Do German Shorthaired Pointers Smell?

I get asked all sorts of questions about owning a GSP, of which, I had rather unique questions that made me laugh at first, but after some thought, it’s a really good question, and that is, do German Shorthaired Pointers smell?

Owning a German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) comes with many ups and downs (but mainly the ups!). People are often curious about them as a breed and perspective pet, so let’s explore this a bit further.

Do German Shorthaired Pointers Smell?

The short answer is, yes, GSP’s do have a smell, but not like you’re thinking, it’s not a bad smell, but rather just their natural scent.

Some activities and stressors will cause their smell to increase, but overall it’s not really noticeable. Below, I’ll share what factors increase this and how it plays into selecting a new dog breed as a pet.

All living things have a smell, but I don’t think you’re questioning that, you probably want to know if it’s a bad smell or a smell that will affect your furniture, your car, etc.

Overall, the smell of a GSP is rather mild, and not very noticeable at all, unless you are cuddling with your pointer, you may not even notice it.

Funny enough, my wife and I both agree (along with others we’ve met) that the webbed feet of our GSP smell like Fritos! Yes, the chip! I don’t know how or why this happens, but yep, GSP’s paws smell like Fritos lol.

How To Reduce the Smell of a German Shorthair Pointer

Like you, I’m not a fan of a stinky anything, especially my 70lb GSP, as you can imagine, being that large, if he stinks, that smell will make its way to everything.

Fortunately, there are some very simple steps to take to reduce this smell to a point that you won’t smell them at all (except for the Fritos feet). Here are some pointers to reduce your GSP’s odor.

Regular Baths

As obvious as it seems, we should start with this, you need to give your pup a bath regularly and as-needed. Just like you, if you’re not taking showers and baths, you start to smell much worse!

The same applies to the GSP breed. A German Shorthaired Pointer does not require weekly baths like many other breeds. Due to their natural smell and short, slick coat, smells just don’t pile up as fast on a GSP.

Healthy Diet

Again, just like you, if you eat terribly with food that’s unhealthy, you may notice you don’t feel as good or smell as good!

With a dog, it’s even more important as the food’s nutrients directly affect the GSP’s coat health and overall a bad diet leads to a stinkier doggo.

Reduce Swimming in Stagnant Lakes or Ponds

We’ve all heard the term “smells like a wet dog” and that remains true for any dog, including a GSP. Well, when it comes to stagnant water commonly found in small lakes and ponds, I have personally noticed that once my GSP, Hank has been swimming in one, he stinks a bit more.

For those of you who like water fetch or go hunting with your German Shorthair, lake and pond swimming can lead to a stinkier pup. When this happens, it’s no big deal, just get them home and give a bath!

Avoid High-Stress Situations

Once your dog gets into a situation when they are scared, they emit an odor from their anal glands. It’s not the prettiest topic, but it’s life with a dog. I notice this mainly when we pull into the vet’s parking lot and my GSP gets a whiff of the air, he knows and he gets scared.

This can be rectified by regular grooming where your groomer can express the glands during the grooming process. Kudos to you if you do it, I’m not doing it, and that’s final!

All joking aside, anal glands are a part of every dog breed and must be expressed throughout their life. The American Kennel Club has a really good write-up about these glands and the ways to take care of them, read up more here.

Wash The Dog Bedding

Another easy conclusion, but when your dog starts to stink, that smell will carry over to the bed they lay in (or your bed/couch), and it’s a good idea to keep the bedding clean.

We like to give the dog bed cover a bath every month, sometimes 2x a month if needed due to excessive hunting or playing outside.

When shopping for a dog bed, I recommend going with one that has a removable cover, something easy to take off and clean will save you some headache over time.


There you have it, all you wanted to know (and more) about whether or not a German Shorthaired Pointer Smells. I get it, you’re doing your due diligence to determine if a GSP is a good fit for you as a pet, and that’s a good thing!

Hopefully, this gave you some insight and got you just a bit closer to making a decision! If you are still unsure, check out our Fast Facts About GSPs!

GSP Items We Love

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Some of the links on this website may link to vendors which are “affiliate links”. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission.

Carhartt Tradesman Leash: Every dog owner needs a good leash, and all leashes are NOT treated the same. This Carhartt dog leash is very well made, is durable enough to deal with a GSP’s strength (yes, pulling too). I’ve had cheap leashes in the past, they aren’t worth it, grab this instead.

Furhaven orthopedic and Memory Foam Bed: If you have a GSP, you know, they LOVE to lay around, cuddle and sleep (when they aren’t running circles around the living room and yard.

This dog bed is so great because GSP’s love to rest their head on “pillows” just like humans and this dog bed has a built-in “pillow” perimeter that my dog uses every day as a pillow. Hank loves this bed.

SportDOG Brand 425X Remote Trainer: You know what sucks more than having your GSP run around the neighborhood or after a rabbit at your local park? Not having the ability to stop your GSP and recall them in an instant.

With the Sport Dog 425x, you have complete control for up to 500 yards (yes, 5 football fields end-to-end). Its battery lasts a LONG time, its sleek, lightweight and your pup won’t ever be out of your control with it on.

WEST PAW Zogoflex Qwizl Dog Puzzle Treat Toy: Our GSP’s love to play, even when we may not have the energy to entertain them ourselves. Maybe it’s work, maybe it’s the end of a long day, who knows.

But, all you need to do is give this Kong to your GSP and they will entertain themselves for quite a while, while you finally get some rest. Hank has had this for years now and it’s still kickin!

GSP German Shorthaired Pointer Hat: Represent your GSP pride with this great trucker, snapback style German Shorthaired Pointer ball cap. It’s got a modern look but also shows others your favorite dog breed. The best part? The glances and smiles from those who also have a GSP, its always a conversation starter!

Kurgo Baxter Backpack for Dogs, Saddlebag Back Pack Harness: I don’t know about you, but my GSP loves to adventure with us out here in Colorado. That means hiking, mountain biking, and camping all year.

Our GSP sees this saddle bag break out and he can’t stop wiggling his butt knowing where are headed outdoors. Toss in the car keys, a snack bar and some kibble, you are on your way to outdoor fun with your pup!

URPOWER Dog Seat Cover Car Seat Cover: Ok, this is last but it is the MOST beneficial item you will get. Don’t, believe me, Take a road trip with your GSP in the back seat. Once you arrive, you will have GSP shedding hair all over your back sweat.

This slick hammock-style seat cover creates a waterproof barrier between your lovely truck’s interior and your GSP’s shedding hair. Hunting and having a wet GSP? No Problem! Did your GSP decide to chase a goose into the lake? No big deal! This seat cover is a lifesaver.


An Owner and a huge fan of GSP's! I have owned my GSP for 7 years now and learned so many things along the way to share with you all about German Shorthaired Pointers!

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