Why does my German Shepherd Smell Bad and What to Do About it! – We love german Shepherd

Why does my German Shepherd Smell Bad and What to Do About it!

German Shepherds are very active dogs and this may cause them to smell bad at times. But did you know there are other causes for them to smell bad just like all other dogs can?

So Why does my German Shepherd smell bad and what to do about it? The main cause may be due to infections and health-related problems.

To find out more about how to solve this problem, read on.

Causes for your German Shepherd’s bad smell


Your German Shepherd may develop allergic reactions that cause inflammation of their skin. This inflammation causes excess secretion of oil from certain glands in the skin.

In return, this secretion of oil produces a musty smell. Your German Shepherd may be affected due to a poor diet and food allergies that they have from some kinds of food.

This poorness in diet can further cause your dog other problems including a yeast infection which will give a really bad smell.

Also, it can be caused by seasonal changes.

This inflammation can cause body odor in areas such as mouth, ears, under the tail, and other wrinkly areas.

Ear Infections

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Usually, a German Shepherd dog or any dog has a strong defense in their ears to fight off different types of bacteria and yeast infections.

However, when they suffer from allergies and hormonal imbalances, the bacteria and yeast can grow enormously and cause a really bad smell.

Even if you try to get rid through baths of the terrible smell, it won’t be effective. In fact, it will make the problem worse when the water gets inside your dog’s ears.

To know if your dog has an ear infection, watch them closely as they shake their head or paw at their ears.

Ear infections are also particularly recurrent in dog breed with floppy or hairy ears such as Basset Hounds and Springer Spaniels.

Dental infection

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Decayed teeth and dental infections such as gum disease can cause your German Shepherd to smell bad.

This can cause your dog bad breath which resulted from built-up tartar and plaque.

How does the smell spread? Your dog may drool over their fur and furniture making it smell bad.


Sometimes your German Shepherd may have smelly farts that don’t seem to go away.

It is often caused by them eating something rotten, having digestive or organ issues, a poor diet such as one that high in grain.

The poor diet will lead to high smelling flatulence and poor digestive health in dogs causing these gases.

If your German Shepherd continues to have smelly farts that don’t seem to go away and linger, it may be an underlying medical problem that is causing this issue.

Bad breath

Other than dental disease, bad breath can also result from body or organ disease such as diabetes and kidney disease.

Make sure that you also know what types of food your dog is ingesting. Foods like onions or garlic can cause bad breath. In addition, these types of foods are dangerous to your dog’s health and should never be eaten.

Anal sacs

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One of the most common reasons for German Shepherds to smell bad. Any dog has two small scent sacs on their bottom.

They are a type of marking gland in which, upon meeting other dogs, dogs smell rear ends to get to know each other.

If they become infected, they can cause extreme pain for a dog and release a smelly secretion which remains on the fur.

So how do you know if this is the problem? Your dog will drag their bottom on the ground. They will also most likely smell like poop and they may lick their anus.

Also, they will secrete a smelly substance that is black or brown in color.

Your dog has a damp or wet fur

If your dog has gone for a swim or taken a bath, water molecules will react with your dog’s fur causing yeast and bacteria to grow.

This releases a smelly and stinky smell in your dog.

Your dog has been exercising

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When exercising, your German Shepherd dog or any dog doesn’t sweat as humans do.

Instead, they perspire through their paws and very lightly perspire from their hair.

If your dog has done any type of exercise and you begin to smell a strong scent from them, this may be the very reason.

The environment

Your dog may not be the one who actually smells. It may be the environment that they are in.

Maybe the carpets, rugs, and other things in the house aren’t clean. It may also be that their bedding and blanket that they sleep in hasn’t been washed recently causing them to smell due to using them.

Skin problems or skin disorders

Your German Shepherd may get skin problems such as their skin getting infected or broken in some way.

This can cause a very bad smell for your dog.

To know if your German Shepherd has a skin disorder, look for dry, flaky, red, or inflamed skin as signs.


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Atopy and skin problems treatment

If your dog has inflammation that causes the secretion of oil giving a bad smell, you must first change their diet.

These diets with high carbohydrates and processed foods. should be changed to a high-protein and non-processed dog food.

Second, you can try giving out allergy tablets for dogs to help them with this condition.

Third, your vet may prescribe a special kind of shampoo to use after bathing that will improve skin condition.

Your vet may also prescribe a special kind of condition to follow after shampooing your dog. Finally, they may also prescribe a fatty acid supplement to be taken to restore your dog’s coat and skin into health.

Ear infections treatment

To treat ear infections, go to the vet immediately. Your vet will prescribe your dog medicine that will be put in your dog’s ears to be used while cleaning your dog from this infection.

Your vet will also give you steps to do after bathing your dog so their ears will stay dry. It will either require changing the way that you bathe your dog or drying their ears with a cotton ball after bathing.

You have to also monitor and check on your dog while treatment, in case, the infection doesn’t clear out.

Dental infection and bad breath treatment

Always consult with your vet about the best course of action in a dental infection.

Your vet may see it best to either get your dog professional teeth cleaning, give your dog medication for gum infection, or extract damaged teeth.

In the future, to prevent dental problems and bad breath, you have to take your German Shepherd to annual teeth cleaning, brush your dog’s teeth at home routinely, and give them dental chews.

If the cause of bad breath is something internal such as diabetes and kidney failure, your dog will prescribe your dog certain medications to treat your dog’s condition.

Gas treatment

When your German Shepherd has a problem of excessive gas, your vet will definitely change your dog diet into grain and fish-based.

Don’t change food too quickly as it may cause gases to worsen. Rather, start slowly and gradually when changing their diet.

Also, most dogs are lactose intolerant so you have to remove food that contains lactose as these will definitely cause gases. Consult your vet in this step to know whether to do so or not.

Finally, exercise your dog as it will encourage gut movement reducing gases.

Anal sacs treatment

If your dog’s anal sacs are infected, your vet will most likely drain and treat the infection.

Your vet can also teach you how to drain the infection by yourself when it happens again.

Additional problems to prevent

How to minimize the smell of dog from wet and damp hair?

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If your dog has wet or damp hair, you have to dry them out so yeast and bacteria don’t grow to cause this bad smell.

Use towels for the body and cotton balls for their ears to prevent ear infection.

How to minimize smell from your dog exercising?

If your dog really smells bad after exercising, make sure their bodies first cool down. Then, give them a bath.

Bathes should not be too frequent as they can cause your dog’s skin and coat to become irritable and dry. Also, bathes should not be too few, to not cause your dog to smell bad.

Then, you have to brush your German Shepherd dog to remove any debris, dried saliva, and dead skin cells from your dog’s coat. This also reduces your dog’s bad smell.

What to do if it comes from the environment?

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If the bad smell comes from your German Shepherd rolling on their dirty bedding and blankets or playing on uncleaned rugs and carpets, you have to clean them to prevent your dog from smelling bad.


In conclusion, your German Shepherd may smell bad from these health-related causes and infections that will definitely worsen if there is no intervention.

Always go to your vet to rule out any medical condition that may be causing their bad smell.

To know more about how to register a German Shepherd, check How to Register a German Shepherd Dog Officially?

Share your experience with us. Does your German Shepherd have a bad smell and what did you do to minimize and stop the smell?


Welcome to my bio everyone, my name is Nada. Ever since I was little, I have loved animals because they are so loving and kind. All they need is you attention, love, and care but I didn't understand them very well because I didn't get the chance to raise them. Well, That changed when my family and I got our first dog Rocky, a German Shepherd. Rocky was fun and loving with funny quirks. Being loyal and protective of us, he made me see the nature of a German Shepherd. Now, we have another German Shepherd named Mia. She is a wonderful dog and a rescue who just needed a second chance in life. Mia has long grown from being a terrified dog to the brave and caring German Shepherd that she is today. P.S: Here is a picture of our beautiful German Shepherd, Mia.

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