Some dog lovers really don’t care about that “doggy odor.” Their dog is worth it and the smell just comes with the dog.
But other dog lovers aren’t so keen on the smell of their dog even though they love all the rest.
If this describes you and you are thinking about adding a Rottweiler dog to your family, you may be understandably curious to find where Rotties rank on the smell index.
Do Rottweilers smell? If yes, do they smell more than other dog breeds? What can cause a Rottweiler dog to smell – or to smell worse than usual? We are going to take a deep dive into these and other important questions about Rottweiler’s body odor.
Do Rottweilers Smell? Yes and No
To hear Rottie owners tell it, Rottweilers are not known to smell more or worse than other dog breeds.
However, as experienced Rottweiler owners point out, there are some reasons that can make a Rottweiler smell more or worse than usual.
It is important to learn about reasons why a Rottie might smell worse one day than they did the day before and what you may need to do to fix it.
11 Reasons Why a Rottweiler Might Smell
As the Everything Rottweiler book explains, many of the causes of Rottweiler odor can be traced back to health.
Here are some of the most cited reasons why a Rottie might start to smell bad.
1. Dental problems
Dental problems affect up to 80 percent of pet dogs regardless of the breed according to Aubrey Animal Medical Center.
Unfortunately, the Rottweiler is very prone to dental issues. Tooth decay can lead to an abscess, gingivitis, and periodontal disease, which in turn can cause really bad breath as well as other health problems.
2. Ear infection
Rottweilers have big floppy ears and they are adorable to look at. But when the canine ear is floppy, it reduces the amount of air circulation that gets into the inner ear canal.
As Lombard Veterinary Clinic explains, this can lead to a bigger than normal risk of ear infections.
Mites can also find their way inside the warm, dark ear canal and breed there undetected. This can lead to infection and odor.
3. Skin infection
Rottweilers are also prone to developing skin infections, primarily because they are an active working dog breed and often end up having a lot more contact with parasites and allergens than dogs that are bred to warm couches.
A Rottie may pick up mites, ticks, fleas, and other parasites that cause skin infection. Environmental and food allergies can also lead to a skin infection. One of the warning signs of skin infection is a yeast-like smell.
4. Paw pad infection
Experienced dog owners are usually familiar with the term “Frito feet.”
New Haven Pet Hospital explains that the paw pads can be havens for bacteria that give off a particular smell as they grow.
If your dog’s paws start to smell like corn chips, bacteria is the likely culprit.
5. Food allergy
PetCareRX points out that the Rottweiler dog breed can be more susceptible to allergies related to diet.
In other words, these dogs can be prone to sensitive stomachs.
Food allergies can be triggered by all sorts of foods and not all of them are considered off-limits to pet dogs.
For example, many commercial dog foods will include eggs, dairy, grains, soy, pea protein, gluten, seafood, and even certain protein sources like beef, chicken, and turkey.
It is hard to know exactly what foods may be causing your Rottie to have food allergies without having allergy testing done and working through an elimination diet.
Sometimes it is not the food itself, but how the food is prepared or how the animal protein is raised. For example, many commercial farms use lots of antibiotics and hormones in their livestock feed. This may be what is causing the reaction in your dog.
Food allergies may cause your dog to have itchy skin, paws, and ears. The more your Rottweiler rubs, the more likely infection is to develop and cause odor.
6. Gastrointestinal issues
Another common side effect of undiagnosed good allergies is gas! Flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, and bad breath all go hand in hand with food allergies and sensitive stomach as well as other known canine G.I. tract issues.
Merck Veterinary Manual explains that Rottweilers are particularly prone to catching the canine parvovirus, a treatable yet potentially fatal virus.
This disease can cause intestinal blockage and death, which makes an unpleasant smell the least of your worries if your Rottweiler develops this disease.
7. Infected or clogged anal glands
A far less severe and more common condition that can cause a really bad odor is when the anal glands get clogged or infected.
New dog owners are often surprised to learn that dogs have two small sacs on either side of the tail called anal glands.
These glands are important for secreting scent to give information to other dogs such as location, gender, and age. But while they are supposed to express (release their contents) when your dog uses the bathroom, often they don’t work as they should.
When this occurs the anal glands can get clogged or even infected. If your dog smells bad only from the tail area, suspect anal gland issues.
8. Feminine cycles
If you are living with an unfixed female Rottweiler who is sexually mature, she may start to smell strongly with her estrus (fertility) cycle.
9. Hormone changes
Hormone changes associated with fertility, the transition from puppyhood to adulthood, thyroid issues, and other health conditions may also trigger a bad odor.
10. Rolled in something
Sometimes you send your Rottweiler outside to play and your dog smells fine. But then when your Rottie comes back inside they don’t smell fine at all.
Even after decades of research, canine biologists still aren’t completely sure why dogs love to roll in stinky stuff. But they are sure that when your Rottweiler does this, the only thing for it is a thorough bath, like this cute video showcases.
11. Ate something
Rottweilers, like all dogs, often explore their world with their mouth. This may be why your Rottie wants to eat things you think are disgusting.
No matter how hard you try, you may not always catch your dog before they pop something awful into their mouth.
Rottweilers with really bad breath that don’t have dental issues probably just ate something that smells bad.
How to Fix Rottweiler Doggy Odor
Learning how to fix Rottweiler’s doggy odor always starts with identifying what is causing the smell in the first place.
This may mean you need to take a trip to your Rottie’s least favorite place – the veterinary clinic.
You may need your veterinarian’s help to figure out what is causing a Rottweiler smell that you can’t seem to wash, brush, or groom away.
Once you have identified the most likely cause, you and your dog’s vet can work together to solve the problem and get your dog smelling sweet again.
Are Rottweilers Stinkier Than Other Dogs? The Real Truth
Regardless of what you might have read on the internet, there is no such thing as an “odorless” dog.
All dogs, like all people, do have some degree of “signature scent.” You may notice this more when you first bring your Rottweiler home and then later your nose will get so used to it you may not even smell it anymore.
This is usually when you can start to detect when your Rottweiler smells different or worse than usual.
In other words, if you are suddenly sniffing the air and trying to figure out what smells so bad, chances are good the smell is caused by something other than “doggy odor.”
Rottweilers do not ordinarily give off a strong natural body odor. They are known to be relatively clean dogs that need only weekly maintenance brushing and baths “as needed.”
In fact, unless your Rottweiler has a sensitive stomach or food allergies and is unusually gassy, you may not even notice your dog’s smell on a daily basis.
Some dog breeds like Bulldogs, Boxers, Dobermans, Pugs, St. Bernards, and Shar-Peis are notoriously stinky. In some, it is the facial folds while in others it is the long coat or the sensitive stomach that causes the persistent odor.
But you are lucky – Rottweilers are not included in this category of “generally stinky” dog breeds. This makes it all the more vital to pay attention to times when your dog smells strongly all of a sudden.
Chances are good your dog’s body is trying to talk to you and send a message that something is wrong. When you learn to decode the message quickly, you can get back to a sweet-smelling pup that also feels much better.