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Do Dobermans Smell? [This Is What Owners Will Tell You]

If you are considering the Doberman dog breed, you may be wondering if they smell. Nobody is really fond of that unfortunate ‘doggy-smell’ and its fair to say that some dogs seem to suffer with it more than others. But what about dobermans; where do they fit in and is this something you should be concerned with? I have done some research and spoken to numerous doberman owners to find out. I’d like to share my findings with you here today.

So, do Dobermans smell? Dobermans are not known to be smelly dogs. Their short coat means that they do not suffer from harsh or strong odors like longer-coat dog breeds are known for. However, all dogs have their own unique scent that you may be able to smell. This is not considered offensive in this breed. Equally, if you do not keep on top of regular grooming, feed an inappropriate diet, or if they roll in something or get something on their coat, a doberman may smell more than usual.

Many doberman owners report that their dogs consistently smell well. New owners to this breed are pleasantly surprised to discover this too.

It makes them a great to keep, without the need to sacrifice your home and how visitors experience it and how they are greeted.

Let us now take a closer look at the subject; looking at potential causes that can cause odor and then some practical and easy ways to keep any smells at bay!

The Doberman Smell

The doberman is one of a select few breeds of dog that is not likely to smell ‘bad’.

This is mostly due to the fact that they naturally have a short coat, that does not grow out nor require shaving.

In fact, the Doberman was initially bred to have a maintenance free coat. It does not shed, is easy to manage, it can be washed easily and it also dries out quickly.

Equally, a doberman will naturally produce oils that help to prevent and repel a lot of offending scents and smells.

When properly looked after, the coat should shine, lay flat and also be straight in terms of consistency and texture.

While dobermans can suffer from coat issues; such as hair loss, acne and dandruff – these are usually caused by an inappropriate diet and with poor hygiene practices.

They are easily prevented with a sufficient nutrient-dense diet, proper bathing and frequent brushing.

With this being said, it is important to note that there are different kinds of smells. Dogs, like us people, do naturally have their own smell and scent.

While smells can be off-putting and largely offending – i.e. your dog has rolled in something, there are also other smells that can be recognized as being the signature scent of that specific dog. These are largely natural and will always be somewhat present.

While these kind of scents are detected by some people, especially to new owners, they sometimes can be unrecognized or not smelt altogether. Some owners simply ‘get used to them’ over a period of time.

Natural Smells

From a biological perspective, every animal will possess their own scent. This is commonly referred to as an “odor-type”.

This is a phenomenon in nature. Its purposeful. These are scents that enable a mother to find their babies, for adults to select a mating partner and for family members to recognize and locate each other.

Dogs, like other mammals, are no different. They each carry their own unique scent signature.

So, all dobermans will smell to some extent. This also means, that not all dobermans smell the same. In fact, not even two dogs of this same breed will smell exactly the same.

Then there is of course the purpose of smelling – its used to help us navigate the landscape and understand our environments.

We can inherently detect a good smell from a bad one and this helps us to make the right choices and keep ourselves safe and healthy (i.e. not eating spoiled food, staying away from dangerous items/objects etc)

But how does this relate back to the doberman? Well; one person may smell them differently to another.

This is exactly why guests and visitors are likely to smell them differently to you as an owner.

Also, over time and with daily exposure, many Lab owners stop consciously smelling their dog at all.

Reasons Why Your Doberman May Smell Bad

For the most part, a well-cared for doberman will not appear to smell at all. Or, inoffensive at the very least.

However, there may be situations or times where your doberman does begin to smell.

Of course, identifying the cause of the odor will go a long way in resolving the issue and preventing it from occurring again in the future.

Rarely, it can also mean that there is a potential health issue or concern that requires an examination from a vet.

For the most part, finding out why a doberman can smell bad is usually the result of eliminating potential causes.

Here are the most common factors and causes that can cause a doberman to smell badly:


Dogs like to roll around in the mud, grass and dirt – dobermans included.

It could well be that your dog has simply rolled in another animals excrement, or something that emits a bad smell.

Diet and Gas

Dogs need to be fed an appropriate diet and one in which they can easily digest. If a dog consumes the wrong food, it can result in a lot of gas as it is digested.

Passing wind and releasing foul smells is sometimes the cause. It can happen due to the feeding of scraps, treats, or something that your dog managed to consume without you knowing when outside or on a walk.


Recently bathed, damp dobermans can sometimes give off a smell until the coat dries.

This is exacerbated, or the smell does not come back down and under control if your dog has got into dirty water – such as a puddle, a lake, river or body of water outside.

Smelly Paws

The feet are a common area for a dog to give off a foul-smelling odor.

This is because a dogs paws are constantly on the ground – walking on, over and through a lot of bacteria and germs on the floor.

Equally, dogs actually sweat through their foot-pads.

Washing your dogs feed regularly is therefore recommended.


Foul-smells can also indicate that your dog is suffering from a health issue. This is usually evident in your dogs behavior and they are likely to be in some discomfort, pain or have a general lethargy/malaise about them.

If you suspect that your dog is in pain or is suffering, its important that you take them to a vet immediately for an inspection and potential examination.

Here are some potential areas to look out for and reasons to take them for an investigation:

Bad Breath

The breath in your doberman can begin to smell for several reasons. Firstly, it can be from the buildup of tartar and bacteria that is festering on and around the teeth.

Secondly, if dental hygiene worsens, your dog could be suffering from a decayed tooth, or a disease that is caused by bacteria in the mouth.


Ear infections are notorious for being smelly – a smell of ‘yeast’ or ‘mold’ is often detectable . Scratching of the ears is usually accompanied by this.

Anal Glands

Your dobermans anal sacs can lead to an unpleasant ‘fishy’ odor. While anal glands in dogs are used to lay a scent, this smell should dissipate after they have gone to the toilet.

Sometimes there is an issue with the gland, and this smell does not seem to go away.

How To Keep Your Doberman From Smelling Bad

Nobody wants a smelly dog on their furniture or in their house.

Thankfully, the doberman has been classified as a ‘wash and wear’ breed by the American Kernel Club (AKC) due to their minimal maintenance coat.

However, these are some things that you can to keep bad smells at bay and to keep the coat smelling fresh and in optimal condition.

You’ll want to be proactive and in doing so, you should have a nicer smelling home and better cared for dog all the while:

Maintain Your Dobermans Oral Health

You should look to keep plaque, cavities and bad breath at bay with regular teeth and mouth cleaning. You can do this with a toothbrush/paste designed for dogs, dental toys or dental sticks.

Infrequent Baths

Dobermans do not need to be bathed often, nor should they. However, infrequent baths are helpful especially if they have rolled in something nasty.

When bathing, be sure to used a dog-friendly shampoo that is free of allergens and chemicals that can cause irritation to your dogs skin. This is the one to buy from Amazon.

Clean Their Ears

Ears can become infected, so its best to keep them clean. A cotton ball and a safe peroxide works well to reduce the buildup of bacteria/wax within the ears.

Wash Their Paws

Your dog is always walking on, over or through something. They sweat through their paws and therefore there is always a lot of bacteria on them.

To maintain hygiene and minimize smells, wash your dogs paws regularly.

Daily Brushing

Going over your dobermans coat with a slicker brush every day will keep it in optimal condition. This is perhaps the best one you can buy on Amazon for a great price.

This will ensure the natural oils can do their job at keeping the coat clean and eliminating smells and odors in the process.

Regular Nail Trimming

Your doberman should have their nails trimmed every month. This will prevent bacteria and germs from harboring underneath which can cause odor.

Wash Your Dobermans Bedding

Your dogs bedding may be dirty, or even soiled, and this can lead to your dog becoming smelly – even after bathing.

Be sure to regularly clean your dogs items – such as their bed, blankets and any towels you regularly use on them.

High-Quality Diet

A poor or inappropriate diet can lead to gas and flatulence. Be sure to feed your dog the highest quality food you can afford and be careful on scraps/treats.

Preventative Vet Care

Making sure your dog has regular health checkups will help your vet identify potential health issues before they arise or worsen. This usually prevents them from becoming smelly, dangerous or expensive health issues.


The doberman is not a smelly dog by any stretch of the imagination. With a short and sleek coat that naturally cleans itself, owners routinely report how their dog does not smell at all or that they carry a natural pleasantness about them.

With this being said, all dogs have a natural smell, dobermans included. Whether you can detect or even like this is going to be down to personal preference and how much time you spend around the dog.

Going further, there are a number of other potential causes for foul-smelling odors to arise and present themselves. Some can be minor and easily rectified, whereas others can be a sign of a more serious health issue.

Either way, with proper care, maintenance and consideration of your dobermans lifestyle and health – you can keep foul smells at bay and your home smelling fresh and clean as intended.

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