10 Dogs That Don’t Smell: Best Breeds for a Fresh Home

Ever wonder why some dogs seem to smell fresh while others have a less pleasant odor? You’re certainly not alone.

With 15 years of experience in professional grooming and specialized training in canine skin and hair anatomy, you can say I’ve encountered all kinds of unique scents.

Why Do Some Dogs Smell More Than Others?

1. Shedding of Skin Particles

All dogs shed skin cells over time, creating what’s known as pet dander.

If your dog hasn’t had a bath in some time, these dead cells accumulate on the skin’s surface and start to smell. Some breeds naturally shed less dander, making them better for people who are sensitive to odors or have allergies.

2. Build-Up of Oils

Some dogs’ skin produces natural oils to keep their fur hydrated and repel water. An excess of these oils can lead to a noticeable odor.

Breeds that often work in water, like Labrador Retrievers and Portuguese Water Dogs, tend to produce more coat oil, resulting in a stronger smell, which is what creates that “Wet Dog Smell“.

3. Dense Fur and Skin

Breeds with thicker fur or excessive skin folds can trap more particles, oils, and other debris like dirt and urine.

Dogs like the basset hound, bulldog, mastiff, or shar-pei fall into this category.

This creates a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus, leading to a stronger odor. Regular grooming, brushing, and bathing are essential for these breeds to minimize the smell.

Two basset hounds running
Thick folds, dense coat, and coat oils are big contributors to bad smells.

All Dogs Need A Bath, Eventually

No matter the breed, all dogs will eventually develop some odor if not properly cared for. Regular cleaning and grooming are key to keeping your dog smelling fresh. Proper hygiene ensures a pleasant environment for both you and your furry friend.

Dogs That Don’t smell

With all that in mind, we can safely assume that dog’s that produce less oil, less dander, and don’t have a lot of skin folds will naturally smell more pleasant.

1. Bichon Frise

Close up small white puppy Bichon Frize on the green yellow grass. Side view of white dog look away

Bichon’s are a non-shedding breed with beautiful, white fluffy hair. They produce less oils and dander which keeps them scent free for longer.

Their curly hair, however, can still collect dirt and debris and may hold on to some bad smells over time.

During the Spring and Summer months I recommend a shorter coat trim to keep them fresher longer.

Bichons are also prone to matting and tangles, especially around the bum, belly, and ears. So shorter hair cuts (and brushing a few times per week) will keep their coat in great shape.

2. Dachshund (Wire haired and Smooth Coat)

Wire haired dachshund walking through the grass

Dachshunds come in 3 flavors: wire haired, long haired, and short/smooth coat.

For our purposes, we want to stick with the wire hair and smooth coat, as they’ll produce the least amount of odors.

Wire and smooth coated dachshunds were bred to tunnel and hunt rodents in holes. So their coats are designed to have dirt fall right off.

That being said, dachshunds seem to be programmed to find something stinky and roll in it. If you can keep them out of mud and other less desirables, they stay odorless for long periods of time.

3. Greyhound

The Greyhound should come as no surprise on this list. They have very short fur, produce little coat oil, and don’t shed as much as most other dogs.

But don’t be fooled—Greyhounds do shed! They just don’t shed as much as long-haired breeds. You’ll still need to brush them gently every now and then. Many people assume they don’t shed at all, but it’s just less obvious compared to dogs with longer fur.

4. Whippet

One of the most low-maintenance dog coats belongs to the Whippet. Their short hair requires minimal upkeep, which also means they have very little odor.

Of course, like all breeds, Whippets will eventually accumulate dead skin cells and shed hairs. While they remain odor-free for longer periods, they will still need an occasional bath.

When it’s time for a bath, be sure to handle them gently to avoid irritating their skin. Use a mild shampoo with minimal ingredients to keep their skin from drying out or becoming irritated.

5. Schnauzer

A small white salt Miniature Schnauzer dog standing on the grass, looking very happy. Distinctive for their beard and long, feathery eyebrows

The Schnauzer is a wire coated breed that does require regular grooming and maintenance. However, due to their wire coat, they stay clean for longer periods of time.

Schnauzers have a unique grooming pattern that requires both hand stripping and trimming.

Their top coat should be wiry, and pulled short. While around the neck and shoulders, the coat is slightly shorter to blend seamlessly into the rest of the body. The legs have longer hair, while the neck, ears, head, and tail are kept neat and tidy. Finally, they should have distinctive eye brows and beard on the face.

6. Yorkshire Terrier

Yokrshire Terriers actually have two main coat types: Silky and Cotton. Depending on which one you have will determine how easy they are to groom, and how much they’ll hold on to scent.

  • Silky coats grow long, straight, and have no waves.
  • Cotton (or Wooly) coats are wavy, thick, and textured.

Cotton coats only grow 1 to 2 inches in length, but are far more prone to matting and tangles. And with the thick, curly texture, they can hold on to smells longer, and may need more frequent baths.

7. West Highland Terrier

Westie lying on green grass

Westies have that quintessential textured terrier coat, that helps dirt and grime fall right off. As such, smells have a difficult time hanging on as well.

These are a hand stripped breed, which keeps their coat wiry and textured. Wire coats are great for keeping your dog dirt and smell free.

Clipping or scissoring may damage the coat and cause hairs to become softer, and hang on to smells much easier. Therefore, hand stripping is strongly recommended for the Westie.

8. Jack Russel Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier, 15 months old, standing in front of white background

The Jack Russel is a perfect example of a textured terrier coat that lends itself to staying dirt and grime-free.

Like I mentioned with the Dachshunds, Jack Russel’s are meant to dig and chase through rough areas. So their coat is designed to protect and have dirt fall right off.

And like the other terries in this list, Jack Russels are a hand stripped breed. I recommend you check out my hand stripping crash course for more information.

Get The Free Hand Stripping Crash Course:

Hand strip video training taught by Katlin:

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9. Havanese

Cheerful chocolate sable colored havanese dog is lying in the grass - Show Champion

Much like the Bichon Frise, the Havanese are a non-shedding small dog that produces minimal coat oils and dander.

Their long coats require daily maintenance, however. Expect to brush twice per week in order to avoid tangles and matting. Remember: matted hair holds on to smells much more.

Likewise, your Havanese will need a trim once per 6 to 8 weeks to keep their coat healthy.

10. Doberman Pinscher

Another short haired companion for this list. Keep in mind that despite their short hair, Dobermans do shed a decent amount.

How much your Doberman smells can depend on how active they are. Lots of walks and playtime can have them pick up different scents. To keep them smelling fresh, give them a bath every 6 to 12 weeks. And gently brush once per week to tame shedding hairs.

Even More Smell Free Dogs

There’s still more breeds that need honorable mentions, such as:

  • Italian Greyhound
  • Chihuahua
  • Maltese
  • Basenji
  • Pomeranian
  • Scottish Terrier

Any breed that produces less dander and oil, has shorter hair, or has few skin folds, will naturally produce less odor.

Picture of Katlin Primrose

Katlin Primrose

​​Katlin is certified master groomer with over 10 years of experience, a registered veterinarian tech assistant (working in emergency, exotics, and general practice), and has won multiple awards in the show ring with her dogs at AKC and CKC.

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