Do Collies Smell? (How to Control Collie Odor)

You may already know Border Collies are highly intelligent, active, and love to be outside. You may also have an image of a dirty farm dog with a strong collie odor?

Collies sometimes smell because they are so active and their coats get dirty quickly. Collies teeth, paws, and ears sometimes smell too if they aren’t looked after. Bathe and brush your collie regularly to keep them smelling fresh!

This article will discover the reasons why a few collies have a doggy smell and others have a more pleasing fragrance. We will look at why various parts of a collie’s body can smell undesirable and how we can prevent them from smelling.

Do Collies Smell?

Yes, collies can smell. However, they do not smell any worse than any other dog. The reason collies are sometimes thought of as smelly is because they are so active, so they can get dirty more quickly than some other breeds.

You should be able to walk into your house and not be hit by a strong doggy odor.

Collies are considered a hygienic breed, and if they do smell, there is usually an explanation. There are several smelly areas of a collie, including their feet, ears, coats, and teeth.

Collies sometimes smell because they can get dirty when they are outside.

Why Do Collies Smell?

Collies can smell, just like humans. We also have a terrible body odor if we neglect to look after ourselves. However, we can usually take care of our bodies, whereas our furry friend occasionally needs us to help with their health and cleanliness.

One of the most obvious reasons for a pong is that they may have rolled in something not very pleasant, which will make them stinky. Or they could have smelly feet or bad breath. There could also be an underlying cause, such as an infection.

What Do Collies Smell Like?

Like other breeds of dogs, your collie will produce natural oils that help keep their skin and coat healthy. These oils will give off a fragrance that is individual to your particular dog. It should not be an unpleasant smell.

You might like the smell of your dog. You possibly think they smell homely, the perfume of someone you love, or even the aroma of sweet hay.

However, if your dog has decided on their choice of deodorant for the day and rolled in fox poo, you are likely to want to bathe them.

If your loving friend pants in front of you with doggy breath, then cleaning their teeth could help.

You might discover your dog has cheesy feet from sweating. Then a foot bath might be an option.

Sometimes your collie can have a musty smell, which may mean their diet does not agree with them, so you could consider changing to a different variety.

Collies don’t care about staying clean. Here’s Luna digging some leaves (her favorite hobby!)

Do Collies’ Paws Smell?

Collies’ paws have a natural odor, caused by sweat glands in their paws which release sweat when they get hot. The smell is often more intense between their toes, where there is more hair.

Dogs carry natural bacteria in their feet known as Pseudomonas and Proteus, which do not usually create a problem unless your collie injures their paw or if you do not dry their feet properly. The bacteria can increase, cause infections, and develop a decaying smell.

How To Stop Collie Paws Smelling

  • Trim the hair on their feet, especially in between their toes.
  • Wash their feet in a mild shampoo. Make sure you rinse with lots of water.
  • Dry their feet thoroughly, again paying particular attention to around their toes.
  • Use a balm or even olive oil on their pads, which can help kill bacteria and relieve itchiness.
  • Protect their feet in the summer from hot, dry ground and in the winter from salt and antifreeze, which may be on the roads and pavements. Putting boots and balm on your collie’s paws can help.
Collies’ paws can sometimes smell. You can help them by keeping their paws clean and well cared for.

How To Cure My Collie’s Bad Breath

The most common causes of collie bad breath are tooth decay, plaque build-up, and gum disease. Fortunately, you can help prevent these by brushing your collie’s teeth. Ideally, you should clean their teeth daily. Use a soft-bristle brush, and you must use dog toothpaste, as human toothpaste can be toxic to dogs.

Feeding dental chews can help. Also, carrots, celery, and apples are good dental treats. However, you need to avoid overfeeding due to the high sugar and starch content of some fruit and vegetables.

Try adding dry biscuits to their diet and avoid feeding them too much wet food. The dry kibble should encourage your dog to chew, which will help clean your collie’s teeth passively.

Collies need their teeth brushed regularly to keep their teeth and gums healthy

Why Do Collies’ Ears Smell?

The longer hair around some collies’ ears may prevent the ear from airing and cause an infection.

If you can smell beer or baking bread, it could mean your collie has a yeast infection in their ears. They can also have bacterial infections, which may cause more of a foul smell.

Allergies, wax, and ear mites may be the cause of your collie’s smelly ears. Only this time, the smell might be more rotten, and you might see a grainy discharge looking similar to sand or coffee grounds.

You are not advised to wash your dog’s ears, as you may create further problems by irritating and leading to infection. Trimming the excess hair around the ears will enable the ear to air.

Cleaning your collie’s ears is only recommended when necessary and approved by a vet. Your vet will advise how to clean your collie’s ears and which cleaner to use.

Do Collies have Smelly Coats?

Collies can sometimes have smelly coats because of how active they are. Although they are no smellier than other breeds, collies tend to run around and lie on the ground more than some less-active breeds which can lead to them having a dirty coat.

Collies were bred hardy and are happy to be outside in all weathers. They have a double coat, which is both water and wind-resistant.

Most collies enjoy running through muddy hills and diving into swampy pools. Your collie’s thick coat can have a wet marshy smell or become matted, attracting dirt and creating a musty smell.

Me? Smelly? Never!

How To Make Your Collie Smell Nice

Although collies aren’t really any smellier than other dogs, there are a few steps you can take to keep them smelling nice and keep them healthy.

Here are six quick tips to keep your collie smelling fresh.

1. Use a Doggy Spray

Spraying a doggy deodorant spray onto your collie’s coat can help neutralize the doggy odor. Be careful not to use them too often as they can cause skin irritations.

2. Change Their Diet

If your dog is constantly passing wind, a change in diet might be necessary. Some foods which a dog cannot digest can make them gassy, so feeding them a healthy diet should help.

3. Bathe Them

Occasionally, bathing your collie can remove dirt and make your doggy friend smell gorgeous again. Although too often is not a good idea, bathing can dry their skin and strip the natural oils from your collie’s coat.

Luna hates getting a bath!!

4. Clean Their Teeth.

Brushing your collie’s teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush and doggy toothpaste can give your collie that pearly white smile. Don’t use human toothpaste as it can be toxic.

5. Brush Them

Regularly brushing your collie, particularly Rough Collies, can remove the dirt trapped in their coat. Brushing will also distribute your collie’s natural oils, which helps keep them clean.

Brushing your collie regularly will help to keep their coat clean and healthy.


Collies are sometimes smelly because of their dirty coats, but you can keep them smelling fresh with regular bathing and brushing. Collies paws, teeth, and ears sometimes smell if they aren’t looked after.

Collies can smell but are one of the cleaner dog breeds. We can do many things to prevent them from having a lousy collie odor with a bit of tender loving care.

Your collie is an active, outdoor-loving dog who can get dirty. You can stop your doggy friend from smelling with regular grooming and basic hygiene care.

If your collie has bad breath or is gassy, check you are feeding a healthy diet, and consider changes to improve your dog’s health.

Adding a grooming routine to your collie’s life will help you spot any sores or infections and strengthen your bond with your friend, as most will love the extra attention and being close to you.

About the author:

About the author:

Hollie and Border Collie

 Stuart MacPherson

Colliepedia Editor

 Stuart MacPherson

Colliepedia Editor

I'm an experienced collie owner from Scotland. I started Colliepedia to share everything I know about collies. All the pictures you see on colliepedia are of my beloved collie Luna

Learn More about me and Luna's story on the about page!