4 min read


Why Do Border Terriers Smell



4 min read


Why Do Border Terriers Smell




Energetic and athletic, the Border Terrier is mild-mannered compared to other terrier breeds. However, when they are out in the field, they are game as they come, and they are hard as nails. Very willing to please and sensitive to correction, the Border Terrier responds positively to training and this is good news to owners and prospective owners everywhere as this means that it will not be very difficult for them to correct certain behaviors that lead to bad odor. As much as possible you want your dog to smell fresh and clean and you want your house to also be the same.

The Root of the Behavior

A smelly Border Terrier is not a good thing to come home to and is sure to be the last thing on your desirables list. So, what are the probable reasons why your beloved canine smells like rotten eggs? The first thing you need to ask yourself is, did your Border Terrier roll in something smelly or decaying? Your dog may be domesticated but dogs being dogs, they love to roll around in smelly stuff. It is in their genes. If your Border Terrier has been smelling funky even right after his bath, he could have microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast quietly having the time of their lives in his fur. As long as the fur stays dry, there is very little odor but when the fur is wet, they will wreak a smelly havoc as the water causes the release of these stinky compounds. Skin problems are another source of an odor. 

There are certain breeds such as Pugs, Terriers, Bulldogs, Spaniels, and Shar-Peis that are prone to skin problems, but any dog can get a skin infection. Skin that is inflamed and red can indicate an infection so if you notice such things, a trip to the veterinarian must be scheduled right away. Pay attention to your Border Terrier’s breath. If there is a foul odor that crops up out of the blue, it is probable he has an infection. A bad tooth infection is very unpleasant but bad breath could also indicate diabetes or kidney disease. If your dog has kidney failure, his breath will have a metallic odor or may smell like urine. Furthermore, late-stage diabetes also has a unique scent. If the body has no insulin, there is difficulty using the food your dog eats so he will eat tons of food but will lose weight like crazy. The ketones generated produces a distinct smell so if you notice this smell from your dog’s breath, you need to take him to the veterinarian right away.

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Encouraging the Behavior

A smelly dog is not something which you would like to encourage so it is important that you take steps to get to the root of the issue. If you see signs of infection, you must not delay taking a trip to the veterinarian. Feed your pooch quality food to help tackle doggie smell from the inside out. Quality food helps reduce foul smelling stools and bad breath. Diet plays a very important role in your dog’s health and food of lesser quality contribute to how your dog’s skin smells and feels. A high-quality dog food is more effective in the long run. It may cost more but it is worth the investment.

Baking soda or cornstarch is also very useful for giving your dog a dry bath if you have a very busy schedule and you do not have time to give him a real bath. Sprinkle cornstarch or baking soda on your dog’s coat and rub it down on his skin. Use a brush or a towel to remove excess baking soda. No matter how many times in a week you give your dog a bath, he will still smell unpleasant if you do not wash his bedding regularly. Sometimes you may become immune to the smell because you spend every single day with your dog but people who come to your house will be able to. Regular washing will eliminate unwanted smells and help keep your dog smelling clean.

Other Solutions and Considerations

Hygiene is very important in order to prevent your Border Terrier from having a foul smell. Aside from giving him regular baths, you also need to keep his teeth and ears clean. Get in the habit of regularly brushing your dog’s teeth so that gingivitis is prevented. Check his ears for odors. If you notice any odor, it could probably be because of a yeast infection or ear mite infestation. Do not worry as both are treatable. The veterinarian will be able to prescribe medicines to treat such conditions. Keeping your dog’s ears clean is not as time-consuming as a lot of people think. Use baby or mineral oil and cotton balls to gently clean your Border Terrier’s ears. Refrain from using cotton swabs because if it goes too far down, it can damage the eardrum. If your dog has an infection or has ear mites, cotton swabs will only do more damage. 


You may not be able to keep your dog smelling like a bed of roses as it is in their nature to explore their environment but at least you will be able to keep him from smelling like something rotten. Keeping doggie odor at bay will make both you and your dog happier. 

By a Chow Chow lover Jhoana Carla de Toro

Published: 05/20/2018, edited: 01/30/2020

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