Why do golden retrievers smell?

Sure all dogs smell, but have you ever wondered if Golden Retrievers smell?  

In this article, you will learn: 

  • Why or if your Golden Retriever smells 
  • Causes of smells and how to identify them
  • A guide on managing smell 
  • And much more more! 

Why do golden retrievers smell? Common reasons why golden Retrievers smell includes trapped dirt or debris inside the double coat, natural body oils they release, a bad diet causing gas, dental issues, and droopy ears becoming moist due to lack of sunlight getting to the area.

It’s not all bad though as you can reduce the smell on your dog by just simply maintaining the cleanliness. Let’s dig into how this is done!

Why does Golden have thick fur coats that smell?

The interesting part about golden retrievers fur is that it is very thick and built to be water-resistant. There are oils in the skin that allow them to avoid getting water to the body whilst being able to swim for long periods of time. This was because the dog breed was initially bred in order to take part in watersport games for Lord Tweedmouth. 

No expertise needed 

You do not have to be an expert to know that dogs can smell in certain areas of the body. Where you may find the creases inside of your dog’s ears or in between their legs and any other area where you may find a crease.

Well, it is very easy for them to build up bacteria inside of those areas that can later lead to nasty odors. This, however, does not mean that there is anything wrong with your dog as it is perfectly normal to find this kind of smell.

A great way of reducing it is by maintaining the cleanliness of your dog to make sure that they are regularly washed to keep them smelling fresh. It’s definitely highly recommended that you should pay close attention if you come across this to make sure that they are not suffering from any infections.

There are yeast infections and bacterial infections that can affect your dog in these areas. It is important for you to be able to identify this and quickly treat it if need be.

If you find that your dog has a yeast infection didn’t the majority of the time they will be prescribed some medication that you can apply at home. Bacterial infections, however, can come in many different shapes and forms and will need to be assessed to determine how severe the cases are before providing any potential Solutions.

Washing your dog

This totally depends on how active your particular dog is. Too often more times than not I find that so many people are washing their dogs to primarily avoid any unusual odors.

If you have a dog that remains in the garden and we dream of the time then you may not need to wash them as much as they are only running within a limited amount of space. However, if you are a very outgoing person and you like to take them to the park to play games and activities then you may find that they build up a lot more orders on a regular basis.

The average amount of time that you want to use as minimum criteria is around every two weeks for a very active dog. Whilst on the top end, I wouldn’t leave it any longer than 6 weeks for a wash for any type of golden retriever.

To find out more about how you can deal with the smell of your golden retriever, check out 10 tips to deal with the smell of a golden retriever.


Normal and unusual smells

If something seems fishy it usually is…Here’s what to look out for. There are 3 main things that you should be looking out for to quickly identify if your dog is experiencing an infection.

The first topic is swelling. If you notice any kind of swelling around any particular areas of your dog then this will be a clear indication of potential infection of that area.

Whilst it may seem quite obvious to look out for this it is easily overlooked by many parents across the globe. Along with that, you should also look out for itching of your dog to see if they are experiencing any bacterial infections. And thirdly is redness that can develop in folded areas such as the ears and underneath the leg.

Bacterial and yeast infections can cause your dog to itch the area which generally increases the number of odors that are released off the body. The cycle can be quite vicious as the more there is the more the blood flows around the body in the more heat that develops in the area, resulting in more smells.

A great way to avoid problems with smells

A great way to simply avoid this is to just make sure that your dog is regularly having a wash every so often depending on how active they are. 

Like I said I tend to go no longer than 6 weeks for my particular dog and I try to give her a bath on a regular basis every two weeks.

If you have a dog that is quite active then I suggest you keep them clean at regular intervals to avoid such problems in the future.

Genuine smells that shouldn’t ring alarms

Genuinely your dogs are going to have a light smell that almost seems like sweat from a human. This is quite a normal smell and should not raise any alarms if you do find them smelling like this on a regular basis.

If you find however a strong stench, then this is a clear indication that something may be unusual. That is when the alarm should be ringing and you should be digging further to find any other potential problems.

At any given time if you find yourself unaware of exactly how to identify the smell of then I would suggest you contact a veterinarian. In the following section, I will discuss a few of the interesting facts about the smallest of Golden Retrievers.

To help you understand a little more about why they build up so smells in the first place.


Fun fact!

Golden retrievers are built with a double fur coat that allows them to be water-resistant whilst swimming. Because of this thick coat, they tend to collect a lot of dirt inside of their fur that can later lead to bad odors.

The breed was initially bred as gun dogs in order to retrieve shot waterfowl for the affluent crowd in Scotland in the 1mid 1900s. Their coat lies flat against the body which also sheds a fair amount throughout the seasons.

It’s highly important that you brush down the loose hair at regular intervals to ensure that they are kept clean. Interestingly foods can cause a potential problem in the skin which can then result in bad odors as a reaction of the skin.

Make sure that you are providing your dog with a healthy diet and ensuring that their body agrees with it too.


Yeah, you’re going to find that your golden retriever will smell from time to time. However, the important part is that you make sure that it’s nothing health-related in any way. Far too often goldens are falling victim to bad smells because of a bad diet and bad health.

Picture of Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

About Dig Doggy

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