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Do Poodles Smell? [Does This Breed Smell Doggy Naturally?]

Poodles make excellent pets; they are peaceful in temperament and accepting of others while being very intelligent, faithful, and trainable. It must be stated that this is not a low-maintenance breed; they have high grooming requirements and owners do need to routinely care for their curly coats. But what about smells? Are they more likely to carry that ‘doggy odor’, or is this breed known for smelling more offensively than others? Here is what you should know.

So, do Poodles smell? Poodles are generally not smelly dogs; they don’t have that “doggy smell” like other breeds. However, all dogs have their own odor, even Poodles. This is not generally offensive or foul-smelling and not all owners recognize it, and some get used to it in time.

If your Poodle does smell bad, this is not normal, and you must investigate for any potential underlying issue straight away.

Several factors can cause your Poodle to smell bad; these include skin infections, yeast infections, a buildup of fluid in your dog’s anal gland, and stool hairs stuck to your Poodle’s rear end.

Being proactive about the smell of your dog can go a long way to ensuring foul odors are minimized.

Regular visits to the vet, providing a high-quality diet and limiting scraps, making sure their sleeping areas are clean, and regular grooming should be a top priority.

This breed also needs regular clipping at least every four to six weeks.

Thankfully, and as you can see, there is a lot that you can do as an owner of a Poodle to prevent smells from arising or developing.

But you do need to remember that all dogs will smell to some extent.

Its also important to consider that dogs sweat, and although they do so differently to humans, it can make their bodies smell.

Maybe you have recently got a Poodle, perhaps you are thinking of getting one.

Either way, let us now take a closer look at the Poodle breed and investigate further their proneness to smell.

We will cover the main causes and some of the best things an owner can do to counteract them. So, be sure to keep reading to get all the information you need!

Do Poodles Smell Doggy?

Poodles generally don’t smell “doggy,” these dogs are the original hypoallergenic breed – they are non-odor and non-shedding.

The Poodle comes in different sizes that range from toy to giant, but their primary purpose from the days that they were first bred was to be companions for the elite.

That is not the case with Poodles today, anybody can own a Poodle, and they are the perfect indoor pet as they neither smell naturally nor shed.

Poodles are ideal for allergy sufferers and individuals with a low tolerance for bad odors.

What Can Cause A Poodle To Smell?

There are many reasons why a Poodle would have a strange odor. The bad smells will make you wrinkle your nose, and your Poodle may smell even after having a bath.

You may be able to detect where the odor is directly coming from or you may need to investigate further – it may not be entirely obvious.

Either way, however, let’s look at the most common reasons why a Poodle may not smell so great. And after, we will discuss the necessary steps to eliminate each specific smell:

Skin Infections

Skin infection of any kind, be it yeast, bacterial, or fungal, will release a foul odor, and you can’t groom or cleanse the smell away.

If an infection develops without treatment, it could lead to other symptoms like thinning hair, red bumps, itching, and peeling skin.

The infection can move deeper into the skin and pus that can scab over. This will be very uncomfortable for your dog and should be avoided at all costs.

Skin infections usually occur through the use of inappropriate products on a dog’s coat; such as low-quality shampoos/conditioners, too much bathing, etc.

But of course, infections can also develop in other ways too – like being left damp etc.

If you see any sign of an infection or notice any bad smells, contact your vet and make an appointment straight away – your Poodle will need a full examination. Skin infections are usually treated with topical or oral medications.


Your Poodle’s flatulence might be loud, or it may be a silent problem. Either way, you will notice the smell.

Some flatulence is perfectly normal; most dogs break wind ten times a day.

Farting releases four main elements – carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and methane. The hydrogen sulfide produces the foul smell.

Eating too fast causes flatulent episodes as can a poor-quality diet. Allergies to certain foods can also cause flatulence.

Improper Bathing Methods

There is more to bathing your dog than merely ‘wet, lather, and rinse’; first and foremost, you must make sure that you are using suitable products to ensure that your Poodle is clean and odor-free.

The purpose of a bath is to rinse away body oils (sebum) that are excreted through the skin each day.

Oils do help prevent the skin from getting dry, but they can lead to a foul stench if not rinsed properly.

Anal Glands

All dogs, including Poodles, have a pair of anal glands – one on either side of the anus.

These glands hold fluid that is released incrementally each time two dogs meet. Small amounts are released whenever a dog has a bowel movement.

If the glands are not fully expressed, they can burst open – this releases a dark-colored oil that smells very foul.

You must inspect the area if you notice a terrible smell coming from your Poodle’s rear end. Either a vet or a dog groomer can express the anal glands so that you don’t have to.

Vaginal Smell (In Female Poodles)

It’s easy to mistake the smell from the vagina as coming from the anus, especially as the vulva and anus are so close together.

This smell is often described as being a musty odor comparable with vinegar. This issue does indicate that there is a health issue at hand, such as a urinary tract infection; whatever it may be, your vet needs to look at it promptly.

How Do I Stop My Poodle From Smelling?

Taking the five common reasons your Poodle might smell bad, let’s look at the solution to each one:

Fixing Skin Infections

If you think your Poodle has a skin infection, be it yeast, bacterial, or fungal infection, you must bring the issue to the attention of your vet – that is the only way to deal with this problem.

If you ignore skin infection on your Poodle, it can develop into something worse; your vet will likely treat the infection with topical or oral medication.

Fixing Flatulence

If your Poodle passes gas continually, be aware that that isn’t normal, you should discuss it with your vet.

Chronic gas could be due to GI; allergies usually cause this to certain foods. Some canine supplements can help reduce your Poodle’s flatulence problem, they also help your dog absorb nutrients from their diet, and it can help with Coprophagia.

Make sure you feed your Poodle high-quality food from puppyhood and that they drink enough water each day.

Remember, most canines pass gas at least ten times a day, and that’s normal. Anything more regular than this, or overtly more foul-smelling, could be an indication of an underlying health issue.

Fixing Improper Bathing Methods

You must scrub your Poodle from head to toe at least every three weeks – do not was your Poodle more than this as this can dry out the skin.

You can do an entire body cleaning every five or six weeks to prevent odor issues. Make sure that you bathe your Poodle correctly.

At the three-week point, the oily substance on the surface of your dog’s skin will hold in dead skin, particles of dirt, debris, dirt, and small pieces of food. The oil at that stage will smell unpleasant.

Keep in mind that your dog’s coat has tightly packed curls, so you must scrub deeply and thoroughly, or the oil won’t wash away.

Make sure that you use a suitable canine shampoo that will wash away the Poodle’s natural body oils, as rinsing alone won’t help.

This is an excellent, all-natural, and highly reviewed brand on Amazon to get.

The conditioner you use is also crucial – if it’s too thick, it will block the pores on your dog’s skin, inhibiting airflow that will only leave in the nasty smells.

This is my go-to shampoo for our dog; I get it on Amazon.

Fixing The Issue Of Smelly Anal Glands

If your Poodle has loose stools, this can lead to a buildup of fluid in the anal glands. It is essential to have those glands expressed a dog groomer or vet can do that for you.

If the glands burst open, the skin will be vulnerable to infection – at that stage, it must be treated with antibiotics.

Fixing Vaginal Smells (For Female Poodles)

A urinary tract infection is likely to be the cause of smells coming from the vagina; the only way to take care of the issue is to have a vet treat it with medication.


It’s very unusual for a Poodle to smell bad; they certainly don’t give off that doggy smell like other dogs.

However, Poodles, like any other canine, benefit from proper and timely baths. Poodles have dense, curly hair, so you must pay special attention to lathering and bathing.

Poodles are notorious for getting ear infections, and aside from itching, there is always a strong odor from the site of the infection.

You should put cotton in your Poodle’s ears before their bath to prevent water from getting into their ear canal.

You should also practice at-home ear cleaning to rinse away the wax buildup. If that doesn’t rinse away the wax buildup, you must see a vet, where antibiotics will be necessary.

Like any dog, bad smells can come from your Poodle’s mouth, so you must keep your Poodle’s teeth clean.

Each day, your Poodle’s teeth develop plaque, which needs regular brushing before plaque becomes tartar, as this can lead to tooth decay and painful gum disease.

You must make sure that your brushing technique is up to standard to prevent decay, tooth loss, and to keep your Poodle’s breath smelling sweet.

The toothbrush you use to brush your Poodle’s teeth matters, and you must brush your Poodle’s teeth at least three times a week.

Ultimately, Poodles are a great dog to own; and smell shouldn’t be an issue with appropriate care and attention.

If you are considering getting a Poodle, here are some other things you will want to consider.

Their attitude towards people can go from loving to indifferent, but they are not an aggressive breed.

With that said, Poodles are not low-maintenance; they need daily exercise and their energy levels range from moderate to high.

You do need to keep them both physically and mentally stimulated to prevent boredom.

Usually, taking them for a brisk walk or a jog does the trick; but they also enjoy swimming and are naturally quite good swimmers.

Besides that, they need lots of companionship as they experience separation anxiety very easily.

Wondering what other breeds may smell? My other guides may be of help: