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Having a German Shepherd means having an intelligent, loyal, and protective family dog. But, what is this dog like in terms of grooming? Some dogs might smell worse than other dogs. What about German Shepherds? Do German Shepherds smell?

Every dog has a certain smell, but we can say that some dogs smell more than other dogs. No matter how beautiful our pets are to us, the fact is that each of them, at least sometimes, does not have the most pleasant body odor!

There can be many reasons for bad dog smell – from improper care for the dog to various health problems.

Read on to find out if German Shepherds smell; if they do, to what extent it is pronounced, what are the causes of the stench, and what you can do to help your dog.

Do German Shepherds Smell?

german shepherd dog with a flowergerman shepherd dog with a flower

It is pretty easy for us to always smell nice, of course, if we don’t have any medical issues – we just need to maintain personal hygiene on a daily basis! But, this might be quite different with our furry companions.

German Shepherds (GSD) are not known for smelling more than other dog breeds. So, if you take good care of your German Shepherd puppy, and if it is completely healthy, the dog should not smell bad.

However, pet owners might notice a bad smell in their German Shepherd dogs, and this could be a sign of an inappropriate care, or of a certain health problem in their dog.

In many cases you will be able to solve the problem of a smelly dog by yourself; you just need to be aware of all potential causes of bad smell in your dog.

Why Do German Shepherds Smell So Bad?

There are more reasons why would a German Shepherd smell bad. Some of them might not be related to health, and you will just need to make some changes in your dog’s grooming routine or your dog’s surroundings.

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However, in some other cases, your GSD might smell bad due to a certain medical condition.

Let’s see what are the possible causes of foul odor in your dog.

1. Skin Infections

Various skin conditions can cause your dog to smell bad, such as allergies or parasites.

First, you should check if there are any visible changes on your German Shepherd’s coat or skin, such as hotspots, flea dermatitis, mites on skin, crusted scabs on the dog’s mouth, or scabs on the dog’s back.

If you notice anything from the above mentioned changes, you should call your veterinarian immediately.

A dog’s skin is quite sensitive and you should not treat a dog’s skin problems without first consulting a veterinarian.

2. Poor Diet

German shepherd dog playing with an orange ball in its mouthGerman shepherd dog playing with an orange ball in its mouth

Believe it or not, one of the most common reasons for bad doggie odor can be dog food. It is very possible that the dog does not tolerate a certain food that you give him, and this can be manifested by various symptoms, such as frequent farting, diarrhea and flatulence.

All German Shepherd owners should be careful with the food they give to their dogs, especially if they know their dog has a sensitive stomach.

Quality dog food is very important, not only to keep your German Shepherd from smelling bad, but for his overall health.

If you notice weight loss in your GSD, it is very possible that he is eating less food because he does not like the food you are currently giving him. A German Shepherd is a hard-working and energetic dog, and it should not be skinny by all means.

If you are not sure which food would be the best source for your dog, it would be best to consult a veterinarian, and you can also find excellent advice in our article on the best dog food for German Shepherds.

3. Wet Body

Oh, that wet dog smell – I am sure all of you have smelt this, no matter what breed of dog you have.

When your dog gets wet (perhaps even after a certain length of time), the water in the form of evaporation releases all unpleasant odors from your dog’s fur, such as old food, dirt, feces, etc.

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For this reason, it is very important to maintain and bathe our dogs regularly, especially dogs with double fur like the German Shepherd. Some dogs can smell when they get wet if they have parasites, bacterial or yeast infections.

In some dogs, it is possible that they secrete excess oil from the sebaceous glands.

So, in general, you should not worry if your German Shepherd has an unpleasant smell when it gets wet, but you should definitely maintain the hygiene and cleanliness of your furry friend regularly.

4. Dental Issues

If you notice that your dog suddenly has a very unpleasant smell, you should first check your dog’s breath. Bad breath in dogs can be caused by improper hygiene of the dog’s teeth, but also by various dental diseases.

Dental hygiene is very important for dogs, since by regularly maintaining the cleanliness of our dog’s teeth, we significantly reduce the possibility of tartar build-up and dental diseases in dogs.

However, sometimes a dog can develop dental problems even when its owner brushes them regularly.

5. Ear Infections

beautiful german shepherd running in the grassbeautiful german shepherd running in the grass

One of the reasons why your German Shepherd could have an unpleasant body odor are ear infections.

If the owner of the dog does not clean the dog’s ears regularly, there is a great possibility that a lot of dirt will collect in the dog’s ears, which can cause inflammation and ear infections.

In addition to the importance of cleaning the dog’s ears regularly, it is also important to know how to clean them, while preserving the health of our dog’s ears, which are very easy to injure.

If you clean your GSD’s ears regularly, but it seems that unpleasant odor is coming from the ears area, you should visit a veterinarian.

6. Anal Glands

One of the places on the dog’s body from which an unpleasant odor could spread are the anal glands located on your German Shepherd’s bottom.

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When everything is in order, the dog excretes a small amount of these glands every time it poops. If you’ve ever wondered why your dog, including all other dogs, greets its canine colleagues by smelling their behinds – anal glands are the answer.

In some dogs, these anal sacs can become blocked, meaning they won’t empty as they should. This causes a foul smell in the dog, and can also be quite painful for your German Shepherd.

If you notice that your dog is constantly licking its butt, or that it has bloody stools, you should not ignore this, but you should take your dog to the vet immediately.

7. Your GSD Got Itself Into Something Dirty

Sometimes the simplest answer is exactly the answer you’re looking for. Your German Shepherd suddenly smells so bad? Maybe he just came from a walk or spent hours playing outside, where he got into something very dirty! This is the reason why your pet suddenly smells very bad.

We all know how much our furry friends like to roll over things, and many of them don’t even choose the place and time where they will do it; so some dogs will also roll over dead animals.

As smart as the German Shepherd is, we have to understand that dogs just don’t think like we do. Some things that are completely logical to us will not make sense to them.

So, our dogs will often roll in something very smelly during their play session, which will result in us having to freshen them up or give them a bath, because we won’t be able to stand that unpleasant smell.

How Do I Stop My German Shepherd From Smelling?

german shepherd puppy lying outdoorgerman shepherd puppy lying outdoor

Bad smells coming from our dogs can certainly scare us, and many of us will instantly conclude that there is something wrong with our dog’s health.

Before taking your canine companion to a vet, you should know that there are also some things you can do, by yourself, at home, to prevent bad smells from your German Shepherd.

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There are certain steps that can help you a lot with putting the bad dog smell in control.

Let’s take a look at those steps.

Quality Dog Food

Wrong nutrition can cause not only a bad odor in your German Shepherd, but also different problems with the dog’s digestive system.

To prevent this, you should only give top-quality dog food to your GSD. Also, you should follow some instructions from our German Shepherd feeding chart considering how much food should this dog eat in each developmental phase.

Regular Grooming

You can significantly decrease the possibility for your German Shepherd to smell bad with regular grooming.

How to take care of your dog’s hygiene regularly?

First of all, you should take care of your dog’s regular bathing and brushing. Brushing is super important for taking off all the dirt from your German Shepherd’s coat. Also, regular brushing will make your dog’s coat look shiny and healthy.

To become your dog’s professional groomer at home you can pick one of our favorites from the list of the best grooming brushes for German Shepherds.

Together with bathing and brushing, you should also trim your dog’s nails and clean its ears and teeth regularly. Furthermore, don’t forget to clean your dog’s paws after it has been rolling outside for hours.

All German Shepherd owners should include these steps into their dogs’ regular grooming routine; this way, you will not have to worry about that bad dog smell.

Keeping The Dog’s Surroundings Clean

Just like we should bathe our dogs regularly, we should also keep their surroundings clean. This means washing our dog’s beds, as well as the dog’s beddings, toys, food and water bowls, etc.

If you don’t keep your dog’s things clean, you are creating a breeding ground for various viruses and bacteria. Therefore, the space where our dogs stay should also be clean if we want to get rid of unpleasant odors.

Maintaining the area where the dog stays is the responsibility of every dog owner, and it is equally important for the health of the dog, as well as for the health of the entire family.

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Dog hygiene is quite different from human hygiene, but it is still crucial that we follow certain steps in keeping the dog and its area clean.

Home Remedies

There are also some home remedies you can use to keep your German Shepherd smelling nice and fresh.

For example, baking soda is something that is probably found in every household. But, did you know that you can use it to refresh your dog in the period between two baths? This way you can fresh up your German Shepherd’s coat.

Another product that you probably have at home is white vinegar, which you can dilute with water into a spray, and you can spray your German Shepherd with it to neutralize the unpleasant smell.

Coconut oil has many benefits for the health of our dogs, and one of the ways you can use it is as a natural toothpaste for dogs!

So, you probably have at least one of these products somewhere in your home – so, why not give it a try?

How Often Should German Shepherd Be Bathed?

German shepherd in towel sitting insideGerman shepherd in towel sitting inside

In comparison to some other dog breeds, German Shepherds should not be bathed too often; in general, it is recommended to bathe these dogs once in 2 to 6 months.

Of course, if your dog smells really bad, or it got dirty during its outdoor activities, you can bathe it more often.

What is important is not to exaggerate with the frequency of bathing, as this can disturb the balance of natural essential oils in the dog’s fur. Also, if you bathe your GSD too often, this can cause its fur to become dull and dry.

What Is The Best Shampoo For German Shepherds?

An adequate dog shampoo is something all German Shepherd owners should possess. We should not bathe our dogs with humans shampoo, since humans and dogs have different pH levels.

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The best choice would be an all-natural ingredients dog shampoo, especially if your German Shepherd has sensitive skin.

There are many options for dog shampoo nowadays – hypoallergenic shampoos, best-smelling shampoos, soap-free shampoos… You just need to find the one that will fit your German Shepherd best!

What Are The Best Breeds For People Who Don’t Want Their Dog To Smell?

small chocolate poodle on the grasssmall chocolate poodle on the grass

As we could have seen, any dog could smell if it has some medical problem, or if an owner does not take good care of the dog’s hygiene. There are also additional factors, such as a dog’s diet.

However, there are some dog breeds that might be described as dogs that don’t smell. If you would like to own some of those dogs, you need to be aware that these dogs need proper care, too!

Some of the dogs that are known as odorless are the following:

• Basenji

• Bichon Frise

• Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

• Dalmatian

• Jack Russell Terrier

• Poodle

• Siberian Husky

Final Words

An answer to the question: Do German Shepherds smell? would be: they should not smell any worse than any other dog breed, of course, if everything is in order with the dog’s health.

However, there are other factors included in this matter. If a dog owner does not take care of the dog’s regular bathing, brushing, or ears and teeth cleaning, he should know that all this might cause a GSD to smell bad.

Also, in some cases, wrong nutrition could cause a bad odor in dogs. Furthermore, some medical problems, like dental diseases, ear infections, or skin problems, might be a reason for a German Shepherd to smell bad.

All German Shepherd owners should take their dogs to the vet’s if they notice a sudden bad odor in their dogs.

They should also take care of their dog’s grooming routine regularly, and keep their dog’s surroundings always clean. This way, all of you will have a nice smelling and clean GSD!

By Andy Marcus

Hello, my name is Andy Marcus, and I am a passionate dog lover and enthusiast. For me, there is nothing quite like the joy and love that a furry friend can bring into our lives. I have spent years studying and learning about dogs, and have made it my mission to share my knowledge and expertise with others through my website. Through my website, I aim to provide comprehensive information and resources for dog owners and enthusiasts. Whether it's training tips, health and nutrition advice, or insights into dog behavior, I strive to create a platform that is accessible and useful to everyone who loves dogs.

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