Do Golden Retrievers Smell? (Problems You May Not Know)

One problem with so many breeds of dog, is whether they smell or not. However, if you’re wondering “Do golden retrievers smell?” specifically, then you’ve come to the right place. Not only will you find out whether golden retrievers smell or not, but you’ll also know when there could be a serious problem, what to do if they smell bad, and how do they compare to other dogs.

So keep reading to find out!

So, Do Golden Retrievers Smell?

Yes, golden retrievers generally have a musk that is common amongst most dogs. Their fur and skin are covered in oils that help to keep them water resistant (which was needed when they were retrieving game).

However, there are times when your golden retriever’s smell is a sign of a real problem. Some of the common problems and smells are listed below.

When Is A Golden Retriever Smelling Normal?

Generally speaking, golden retrievers are going to have a slight musk that is perfectly normal. This is simply the smell of their coat and skin. It will smell like the standard doggy odour and it shouldn’t be too overpowering.

However, when the smell is overpowering then there’s definitely a problem.

(Thinking about shaving your golden retriever? Find out why you definitely shouldn’t do it!)

What Areas Typically Smell?

There are a few areas on your golden retriever’s body that are likely to smell. The armpit and ear may smell when your retriever is suffering from a yeast infection. Their fur may smell once it’s wet. The groin and anal area can smell fishy if there’s an infection. If sores and rashes develop on your retriever’s skin, they may begin to smell. And lastly, the mouth may also smell when there are dental problems.

What Might Be Causing Your Golden Retriever To Smell?

There are a number of things that could be causing your golden retriever to smell. Remember, even with all the information below, you should still take your golden retriever to a vet any time you smell something that doesn’t seem right. Yout vet will be able to give the best diagnosis.

And with that, here are all the reasons your golden retriever might be smelling.

Anal Glands

Sometimes if your golden retriever smell fishy or like poop, then it could be a problem with their anal glands. Sometimes the anal glands can become impacted or infected which can cause the smell to occur.

If you think that your golden retriever is suffering from impacted anal glands it is possible for you to squeeze the fluid out. However, it’s extremely messy and it smells extremely bad. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Instead it may be better to hire a vet or groomer to do it for you.

They’ve Rolled In Something

Probably one of the most common reasons your golden retriever has started to smell is because they’ve rolled in something. No matter where I took my retriever, she’d find something disgusting to roll in. Normally it was fox poop, but she’d love stagnant water as well.

If you notice a smell has come suddenly after they’ve been for a walk, then the chances are they’ve rolled in something.

There May Be Grooming Problems

If you’re washing your golden retriever too much you may be disturbing the natural balance of oils on their skin and fur. Likewise, if you’re not washing them enough, then they may naturally begin to smell.

You should be washing your Golden retriever 3-4 times a year, making sure to use dog friendly shampoo. As well as this, you should be brushing them regularly to make sure you’re removing any dirt and grime from their coat as well.

(Do you know if your feeding your golden retriever pup the right amount of food?)

Check Their Bedding, Toys & Other Accessories

You should check their toys and accessories and especially bedding to see if they smell as well. If you haven’t washed your dogs bedding then eventually it’s going to begin to smell. Likewise, if you’re using the same towel to constantly dry them off, then these are going to smell as well.

The smell will then begin to rub off on your golden retriever the more you use them, which will make them a lot smellier than they should be.

They’re Wet

Your golden retriever is going to smell a lot worse when they’re wet, so if they’ve been for a walk in the rain, or you’ve let them swim, expect them to smell until they’ve dried off again.

Dental Problems

If your golden retriever is suffering from dental problems then they may begin to get terrible breath. It may smell fishy, or it may just smell off. Check their mouth for any sores, chipped teeth, and other wounds.

(Drooling is often a sign of dental problems. If you think your pup is suffering from dental problems, find out why they could be drooling.)

They’ve Got A Bad Diet

If your dog is allergic to the food you’re giving them, they may begin to give off a bad odour. Likewise, if the food isn’t good quality then it may also make their breath begin to smell bad as well. Lastly, a bad diet might cause flatulence which of course is going to make your golden retriever smell bad as well.

(Find out 26 pros and cons of owning a golden retriever.)

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections are also a common reason that your Golden retriever may end up smelling. There are a number of different infections that your golden retriever can suffer from. Here’s a few things to look out for.

Yeast Infection

If you notice a cheesy smell ,then your golden retriever may be suffering from a bacterial or yeast infection. Most of the time these infections are going to occur in areas that stay moist such as the ears, and occasionally under the armpit.

As well as noticing a cheesy smell you may also notice that their eats become red and inflamed, their may be a lot more debris within the ears, and your pup begins to scratch them a lot more.

– Pyoderma

Another infection your golden retriever may suffer from is pyoderma. While it’s not specific to golden retrievers, it is a lot more common in dogs with double coats. As well as noticing a smell, you may also notice hair loss, scaly skin, itchiness, and pustules forming.

– Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Canine Atopic Dermatitis is another extremely common disease that can affect your golden retriever and cause them to smell quite foul. As well as noticing a bad smell you may also notice that they’re losing hair, that they begin itching a lot more, skin lesions, or skin that is red, oily, or dry.

(Golden retrievers are such great dogs, have you ever wondered if they can live in an apartment?)

What Can You Do To Stop Your Golden Retriever Smelling?

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to stop your golden retriever smelling. Here are some practices that need to happen throughout your golden retrievers life.

Work On Their Dental Health

First of all, make sure you’re working on your retriever’s dental health. You should start by trying to brush their teeth with a doggy toothbrush and dog toothpaste. As well as this you can feed them things like dentastix.

And of course, you should also make sure that you’re taking your pup to the vet for check-ups to make sure nothing is going wrong with their teeth.

Make Sure You’re Drying Them Properly

If you’re taking your golden retriever for walks in the rain or you’re letting them swim, then you should make sure you’re drying them thoroughly afterward as well. If you don’t dry them enough they’re going to have that wet dog smell, and the oils could be stripped from their coat and skin.

Keep Them Well Groomed

You should also make sure you’re keeping your golden retriever well groomed. Brushing them frequently is the best way to remove any grime and dirt and anything smelly that may be in their fur, but you’ll also need to wash them every 3-4 months.

If you notice that your golden retriever has rolled in something foul, you should hose them down, but avoid shampoo where possible as it’s bad for their fur and skin.

Use Doggy Deodrant

If it’s just the standard dog musk that you can smell on your golden retriever then you can use doggy deodorant! There are so many different ones to choose from, and they’re one of the best ways I know to cover up any odors.

Make Sure They Don’t Roll In Anything Smelly

Of course, if your golden retriever is rolling in smelly things, you should do what you can to stop them. The best way to do this is by training them. However, this process is a long term solution. A short term solution would be to make sure you have plenty of treats on hand to entice them back, and to keep them occupied with games the whole time you take them out.

Change Their Diet

If you’re not feeding your golden retriever food that agrees with it, then you’ll need to change their diet. Now is also a good time to take them to a vet to see if they’re allergic to anything that could be making them smell more than normal.

Other times the solution may be a lot more simpler, like swapping the treats you’re giving them, giving them charcoal biscuits, or changing their food to something different.

Take Them To A Vet

The best thing you’re going to be able to do if your golden retriever smells is take them to the vet. No matter what’s causing the smell, they’ll be able to find the solution and fix it for you.

For example, if it’s an impacted anal gland, they’ll express the glands. Bacterial infections will most likely be treated with antibiotics. And if there’s other skin conditions your vet will find out exactly what’s causing them!

Do Golden Retrievers Smell More Than Other Dogs?

After all this, it may seem like golden retrievers smell more than other dogs. However, don’t worry, this definitely isn’t the case. The only time your golden retriever is going to smell particularly bad is when they’re suffering from something that needs to be treated.

If your golden retriever is being looked after properly and you take them to the vets when ever something isn’t right, then they definitely won’t smell anymore than other dogs!

Interested In Training Your Golden Retriever The Right Way?

If you haven’t trained your golden retriever properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!

And in most cases it’s still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your border collie completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT. 

And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!

So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!

(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)


Now you know that like all dogs, golden retrievers are going to have a certain musk. But this musk shouldn’t be overpowering and if there’s a smell that isn’t right, then the chances are it’s not.

If you notice they’re smelling bad constantly, or there’s a sudden change in the way they smell you should take them to the vets as soon as you can.

And lastly, if you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website! Otherwise have a great day!