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Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Smell Worse Than Most Dogs? Facts & Hygiene Tips

Written by: Adam Mann

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

bernese mountain dog sitting outdoors

Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Smell Worse Than Most Dogs? Facts & Hygiene Tips

Does your Bernese Mountain Dog always smell, or did someone tell you they’re just a stinky breed? The truth is that a Bernese Mountain Dog typically smells no worse than any other dog breed.

So, why is it that your pup has a constant odor and what can you do about it? Bad odors can be a sign of deeper health concerns, so it’s not something you’ll want to ignore if your pup has been particularly stinky lately.

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The 5 Reasons Why Your Bernese Mountain Dogs Might Smell

Before you can figure out how to keep your pup from smelling bad, you need to figure out what’s causing the smell in the first place. We’ve highlighted five of the most common reasons your Bernese Mountain Dog might have a bad odor for you here:

1. Their Environment

A Bernese Mountain Dog has a beautiful thick coat. And while it looks great, it also acts like an odor magnet. If the smells around them are good, that’s not a problem, but if there are unpleasant smells in the air, they can soak into the fur.

Whether it’s a constantly dirty environment in their home or they just got into something they shouldn’t have while they were outside, those scents can stick with a Bernese Mountain Dog longer than they would with other breeds.

bernese mountain dog near a pond

2. They Need a Bath

Sometimes Fido just needs a little time in the tub! Their coat picks up scents and eventually, all those scents can start to fester and create an unpleasant aroma. You should think about bathing a Bernese Mountain Dog at least once a month, and even more often if you regularly notice an unpleasant odor.

3. Bacterial Problems

If your Bernese Mountain Dog lives in an overly humid environment or spends a lot of time in and out of the water, they can start to develop microorganisms living in their fur and on their skin. These bacterial microbes often give off an unpleasant smell, and that might be what you’re picking up on.

bernese mountain dog lying on the floor with droopy red lower eye lid due to skin looseness
Image By: RasaBas, Shutterstock

4. Ear Infections

Ear infections are notorious for their rancid smell, and if your Bernese Mountain Dog gets an ear infection, you’ll likely smell it. The good news is that Bernese Mountain Dogs are really no more likely to get an ear infection than any other dog breed.

5. Other Health Concerns

There are tons of health concerns that could lead to a Bernese Mountain Dog with an unpleasant odor. Issues like leaking anal glands, skin infections, and more can all lead to an unpleasant smell. If you suspect a medical issue is behind your pup’s smell, take them to a vet immediately.

sad dog lying on the floor
Image By: Luka Stular, Shutterstock

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How to Keep Your Bernese Mountain Dog Smelling Great

It’s better to keep your dog smelling great than to have to try and remedy the situation after the fact. Below are a few things you can do to keep your Bernese Mountain Dog smelling its best day after day.

1. Clean Environment

A dirty home leads to a bad-smelling pup. Keeping up with dishes, taking the trash out, and doing other everyday chores will make a big difference in keeping your dog smelling great. You also should consider keeping your Bernese Mountain Dog away from mud and other terrains that can lead to foul-smelling odors.

Bernese mountain dog with toy on carpet in living room
Image By: New Africa, Shutterstock

2. Frequent Baths

While a Bernese Mountain Dog shouldn’t need any more baths than any other type of dog, it’s still important to stick with a consistent bathing routine. Giving baths once a month will go a long way in keeping bad odors away, and it’s infrequent enough that it shouldn’t create any problems for their skin or coat. Just ensure you’re using a top-notch dog shampoo and thoroughly drying them off afterward.

3. Regular Grooming Routine

With a long, thick coat, a Bernese Mountain Dog needs daily brushing to keep their fur from matting up and collecting all sorts of dirt and grime. Brushing them once per day will help clear out any excess gunk in their coat before it has a chance to start collecting bacteria and creating a foul odor.

bernese mountain dog being groomed
Image By:, Shutterstock

4. Regular Vet Visits

Since underlying health problems are the causes of so many bad-smelling dogs, keeping up with annual checkups and taking your pup to the vet anytime something is wrong will go a long way in helping. These things will help ensure you can catch issues while they’re still small and easily treatable.

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While a Bernese Mountain Dog requires a lot of work and love to care for properly, if you keep up with all their care requirements, they shouldn’t smell any worse than any other type of dog. They’re still going to smell like a dog, of course, but it shouldn’t be unbearable.

If your Bernese Mountain Dog has an odor you can’t shake, we recommend taking them to a vet for further suggestions and to rule out any potential health problems they might have.

Featured Image Credit: Kristesoro, Shutterstock

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