Great Danes are one of the most genuine examples of the title gentle giant in the entire animal kingdom.

These massive dogs are loyal, playful, and affectionate, and they make fantastic guard dogs; all positive points in their favor. They are also far stinkier than most people expect.

Why Do Great Danes Smell So Bad?

Great Danes smell bad because, like all “giant” dog breeds, they suffer from chronic bloating and excessive gas build-up. This means that they fart often and their farts have a very foul odor.

Additionally, Great Danes have very active anal glands which secrete a pungent fluid that can be overwhelming to some.

However, there is more to this Great Dane stink story. So follow me below to learn why your Great Dane smells bad.

Great Dane, Great Stink

All living animals have a particular scent, but some animals produce odors so strong that many people are put off by them. This is the case of the Great Dane breed of dogs, whose smell can be so bad that it can be difficult to bear.

The primary reason for this stink is that Great Danes, as their name aptly suggests, belong to a family of very large dogs that includes mastiffs and sighthounds, which due to their rather large size, have a faster than average metabolism. As a result, Great Danes eat significantly more food than other breeds, which leads to significantly more gas production.

Other Reasons Why Your Great Dane May Smell

In other words, Great Danes eat a lot and fart more than most. You haven’t smelled a stinky dog fart until a Great Dane farts in your general direction. Trust me on this.

Other Reasons Why Your Great Dane May Smell

The next most likely reason for the bad scent of your Great Dane is the foul-smelling secretion of their anal glands. These glands, which all dogs and cats have, are found on both sides of their anus, just under the skin, and secrete a viscous substance that has a very strong odor. 

Most of the time this secretion is removed by fecal matter when your pet does his business. However, Great Danes have very active anal glands and, thus, their secretions accumulate and exude a noticeably unpleasant odor.

Another reason that your Great Dane smells bad is the way they eat. As we said before, Great Danes eat a lot, and due to their large size, they eat energetically, which means they also ingest a lot of air. As a result, they often suffer from gastric reflux, which works its way up their esophagus and into their mouth, giving the dog a case of nasty bad breath.

Ear infections can be another cause. Great Danes have floppy ears, which leaves them vulnerable to common bacterial infections which can produce smelly secretions.

Great Danes are large dogs with a lot of surface area, and this means they are more likely to develop skin conditions such as rashes, allergies, dermatitis, as well as parasitic and fungal infection; all of which can be the underlying cause of a stinky dog.

So, What Can Be Done to Get Rid of a Great Dane Smell?

A good doggie shampoo to get rid of your Great Danes stink

To get rid of that Great Dane smell and, most importantly, how can you keep your Great Dane from developing a problem in the first place follow the advice below.

  • Bathe your Great Dane regularly. How often will depend on how active it is and how much outside play it gets. The more active and the more outside playtime, the more often you should be bathing your dog with a quality shampoo and water. Be sure to rinse its coat thoroughly.
  • Make sure to dry your Great Dane thoroughly after each bath. Use clean absorbent towels or blow dry if possible. This will eliminate the dreaded “wet dog” smell, and reduce the chance of your dog contracting skin diseases.
  • Keep your dog free of parasites by treating them with veterinary prescribed medication. This is essential for both their health and hygiene.
  • To prevent bloat and help your dog with excess gas production, feed him smaller meals throughout the day instead of one large meal. This will reduce the possibility of your Great Dane inhaling so much air and will reduce the number of stinky farts they will release around you.
  • Make sure that the dog enjoys a resting period for at least one hour after their meals. Never allow your Great Dane to participate in brisk physical activity right after eating. This will only hinder their digestion and cause them to fart more often.
  • Make sure you feed your Great Dane a controlled diet rich in foods apt for large dogs, making sure to mix in some wet food. 
  • Keep your Great Dane hydrated at all times.
  • Finally, talk to your vet about the possibility of manually expressing (draining) your Great Dane’s anal glands. Not fun but needed for many pets.