Do Golden Retrievers Smell More Than Labradors: Compare Odor


Ah, the age-old question: do Golden Retrievers smell more than Labradors?

As a pet and animal expert, I’ve heard this question come up quite a few times, and it’s time to dive deep into the world of these lovable breeds to find the answer.

But before we explore the factors that may contribute to any difference in odor between these popular breeds, let’s take a moment to appreciate just how amazing they are.

In this blog post, we’ll start by getting to know the two breeds a little better, and then we’ll discuss the factors that contribute to dog odor in general.

Next, we’ll compare the odors of Golden Retrievers and Labradors, taking into account their coat differences, grooming needs, and health issues related to odor.

Finally, we’ll offer some tips on how to reduce dog odor for both breeds.

A Brief Overview of Golden Retrievers and Labradors

Before we delve into the scent debate, let’s take a closer look at each breed to better understand its characteristics.

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are large, friendly, and intelligent dogs, originating from Scotland in the mid-19th century. Their lustrous golden coat is one of their most distinguishing features.

These dogs were initially bred as gun dogs to retrieve waterfowl, and their gentle mouths and love for water still reflect those early days.

Golden Retrievers are well-suited for families, as they’re known for their patience, affection, and overall easygoing demeanor.


Labradors, or Labrador Retrievers, are also large, intelligent, and friendly dogs. Hailing from Newfoundland, Canada, they were initially bred as working dogs for fishermen, assisting with hauling nets and retrieving fish.

Their short, dense, water-repellent coats come in three main colors: black, yellow, and chocolate. Like Golden Retrievers, Labradors are excellent family pets, known for their loyalty, playfulness, and adaptability.

Factors Contributing to Dog Odor

Understanding the factors that contribute to dog odor is crucial when comparing Golden Retrievers and Labradors. Some common causes of doggy odor include:

Skin and Coat Health

A dog’s skin and coat play a significant role in how they smell. Bacteria and yeast naturally live on a dog’s skin, but they can produce a foul odor when their population grows unchecked.

Skin allergies, infections, and poor grooming habits can contribute to an increase in bacteria and yeast, which in turn leads to a smellier dog.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are a common cause of unpleasant dog odors. Dogs with floppy ears, like Golden Retrievers and Labradors, are more prone to ear infections due to the reduced airflow within their ears.

Ear infections can cause a strong, musty smell that is often noticeable from a distance.

Dental Health

Poor dental hygiene can result in bad breath and a generally unpleasant odor. Regular dental care, including tooth brushing and professional cleanings, is essential to control your dog’s breath and overall odor.

Environmental Factors

Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors can pick up various smells from their environment, such as from rolling in the grass, playing in the mud, or swimming in water. These smells can contribute to a dog’s overall odor.

With these factors in mind, let’s compare Golden Retrievers and Labradors to see if one breed is indeed smellier than the other.

Comparing Odors Between Golden Retrievers and Labradors

Now that we’ve covered the factors that contribute to dog odor, let’s compare how these factors affect Golden Retrievers and Labradors.

Coat Differences

Golden Retrievers have a thick, double coat with longer hair, which can trap more dirt, debris, and moisture, potentially leading to a stronger odor.

On the other hand, Labradors have a shorter, denser coat that’s water-repellent, which may help reduce the intensity of their odor.

However, it’s important to note that shedding patterns can also influence a dog’s smell, as dead hair can trap bacteria and other odor-causing agents.

Grooming Needs

Proper grooming is essential for both breeds, but Golden Retrievers typically require more frequent grooming due to their longer coat.

Regular brushing, bathing, and trimming can help remove dirt, dead hair, and other odor-causing elements from a dog’s coat, keeping them smelling fresher.

Labradors, with their shorter coat, might not need grooming as often, but they still benefit from regular brushing and bathing to keep their coats clean and odor-free.

Health Issues Related to Odor

Both breeds can be prone to certain health issues that can impact their odor, such as ear infections and allergies.

While individual dogs within each breed may be more or less prone to these issues, there isn’t a significant difference between Golden Retrievers and Labradors when it comes to these health-related factors.

Based on these comparisons, it’s not accurate to say that Golden Retrievers smell more than Labradors as a general rule. However, individual dogs from either breed might have stronger odors due to their specific health or grooming needs.

Now, let’s explore some tips for reducing dog odor, regardless of your dog’s breed.

Tips for Reducing Dog Odor

Whether you have a Golden Retriever, Labrador, or another breed, keeping your dog smelling fresh and clean is essential. Here are some helpful tips to reduce dog odor:

Regular Grooming

Frequent grooming is crucial for keeping your dog’s coat clean and odor-free.

Brush your dog regularly to remove loose hair, dirt, and debris. Bathe your dog as needed, but not too often, as over-bathing can strip their coat of essential oils. For breeds with longer hair, like Golden Retrievers, regular trimming may also help control odor.

Proper Nutrition

A balanced diet is essential for maintaining a dog’s overall health, including their skin and coat. High-quality dog food can help prevent skin issues and promote a healthy, odor-free coat.

Consult with your veterinarian for recommendations on the best food for your dog’s specific needs.

Routine Vet Visits

Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help identify and treat potential health issues that may contribute to your dog’s odor, such as allergies or ear infections.

Early detection and treatment can keep your dog smelling fresh and feeling healthy.

Keeping Their Environment Clean

Keeping your dog’s environment clean can help reduce the chance of them picking up unpleasant odors. Wash their bedding, toys, and other belongings regularly to prevent bacteria and dirt buildup.

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, consider setting up a designated “cleaning station” where you can wipe their paws and coat before they come inside.


In conclusion, there isn’t a clear-cut answer to whether Golden Retrievers smell more than Labradors. Odor in dogs is influenced by various factors, including coat type, grooming habits, and overall health.

Understanding and addressing these factors can help keep your furry friend smelling great, regardless of their breed.

Remember to practice good grooming habits, provide proper nutrition, and schedule regular vet visits to keep your dog happy, healthy, and smelling fresh.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top