Why Do Dobermans Stink? [Unpleasant Odor]

Dobermans are an incredibly popular breed of dog, known for their loyalty, intelligence, and striking appearance. However, many Doberman owners have noticed that their pets have a distinct and unpleasant odor that can be difficult to eliminate. This has led to the question: why do Dobermans stink?

Why do Dobermans STINK?
Why do Dobermans STINK?

While all dogs have a natural scent, Dobermans are particularly prone to developing a strong odor due to a number of factors. One of the main culprits is their skin, which produces more oil than other breeds. This oil can build up over time and create a musty, unpleasant smell. Additionally, Dobermans are known for their love of water and can often develop a wet dog smell if they are not properly dried after swimming or bathing.

Another factor that can contribute to a Doberman’s odor is their diet. Certain foods, such as fish or liver, can cause a strong smell in a dog’s urine or feces, which can in turn make them smell worse overall. Finally, poor hygiene or lack of grooming can exacerbate any underlying odor issues, as dirt and bacteria can accumulate on a dog’s skin and fur.

Reason for OdorExplanationSolution
Dental ProblemsBad breath could be a sign of dental issues like plaque or gum disease.Regular dental check-ups, brushing your dog’s teeth, and dental chews.
Ear InfectionsDobermans’ ears can harbor bacteria and yeast leading to bad odor.Regular ear cleaning and check-ups can prevent infections.
Skin InfectionsBacteria or yeast on the skin can cause unpleasant smells.Regular bathing, vet-prescribed shampoos, or medication if needed.
Poor DietAn improper diet can lead to bad odors, both from the mouth and body.Provide a balanced diet with high-quality ingredients.
Anal Gland IssuesImpacted anal glands can create a distinct, foul smell.Regular vet check-ups and professional gland expression if needed.
Lack of GroomingLack of regular grooming can lead to a buildup of dirt and oils.Regular bathing, brushing, and grooming can help keep odors in check.

Dobermans and Odor

Dobermans are known for their distinctive odor, which can be quite strong and unpleasant at times. While some degree of odor is normal for any dog breed, Dobermans seem to be particularly prone to producing a strong scent. There are several factors that can contribute to this, including:

how to potty train a doberman
How to potty train a Doberman (Strategies)

The Role of Glands

One of the main reasons why Dobermans tend to have a strong odor is because of the role that their glands play in producing scent. Like all dogs, Dobermans have a number of different glands located throughout their body, including anal glands, sebaceous glands, and sweat glands. These glands produce a variety of different substances that can contribute to a dog’s overall odor.


Another factor that can contribute to a Doberman’s odor is their diet. Just like humans, dogs can experience changes in body odor based on what they eat. Certain types of dog food can cause dogs to produce more gas, which can lead to a stronger odor. Additionally, if a dog’s diet is lacking in certain nutrients, this can also contribute to an unpleasant smell.


The way that a dog’s body processes food can also play a role in their overall odor. If a dog has digestive issues, this can lead to an increase in gas production, which can cause a stronger odor. Additionally, if a dog is constipated or has other bowel issues, this can also contribute to a stronger smell.

Grooming and Hygiene

how fast can a Doberman run?
How fast can a Doberman run?

Bathing and Shampooing

Dobermans have a short, smooth coat that requires minimal grooming. However, regular bathing is necessary to keep them clean and fresh-smelling. It is recommended to bathe your Doberman every 6-8 weeks, but this can vary depending on their activity level and lifestyle.

When bathing your Doberman, use a mild dog shampoo and warm water. Avoid using human shampoo as it can be too harsh for their skin. Wet your dog thoroughly and lather the shampoo all over their body, taking care to avoid their eyes and ears. Rinse thoroughly to remove all the shampoo.

After the bath, use a towel to dry your Doberman and remove any excess water. Avoid using a hairdryer as it can be too hot and can burn their skin.

Brushing and Trimming

Dobermans shed moderately throughout the year, so regular brushing is necessary to remove loose hair and keep their coat healthy. Brush your Doberman at least once a week using a slicker brush or a rubber curry brush. This will help distribute natural oils throughout their coat and prevent matting.

Trimming your Doberman’s nails is also important to prevent overgrowth and discomfort. Trim their nails every 4-6 weeks using a sharp nail clipper. Be careful not to cut the quick, which can cause bleeding and pain. If you are not comfortable trimming their nails, ask your vet or a professional groomer for assistance.

Finally, it is important to clean your Doberman’s ears regularly to prevent infections. Use a cotton ball or a soft cloth dampened with a vet-approved ear cleaner to gently wipe the inside of their ears. Do not use cotton swabs as they can damage their ears.

Medical Conditions

happy doberman running on beach
A very happy Doberman runs on the beach

Skin Infections

Dobermans are prone to skin infections due to their short, thin coat and sensitive skin. These infections can be caused by a variety of factors, including allergies, parasites, and bacterial or fungal overgrowth.

Some common symptoms of skin infections in Dobermans include redness, itching, and hair loss. In severe cases, the skin may become crusty or oozing.

Treatment for skin infections typically involves identifying the underlying cause and addressing it with medication or other therapies. In some cases, antibiotics or antifungal medications may be necessary to clear up the infection.

Ear Infections

Dobermans are also prone to ear infections, which can be caused by a variety of factors, including allergies, bacterial or fungal overgrowth, and excessive moisture in the ear canal.

Some common symptoms of ear infections in Dobermans include redness, swelling, and discharge from the ear. In severe cases, the dog may experience pain or hearing loss.

Treatment for ear infections typically involves cleaning the ear canal and administering medication to clear up the infection. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to address chronic or severe infections.

Preventing Odor

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Regular cleaning and sanitizing are essential to prevent odor buildup in Dobermans. You should bathe your Doberman at least once a month using a mild dog shampoo. Make sure to rinse the shampoo thoroughly to avoid any residue that can cause skin irritation and odor. You can also use a deodorizing spray to keep your Doberman smelling fresh in between baths.

It’s also important to clean your Doberman’s bedding, toys, and other items regularly. Use a pet-safe disinfectant to clean the items and let them dry completely before returning them to your Doberman. This will help eliminate any bacteria or fungi that can cause odor.

doberman leaping through the snow
A happy Doberman LEAPS through the snow

Odor Neutralizers

There are many odor neutralizers available in the market that you can use to keep your Doberman smelling fresh. Some of the most effective odor neutralizers include:

Activated charcoal is a natural odor absorber that can be placed in a small pouch and kept near your Doberman’s bed or in the room where they spend most of their time. Baking soda can be sprinkled on your Doberman’s bedding and vacuumed up after a few hours. Vinegar can be mixed with water and used as a spray to neutralize odor on your Doberman’s coat. Essential oils can be added to a diffuser to keep the room smelling fresh.

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.