Do German Shorthaired Pointers Stink?

German Shorthaired Pointers are highly energetic, loyal, and lovable dogs that make for excellent companions. However, like with other breeds, they do have a few drawbacks. Some have concerns that German Shorthaired Pointers stink – is this true?

German Shorthaired Pointers have a distinctive smell that can sometimes become a foul odor, much like any other dog. However, there are several factors, including diet, dehydration, poor grooming, outdoor habits, and medical conditions, that could make your German Shorthaired Pointer stink. 

This article explores why some German Shorthaired Pointers smell bad and provides solutions if you find your pup is starting to stink. If you love your dog but can’t tolerate his doggy odor, read on! Help is on the way. 

Factors That Make Your German Shorthaired Pointer Stink

There are several reasons that a German Shorthaired Pointer can have an unpleasant odor, including:

  • Diet
  • Dehydration
  • Time spent outdoors
  • The odor from anal glands
  • Poor or ineffective grooming
  • Webbed feet
  • Medical conditions

Let’s take a closer look at each of these below.


Some German Shorthaired Pointer owners have found that diet plays a significant impact on the smell of their dog. There is a consensus that German Shorthaired Pointers fed grain-free food smell better than those who eat grains. 

Some owners also find that raw food reduces the amount a German Shorthaired Pointer smells. 

However, if raw food is unavailable or impractical in your household, you can try different types of food until you note a change in your dog’s odor.


German Shorthaired Pointers are very energetic dogs and enjoy a high level of activity. As a result, they may become dehydrated faster than more sedentary breeds. 

Dehydration can cause a range of problems, including smelly urine, which in turn will affect the smell of your dog. 

In particular, if your German Shorthaired Pointer is dehydrated, his urine may smell like ammonia.

Time Spent Outdoors

Another consequence of your German Shorthaired Pointer loving the outdoors is that he is more likely to pick up dirt and a range of smells from his outdoor adventures. 

These dogs love to both run and swim, and they will likely run through fields of mud or swim through stagnant water. As they aren’t self-grooming, they will bring both the dirt and smell into your home if they aren’t bathed after their adventure. 

The Odor From Anal Glands

Some dogs emit a fishy smell from their anal glands when they are stressed or scared. Most German Shorthaired Pointers do this, and the smell can get trapped in their fur or environment. 

To reduce the smell, try to stop your German Shorthaired Pointer from having to encounter stressful situations.

You can also take your dog to the vet or a groomer to ‘express’ his anal glands. This involves cleaning out the glands to reduce the amount of smell they emit. 

Poor or Ineffective Grooming

The German Shorthaired Pointer has a short but water-resistant coat. As a result, it can be hard for shampoo or other cleaning solutions to penetrate your dog’s coat and reach his skin. 

So, even if you bathe him regularly, you may find it challenging to get rid of the smell of the outdoors completely. 

Webbed Feet

German Shorthaired Pointers have webbed feet, which allow them to be great swimmers. However, their webbed feet may cause an accumulation of moisture and bacteria, sometimes leading to a condition that has been dubbed ‘Frito Feet.’ 

As its name suggests, ‘Frito Feet’ is when your dog’s feet smell like corn chips or Fritos. While it’s not an unpleasant smell, it does signify an accumulation of bacteria or yeast in your dog’s paws which may be uncomfortable. 

You can prevent this by keeping your dog’s paws clean and dry. 

Medical Conditions

Several medical conditions may cause your German Shorthaired Pointer to stink. These include: 

  • Ear infections. Bacteria can build up in dog’s ears, causing them to itch and smell. 
  • Kidney disease. If your German Shorthaired Pointer’s kidneys are not working effectively, toxins may build up in his body. The toxins may cause his mouth and other parts of his body to smell. 
  • Dental disease. When dogs get older, a buildup of tartar and plaque can cause halitosis or bad breath. As your dog grooms himself, he will transfer the smell to other parts of his body, causing all-around smelliness. 
  • Skin infection. Skin infections and scabs can cause your dog’s skin and body to smell. Skin infection can be triggered by a variety of factors, including allergies and food intolerance.

How To Stop Your German Shorthaired Pointer From Stinking

If you find your German Shorthaired Pointer stinks, there are things you can do to help.

Here’s how to stop your German Shorthaired Pointer from stinking:

  • Change your dog’s diet
  • Adapt your grooming methods
  • Consult with your vet

If you notice your dog is stinkier than usual, it’s important to take note of any changes in his life. Anything from stress to a new home or housemate to an intolerance for certain foods can affect how he smells.

Change Your Dog’s Diet

It’s not uncommon for dogs to have an intolerance for grain, which can lead to digestive issues and flatulence. So, changing your dog’s diet may help to reduce their smell.

However, it’s always a good idea to consult with your vet first and remember to change their food gradually. Add a small amount of the new food with the old, slowly increasing the amount each day over the course of a week until you have cycled into the new brand completely. 

A couple of particularly popular grain-free packaged foods are Taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo Basics. 

Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food is a grain-free high protein dog food that is particularly great for German Shorthaired Pointers with sensitive tummies. It is designed to protect the immune system and promote a healthy gut.

Blue Buffalo Basics Dog Food

The Blue Buffalo Basics formula has been designed for energetic, larger dogs like German Shorthaired Pointers. It is made with limited ingredients to ensure it is as close to raw or natural food as possible. You can purchase it on

Adapt Your Grooming Methods

Every breed of dog requires some variations to its grooming routine. Here are some tips for German Shorthaired Pointers: 

  • Bathe him every 3-4 weeks and use a hydrating shampoo so that you don’t dry out his coat. The Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Shampoo has been specially designed to hydrate and prevent skin conditions. 
  • Brush him once every two days with a stiff-bristled brush or brushing glove. Try to ensure the brush reaches the surface of his skin. I reached out to a GSP breeder and they recommend the HERTZKO Bristle Brush for their dogs.
  • Check his toenails and ears regularly for a buildup of moisture or dirt. These could cause bacteria and foul odors.

Consult With Your Vet

If you have changed your dog’s diet and are regularly grooming him but he still stinks, it may be time to talk to your vet. Your dog may have an underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed with medication or treatment. 

When you bring your German Shorthaired Pointer to your vet, you can provide some information that will be helpful for a diagnosis. 

Some of the information will include: 

  • Any particular times you have noticed your dog smelling more strongly.
  • Information about your dog’s overall health and whether you have noticed any other particular symptoms like discomfort, itching, or whining. 
  • Details about your dog’s diet and grooming routine. 

Final Thoughts

While German Shorthaired Pointers do have a unique smell, they do not naturally stink. 

However, some factors may lead to them smelling bad. With proper diet, grooming routine and health care, your stinky German Shorthaired Pointer will be smelling better in no time. 


Recent Posts