Have you ever noticed that your dog has a not so pleasant smell? You may have wondered why German Shepherds smell sometimes? This article will explore the normal reasons why GSD’s can smell as well as what you can do to prevent it.
Do All German Shepherds Smell?
No, all German Shepherds don’t smell, but some do. All dogs have a natural smell that is distinct from the way humans smell, so even though all dogs have a smell, that smell is not always stinky.
Each individual dog is different and some dogs are more prone to smelling than others.
Reasons Why Your German Shepherd May Smell
They need a bath
One of the most common reasons your German Shepherd may smell is because they need a bath. Although you shouldn’t bathe a german shepherd too often or their skin will become dry, you still need to bathe them often enough that they don’t start to stink.
I usually bath my German Shepherd every 6-8 weeks.
They got into something smelly outside
Another reason your GSD can smell is because they got into something outside with an unpleasant order. Some dogs are known to roll around outside in the grass, dirt, and on other surfaces. Unfortunately, there is all kinds of dirty stuff out there.
When your dog rolls around outside, dirt and who knows what else, gets on their fur and cause them to smell.
They got wet
If you own a dog, you know the wet dog smell! Another common reason your German Shepherd could stink is because they got wet. Maybe they were outside and it started raining, or they went for a swim.
However it happens, that distinct stinky wet dog smell will likely pop up if your dog is wet for a long period of time. Keep reading below for some ways to prevent this smell.
It’s just their natural smell
As stated above, dogs have a natural smell that is different from a human’s natural smell. This smell usually isn’t a bad smell, it is just a normal doggie smell.
However, just like some humans are prone to having a not so pleasant odor, some GSD’s will natural smell less pleasant than other. If you dog has smelt the same way all of their life, it is probably just their natural smell opposed to some other reason.
Your dog’s teeth need brushing
Your dog’s teeth needing a good cleaning can also be a reason why your dog smells. This is not often the first thought if you have a smelly pooch, but if you dog is a little stinky, check their mouth.
It could just be time for a good tooth brushing, but sometimes there is a more serious dental or oral health issue going on causing your dog to emit an order from their mouth. If you suspect this is the problem check with your vet to get advice on what to do.
Your dog’s ears need cleaning or they have an ear infection
Believe it or not, and ear infection can cause your dog to smell. Signs that something could be wrong with your dog’s ears are if they constantly scratch at their ears, they look red, they are swollen, they are bleeding, or they have a smell.
My GSD has actually had a couple ear infections in the last year, and there was yeast and bacteria build up that caused her to be uncomfortable. Fortunately, her ears didn’t smell. But if the infection goes on for long enough, the infection could start causing them to smell.
Their anal sacs need releasing
Everyone has seen a dog scooting on the ground. Usually this is a sign that their anal sacs are full and need to be released. Most dogs naturally release their anal sacs when they poop, but with some dogs their bodies don’t naturally do this like it should, so their anal glands get too full which causes them to scoot.
If a dog’s anal glands get too full it can definitely cause them to smell. If you notice your dog doing a lot of scooting or biting at their back end, the anal sacs maybe the cause of the order.
Although you can help your dog release their anal glands, I always just took my GSD to the vet when she had this problem as a younger pup. Once they release those glands it all goes back to normal, including the smell.
Believe it or not, a poor diet can also cause doggie odor. Whether that is from GI upset, since German Shepherds are known to have sensitive stomachs, or because the food they are eating is too high in carbs and other processed ingredients, a bad diet can cause a smelly pooch.
Additionally, if your dog has an allergic reaction to something they have eaten this can also cause your dog to smell. Feeding a high-quality diet is the best way to prevent this.
Your dog can also smell because there is some other medical condition going on. Skin conditions and some health issues cause dogs to smell different than they should.
If you can’t seem to figure out why your dog has a foul odor, you should visit your vet to make sure nothing else is going on with them.
Ways To Prevent Your German Shepherd From Smelling
The quickest way to cure a smelly dog is to give them a bath. As stated above I usually bathe my German Shepherd at least once every two months. However, if it has been longer than that I notice a little doggie funk can set in. Having a regular bath routine will help prevent your dog from getting too smelly.
Keeping their bed/ crate clean
The best thing to do is have a regular washing routine for your dog’s bedding, keeping that clean will help keep the odor down.
Keep them dry
Keeping your dog dry is the best way to prevent that wet dog smell. However, this is not always possible.
If your dog gets wet, try and dry them off as quickly as possible using a lot of heavy-duty towels. Some owners even like using a hair dryer to dry their pooch. The key is for them to not be wet for a prolonged time period so that the smell doesn’t get too bad.
Keeping their teeth clean
Dental hygiene is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. To prevent a dirty mouth from causing an odor, establishing a regular teeth-brushing routine is key to keep their mouth smelling fresh and preventing dental diseases.
Also, have your vet examine your dog’s teeth on their annual visit, they will be able to tell you if or when you should have your dog’s teeth cleaned professionally. I find that the better you maintain your dog’s teeth at home, the less you need professional doggie teeth cleaning.
Clean their paws
Keeping your dog’s paws clean is also key to them smelling good. Since most German Shepherds don’t wear booties, they step on all kinds of gross stuff with those paws.
From dirt, to different types of liquids, to poop and pee. If your dog steps in something and then comes in the house, that nasty smell will come with them. If my girl has been walking around a particularly nasty place, I will wipe down her paws when she gets in the house to prevent that nastiness from stinking up the house.
Use a pet scent spray
Pet scent spray are great ways to keep your dog smelling fresh after and in between baths. Think of these kind of like doggie cologne. These dog sprays come in a variety of different scents so you can choose something that is pleasant for you to smell.
Some options include floral, jasmine, vanilla, baby powder, lavender, and even more natural scents.
Feeding them a good diet
As stated earlier, a good diet has many benefits, one of which being preventing your dog from smelling. A healthy diet is less likely to cause GI upset, allergies or skin irrigations, all of which can cause your dog to smell.
So, do German Shepherds smell? Although German Shepherds can smell, that doesn’t mean all GSD’s smell, or that your GSD has to smell. Most German Shepherds just have a regular dog scent.
However, if your notice your dog is smelling a little funkier than normal, try and figure out what is causing the sudden stench. Is your dog wet, is something on their paw, have you bathed them recently?
Usually you will be able to figure out the reason and have them smelling good again in no time.
However, if for some reason the bad smell doesn’t go away after using the tips above, make an appointment with your vet to make sure there isn’t a medical reason for the smell.