Why Does My German Shepherd Smell So Bad? (9 Reasons)

Categorized as German Shepherd
German shepherd smelling bad

You love your german shepherd. You’ve had them for years and they’ve always been the best dog. But lately, something’s off. They smell bad. You can’t figure out what it is, but you know it’s not normal.

So, what gives?

Well, there could be a few reasons why your german shepherd smells bad. It could be anything from an underlying medical condition to simple things like not being properly groomed. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Our article will provide you with all the information you need to figure out why your german shepherd smells bad and how to fix it. So, let’s get started!

1. They’re Not Being Groomed Properly

If you own a German Shepherd, you may have noticed that they often have a bit of an odor. This is perfectly normal – after all, dogs are not known for their cleanliness. However, if your German Shepherd smells particularly bad, it could be a sign that they’re not being groomed properly.

Like all dogs, German Shepherds need to be brushed regularly to remove dead fur and dirt. They also need to be bathed occasionally, using a dog-specific German shepherd shampoo. If you’re not doing these things, it’s no wonder your German Shepherd smells bad!

Fortunately, it’s easy to get your dog smelling fresh and clean. Just make sure to brush them regularly with a good dog brush, and give them the occasional bath, and you’ll both be happy with the results.

2. Your Dog Is Rolling or Lying In Something Stinky

One of the most common reasons why dogs smell bad is because they’ve rolled or lied in something smelly. Just like kids (and let’s face it, some adults) love to jump in puddles or roll around in the mud, many dogs enjoy wallowing in smelly substances.

If fido comes home smelling like he’s been rolling in the garbage, don’t be too surprised – they probably have. Of course, this isn’t the most pleasant scent for us humans to deal with, but luckily there are a few things you can do to help combat it.

First, make sure you’re regularly bathing and grooming your German Shepherd. This will help to remove any stinky buildup that may have accumulated on their fur.

You can also try using a dog-safe dry shampoo in between baths to help freshen them up.

Finally, keep an eye on where your pup is spending his time when he’s outdoors. If he seems particularly attracted to certain areas, you may want to avoid letting him roam there unaccompanied.

3. They Have an Ear Infection

Dogs are prone to ear infections for a variety of reasons. Their long, floppy ears provide the perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to thrive. And, since they spend a lot of time outside, they’re more likely to pick up dirt and debris that can lead to an infection.

German Shepherds are especially susceptible to ear infections due to their large ears and furry coats. If your German Shepherd has an ear infection, you may notice that they are scratching their ears frequently or shaking their head.

They may also have discharge coming from their ears or a bad odor coming from their head. If you suspect that your dog has an ear infection, it’s important to take them to the vet for treatment as soon as possible.

Left untreated, an ear infection can cause serious pain and deafness. Fortunately, most ear infections can be easily treated with antibiotics.

4. They Have a Dental Problem

Just like humans, dogs can develop dental problems that lead to bad breath and a foul odor. The most common cause of dental problems in dogs is plaque and tartar buildup. This can lead to gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums that can be quite painful.

If your German Shepherd has gingivitis, you may notice that they’re drooling more than usual or that their gums are red and swollen. Their breath may also smell particularly bad.

Fortunately, gingivitis is relatively easy to treat. Your vet can clean your dog’s teeth and give you tips on how to keep their mouth healthy.

5. They Have a Skin Condition

German Shepherds are prone to a variety of skin conditions that can cause bad odor. The most common skin condition in dogs is seborrhea, which is caused by an overproduction of sebum.

This can lead to a buildup of oils on the skin, which can become infected and cause a bad odor. Other skin conditions that can cause bad odor include allergies, hot spots, and yeast infections.

If your German Shepherd has a skin condition, you may notice that they’re scratching or licking their skin frequently. Their skin may also appear red, flaky, or oily.

If you suspect that your dog has a skin condition, it’s important to take them to the vet for treatment. Skin conditions can be painful and uncomfortable for dogs, so it’s important to get them the help they need as soon as possible.

In the meantime, you can try using home remedies to help relieve your dog’s symptoms. For example, you can give them oatmeal baths or use a humidifier in their room.

6. They Have an Anal Gland Problem

Anal glands are two small sacs located near your dog’s anus. These glands produce a foul-smelling liquid that helps your dog mark their territory.

However, if these glands become full or infected, they can cause a bad odor. Anal gland problems are relatively common in German Shepherds. If your dog has an anal gland problem, you may notice that they’re scooting their butt on the ground frequently.

They may also have a bad odor coming from their rear end. If you suspect that your dog has an anal gland problem, the best course of action is to take them to the vet.

Your vet can express your dog’s anal glands, which will relieve the pressure and allow them to heal. In some cases, your dog may need medication to clear up an infection.

7. They Have a Bad Diet

A healthy diet is important for all dogs, but it’s especially important for German Shepherds. As a big breed, German Shepherds are prone to a variety of health problems.

A healthy diet can help prevent these problems and keep your dog happy and healthy. However, if your German Shepherd is eating a poor-quality diet, it can lead to a number of problems, including bad breath and body odor.

For example, if your dog is eating a diet that’s high in carbohydrates, they may develop digestive problems that can cause bad breath and body odor.

Additionally, certain foods can cause allergies that lead to itchy skin and a foul odor. If you suspect that your dog’s diet is the cause of their bad odor, you may want to consider changing their food.

If you’re worried about the quality of your dog’s diet, you may want to consider cooking homemade food as a healthy alternative. Homemade food gives you complete control over the ingredients, so you can be sure your dog is getting all the nutrients they need.

Additionally, homemade food is typically more affordable than commercial food. If you’re not sure how to cook for your dog, there are plenty of recipes and resources available online.

8. They Have a Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infections are relatively common in dogs. These infections occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract and cause an infection.

Urinary tract infections are often painful and can cause a variety of symptoms, including bad breath, body odor, and frequent urination.

There are a number of treatments available for urinary tract infections in dogs. The most common treatment is antibiotics, which can help clear up the infection. In some cases, your dog may need to be hospitalized for treatment.

9. Your Dog is Wet

If your dog is wet, it’s not surprising that they have a bad odor. When dogs are wet, their fur absorbs the water and traps moisture against their skin.

This can lead to a musty smell that’s difficult to get rid of. If your dog has been swimming or playing in the rain, it’s important to dry them off as soon as possible.

The best way to dry your dog is to use a towel or hair dryer set on low heat. If you’re using a hairdryer, be sure to keep it moving so you don’t overheat your dog’s skin.

After you’ve dried your dog off, you may want to consider using a dog-specific German Shepherd shampoo to help remove any lingering odors.


There are a number of reasons why your German Shepherd may have a bad odor. In most cases, the cause is relatively harmless and can be easily resolved.

However, in some cases, bad breath or body odor can be a sign of a more serious health problem. If you’re concerned about your dog’s odor, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian.

They can help you determine the cause of the problem and recommend the best course of treatment.