Collies Life

Why Do Border Collies Smell

Border Collies are highly intelligent and energetic dogs that make wonderful companions for many individuals and families. However, one common issue that some Border Collie owners face is dealing with their distinctive odor. If you’re wondering why Border Collies tend to have a particular smell, this article aims to shed light on the reasons behind it and provide guidance on how to manage and prevent odor effectively.


When you bring a Border Collie into your home, it’s important to understand that their unique smell is a natural aspect of their biology. While some dog breeds have a more noticeable odor than others, Border Collies have their own distinct scent that can sometimes become more prominent. This article will explore the factors contributing to the odor, ways to maintain cleanliness, address common odor issues, and provide tips for preventing and managing persistent smells.

Understanding Border Collies

Before delving into the reasons for the smell, it’s essential to grasp the characteristics of Border Collies that make them prone to developing an odor. Border Collies have a double coat consisting of a soft undercoat and a weather-resistant outer coat. This dense coat serves as protection against the elements but also contributes to the retention of natural oils and potential odor buildup.

Factors That Contribute to Odor of Border Collies

Factors That Contribute to Odor of Border Collies
Factors That Contribute to Odor of Border Collies

Several factors contribute to the distinct smell that can be experienced with Border Collies. Understanding these factors is crucial to effectively manage and reduce the odor.

Natural Oils in the Fur

Border Collies possess oil glands in their skin that secrete natural oils. These oils help to keep their skin moisturized, provide some protection against external elements, and maintain the health of their coat. However, when the oils accumulate over time, they can produce a noticeable odor.

Sweat Glands of Border Collies

While dogs primarily cool themselves down by panting, they do have sweat glands in their paws. These glands can release a certain amount of sweat, which may contribute to the overall odor.

Border Collies Diet

A Border Collie’s diet plays a significant role in their overall health, including their smell. Low-quality or inappropriate food can lead to digestive issues, resulting in an unpleasant odor. Additionally, certain ingredients in dog food can contribute to body odor or bad breath.

Maintaining a Clean Border Collie

To keep your Border Collie smelling fresh and clean, regular grooming and proper hygiene practices are essential. Here are some tips to maintain a clean and odor-free Border Collie:

Regular Grooming of Border Collies

Frequent grooming sessions help to remove dirt, debris, and loose hair from your Border Collie’s coat. Brushing their coat also stimulates blood circulation and distributes natural oils more evenly, reducing the chance of odor buildup.

Bathing Techniques for Border Collies

When bathing your Border Collie, it’s important to use proper techniques to ensure a thorough cleaning without damaging their coat or skin. Use lukewarm water and a mild dog shampoo formulated specifically for their needs. Take care to avoid getting water into their ears, as this can lead to ear infections.

Appropriate Shampoos and Conditioners for Border Collies

Using a dog shampoo and conditioner that is suitable for your Border Collie’s skin and coat type is crucial. Look for products that are gentle, free from harsh chemicals, and designed to control odor effectively.

Dental Care for Border Collies

Proper dental hygiene is often overlooked but can greatly impact your Border Collie’s breath. Regularly brushing their teeth and providing appropriate dental treats or toys can help prevent bad breath and dental issues that may contribute to odor.

Addressing Common Odor Issues in border collies

Addressing Common Odor Issues in border collies
Addressing Common Odor Issues in border collies

Even with regular grooming, Border Collies can experience specific odor-related problems that require attention. Some common issues include:

Anal Gland Problems in border collies

Border Collies, like many other dog breeds, have anal glands that can become impacted or infected. This can result in a foul odor emanating from their rear end. If you notice your Border Collie excessively licking or dragging their rear on the ground, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian to address this issue.

See also: Do bearded collies smell? Grooming and Behavior

Ear Infections in border collies

Border Collies are prone to ear infections due to their floppy ears, which can trap moisture and debris. Ear infections can produce a pungent odor and cause discomfort for your dog. Regularly cleaning their ears and seeking veterinary care at the first sign of infection can help manage this issue.

Skin Allergies in border collies

Some Border Collies may develop allergies to certain foods, environmental factors, or parasites. These allergies can lead to itching, skin irritation, and a distinctive smell. Identifying and eliminating allergens from your dog’s environment or adjusting their diet under veterinary guidance can help alleviate these issues.

Prevention and Remedies for Odor in Border Collies

Prevention and Remedies for Odor in Border Collies
Prevention and Remedies for Odor in Border Collies

To prevent and manage odor in Border Collies, several approaches can be beneficial:

Balanced Diet of border collies

Providing your Border Collie with a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for their overall well-being and can positively impact their odor. Opt for high-quality dog food that meets their specific nutritional needs and avoids ingredients known to contribute to odor.


Adding probiotics to your Border Collie’s diet can promote a healthy gut flora, aiding digestion and reducing potential digestive-related odors. Consult your veterinarian for appropriate probiotic supplements or foods.

Regular border collies Exercise

Regular physical exercise is crucial for maintaining your Border Collie’s overall health, including their skin and coat condition. Engaging in activities that keep them active and mentally stimulated helps regulate their body functions and can contribute to a healthier coat and reduced odor.

Managing Environmental Factors

Beyond regular grooming and hygiene practices, managing environmental factors can significantly impact your Border Collie’s smell. Consider the following:

Avoiding Dirty Environments

Border Collies are adventurous and often explore various outdoor environments. Limiting their exposure to dirty areas, such as stagnant water or mud, can help reduce the chances of odor buildup and potential skin issues.

See also: Meet Bonnie from Puppy Dog Pals: A Guide to the Adorable Pup

Controlling Parasites

Fleas, ticks, and other parasites can cause itching, irritation, and a distinctive smell in Border Collies. Regularly use appropriate parasite prevention measures and consult your veterinarian for the best options for your specific location.

Dealing with Persistent Odor of Border Collies

If you have tried various preventive measures and your Border Collie continues to have a persistent odor, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian. Persistent odor can sometimes be an indication of an underlying medical condition that requires professional attention.


While Border Collies may have a distinct smell, understanding the factors contributing to their odor and implementing proper grooming, hygiene, and preventive measures can help manage and reduce it effectively. Regular grooming, a balanced diet, addressing common odor issues promptly, and maintaining a clean environment are essential in ensuring your Border Collie stays fresh and odor-free.

FAQs about Border Collies smell

FAQs about Border Collies smell
FAQs about Border Collies smell

How often should I bathe my Border Collie?

The frequency of bathing your Border Collie depends on various factors, such as their activity level, coat condition, and overall odor. In general, bathing every 4-6 weeks is sufficient, unless they get excessively dirty or develop specific odor issues.

Can certain foods cause my Border Collie to smell more?

Yes, certain ingredients in dog food can contribute to body odor or bad breath. Low-quality or inappropriate food can lead to digestive issues and an unpleasant smell. Opting for a high-quality diet formulated for your Border Collie’s needs can help minimize odor.

Are there any natural remedies to reduce odor in Border Collies?

While natural remedies may provide some benefits, it’s important to consult your veterinarian before using them. Natural remedies like adding probiotics to their diet, regular exercise, and maintaining proper hygiene can contribute to reducing odor in Border Collies.

My Border Collie’s ears always smell bad. What should I do?

Persistent bad odor from the ears can indicate an ear infection. It’s crucial to consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Regular ear cleaning and appropriate veterinary care can help manage and prevent ear infections.

Can I use regular human shampoos on my Border Collie?

No, it’s not recommended to use regular human shampoos on your Border Collie. Human shampoos can contain ingredients that are too harsh for their sensitive skin and may strip away essential oils, leading to dryness and potential odor issues. Use a dog shampoo specifically formulated for their needs.

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