Why Does Your German Shepherd Smell?

If you’re wondering why your German Shepherd smells then you’ve found the right article. Not only will you learn why German Shepherds smell, you’ll also learn what to do about it as well as having other frequently asked questions answered as well!

Do German Shepherds Smell?

German Shepherds have a distinct odor, but it’s not necessarily excessive, like all dogs. the natural oils in their skin and fur will create a mild scent. Fortunately., proper grooming can help keep the smell under control. However, if your German Shepherd smells terrible, they should see a vet.

Why Does My German Shepherd Smell?

If your German Shepherd does smell, then there are normally a number of reasons this is happening. These reasons include:

Dental Issues

If your German Shepherd has bad breath or a general odor coming from its mouth, it could be a sign of dental issues. Dogs can suffer from plaque buildup, tartar accumulation, and gum disease just like humans. If left untreated, these conditions can lead to tooth decay and even systemic health problems.

Skin Infections

Skin infections are another common cause of the doggy odor. German Shepherds are prone to skin issues due to their thick coats and sensitive skin. Bacterial or fungal infections can develop if your dog’s skin becomes irritated or damaged.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are a frequent problem for dogs with long ears or floppy ears. German Shepherds fall into this category and are susceptible to ear infections caused by bacteria or yeast. These infections can cause redness, swelling, discharge, and a foul smell.

Perianal Fistula

Perianal fistula is a painful condition that affects some German Shepherds. It occurs when small openings form around the anus and become infected. This infection results in pus-filled tracts that give off a terrible smell.

Rolling Around in Smelly Things

Dogs love rolling around in smelly things like feces, dead animals or garbage which can stick to their fur making them stink for days, even after being bathed. So as well as bathing them, I’d also recommend that you use doggy deodorant to help them smell better when they do this as well!

Yeast Infections

Yeast infections can occur anywhere on your dog’s body but they’re most commonly found in moist areas such as between toes or under armpits where there is little air circulation leading to an unpleasant smell.

Poor Diet

A poor diet lacking essential nutrients can cause digestive problems resulting in diarrhea which, of course, leads to bad odor emanating from your dog’s rear end.

Excessive Licking Due to Allergies or Anxiety

Excessive licking due to allergies or anxiety can produce saliva build-up on fur resulting in an unpleasant smell over time.

Bathing Too Often

Bathing too often strips away natural oils from your dog’s coat leaving it dry which results in an overproduction of oil causing a musty smell.

Poor Grooming or Needing a Hygiene Trim

Poor grooming practices such as not brushing regularly will also lead to matted fur which traps dirt & debris producing an awful smell. So make sure you’re grooming and trimming regularly to help keep hair away from hindquarters minimizing fecal matter buildup.

Hormone Imbalance

Hormonal imbalances such as hypothyroidism may lead to skin & coat changes causing bad odors emanating from your dog’s body.

Other Health Issues

German Shepherds may develop other health issues that contribute to their odor problems such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), digestive problems like diarrhea or constipation, liver disease or even, kidney disease.

German shepherd running

How To Stop Your German Shepherd From Smelling

Now you know all the reasons that your German Shepherd might be smelling, you’re going to be wondering what you can do to stop it from happening again. With that in mind, you should try the following:

Improve Dental Health

One of the most common sources of bad breath in dogs is poor dental hygiene. So, make sure to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and provide safe dental chews to keep their teeth clean.

Keep Them Dry

As you know moisture can lead to bacterial growth, which can cause unpleasant odors. So keep your German Shepherd dry by towelling them off after baths or walks in the rain.

Improve Their Diet

A healthy diet full of nutrients will help keep your dog’s coat shiny and their skin healthy. So, consider switching to a high-quality food that meets all their nutritional needs.

Clean It

Regular grooming is essential for keeping your German Shepherd smelling fresh. Make sure you’re brushing them often, and when you do need to wash them use a ph-balanced gentle shampoo made for dogs to ensure you don’t trigger any skin allergies.

Get Them To Stop Rolling In Smelly Things

As much as we love our furry friends, they have a habit of rolling in things that smell terrible. So make sure you’re training them not to roll in anything smelly, and to stop when you tell them to stop.

Ask Your Vet

If you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work, ask your veterinarian for advice. They may recommend specific products or treatments based on your dog’s individual needs.

In addition to these tips, here are some other ways you can keep your German Shepherd smelling fresh:

  • Supplement their diet with Omega 3’s such as fish oil
  • Use leave-in conditioner to protect and condition their skin
  • Keep their ears clean and dry
  • Wash or soak their feet often
  • Use probiotics during and after antibiotics or all the time
  • Supplement digestive enzymes to help boost the immune system.
  • Wash bedding often
  • Remove potential allergens and chemicals from pet areas
  • Use a flea preventative to make sure they don’t end up itching.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy spending time with your German Shepherd without any unpleasant smells getting in the way!

How Do You Wash A German Shepherd Without A Bath?

If you don’t have access to a bathtub or shower, there are still ways to wash your German Shepherd without a bath.

To wash German Shepherds without a bath you can use waterless shampoo specifically designed for dogs. Or use pet wipes, which are pre-moistened cloths designed for cleaning your dog’s coat. These wipes are perfect for spot-cleaning any areas that need attention, such as their paws or underbelly.

It’s important to note that while these methods can be effective for quick cleanups, they shouldn’t replace grooming and bathing habits. Regular grooming is essential for maintaining good hygiene in dogs and preventing skin issues.

When Should You Take Your German Shepherd To The Vet For Their Smell?

If you’ve tried various methods to stop your German Shepherd from smelling and haven’t seen any improvement, it may be time to take them to the vet. A strong odor can be a sign of an underlying health issue, such as an infection or skin condition.

Here are some signs that it’s time to take your German Shepherd to the vet for their smell:

  • The smell is unusually strong or has suddenly become worse.
  • Your dog is excessively scratching, licking, or biting at their skin.
  • There are visible signs of redness, bumps, or scabs on their skin.
  • Your dog is experiencing other symptoms such as lethargy or loss of appetite.

Your veterinarian will examine your dog and may perform tests to determine the cause of the odor. They may also recommend treatments such as antibiotics, medicated shampoos, or dietary changes.

Remember that regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help prevent health issues from developing in the first place. If you notice any changes in your German Shepherd’s behavior or health, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your vet.

How Often Should A German Shepherd Be Bathed?

You may think that you can bathe a German Shepherd whenever you want, but this really isn’t the case.

German shepherds should be bathed every 3-4 months to ensure that there don’t end up being any problems with their fur or skin. However, this depends on your dog, and some German Shepherds will be able to bathe more, whereas others will need to bathe less.


Here are some frequently asked questions that people have about why their German Shepherd smells

Why Does My German Shepherd Smell Bad Even After A Bath?

There could be several reasons why your German Shepherd smells bad even after a bath. Some common causes include skin infections, allergies, poor diet, or anal gland issues. You may want to consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems.

Why Does My German Shepherd Smell Sour?

A sour smell in a German Shepherd could be due to skin infections, yeast overgrowth, or poor hygiene. It’s essential to maintain regular grooming habits and schedule vet visits to diagnose and treat any underlying health issues that can cause bad odors.

Why Does Your German Shepherd Smell Like Fish?

If your German Shepherd smells like fish, then the chances are there’s a problem with their anal sacs. However, it could also be caused by something they’ve rolled in. If you don’t think it’s the latter, then take your German Shepherd to the vet to be treated.

Why Does Your German Shepherd Smell Like Yeast?

A yeast-like smell on a German Shepherd can indicate a skin infection caused by the overgrowth of yeast or bacteria. This may be due to a number of factors, such as poor diet, allergies, or a weakened immune system. It is recommended to take your dog to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Why Does My German Shepherd Smells Like Poop?

There are several reasons your German Shepherd smells like poop. One possibility is that they may have rolled in feces or come into contact with it while outside. Or they may be experiencing gastrointestinal issues or have anal gland problems.

Why Does My German Shepherd Smells Like Pee?

There are several reasons why a German Shepherd may smell like pee, including urinary incontinence, urinary tract infections, and improper hygiene. It’s essential to rule out any medical conditions by consulting with a veterinarian and addressing any underlying issues.

Why Does My German Shepherd Smells Musty?

If your German Shepherd smells musty, then it’s most likely because they haven’t been groomed enough. German shepherds should be groomed regularly to avoid their coats becoming matted and covered with dirt, grime and oil.


As you can see, there are a whole bunch of reasons that your German Shepherd could smell bad, but the most common reasons are that they have some kind of problem with their skin, ears or mouths. On top of this, it could also be something they’ve rolled in or because you’ve not been grooming them enough.

In any case, if the problem persists, you should take them to a vet ASAP, to make sure nothing is wrong with them! If you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website. Otherwise, have a great day!