You adore dogs, you really do, but the awful smell of a stinky dog makes you pinch your nose in a hurry. The good news is if you’re looking to adopt a four-legged friend, and you want one that doesn’t smell and doesn’t shed much, it is possible.
Which breeds meet those standards?
Here are 13 dogs that don’t shed heavily or smell bad:
- Miniature Poodle
- Yorkshire Terrier
- West Highland White Terrier
- Scottish Terrier
- Standard Schnauzer
- Lakeland Terrier
- Bichon Frise
All dogs smell, but some more than others. This is due to skin folds and double coats that can trap in dried dirt, debris, oils, and dead skin. In addition, some breeds are more likely to experience skin infections that lead to odors as well.
Keeping that in mind, the following 13 dog breeds are less likely to get stinky quickly.
1. Miniature Poodle
What’s better than a standard-sized Poodle? A miniature Poodle! They’re less smelly than their full-sized brethren as well, which makes them an ideal choice for you.
It doesn’t matter the size of this breed; Poodles are low-shedding. They shed so infrequently, in fact, that they’re considered one of the lowest-shedding dogs you could own right up there with the Bichon Frise and Havanese (who are both also on this list!).
Grooming your Poodle will prevent its dense hair from trapping in too much dirt or bacteria, as will clipping its coat. Then, every two weeks or so, bathe your miniature Poodle to ward off unwanted scents.
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A word of caution about Labradoodles: some dogs of this breed smell big-time, while others are far less odorous. It’s all dependent on genes, which will determine how much natural oil the dog produces and whether its curly coat is thick. If you want a less stinky dog, choose a reputable Labradoodle breeder.
Wooly coats will prevent excessive shedding due to the wiry texture. If your Labradoodle has a fleecy coat, that’s also one that doesn’t shed. Grooming your Labradoodle will help, so make sure you brush the dog at least twice per week.
The smooth, easy-to-maintain coat of the Whippet doesn’t easily latch onto scents. That coat is also what makes this breed low-shedding. However, do be ready for some seasonal shedding from your Whippet, even though it’s a single-coated breed.
You can get away with brushing the Whippet once per week with a bristle brush. This dog doesn’t need frequent bathing either, as you can wait for at least three months without a terrible stench building up around your pup.
4. Yorkshire Terrier
Not only is the Yorkie completely adorable, but this dog doesn’t leave an odor behind in its wake. You might wonder how that’s the case considering the Yorkshire Terrier’s fur can grow so long. It’s because the breed is single-coated.
That’s the same reason why Yorkies shed little. You’ll see some loose hair throughout the year due to regular hair cell turnover, but nothing extra during seasonal shifts.
Grooming the Yorkie requires daily brushing to manage its long coat, which I’d also recommend for preventing smells. The shorter puppy cut is cute on this dog and easier to maintain.
5. West Highland White Terrier
Westies are right up there with Poodles as dogs with a low-shedding propensity. When you consider how cuddly and huggable this dog is and how non-smelly, it’s no wonder West Highland White Terriers are popular.
About every month, plunk your Westie in the tub for a bath. The dog will need clipping around this time as well, which you can do yourself or let a groomer take care of it. Brushing or hand stripping is also required.
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6. Scottish Terrier
The Scottie should also be high up on your list of non-stinky breeds to consider. This small dog has a long, curly coat, and it’s that wavy texture that keeps the Scottie from shedding all over the house.
Proper grooming will prevent the Scottie from smelling bad, but grooming is admittedly the hardest part of owning this dog. You’ll have to get into the habit of hand stripping. Barring that, clipping will neaten the Scottish Terrier’s double coat.
In your quest for a nice-smelling dog, watch that you don’t wash your Scottie too often. That can irritate his skin, which will make him shed more.
In the same vein as the Yorkie is the Shih-Tzu. This breed can be groomed in two ways: with a youthful, manageable puppy cut or long, flowing locks. However, due to its dual-layered coat, you will see some seasonal shedding out of the Shih-Tzu, just a very reasonable amount.
Although double coats can be tied to smellier dogs, Shih-Tzus are not known to be one of them. Grooming your dog will help to this end, of course. Also, brush your baby regularly, especially if they’re long-coated, to ward off hair mats and rid the coat of debris and dirt.
Like the Scottie, Shih-Tzus can get dry skin if they’re bathed too frequently. Monthly baths will suffice just fine.
The Maltese, named after the archipelago Malta, is regarded as one of the lowest-shedding dogs, as I mentioned earlier. Therefore, you can have great faith that owning a Maltese will prevent you from having to follow your dog with a vacuum cleaner in tow.
Without a lot of skin folds, the Maltese shouldn’t get too stinky either. Bathing your dog about every two weeks will help with its smell. So too will grooming.
Brush your Maltese every day using a bristle brush. A pin brush or metal comb can detangle knots and mats that can get stuck in this small dog’s coat.
Here’s another super low-shedding dog, the Havanese. About the same size as the Shih-Tzu and the Maltese, the Havanese sheds so minimally due to its coat’s slow hair growth cycle. By the time the hair is ready to come out, enough time has passed that you won’t mind cleaning up a bit of a mess.
The area where you’ll put more care into your Havanese is grooming it. Since they’re double-coated, the Havanese needs regular grooming to prevent stink. First, brush the dog with a pin brush, going slowly to pull out mats and tangles. Follow that up with a bath about once per month.
10. Lakeland Terrier
The sweet Lakeland Terrier is a mid-sized dog that’s covered from head to toe in wiry fur. That fur is more abundant in some areas, such as the legs and the head of this breed. Even still, the Lakeland Terrier sheds minimally due to its coat texture.
Stinky dog? Not here. You might notice a faint scent sometimes from your Lakeland Terrier, but nothing overpowering.
Bathing your wiry-coated Lakeland Terrier about monthly will keep him smelling clean and fresh. You can even go up to three months between baths if your dog spends a lot of time indoors.
The tiny Chihuahua is best-known for being a fuzzball, but that’s only the long-haired variety. The other Chi variety is short-haired. In addition, this dog is single-coated, while the long-haired Chi is double-coated.
The double-coated Chihuahua has a higher likelihood of shedding and stinking, but the rate of shedding isn’t horrible. Since you want a less smelly dog, the single-coated, short-haired Chihuahua is your best bet. Grooming this Chi is also a lot easier!
The African hunting dog called the Basenji is another good pick. They’re self-groomers like cats, which they do to prevent stinking up the place. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plunk your Basenji in the tub, but this will be rare, maybe once every four or six months.
The rest of the Basenji’s grooming routine entails weekly brushing with a bristle brush. Although Basenjis are double-coated, they have short fur for both layers of hair, which limits shedding. However, you may notice more shedding ahead of the winter and summer.
13. Bichon Frise
The last low-shedding, low-stink dog on this list is super-fuzzy Bichon Frise. As I mentioned earlier, this breed is beloved for how little it sheds, and it regularly tops lists of lowest-shedding dog breeds.
The Bichon Frise can get a touch stinky due to its double coat, but regular grooming will prevent that. You’ll have to brush your dog nearly every day and trim its coat about monthly since its fur never stops growing. Don’t forget to bathe your Bichon Frise biweekly too!
Just like every dog sheds at least a little, every dog smells at least a little too. It’s just that the above 13 breeds tend to get less stinky than the average canine.
Many of them depend on you regularly grooming them to ward off smells, so it’s important to make sure you’re doing your part for your dog.