7 reasons why your Golden Retriever smells! (+solutions)

why does my golden Retriever smells

You have a beautiful Golden Retriever but you realize the looks don’t match the smell. Your Golden Retriever smells and you wonder why.

The Golden Retriever, like all dogs with longer coats, tends to be more smelly than other breeds. In addition, there is a preference for water and mud. A wet dog will stinks more than a dry one.
Reasons why your Golden Retriever smells or stinks

#1 They love water

The Golden Retriever, just like the Labrador, is known to love water. Because of their original use, they are used to running around the marshes with the hunter in all kinds of weather.

When you take your Golden Retriever for a walk in the rain, you may find that he is always the dirtiest. He loves every puddle and jumps into every mud hole, and a walk in the rain can’t hurt him.

The constant moisture increases the skin’s oil production and can make your Golden Retriever stink more than other dogs.


You can and should bathe your Golden Retriever more often than other dogs. If he is completely soaked because he jumped into a smelly pond, brushing out the dry dirt is not enough.

#2 Long fur smells faster

If your Golden Retriever jumps into every mud hole, naturally more dirt will accumulate in his coat which can lead to bad odor if you don’t clean your dog properly.

Golden Retriever smells
© Anna Auerbach – stock.adobe

In addition, every dog has its own smell. This is more intense when a dog has a long coat than when it has a very short coat. If the long coat is wet more often, your apartment will smell like a wet dog more quickly.

As a comparison, our Cane Corso doesn’t smell at all, even when I press my nose deep into her fur. She doesn’t like to go out in the rain and when she does get wet, the coat dries very quickly.


In addition to regular bathing, it is advisable to brush the Golden Retriever properly more often. Brushing removes dead hair and the coat becomes thinner. So less dirt can collect in it. But brushing also removes existing dirt.

#3 The food has an influence on the smell

It may also be that your Golden Retriever smells stronger because he can’t tolerate the food. Or the food simply provides a stronger smell.

When we got our dogs from the breeders, we each got a bag of the puppy food. With both foods, neither of which were cheap, we noticed that our dogs had an intense smell of their own.

Malou had a real spicy smell coming from her mouth and even the fur smelled. Not obtrusive, but it was noticeable.

We quickly changed the food for both dogs and switched to a raw diet (BARF). A positive side effect of BARF is that your dog smells much less.

Compared to dry food, they don’t smell at all from their mouths and even the fur has minimal smell. When we get into the rain, a minimal smell is noticeable, but not worth mentioning.

We can compare quite well, because in the summer, when we go on vacation, we switch to dry food. The changeover takes place at least 2 weeks before the vacation. Then we feed dry food for 2 weeks on vacation and 2 weeks after the vacation we slowly start feeding raw again.

In the 6 weeks we notice that the smell from the mouth and also the fur smell becomes stronger. Not so that we say it stinks, since it is a good dry food. But the difference is still noticeable.

Compare that with yourself. If you eat sensibly, exercise and sweat at night (everyone sweats, more or less) you smell much less the next morning than if you eat fast food and drink alcohol in the evening. The dirt in that food doesn’t belong in your body.

It’s the same with dog food. In many dry dog foods, there are ingredients that just don’t belong in a dog food.
We actually found that the dogs that smell the most get the cheapest discount food.

raw diet if your Golden Retriever smells
Duck with Veggies


Change the food. If it is logistically possible I would always feed a raw diet (BARF). It is in my opinion the best and healthiest way to feed your dog. The advantage is that dogs that are feed raw have less inherent smell.

#4 Golden Retriever smells because of bad breath

Regardless of the food, your Golden Retriever may have bad breath coming out of his mouth. This can possibly be due to problems with the teeth and/or gums.

Inflammations, tartar, broken teeth can be the reason for bad breath in your Golden Retriever – of course in other dogs as well.


Give your Golden Retriever often chewing articles which support the dental care. By chewing and gnawing, tartar is ground off and can therefore smell less. But also a visit to the vet can not hurt if there are problems especially with the teeth.

#5 Golden Retriever has bloating

If your dog has bloating, it is primarily due to the food again. But here you should not necessarily look at the quality first, but whether he does not tolerate a certain ingredient.

Even if you feed your dog raw, he may have bloating because he does not tolerate beef well. With dry food it is similar. What is in the food that your dog reacts to.


Change the food. If you feed a raw diet and so far a lot of beef, you can change beef for fish and observe if your Golden Retriever still has bloating.

If you have a cheap discount food, try a slightly higher quality food for the sake of your dog. The difference per day for a Golden Retriever is in the range of 20-30 cents.

#6 The ears can stink

Another source of unpleasant smell can be the ears. The Golden Retriever also has drooping ears, under which a lot of dirt can accumulate and bacteria can develop, spreading the bad smell. Especially if your dog jumps into any pond.


Besides grooming, you also need to clean your Golden Retrievers ears. Simply wipe through the ears with a damp kitchen towel and some lukewarm water.

#7 The dog bed stinks

If your Golden Retriever gets smelling in his dog bed, it will naturally take on smell. You can clean your Golden Retriever as best you can afterwards. Then, when he lies down in his smelly pillow, freshly bathed, the effort was in vain.


Depending on what kind of dog bed you have, you should regularly put it in the washing machine and wipe it down if it is made of artificial leather. Just as you wash your bedding, you need to keep your dog’s sleeping space clean and fresh.

Conclusion: Why your Golden Retriever smells?

The Golden Retriever simply stinks or smells more than other dogs, because he loves to jump into every mud hole and humidity doesn’t bother him.

You just have to put up with it. But regular grooming and good food can greatly minimize the smell.

© Medeya-stock.adobe.com (Contributing image)


I am Marco and I have the pleasure of living with 3 large Mastiff-type dog breeds. I would like to share my dog-related experiences on this blog

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