Do Yorkies Smell? Why Do Yorkies Stink?

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, as they are lovingly known to their friends and families, are known for their hunting skills and determination. Typically, they have very long, hair-like fur. However, like all dogs, the Yorkie has a downside.

Yorkies sometimes smell bad. All dogs have certain times when they don’t smell the greatest. Who hasn’t smelled that “wet dog” odor?

do Yorkies smell
Do Yorkies smell? Why do Yorkies stink?

The saying “the dog did it” was created for a reason. There are other causes for Yorkies to smell. Most are easy to take care of and are nothing to be concerned about.

Sometimes you just have to put on your detective hat and investigate.


The first cause of unpleasant odor from your Yorkie may be as simple as gas. Dogs, like people, get gas in their digestive systems, which isn’t always pleasant. This can usually be attributed to the Yorkie’s diet.

Yorkie in a bow tie
An adorable Yorkie with bow tie on, posing for a photo.

If there is a sudden change in their diets, this can cause gas. Small amounts of gas are normal and nothing to be alarmed about. However, if your Yorkie has a lot of bad-smelling gas, you should discuss this with your veterinarian.

Think of your Yorkie as your child. Anything new to their diet can cause an upset stomach or some intestinal discomfort, just as in humans. Talk to your veterinarian about any dietary concerns you may have with your Yorkie.


Dogs have glands around their rear ends. These glands are full of smelly liquid. These are the scent glands that other dogs use to identify your dog.

Yorkie eats with bowl
Yorkie eats quietly in a bowl.

We have all seen dogs “sniffing” other dogs. These glands give dogs all the information they need about their new friend.

These glands will empty (express) during a normal bowel movement. However, sometimes dogs don’t have normal movements for various reasons. If these glands do not empty as they should, they can get inflamed and swollen and give off an odor.

Your veterinarian can empty these glands and may be able to show you how to do it yourself if it becomes an ongoing issue.


Yorkies may also get ear infections. The bacteria from the infection may cause a bad odor around their ears; if the infection is severe, the odor tends to be severe too. Keeping your Yorkie’s ears clean and trimming the fur around them will greatly reduce the chances of an ear infection and thus reduce the smell.

Yorkie side view wears collar
This Yorkie looks like it’s not in the mood to play.


If you notice your Yorkie has an odor around its eyes, it may have an eye infection. Just like with their ears, keeping their eyes clean and the fur around them trimmed will decrease the chances of having this issue.

light coated Yorkshire Terrier
A light coated Yorkshire Terrier with a blue background.


Yorkies usually have long, almost hair-like fur unless their owners elect to keep it shorter. Their skin releases oil that the fur can absorb. These skin secretions can cause an odor as well.

are Yorkies hypoallergenic
Are Yorkies hypoallergenic? (Allergy and Yorkshire Terrier Guide)

It is important to ensure the Yorkie has no skin issues that need to be treated with medication. The best thing to do is keep your Yorkie bathed and groomed if everything is clear. A bath every few weeks and regular grooming will lessen many smelly possibilities.

Lack of Grooming

Proper grooming will address the issue of the fur around the eyes and ears, the oil released by the body, and other issues. For example, dogs sometimes don’t get as clean as we think when they go to the bathroom. With Yorkies, especially with long fur, this can create a smelly issue.

yorkie shakes out water from its coat
A Yorkshire Terrier caught in the rain shakes out its coat.

Keeping the coat trimmed and making bathtime a regular occurrence makes it easier to stay on top of this problem.

Proper grooming can also take care of another issue. Like people, it can get dirty and matted if Yorkies don’t get their fur brushed regularly. These matted pieces of hair can give off an odor, like an ungroomed person.

Some owners will trim their Yorkie’s fur a little shorter to lessen the probability of matting or things getting stuck to their fur.

If you can’t bathe your Yorkie regularly or get them to the groomer as often, one thing to try is dry shampoo. It can have the same benefits as a bath between full grooming sessions.

Mouth Care

Mouth care is critical to Yorkies. When they are puppies, it’s a good time to start cleaning their teeth. By keeping this as part of their daily routine, they will get used to it and will learn to sit still and maybe enjoy the process.

Yorkie with black collar
Yorkie with black collar looks thirsty and hungry!

You can eliminate excess food and limit bacteria growth by cleaning the teeth. Keeping their mouths clean also reduces any odor from dirty teeth or food left behind.


Yorkies, like other breeds, can develop allergies. These allergies may be environmental or food. It may take some time and effort to determine what your Yorkie is allergic to.

mother Yorkie taking a nap comfortably
A mother Yorkie taking a nap comfortably.

You can extend the process of elimination. Once you determine that your Yorkie is allergic to and remove that from their environment or diet, that should eliminate any odor produced from it.


Yorkies, like all of us, are affected by stress. Stress for them could be a new family member or a change in surroundings, which may cause their bodies to secrete an odor. As with allergies, the first step should be to figure out what your Yorkie is dealing with that may be causing stress.

Yorkie wears a collar
Yorkie stands wearing a collar and looks curious.

If everything is the same in their routine, a visit to their veterinarian might help determine if the stress is due to a medical condition. Once you can figure out what is causing it and how to alleviate their stress, the odor should be easy to eliminate.


Below is an easy chart to show where the majority of smells on your Yorkie are coming from. Each area also lists the most common culprits causing the odors:

DentalLong furLong furSweatLong furSudden change in diet
Long hair  Matted furFecesStress

It is relatively easy to notice that several smells are associated with long fur or unkempt fur. By keeping your Yorkie’s hair trimmed and cleaned, you can eliminate many odor sources. Then if there is an unpleasant smell, the list of culprits is much smaller.

This should make it much easier to find out where the smell is coming from and the underlying cause.

Having a regular groomer whom you and your Yorkie trust is critical. They may be the first to notice skin, eye, ear, and fur issues. They can also offer tips on reducing odor issues.

It should also be noted that washing your Yorkie’s bedding and even toys is essential after you find your offending odor and cure it.


Hopefully, you can now identify the source of your Yorkies’ smell. Keep in mind this isn’t an all-inclusive list. Other things in a dog’s life can cause odors, and this list only gives an overview of the most common culprits and their fixes.

Remember that other factors in your dog’s life may cause it to develop a smell. For example, certain medications and supplements can cause odors. With extra attention, you can keep your Yorkie close to you without needing nose plugs.

Sometimes it is best to err on the side of caution. If you are concerned about the smell of your pet, please consult a vet as soon as possible.