Do German Shorthair Stink?

Are you considering adding a German Shorthaired Pointer to your family? If so, you’ve probably wondered whether or not they are smelly. After all, the last thing you want is a stinky pup making your home smell terrible!

So, do German Shorthairs stink? While German Shorthairs have a distinct smell, it’s natural and not as unpleasant as other breeds. Unless your GSPs coat gets wet and matted, it will usually smell pretty normal. Regular bathing and grooming also help to keep the smell under control.

Most prospective owners are often curious about German Shorthairs and their scent, so this article will explore the issue in depth. We’ll go over the breed’s natural odor, how to keep it under control, and why they have such a strong smell in the first place. So read on if you’d like to learn more!

Do German Shorthair Stink: At a Glance

German Shorthaired Pointers (GSPs) have a unique scent that is natural and not especially unpleasant. It’s not noticeable unless you’re close to them, but certain activities or stressors can cause the smell to become more intense. 

Given proper care and grooming, however, most owners find that their GSPs don’t have an overpowering odor.

One of the reasons why GSPs don’t usually smell bad is because they have a double-layer coat which helps protect them from dirt and other environmental pollutants. The outer layer of fur is coarse and wiry, which resists matting and tangles even when wet. This helps keep their skin clean and free of sweat or other odors.

Additionally, GSPs do not tolerate extreme temperatures very well, so their coats are designed to keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. GSPs also benefit from regular bathing, brushing, and nail trimming to keep their coats looking great and smelling fresh.

What Factors Affect German Shorthair’s Smell?

German Shorthairs can be prone to certain odors depending on the individual dog’s situation and lifestyle. As with any breed, certain activities can cause their natural scent to become more noticeable.

Some of the main factors that can influence the smell of your German Shorthair include:


Diet is a major factor in determining how much a German Shorthair will smell. 

Some owners find that grain-free food helps reduce odor, while others claim that raw food can reduce the smell. While there isn’t any scientific evidence to back up these claims, it’s worth considering if you’re looking for ways to reduce odor in your GSPs coat.

Grain-free food tends to be easier on the digestive system and is less likely to cause gas or flatulence, making your GSPs coat smell bad. Raw food, on the other hand, may help reduce odors as it contains fewer additives and preservatives than grain-filled kibble.

Time Spent Outdoors

Another factor that affects German Shorthair’s smell is the time spent outdoors.

Dogs that spend more time outside tend to be prone to collecting dirt and debris on their fur, which can contribute to a stronger odor. Additionally, outdoor activities such as swimming, running, or playing with other animals can leave your GSPs coat wet and matted. This makes it harder for their natural oils to spread through the hair and keep it clean.

It’s also important to keep in mind that outdoor temperatures can also affect German Shorthairs’ scent. If your GSP is exposed to hot weather for too long, they sweat more, leading to an unpleasant odor in their coat. Cold weather can also cause a stronger scent if your GSP isn’t properly groomed and bathed.

Anal Gland Issues

Some German Shorthairs emit a fishy or skunky smell due to anal gland issues. When a GSP’s anal glands become overactive or infected, they can cause an unpleasant odor in your dog’s coat.

In most cases, the first sign of an infection is a strong odor from the rear end. This smell is often described as being like fish or skunk and can be quite pungent. It’s important to take your GSP to the vet if you detect this type of smell, as it may be indicative of an infection or another underlying problem.

The good news is that there are ways to reduce the smell caused by anal gland issues in German Shorthairs. Keeping up with regular grooming sessions, ensuring proper diet and nutrition, and providing them with plenty of exercise can all help reduce the risk of these types of infections in the first place.

How to Reduce the Smell of a German Shorthair

German Shorthairs are low-maintenance when it comes to smell and shouldn’t be stinky. If your GSP does have an unpleasant odor, there are a few steps you can take to reduce it:

Regularly Bath and Brush Your Dog

One of the most effective ways to reduce odor in your GSP’s coat is by regularly bathing and brushing them. Doing so will remove dirt, debris, and excess oils that can contribute to a bad smell. Additionally, brushing helps to detangle any matted fur, which will improve circulation and keep your GSPs coat looking healthy.

Be sure to use a shampoo specifically designed for dogs, as it won’t strip their coat of its natural oils. Also, be sure to rinse your GSP thoroughly, as any shampoo residue can cause irritation and lead to an even worse smell.

Feed Them A Balanced Diet

As mentioned earlier, diet plays a huge role in determining how much odor your GSP produces. Be sure that you’re feeding them a balanced diet with the right nutrients and vitamins for their age, activity levels, and overall health.

Opt for grain-free kibble as this will help reduce odors as it contains fewer additives and preservatives than grain-filled kibble. It’s also important to remember that different dogs have different dietary needs, so it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian before making any changes.

Reduce the Amount of Time They Spend Outdoors

Spending too much time outdoors can increase the amount of dirt, debris, and other odorous materials your GSP collects on their coat.

If you notice that your GSP is emitting an unpleasant odor after spending time outside, try to limit the amount of time they spend playing and exploring outdoors. Doing so will reduce the amount of odor-causing particles they pick up and help keep your GSPs coat smelling fresh.

Ideally, your GSP should only spend a few hours outdoors each day and come back in at least every 3-4 hours for regular brushing and grooming.

Avoid High-Stress Situations

Your GSP’s stress levels can also affect how much they smell. If your dog is anxious, it can cause an increase in sweat production which can lead to a smelly coat.

To decrease odors and keep your GSP comfortable, try to avoid taking them into stressful situations such as large crowds or unfamiliar places. If your GSP does experience stress, make sure that you provide them with plenty of opportunities to relax and de-stress, such as regular walks and cuddle time.


So, do German Shorthairs stink? In most cases, no. A healthy GSP should not have an unpleasant odor. However, if you do notice an odor coming from your GSP, it may be indicative of an underlying health problem.

Be sure to follow the tips outlined above to keep your GSP smelling fresh and take them to the vet if you detect an unusual smell, as it may be indicative of an infection or another underlying problem. With a little bit of effort, you can ensure that your GSP stays healthy and odor-free!

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