Do German Shepherds Smell or Stink?

German Shepherds are popular intelligent dogs. But do they smell or stink?

German Shepherds smell the same as other dogs. The reasons include damp coats, poor diet, lack of grooming, poor oral hygiene, underlying disease, or skin problems.

Despite these reasons for smelling bad, there are ways to rectify the situation quite simply. 

German Shepherd’s Natural Odor- Do They Stink?

As with all dogs, you can tell if you’ve entered a household with a dog. Just by the slightly distinct doggy smell and hairs on furniture, it becomes obvious!

What about a German Shepherd? Is he a stinky dog? Not really. It does have its own trademark dog smell but nothing out of the ordinary.

In some cases, a German Shepherd with health or hygiene complications has the tendency to smell bad. This then becomes a worry to the owner and identifying and correcting the smell becomes a priority. 

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What Makes A German Shepherd Smell?

We know that German Shepherd dogs come with their own specific smell as all dogs do.

Dog owners are accustomed to such smells. But, after a while, the smell can become foul and quite unbearable! Here are the reasons why a German Shepherd stinks after a while. 

1. A Wet/Damp Coat

Dogs like the German Shepherd love to be active and even in the rainy season, they will take a chance in the rain!

Thus, you can expect him to come back indoors with a wet or damp coat. Unfortunately, this is not so simple. 

When a dog’s coat is damp, it usually has a certain smell that is not pleasant at all! Sitting next to your German Shepherd who smells like a blanket that didn’t dry properly is not very pleasant.

Sometimes even completely drying the coat cannot curb the stench of a damp coat! 

A thorough bath with dog-friendly shampoos should be enough to get rid of the horrid smell. 

2. Poor Food Quality

Dog owners who opt for the cheapest dog food rarely stop to think about how it will affect their German Shepherd.

In actual fact, diet plays a large role in maintaining good health and to an extent, hygiene as well. 

A poor diet can cause health issues and in return, these health issues can affect hygiene and your German Shepherd’s smell. In some cases, it can even make your dog stinky!

Low-quality dog food brands use poor ingredients that leave your dog with difficulty digesting it. 

And we all know what digestion issues lead to, right? That’s right, gas and unpleasant flatulence are a byproduct of bad food! But that’s not all. Diarrhea and bad breath are other side effects of getting your dog the wrong food. 

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Your German Shepherd cannot continue on for long on this type of diet as it could lead to pain and malnutrition.

This is serious and needs correcting immediately to avoid seriously affecting your dog’s health and eventually his body. 

3. Sweating

Although we barely notice it, dogs sweat, albeit from a few areas of the body. The ears, paws, and mouth are areas that are able to sweat.

When we mean sweat, we don’t mean drenching wet! It is subtle and might just be enough to make your German Shepherd damp. 

But, after an intensive exercise session, you may notice your dog has a more pungent scent than before.

This can only be due to the extra perspiration he undergoes while exercising in the hot sun. 

4. Lack Of Grooming

The German Shepherd has a coat that is pretty to look at. But sometimes I doubt it is very nice to be wearing such a thick and heavy coat.

Even though the double coat keeps him warm in winter, it must get really dirty! 

Imagine wearing the same clothes for a few days or even weeks! Undoubtedly, it would get dirty and smelly.

Likewise, a German Shepherd’s coat requires enough attention to make sure it does not reek! 

This means brushing his coat out often (almost daily) and bathing him regularly.

Although bathing too often is not ideal, bathing him when he smells like he needs one is essential.

Make sure to use natural pet-friendly shampoo and other coat care products.  

5. Poor Oral Care 

Does your German Shepherd start to stink when he opens his mouth to bark or pant? If yes then in this case it’s his teeth or gums that are to blame.

Poor oral care leads to poor oral hygiene and a bad terribly bad smell! 

The smell could be due to rotting teeth or even remaining pieces of food that are decaying in his mouth between teeth.

This could make the dog develop other gum and mouth diseases that are more serious. A worst-case scenario is the loss of teeth. 

To combat smells originating from your dog’s mouth, you have to take good care of his mouth and everything in it!

So, this will involve regular brushing with dog toothpaste, good quality food (that doesn’t get stuck between teeth), and regular dental checkups at the vet. 

6. Skin Problems

The skin is known to naturally make oils to moisturize the skin and keep it from becoming dry.

This greatly reduces the chances of dandruff and scabbing of skin and makes sure dander does not escape. 

Though these skin oils work as an advantage, they can turn to a disadvantage in a short while! Sometimes an excessive amount of oils will accumulate and this can make the coat appear oily. 

What’s more, that distinct doggy smell will intensify! Well, this is a sign he needs that bath right now.

7. Underlying Disease

Sometimes a terrible stench on your German Shepherd is not so much a hygiene issue but a health issue!

Smells could be a sign that there is a health issue within your dog’s body. It is a sign that there could be a problem with his kidneys, anal sacs, or even a sign of diabetes. 

If the stench is coming from your dog’s behind, his anal sacs (situated below the tail) could be the problem.

These sacs usually empty themselves when your dog has a bowel movement. But, occasionally they might not work and get backed up due to some obstruction. 

In this case, these glands stop working normally and can become active when he is in the house (unconsciously). This can happen when he is scooting in the house and the smell is a very strong and foul fishy smell. 

If left unattended, the anal sac can form an abscess that will give your dog a lot of pain and unnecessary suffering.

So if you identify this smell occurring out of the blue, take it seriously and take action! 

8. Ear Infections

As humans we know how much ear wax can accumulate in a short time, making us get an earbud to clean it out. With Dogs, the wax buildup occurs twice as fast! The ears need to be cleaned regularly to avoid buildup to avoid smells and even ear infections. 

Dogs like the German Shepherd that have deep ear canals are prone to getting ear infections.

In some cases, these infections can compromise your dog’s hearing ability! That’s the last thing you would want and an expensive vet bill. 

Cleaning your dog’s ears is not the easiest job in the world, but luckily a vet can help you with it. In the future it is best you learn to do it yourself.

Every time your dog gets wet you need to make sure his ears and ear canal are dry and clean. 

9. Dirty Bedding

Does your dog smell when he is sleeping in his bed? You might want to pinpoint where the odor is coming from, him or his bed?

There are chances it is the bed that is dirty and causing your dog to smell. 

If you are confused, wash both your dog and his bedding to be sure you are actually eliminating the smell.

It may have even been a case of your dog making the bedding smell!  

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How To Prevent Your German Shepherd From Stinking?

Getting visitors at your house? They are obviously going to want to play with your dog if he is the friendly type. But what if he is stinky and dirty?

It would be a rather embarrassing situation, wouldn’t it? Well, if you want to avoid such an awkward position to be in, there are a few things you can do. 

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a. Regular Baths and Grooming

Bathing is not a dog’s favorite activity but it is a good idea to get him into the habit from an early age.

This will assist you later on when he becomes an adult dog. Bathing your dog is the best method of getting rid of bad smells, almost instantly! 

It works well if your dog is dirty and just rolled in some mud or leaves making him look very untidy and smelly. All it takes to make him clean again is a bath! 

But, if you are going to bathe him, it doesn’t end there. You have to follow through with the full routine.

This includes making sure he gets dry and gets a therapeutic grooming session to get rid of his loose hair. Only then is the process complete. 

b. High-Quality Diet

To maintain good health and hygiene, your German Shepherd should be given a high-quality food brand.

Poor quality food brands may use high compositions of grains and even lactose compounds. These are not right for your dog’s digestive system.

They can cause an increase in gas and poor digestion which will affect your dog’s whole body and all the systems included.

In effect, this leads to flatulence. But, good food brands use a recipe that is dominated by protein and fatty acids. 

They are easy to digest and give your dog the nutrients his digestive and excretory systems need to function. Normally, that is! 

c. Dental Care

A quality diet consists of good ingredients which are present in the right proportions! But also, the food should be present in the right form and size. 

Chunks of meat and kibble that are too big or too small are not appropriate. These can find themselves stuck between teeth or in the corners of the mouth.

When left there for too long, they begin to decompose and decay, causing a foul smell! 

Constantly dealing with this complication can lead to depreciating dental and oral health as a whole. If it causes a lot of loss of teeth, your dog will struggle to eat food and will require special food. 

If you never want you and your dog to never have to deal with this dilemma, brush your dog’s teeth every few days.

A variety of special dental care products for dogs are available on the market. They will help to dislodge stuck food particles and freshen up his breath. 

You also have to clean a teething German Shepherd puppy’s teeth to avoid bad smells. 

d. Ear Cleaning

The ears of a dog are meant to be dry, never wet for an extended amount of time. A moist and warm ear canal can harbor a bacterial infection.

Instead, dog owners can take to cotton wool to try and remove any moisture still remaining after a bath. 

On a daily basis, this will suffice. But for in-depth ear wax removal, consulting your local vet is best. 

e. Use A Scent

Believe it or not, there are pet-safe scents that work as an immediate solution to a smelly coat.

They are available online and make for a great tool when traveling with your dog.