Do Golden Retrievers Smell? – Reasons And Easy Solutions

The Golden Retriever is the third most famous dog in the world and there’s a reason for it. It’s a very friendly and loving family dog that everyone can be a friend of. But you might have wondered do Golden Retrievers smell.

Not all Golden Retrievers smell. The usual Golden Retriever smells just like any regular dog. But there are reasons why it might smell bad. Having a bad diet, poor health, and improper grooming can cause a bad smell. There are ways to combat the bad smell.

Reasons For A Golden Retriever’s Bad Smell

There are a few reasons why your Golden Retriever can smell bad. Some smells go throughout the whole body and others are concentrated in specific areas.

Bad Diet

If your Golden Retriever started smelling bad after a change of diet, that may be the reason. Some foods like fish have strong smells themselves so you can expect your dog to smell like it if it eats it. 

Another reason for a stinky Golden Retriever is flatulence. A diet filled with carbs can cause a bad problem with passing smelly gas. Eating too fast can also be a cause of flatulence. If your dog has eaten some bad food, it can follow up with diarrhea and vomiting, which can also smell really bad. Similar problems can occur if a dog ate raw rice or other inedible foods.

Health Problems

Some diseases cause foul smells. Kidney disease and diabetes can cause a specific fruity and sweet smell to your dog. Always contact your vet if you notice your Goldie smelling like this.

Skin infections are also known for their bad smells. A common skin infection is pyoderma, caused by bacteria. It causes itchiness, pustules, a scaling of the skin, hair loss, and a bad odor.

Another common infection is yeast infection. It causes itching, redness, and scaling, but it also causes a specific musty smell. If your dog’s testicles are black, they might have a specific bad smell.

Besides infections, another common skin disease is canine atopic dermatitis, which Golden Retrievers are prone to. Its most common symptom is itchiness.

Ear Infections

If your Golden Retriever stinks from its ears, it might be a sign of an ear infection. All dogs have at least one ear infection in their lifetime. Dogs with floppy ears, like the Golden Retriever, are much more prone to these infections than other dogs.

Floppy ears cause a warm and wet environment in the outer ear canal. Getting water in the ears during bathing can make it even wetter. This environment is perfect for an infection. You will notice your dog shaking its head or scratching its ears in an effort to relieve this pain. The ears will also be red with a stinky discharge coming out of them.

Rolling In Dirt

If you’ve wondered “why does my Golden Retriever smell after playing outside?”, the reason may be its playing habits. 

If you have a garden outside and a pool of dirt, your Goldie might consider taking a roll in it. The good thing is that you will notice the pieces of dirt falling from its hair so you will give it a bath.

Your Golden Retriever might smell bad because it’s playing in the water. Even though its fur is water-resistant, it can still get damp. If your dog ends up playing outside in the rain or puddles, don’t be surprised to have it smelling like a “wet dog”.

Improper Grooming

Golden Retrievers are no Basset Hounds. But their natural smell can sometimes add up and get much more noticeable.

You will notice the Golden Retriever smell if you don’t give enough baths. These dogs have naturally oily skin that serves to protect their skin and coat. But these oils build up over time and collect dead skin cells and dirt. That can cause a very noticeable smell.

But bathing too often can also be a problem. In time, it can cause dry skin and more exposure to skin infections. Bad shampoos and products can cause a bad smell. Shaving its hair or trimming it excessively can also cause problems with the skin.

Anal Gland Smell

Anal glands are little glands that are located around the dog’s anal region. They contain a fluid with a really strong odor which is unique to every dog. This fluid is secreted during pooping when the feces pushes the fluid out. But if your dog has frequent watery stools, the glands will get impacted. If an impacted anal gland pops, you will notice a very bad fishy smell.

So if your Golden Retriever smells bad from its rear end, the reason might be its anal glands. You might notice your Goldie “scooting” on the ground trying to empty its glands. This just causes your carpet to smell bad as well.

Urine Smell

Dogs like to pee on things to mark their territory. If they spray a bit of that urine on their coats, you will be able to smell that urine scent.

You might notice your dog leaving odorless wet spots. This can be a sign of urinary incontinence. This means that your dog is unable to hold in its pee when it’s home so it sprays a little bit of urine on its bed or furniture. This urine can smell bad and it can be a sign of illness. Kidney problems, UTIs, and spinal problems are just a small number of diseases that can cause this problem.

How To Prevent Bad Golden Retriever Smell

If you wonder “why does my Golden Retriever smell?” and want to know how to get rid of that smell, you can follow the next few steps.

Follow A Proper Grooming Routine

Try to start with a regular bathing routine from your dog’s early age. Golden Retrievers need one bathing every 6-8 weeks. Scrub deeply and thoroughly to make sure you get all the dirt and bacteria out of your dog’s coat. If you bathe it too often, you can damage its skin and make it dry. Also, make sure to dry your dog properly and not leave it wet, because it may smell like a “wet dog”.

You should brush your Goldie every day. It helps stimulate the skin to secrete oils and therefore prevent infection. It also removes all excess dirt and debris from the fur. Using a de-shedding tool can also help.

Use A Proper Shampoo

A good way to get rid of that bad Golden Retriever odor is to use a quality dog shampoo. Dogs can have an allergic reaction to some shampoos so you should choose carefully. Try to find organic shampoos meant for dogs.

Another thing you can try out is use a dry dog shampoo. This is a powdered substance that absorbs oil and leaves your dog smelling great. These shampoos can be bought in stores but you can also make them at home. Combining a bit of baking soda with cornstarch can have a great effect. Just make sure to prepare it properly.

You can also spritz your dog with some fragrance if you want it to smell good after the bath.

Brush Its Teeth And Check Its Ears

To prevent your Golden Retriever from having bad breath, you should commit to proper oral hygiene. Get a high-quality dog toothbrush and toothpaste and brush its teeth regularly. If you can you should do it every day.

Because Golden Retrievers are prone to developing ear infections, you should worry about their ear health. To properly clean its ears, you should relax your dog and wipe it with a clean wipe. You can also put cotton balls in your dog’s ears before bathing to prevent water from coming in. 

You should also cut your dog’s nails often. You can cut your dog’s nails yourself, or you can ask your groomer for this.

Wash Its Possessions

To completely take care of the bad smells, you shouldn’t only clean your Goldie. You should also clean its bed and blankets. When your Golden Retriever smells like fish and it gets into its bed, the bed will start smelling like fish as well. Besides this, leaving food all around the bed can also cause bed smells.

You can clean your dog’s bed and blankets with hot water and vinegar or baking soda to eliminate the odors. Do this at least once every 2 weeks. Make sure you don’t use any fabric softener because your dog may be allergic to it. Also, don’t allow your dog to bring food around its bedding.

Feed Properly

Because the diet can play a big part in the smells your dog produces, you should focus on providing proper nutrition. Find a dog food that has fewer grains and more protein. Also, make sure it has enough vitamins, minerals, and healthy fatty acids to keep your pup healthy.

The dog food you use should be high-quality and you can consult your vet on which one would fit best. You might get a smelly Golden Retriever because of allergies to dog food. To prevent these allergies, you can test your dog and know what it is allergic to. You should also avoid feeding toxic food to your dog like chocolate, onions, or grapes.

Golden Retriever smiling

Do Golden Retrievers Smell – Final Thoughts

The Golden Retriever is a popular family dog known for its lively personality and playfulness. It usually doesn’t have a bad smell and fits perfectly in your home. But some factors can attribute to a bad-smelling Goldie.

Poor hygiene is a big reason for bad smells. If you let your dog without a bath for too long, the smells add up and get noticeable. Health issues like skin and ear infections, anal gland impactions, and UTIs, also produce a lot of smells. Your dog’s diet also plays a big part in its everyday smells.

To prevent these bad smells you should groom your dog properly. Clean its bedding and blankets regularly. Invest in good dog food to obtain proper nutrition. Notice signs of illnesses early and take your dog to your vet. 


Are Golden Retrievers good apartment dogs?

Yes, they are. Besides the occasional Golden Retriever odor, this dog is a great fit for an apartment lifestyle. They do require proper exercise and training though.

Does shaving a Golden Retriever help with shedding?

Not at all. You will only mess up its temperature regulation by destroying its double-coated fur. This will also make it more exposed to bacterial and yeast infections.

What gets rid of dog smell?

A combination of vinegar and water in a spray bottle can help. Just spray the solution on anything that smells. You can also use baking soda and sprinkle it on the smelly surfaces.

Do Golden Retrievers smell more than other dogs?

Golden Retrievers are in the middle of the smell scale compared to all dogs. They are not as smelly as Basset Hounds, but they are not as good smelling as Malteses.

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