Smelly Cockapoo? Our reasons why, and what to do about it! 

Why cockapoos smell and how to stop cockapoos from smelling

Written by Jo Littlewood

Every cockapoo owner will know, deep down, that as much as cockapoos are “odorless” relative to other dogs, they can be quite smelly in their own right! Now, if you have a “pongy ‘poo” – don’t worry. In this article, I’ll go through some of the most common reasons we know for why our cockapoo smells, and the things we do to help stop our cockapoo from smelling too bad! 

Now, it should be said that this article is based on my own experiences of owning our cockapoo, Ziggy. So, there could be a million and one other reasons for a cockapoo giving off a “pleasant” odor that I don’t include here! That said, I’m pretty sure I’ve experienced most of the reasons for our dog smelling … 

Whether that’s a good or bad thing is up for debate! 

Reasons for why a cockapoo might smell

First things first – if you’re reading this article trying to find out if cockapoos are typically smelly dogs then don’t worry – they’re not. Because of their non-shedding coat types, they don’t have much of a typical doggy smell. 

That said, there’s lots of reasons why a cockapoo might smell and I think you can split these up into “environmental” and more serious “symptomatic” smells. 

Environmental smells

Environmental reasons why a cockpoo might smell (fox poo)

By environmental, I mean things that your cockapoo has “interacted” with that has resulted in them developing a certain whiff… In my experience, the most common causes of environmental odors are:

  • Your cockapoo discovering a beautiful smelling fox/badger/rabbit poo in a field and deciding that it would be a shame if they didn’t smell like that. Cue the thing that all owners hate to see: the scent roll. 
  • Many walks through the open countryside leads to the slow build up of bits of mud, and forest floor (which sticks like a magnet to cockapoo fur), which can then cause a particularly “outdoorsy” smell. 
  • Build up of food crumbs around your cockapoos mouth, which then somehow seems to create an “odor stain” in the mouth fur! 

Read on to find out some tips for how to stop your cockapoo from smelling because of these things! 

Symptomatic smells

Other reasons for cockapoo smelling

By symptomatic smells, I mean smells that are not obviously caused by the wider environment, which can indicate more serious issues. Examples of symptomatic smells include:

  • Smelly breath 
  • Smelly ears (not just the normal “sweaty” smell, but a real pong)
  • Poop clinging to your cockapoo’s bottom. (It does happen, and it aint pleasant!)
  • Smell coming from a wound 
  • Smell coming from an unusual area which shouldn’t normally smell.

What to do about your cockapoo smelling? How do you stop the smell? 

Luckily, there’s some simple solutions for nearly all of the reasons why a cockapoo might smell. 

I’ll tackle these from easiest to more complicated.

Smelling because of scent rolls and muddy walks

Picture of a muddy cockapoo after a walk

If your cockapoo just loves to coat themselves in the smell of another animals poop, or get muddy during walks, well then, the good news is that the solution is very straightforward! 

First of all, they’ll need a good bath – and I’ve written a complete guide for how to bath a cockapoo if you struggle with this. 

Second, you might then want to think about little things you can do to help prevent this from happening so often in the future. 

For muddy walks – I’ve written a guide on the steps we take to help reduce the amount of mud our cockapoo collects on his walks!

For scent rolling, while not 100% foolproof, we worked really hard to get Ziggy to perform a near perfect recall command after one too many “perfume rolls”. 

This involved lots of little bursts of training while we were out and about (and lots of cheese rewards), but over time – and I’m talking many months – we got him to respond almost instantly to our recall commands. This means that now, when we’re out walking and I can see him sniffing a little bit too hard, I’ll call him back and 9 out of 10 times this prevents him from doing a shoulder shuffle on some poop! 

Now, 1 in 10 times he’ll point blank ignore me because the smell must just be too good! But at least I’m not bathing him quite so often! 

The second thing you might want to consider is researching whether there is a particular time of year that certain animals are likely to scent mark. For example, I know that Ziggy is most drawn to the scents of foxes – who knows why! – and I also know that foxes tend to scent mark really heavily during their breeding season in January and February. So, when it gets to that time of year, I tend to be a little bit more watchful of what my cockapoo is up to when he’s off lead. 

Now – really importantly – I should say that we’re lucky that Ziggy doesn’t eat fox poop, which contains all sorts of nasty things including parasitic worms. But, even so, whenever he does his little scent rolls, I make sure to keep an eye on him for the next few days just to make sure that there’s no changes to his behaviour. I’d strongly recommend seeing a vet if ever you spot a change in your cockapoo’s behaviour after they’ve “interacted” with fox poop!

Smelling because of food crumb build up around the mouth

This one is slightly trickier to tackle and stop your cockapoo’s mouth from smelling. This is because the food crumbs are likely to be very much ingrained in your cockapoo’s fur. 

For us, the only way to solve the smell for good is a good grooming session. But, again, you’re in luck because I’ve written an article about how to keep your cockapoo’s face nice and trim. 

I find that if I give Ziggy a light face trim (and shorten his muzzle fur) and then give him a bath, then this gets rid of any unwanted food smell from around his mouth. 

Dealing with “symptomatic” cockapoo smells 

Now these smells are sometimes more challenging to solve, because they may be caused by bigger underlying issues. I’ll tackle these from simplest to most complicated. 

This will be a lot of me directing you to other articles I’ve written – I figure that it’s better to read a full and complete overview of a topic than trying to summarise everything in a few sentences!

Please bear in mind, though, that if you’re ever concerned about anything like this that you should speak to a vet. If you’re in the UK, then you can use this vet app called the Joii Pet Care App, which lets you see a vet remotely, 24/7, at a very reasonable cost.  

Cockapoo breath smelling

If your cockapoo’s breath smells then perhaps the first thing you need to think about is your oral health routine. 

If you’re like “what’s that?” then please, please read my article on how to brush your cockapoo’s teeth and look after their oral health. 

This is so important for cockapoo’s, especially, because they are more prone than other breeds to developing teeth issues. 

If you have a good dental hygiene routine with your cockapoo and you find that their breath is smelling more than normal, then it’s best to seek some veterinary advice as it could be the sign of a dental infection. Like humans – teeth issues won’t just go away on their own, so it’s always best to get them sorted early. 

Smelly ears

I’ll keep this one short and sweet – read my article about how to clean cockapoo ears. It goes over in a step by step way how I clean Ziggy’s ears and what it means if they still smell really bad! 

Poop clinging to a cockapoo’s bottom

So this is one that again I’ve – unfortunately – had some experience of! 

In fact, I’ve written an article about how to clean poop off your cockapoo’s bottom! I’m not sure if the internet needed that, but hey: they do say write what you know! 

Now if your cockapoo has a stinky bottom caused by poop clinging to them, then it may be time to think about their diet! Just like humans, a change in regular diet can cause … issues, as can eating too much of the wrong type of food. 

I’ve got an article on the best dog foods that we’ve found for our cockapoo, if that’s of interest. 

Smells coming from wounds or unusual areas

If this is happening with your cockapoo, then please speak to a vet. Why? Because it’s very likely a sign of infection or much bigger issue that will need bespoke advice and treatment. 

I know it can sometimes be distressing to accept the idea that your pooch needs treatment, but it’s always better to treat it sooner rather than later. 

Summary: How to solve cockapoo smell issues

Hopefully this has been an enjoyable read through some of the most common reasons for why a cockapoo might smell – at least as based on my own experience. 

If there’s a key takeaway from this article, it’s this: as owners, we know when things are normal, and when things start to be less normal for our cockapoos. If you’re reading this article because your cockapoo’s ears/mouth/whatever is smelling less normal, then please do speak to a vet. 

I know sometimes it’s tempting to seek home remedies, particularly if money is tight, but there are options like the  Joii Pet Care App that makes getting advice from a professional straightforward and relatively affordable. 


Who runs this website?

Hello, Jo and Paul here! We have owned a number of different breeds of dogs over the years, but none as amazing as our cockapoo Ziggy!

We created this site to share everything we have learned about this brilliant breed of dog!

You can learn more about us, and how we approach the topics we write about on our about us page.