Sniffing Out the Smelliest Dog Breeds

Dog Breeds That Stink

The Smelliest Dogs Breeds — Pongy Pooches You Can’t Help But Love

Despite what you may have heard, all dog breeds smell — it’s just some are stinkier than others! As dog owners, we often get used to the funky aromas our beloved pets give off, but the smelliest dog breeds can be a nasal challenge for even the most doting of doggy parents.

Whether it's simply bad breath, that wet dog smell, or even flatulence, the pongiest pooches can leave an unpleasant aroma that lingers around your home. Let’s take a look at some of the more stinky dogs and what you can do to tackle their undesirable odors.

Dog Breeds That Stink — Reasons Behind the Smell 

There are several factors that contribute to the smelliness of a pooch, it’s not just about the dirtiest dog breeds.

The most common causes of those funky odors include:

Overactive Sebaceous Glands

All dogs have sebaceous glands that secrete oils to condition both their skin and coats, but they also unfortunately contribute to their unique doggy scent. Some of the more stinky dog breeds, such as the Yorkshire Terrier or Cocker Spaniel naturally produce more oil than others, causing that wet, almost sweaty pong.

Anal Glands

Also known as the anal ‘sac,’ the stinky problem occurs when your pooch cannot fully express the build-up of secretions from the anal glands. 

You’ll notice a pungent fishy odor, and your pooch may drag their butt along the floor to try and empty the scent-marking fluid. If the problem isn’t resolved, it could lead to an infection or even an anal abscess. 

To learn more, check out our guide on Why Does My Dog Smell Like Fish?


Just like their humans, certain foods may cause your dog to smell more, especially at the rear end — don’t feed your dog cabbage! 

Yet, food allergies are no laughing matter. Digestive issues are one sign of food sensitivities — think diarrhea, constipation, and excessive gas — all of which produce more pongy smells.

Probiotics are one smelly dog remedy that balances the gut — aiming to relieve gastrointestinal issues a dog may be suffering.

Ear Infections

Unlike dogs with pointy ears, breeds with floppy ears, such as the Basset Hound or Bloodhound, are prone to ear infections. The accumulation of wax, yeast and/or moisture in the pup's ears causes an unpleasant odor.

Cleaning your dog's ears regularly can help prevent any unwanted odors and can be extremely important with long-eared dogs like hounds or spaniels. Checking the ears frequently will also allow you to inspect for any ear infections that may be contributing to the smell.

Dental Health

Poor dental hygiene in any dog can result in bad breath, a common source of unwanted odors from your pup. However, certain breeds, like the Yorkshire Terrier or the Pug, have a higher risk of dental issues than others.

Skin Fold Infections

Although wrinkles or folds in the skin of a pooch can add character, unfortunately, they can also be a major source of stinkiness. Trapped moisture and bacteria in the skin folds of breeds, like the Bulldog or Shar-Pei, can develop into unpleasant-smelling infections.


Drooling is perfectly normal in dogs, it’s produced to help with digestion. Yet, certain breeds like Saint Bernards and Basset Hounds are above average in the slobber department, which can quickly add to their stinkiness.

If your pup should start to salivate more than normal (known as hypersalivation) it may be a symptom of an underlying condition — such as gastrointestinal issues, periodontitis (gum disease), a mouth injury, or even poisoning. If you should notice any symptoms of concern, consult with your vet immediately, don’t just try to mask the smell.

Dog Breeds That Stink

In no particular order, we’ve listed 10 canines acknowledged to be the worst smelling dog breeds. These pooches have their own distinct odor problems and it can be difficult to decide which is the worst.

1. Boxer

dirtiest dog breeds

With their chiseled jawline and muscular build, Boxers are just as well known for gas as they are for their guard dog capabilities. Like many other brachycephalic breeds, their flat face means they ingest more air as they gulp down their food. That air comes out of the other end as flatulence — smelling a lot different from when it went in.

Slow-feeder bowls reduce the eating pace. Your Boxer will have to work their way around deep crevices or raised shapes to eat their food. A more leisurely dinnertime reduces air intake. However, looking at their diet can be more effective. Boxers are susceptible to food allergies, which cause skin infections and diarrhea — another cause of unpleasant aromas.

2. Beagle

stinky dog breeds

The body odor smell of the Beagle, as undesirable as it is, actually serves an important purpose, as they were bred to hunt in packs. Their distinct smell would help the dogs in the pack keep track of each member during the hunt. Often called a hound smell, bathing can only do so much. 

With an oilier coat than many other breeds, you should regularly check your Beagle for any skin infections that may be caused by blocked sebaceous glands. This breed’s signature floppy ears, like the Basset Hounds’, can also pick up a funkier-than-normal smell if not checked regularly. A weekly swab with a damp cotton wool ball is all it takes to reduce at least some of the smell.

3. Bloodhound

smelly dog remedy

Bloodhounds are known for their tracking abilities due to their unique sense of smell — if only they could smell themselves. Long ears similar to our previous stinky dog breeds help them to channel scent up their nose, but those floppy ears are prone to injury and infections — regular cleaning and checks are advisable.

Their oily coat helps to repel water and dirt, but with plenty of wrinkles, their coats retain moisture and debris — a pongy combination. Frequent bathing is required to keep your Bloodhound smelling a little fresher, although their constant drooling and slobber means they're not by nature one of the cleanest dogs.

4. Basset Hound

worst smelling dog breeds

The Basset Hound’s unique look may be down to their long droopy ears, but those ears also tend to be prone to yeast infections. You should regularly check and clean them. With a lack of air movement under those flaps combined with their narrow ear canals, infections can quickly become chronic, causing a foul stench accompanied by constant head shaking.

What’s more, Bassets are also extreme droolers, and with that comes the funky damp smell that coats your floors and furniture. Placing easy-to-wash blankets on furnishings or areas where your pooch likes to lie can help.

5. Cocker Spaniel

least smelliest dog breeds

The Cocker Spaniel is another of the stinky dog breeds that need constant pampering to reduce the pong. Those beautiful floppy ears can be a war zone for bacteria and infections as they’re dragged through the mud and just about everywhere else.

Despite their gorgeous appearance, Cockers suffer from primary seborrhea and need frequent bathing to avoid a greasy look and stale smell. A victim of their own success, overbreeding and inbreeding means these elegant pups are genetically predisposed to food allergies and skin conditions — or gas — that goes with them.

6. Golden Retriever

Smelliest Dog Breeds

One of America’s most popular dog breeds, many owners forgive their pooch’s doggy pong. However, to a visitor, the whiff of a Golden Retriever can be quite immediate and obvious. Bred with a thick, waterproof double coat, it produces extra oils — keeping them dry when retrieving waterfowl. Hence, you’ll find the smell of a Retriever really kicks in when they’re wet.

Although you can try towel drying your Retriever, the smell will never completely go away. And, as the oils are important for a healthy coat, constant bathing of this breed isn't recommended. Furthermore, Goldens have a likelihood of pyoderma (a type of skin infection) and canine atopic dermatitis, both of which can cause a foul stench.

7. Pugs

Smelliest Dog Breeds Pug

A cute little pooch with a bug-eyed expression, the Pug is another breed known for their flatulence. Although this time, they have the added bonus of anal gland issues. Add the wrinkled skin, where bacteria, debris, and infections can hide and the Pug has a whole spectrum of odors to offend the nostrils with.

Much like the Boxer, the Pug’s gas is caused by their brachycephalic faces and gulping in more air than usual, while bad breath can often be caused by overcrowding of the teeth. Plus, if you’re wondering, why does my dog suddenly smell fishy? — and they’re scooting their smelly butt across the floor, it could be an anal gland issue.

8. Saint Bernard

Smelliest Dog Breeds St. Bernard

Another heavy drooler, the Saint Bernard brings their very own special scent to every sofa or rug they lay on. Often described as projectile drooling, the thick, double coat of the Saint Bernard wicks up much of their slobber, especially around the neck and face area, which can get rather stinky.

To avoid a constantly stale smell and seriously rough look for your Saint Bernard, invest in a hypoallergenic dog shampoo and a sponge or washcloth to regularly spot wash, being careful to avoid their eye areas. An active outdoor lifestyle also means your Bernard needs to be frequently brushed to remove any debris or dirt from their coat.

9. Shar-Pei

stinky dog

The wrinkled appearance of a Shar-Pei is down to genetics — they produce extreme amounts of hyaluronic acid in their skin. As a result, they not only suffer odor-causing yeast infections like other wrinkly breeds, but also a breed-specific condition known as hereditary cutaneous hyaluronosis. Their skin can blister, which if this pops, leads to messy and smelly infections.

What’s more, those cute wrinkles on a Shar-Pei trap dirt and debris, making a breeding ground for bacteria and infections. The problem is how hard it can be to completely dry a Shar-Pei after a bath. Each fold needs wiping with a hand towel to remove any moisture. Failing to do so means they may develop a yeast or fungal infection — the reason Shar-Peis can smell bad even after a bath.

10. Yorkshire Terrier

Breeds That Stink

The pint-sized Yorkshire Terrier smells much more than a little dog ought to. The Yorkie’s long and glamorous coat will need regular trims and bathing to stay fresh and free of debris. An oily skin with overactive sebaceous glands means their hair follicles often get plugged up with seborrhea, causing flaky skin and smelly infections.

Plus, the signature hairy ears of this breed will need regular upkeep to avoid infection. And, their little beards are brilliant for storing bits of old food, which can cause bad odors. In addition, the Yorkshire Terrier is prone to dental issues — their tiny jaws can become overcrowded, resulting in tooth decay and bad breath.

Final Thoughts

While the breeds we’ve looked at may give off more of a natural stinkiness or doggy odor — all dogs have the potential to give off a less-than-pleasant funky aroma. However, if your dog’s smell becomes more noticeable, it could be a sign of an underlying illness. So, get it checked out by your vet.

Typically, the smelliest dog breeds are those with the longest ears, wrinkles/skin folds, flat-faced breeds, or those with a genetic oily skin. As a responsible dog owner, all canines can benefit from regular ‘maintenance’ — bathing, checking of the ears, and the anal glands, and keeping an eye on their dental health. And, if all else fails — just embrace the smell as a unique part of owning a furry friend.

Smelliest Dog Breeds FAQs

Do Any Dog Breeds Not Smell?

Although all dogs smell to some extent, certain breeds are considered smell-free. The Poodle — as well as being one of the most hypoallergenic dogs that doesn’t shed is also acknowledged not to smell.

Other hypoallergenic dog breeds, such as the Maltese, the Bichon Frise, or the Schnauzer, are also considered to be the least smelliest dog breeds.

What Is the Gassiest Dog?

Dietary issues, food allergies, or a flat face (taking in more gulps of air when eating) can all affect how much wind a dog releases. Some of the gassiest dogs include:

  • Boxer.

  • English Bulldog.

  • Pug.

  • Golden Retriever.

  • Beagle.

What Is Wet Dog Smell?

Many people say dogs smell worse when wet. That smell is a musty or damp odor that comes from the micro-organisms present on a dog's skin or in their coat. When they come into contact with water, they react and give off a smell. 

Why Does My Dog Still Smell After a Bath?

Although you can remove odor-offending dirt or debris through grooming or bathing, some dogs still smell after a bath. Common reasons include

  • Skin infections.

  • Ear infections.

  • Anal gland issues.

  • Dental problems.

  • Flatulence and bloating.

Other more serious causes of odor include kidney failure or diabetes. If your dog still 

stinks, and it's causing you concern, consult your vet to diagnose any issues.

What Dog Breed Has the Smelliest Breath?

Yorkshire Terriers are up there among the breeds with bad breath. Others in the top five include Boxers, Pugs, Border Collies, and the Cav King Charles Spaniel.

To learn how to help your pooch’s halitosis, check out our Bad Breath Home Remedy Guide.