If you’ve closely researched Rottweilers or are perhaps even thinking of getting one, you’ve probably run across a picture of a Rottweiler with a unique white color.
Are these unusual dogs the result of photo editing, or is there really such a thing as an all-white Rottie?
Are there any white Rottweilers? Though very rare, white Rottweilers do exist. The strange coloration could be the result of albinism, crossbreeding, or inbreeding. Conditions such as vitiligo or hypothyroidism could cause large portions of the coat to turn white or become lighter in color, though this is rare.
In the following, you’ll learn all about white Rottweilers, what causes the rare coloration, and what health problems it poses to the dog.
What Could Cause a Rottweiler To Be White
White Rottweilers do exist but not in the “rare Rottweiler color” sense that some breeders try to market.
In fact, a white-colored coat in Rottweilers is not a desirable trait as it is mostly associated with health or gene defects.
Depigmentation in Rottweilers can happen on some parts of their body, particularly around the mouth and nose or in bigger patches of their body.
Sometimes, their entire body could be white. Let’s find out why.
Each gene a dog has is supposed to produce melanin, and if it does, it means that the gene is working. Having the albino gene doesn’t necessarily make a dog an albino.
A single copy of the gene usually does nothing, but when a dog receives two copies of the gene, the dog will lack the pigment-producing melanin and be albino.
When a Rottweiler has “true” albinism, the entire coat will be white.
However, the presence of the recessive gene could manifest as white spots appearing on their head or chest. In this case the dog is not considered “true” albino.
While a white coat on a Rottweiler can look “cool” for those looking for a “rare” dog, albinism in Rottweilers can be harmful.
Although it’s pretty rare, albinism is a serious health condition.
Albino Rottweilers or white Rottweilers have incredibly poor health because of fragile immune systems. That makes them prone to suffer different kinds of health issues.
True albinism in dogs is incredibly rare, and in many cases when there’s a white Rottweiler, it’s not because of albinism but rather a result of crossbreeding.
For instance, breeding a Rottweiler with a white German Shepherd could result in a pup having a dominant gene of the white color.
Although not all puppies will have that feature, there’s a possibility of having a pup with the physical characteristics of a Rottweiler but with the white color of the German Shepherd.
Inbreeding or breeding Rottweilers that are close relatives can also result in a white puppy. For example, breeding a father and daughter Rottweiler can cause a break in their supposed recessive gene.
What happens is the dominant gene, which is usually the one that produces melanin and pigment, doesn’t work, causing another gene, like the albino gene, to break to the surface.
Another reason that a Rottweiler’s fur could turn white is the condition known as vitiligo. It’s a rare skin problem where there’s pigment loss in the skin, causing patches of white skin and fur to start appearing.
While its main cause remains unknown, it’s clear that vitiligo is a result of something happening within the dog’s body, particularly their melanin-producing cells.
For Rottweilers with vitiligo, the effects could be different from one dog to another.
Some could lose pigmentation on certain spots of their body, while vitiligo could affect the entire body of other dogs.
Vitiligo in dogs usually starts as depigmentation or their skin and fur turning white.
As the skin problem develops, it could lead to skin lesions and dandruff. Although it’s not painful for dogs, vitiligo can be itchy.
Hypothyroidism is a health issue where your dog has an underperforming thyroid gland.
Although Rottweilers are not the most prone to it, they do have an increased risk of hypothyroidism, especially at around four to 10 years old.
Among the common symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs, like weight gain, are skin problems, such as premature graying.
If your Rottweiler suffers from this ailment, there could be excessive shedding, dryness on the skin, and graying. However, all these are reversible once the thyroid problem is dealt with.
Health Issues Associated With White Rottweilers
If the coat of a Rottweiler is white due to albinism or inbreeding, there may be a host of health problems.
- Vision Problems: Similar to humans, Rottweilers with albinism are sensitive to light. Common symptoms include excessive watering of the eyes and photophobia, which can often lead to blindness. They are also at higher risk for unfixable eye abnormalities.
- Skin Problems: Since they lack skin pigment that protects their skin from UV rays, white Rottweilers may need sunscreen and protective coats.
- Breathing Problems: White Rottweilers resulting from inbreeding are prone to develop breathing problems, nervous system disorders, and heart disease, among many other genetic defects.
Is There an All-White Rottweiler?
Yes, there is an all-white Rottweiler or albino Rottweiler, a product of a genetic or health defect.
Albino Rottweilers usually have white fur and pink skin covering the body, including the nose, lips, and mouth. The eyes are red or pink.
Is There a Black-and-White Rottweiler?
Black-and-white is not a standard color for the Rottweiler breed.
However, some dogs may develop white coloring on their usually black coat because of an auto-immune disorder known as vitiligo, also called leukoderma.
In this case, their fur loses its normal pigment due to the destruction of the melanin cells. The white markings usually appear around their eyes, muzzles, or any part of their body.
Is There a Full Black Rottweiler?
Full-black Rottweilers do exist, but all-black purebred Rottweilers are extremely rare.
They are not officially recognized as Rottweilers as per the breed standard because a shift in their coloring is considered an indication of a genetic deformity.
However, in most cases, a fully black Rottweiler is not purebred. They are usually a cross between a Rottweiler and a black Labrador.
Is a White Spot on a Rottweiler’s Chest Normal?
Although the appearance of a white spot on a Rottweiler’s chest was once thought to be a sign of poor breeding, it’s, in fact, within their history and thus considered normal.
The white marking on their chest originates from their ancestors who have white chests, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and the Bernese Mountain Dog, which were crossbred with Mastiff-type breeds to create the original Rottweiler.
Is a White Rottweiler a Mix?
Most of the time, yes, a white Rottweiler is the result of a mixed breeding.
Crossbreeding a Rottweiler with a white German Shepherd dog can result in the white dominant trait popping up, producing a white Rottweiler.
Do Rottweilers Change Color?
Traditionally, Rottweilers won’t change their color. However, they may lighten or become darker as they grow into adulthood.
The change in the shade of their coats happens cause Rottweilers shed as they grow older.
It means they will have a thinner coat, causing the base coat to become more visible than before, enough that they may appear to change in color.
What Color Eyes Do White Rottweilers Have?
White Rottweilers that suffer from albinism typically have either pink or red eyes. White Rottweilers resulting from crossbreeding will typically have dark brown eyes.
How Much Is a White Rottweiler Puppy?
Rottweiler puppies usually cost around $1,500 to $2,500 if you get them from a reputable breeder.
If a breeder is selling a white Rottweiler with an astronomical price tag saying that the color is rare and special, then beware.
Ethical breeders who get Rottweilers with white spots usually sell them as “pet quality,” so you can usually buy them cheaper. They of course won’t allow breeding rights, and some even list them for free adoption.
Standard Rottweiler Colors
As per the AKC breed standard, the only accepted colors for Rottweilers include black & mahogany, black & rust, and black & tan.
Although it’s somewhat normal for modern-day Rottweilers to have white chests, the AKC penalizes these white markings on Rottweilers.
Also, as per the AKC breed standard:
- Mahogany or rust markings must not be over 10% of their coloring.
- White markings on Rottweilers are a serious fault, excluding a few white hairs.
Rottweilers come in three color combinations, all with a black base coat.
However, you might have seen an all-white Rottweiler or a partially white Rottweiler resulting from genetic or health defects or crossbreeding.
While it’s rare, it is not a desirable trait as white Rottweilers come with a host of health defects due to a weaker immune system and genetic deformities.