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Do Dobermans Smell? Breed Odor Causes & FAQ

Kit Copson

By Kit Copson

doberman pinscher dog lying on the floor gnawing a big bone

Dogs are famous for having a “doggy smell” that isn’t necessarily bad but is certainly distinctive. Aside from this, some breeds are prone to being a bit more whiffy than others in general due to their makeup (misaligned teeth, skin folds that get food stuck in them, tendency to slobber a lot, etc.). On the other hand, some breeds are known for not being very smelly—including the Doberman.

In this post, we’ll explore why Dobermans aren’t typically the smelliest of dogs and give you a heads-up as to what might be causing your Doberman to smell a little funkier than usual.

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Do Dobermans Smell? 

Generally, no. Dobermans are very clean dogs that are reputed to be quite odor-free. They have short, sleek coats that don’t shed much and only require weekly brushing as a rule, though you may need to crack out the brush a bit more often during shedding seasons (spring and fall).

In contrast, breeds that shed heavily are prone to getting smelly if they’re not groomed properly or enough. Dobermans’ short coats and low grooming needs help to reduce the risk of them developing unpleasant smells.

That being said, there’s no guarantee your Doberman will be completely odor-free. Most dogs have the infamous “doggy smell” to an extent because their paws sweat, as do their hair follicles (lightly). Their ear glands and natural skin oils also give off a scent that smells something like yeast.

This is just a regular dog smell and isn’t foul, but it can be noticeable. You can help keep it at a minimum by grooming your Doberman weekly, keeping their nails trimmed and their teeth clean, and checking their ears regularly for dirt and build-up.

man spending time with his doberman dog outdoors
Image Credit: Lena Ogurtsova, Shutterstock

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The 3 Reasons Your Doberman Smell Bad

The standard “doggy smell” described above is completely normal and just part and parcel of being a dog, but if your Doberman starts to smell especially bad, this may signal a medical problem. Here are some of the reasons your Doberman might smell a bit worse for wear.

1. Oral Health Issues

If it’s your Doberman’s bad breath that has been troubling you, they may be suffering from an oral health issue like periodontal disease or gingivitis. Both of these conditions can cause bad breath and you may also notice symptoms like redness and swelling of the gums, discolored, loose, or missing teeth, and bleeding gums. Drooling, irritability, and loss of appetite are other possible signs among others.

2. Yeast or Bacterial Infections

If your Doberman is suffering from a bacterial infection on their skin or in their ears, you may notice a smell. Check your Doberman’s ears regularly for signs of redness, discharge, and/or crustiness, or basically anything that doesn’t look quite right to you. Likewise, keep an eye on their skin for redness, crustiness, flakiness, inflammation, lesions, or a musty smell.

a doberman dog at the vet
Image Credit: Roman Fenton, Shutterstock

3. Flatulence

If you’ve ever been in the vicinity of a gassy dog, we feel your pain. Excessive gas is typically caused by dietary changes, eating food that can’t be easily digested, or eating spoiled food, though it can be caused by other medical conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.

If your Doberman is especially gassy of late, check in with your vet to find out if a change of diet would help. Your vet may recommend some extra tests to rule out other medical conditions.

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Final Thoughts 

To recap, Dobermans are generally clean dogs that don’t have a strong odor, though they may still have a slight “doggy smell,” as most dogs do. If you’ve noticed that your Doberman has developed a strong or foul odor, it would be best to check in with your vet to find out if a medical condition—like a yeast infection—is causing it. Then, your vet can take steps toward treating the cause.

Featured Image Credit: ReaLiia, Shutterstock

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