Sometimes, the smelly funk of a wet dog is enough to make any owner go, Woof. Though a bit of smelliness is expected from time to time, certain breeds are a lot more or less prone to getting stinky. Check out what makes your dog smell below, plus our list of the most and least smelly dog breeds to adopt!
When we consider different breeds for dog adoption, the smell factor might not be one that springs to the top of mind, as most dogs have a bit of an occasional smell.
It turns out you can minimize the stinkiness through proper care techniques. Even if the care you take can put the smell of wet dogs at bay, it’s worth noting that specific dog breeds don't smell as bad as others.
If you find a dog's smell particularly bothersome, you can simply choose to adopt one of the dog breeds that don't smell. Of course, this is a game of averages, and even if you adopt a pup that generally fits into the least smelly category, there are exceptions to the rule.
Either way, you're giving yourself a fighting chance against the stench by considering adopting the breeds below!
Why Do Dogs Smell?
All right, we have to state the obvious: no dog will smell like roses all the time. Our doggos are animals, and every animal, including humans ourselves, are prone to having a bit of a funky odor in the right situation.
Why does my dog smell so bad?
There are plenty of standard and obvious reasons a dog may smell – a wet dog smells like fish after taking a dip in a pond, or a dog on the prowl stinks to high heaven after rolling around in whatever unlucky prey it managed to kill in the backyard.
Somehow, even though there are plenty of smells dogs hate, they never seem to mind the funk of their own B.O. – maybe it's true what they say about liking your own brand better!
Some dogs tend to have more of a stench than others for a few different reasons:
- Breeds more prone to dental issues can have bad breath that is enough to make you faint.
- If a pup has excess flatulence, that gas can get rather stinky, especially if they're eating foods their bodies cannot easily tolerate. Other underlying issues can cause excess gas too.
- Seasonal and food allergies can inflame the skin, which increases the skin's oil production and increases that funky doggy smell.
- Breeds prone to ear infections tend to smell as the bacteria and yeast overgrows within the ear canal, resulting in a very stinky dog.
- Breeds with floppy ears and droopy skin folds create the perfect place for stinky bacteria and yeast to grow out of control.
- Anal sacs in a dog's rear can become impacted, causing pain and smell secretion. Some breeds are more prone to this issue than others due to their body composition.
The Smelliest Dog Breeds to Own - Phew!
First, if you're blessed (or cursed) with an extra sensitive nose, these are the more naturally smelly dog breeds most likely to make you gag:
- Saint Bernard
- Yorkshire Terrier
- English Bulldog
- Cocker Spaniel
- Basset Hound
- Labrador Retriever
Not every one of these pups will get stinky, but they're the most likely to smell due to their excess skin, flopped ears, and genetic predispositions.
7 Dog Breeds That Don't Smell - A Breath of Fresh Air!
#1 The Havanese
These small, Cuban native doggos have long coats of fur that somehow manage to avoid getting stinky.
These dogs love to stick like glue to their owners, earning them their fitting nickname of Velcro dog.
While a Havanese dog loves to cuddle up like a lap dog, they're also full of energy, intelligent, and easy to train – these pups are talented circus performers!
#2 The Poodle
The Poodle breed not only doesn't smell bad, but they also shed very little and make great hypoallergenic pups for any allergy sufferers – Poodles are a triple threat!
Though their coats require regular grooming and brushing, you won't see much of their fur on the floor, making cleanup a breeze and keeping the stink to a minimum.
The only potential that may make your Poodle a little smelly is atopic dermatitis, a somewhat common skin condition they may develop.
Poodles are highly trainable, brilliantly smart, and come in three different sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. They're all relatively smell-less, but the Miniature and Toy are even more scent-free than the Standard size.
#3 The Kerry Blue Terrier
These beautiful bearded Irish terriers have long fur that requires lots of attention and grooming. Luckily, none of that seems to make them smell, and much like the Poodle, they don't shed much, either.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is a sight to see: their grey-blue fur is stunning! These dogs were originally hunting dogs, adept at chasing foxes out of their dens, which means the breed tends to have significant energy stores.
The Kerry Blue requires a load of exercise, walking, and playtime each day to remain well-adjusted and happy.
#4 The Bichon Frise
These little white fluff balls are the most loving and sweet companions and attach ridiculously deeply to their owner.
The Bichon Frise doesn't stink, as their naturally clean skin is not at all prone to oil buildups.
The Bichon is well-suited and quite content to be a doting lapdog for their owner, and while they're quite playful, their small size means their energy and exercise needs are moderate, at most.
Teaching a Bichon Frise a trick or two is a snap – these doggos are highly intelligent and love to please!
#5 The Basenji
This African-born breed with a short coat doesn't get smelly, but that's not even its most exciting quality! This pup is called the barkless dog because it can't bark at all!
Basenjis are by no means completely silent, though, as they communicate using whines, growls, and yodel-like noises instead.
The Basenji breed is strong, muscular, and whip-smart, yet tricky to train – these dogs have a strong, stubborn streak that knows no bounds.
#6 The Dachshund
These short-legged puppers trot hilariously on cocktail wiener-sized legs, and better yet, they tend to be one of the least smelly breeds to adopt.
Whether you choose a smooth, long, or wire coated Dach, your nostrils likely won't be assaulted by stench anytime soon.
This badger-hunting breed is energetic and loves playtime, though they tire easily and don't do well on long walks.
Dachshunds are intelligent and become very attached to their favorite owner, but beware of their mischievous and stubborn streak!
#7 The Maltese
Another small dog on our list, the Maltese breed stands out not only because it tends to smell less, but also because of its incredible trainability – these pups make excellent therapy dogs and perform incredibly well in agility and obedience sports.
Maltese dogs become highly attached to their owners, but they don't love small children – they're not the best-suited breed for a family pet.
Final Note: How to Get Rid of Dog Smell
While to some degree, the smelliness of your pup is the luck of the draw, there are plenty of ways to reduce and prevent a dog from smelling too badly:
- Keep up with their dental hygiene through regular brushing and dental cleanings.
- Clean folds of skin on the body and keep ear canals clean and dry to prevent excessive bacterial and fungal growth.
- Dry your doggo well after baths and swims.
- Feed your pup a high-quality diet, and switch brands if you feel your dog's food is making them gassy or flaring up skin conditions.
- Bathe your dog weekly or bi-weekly and use a specially formulated doggie shampoo – some of them smell pretty good!
We hope you have many happy days ahead with your doggo with their stink kept to a minimum!