certainly large and strong. 
  • German Rottweilers: Generally, these are the best-looking Rottweilers with thick bones and blocky heads. They are bred according to Germany’s strict breeding guidelines and are good-natured, placid, healthy, good hip scores, and has passed breed-qualifications tests.

American and German Rottweilers are simply Rottweilers bred from US or German lines according to different standards.

They are not an officially accepted classification or type, although the difference is instantly noticeable when compared side by side. 

The same goes for “Serbian Rottweilers,” “Russian Rottweilers,” and “Roman Rottweilers” (sometimes called “King Rottweilers).

The latter might be larger and heavier and thus look more superior than average Rottweilers, but they simply come from different lines and have been bred to meet different standards. 

How Big Should a Rottweiler’s Head Be?

A young male Rottweiler wearing a gold chain collar with green grass in the background.

Generally, the skull length of a big male Rottweiler, measured from the base of the skull (occipital protuberance)  to the muzzle, is around 15 centimeters and only slightly more than 13 centimeters for a big female Rottweiler.

An adult male skull’s width is about 16 centimeters, while it’s only a little over 14 centimeters in females.

When To Be Concerned About Your Rottweiler’s Growth

Although you might want to encourage your dog to grow and fill out faster, growing too much too quickly is a massive concern when it comes to a growing Rottweiler. 

This dog breed will grow to become a large and heavy dog, and the problem with that is, if you don’t watch your dog’s growth closely, they can put too much weight on too quickly.

That will leave you and your dog with plenty of problems later.

Since Rottweilers have the potential to be large and heavy, if they grow too quickly while the bones are still forming and muscles still developing, there could be additional pressure on their joints.

That can lead to misalignment when a Rottweiler reaches adulthood, resulting in more problems in their stance, gait, walking, and other movements. 

As they grow older, they will also be prone to arthritis, heart issues, and respiratory complaints.

On the other hand, a lack of growth is definitely a concern as well as it can point to a variety of serious issues, such as parasites or an inability to absorb nutrients.

If you have any concerns whatsoever about your dog’s growth, please see your veterinarian right away.

Related Questions: 

What Age Does a Rottweiler’s Head Stop Growing?

Although Rottweilers will reach their adult height at the age of one year, they will continue to put on weight until they are two or three years old.

That means they can start looking like an adult Rottweiler at 12 months, but the bulkiness of the head as well as the body will only appear around two to three years of age.

By this stage, a Rottweiler’s head will have stopped growing, although they can still put on weight if exercised too little or are being fed too much. 

What Age Do Rottweilers Start to Fill Out?

Like any larger breed dogs, Rottweilers can often be slow to mature physically.

Most will reach their adult height at one year of age and then start to fill out and bulk up until they are around two to three years of age. 

During that time, Rottweilers will develop broader chests and start looking like the massive dogs that they are.

Conclusion

Rottweilers have a reputation for having large, stocky heads. They may look like they have big heads for their little bodies (or vice versa) when young, but Rottweilers will continue filling out for another year or two.

By the time growth is complete, everything will have balanced out, and you’ll be left with a powerful, gorgeous dog.