Blow The Stink Off

Max loves it when we sit together in my faux-leather recliner and I regale him with stories of my misspent youth; I think he likes the parts about mastodons and cavemen.

Genuine Pleather

Anyway, when I was a kid, the proper place for any young boy was outside. Indoor time was for doing chores or attending to schoolwork.

From time to time the notion of a restful and mischievous day at home would percolate in our juvenile minds but it was promptly squelched by my Grandmother’s strict command: “Go out and blow the stink off.”

A well-known phrase.

The parental expectation was that the neighborhood boys would gather in the morning and head out for the entire day, unsupervised, and with their pockets stuffed full of some disgusting lunch, at best a thoroughly mashed PB&J sandwich and maybe a Reese’s peanut butter cup that had melted the day before.

In summer, the rule was we had to return by dinner time, at the first sight of a compound fracture or if avoiding law enforcement. Before entering the house we had to empty our pockets at the back door which was a wise precaution in order to avoid introducing small frogs, large bugs, and the now thoroughly inedible peanut butter cup into the house.

In winter, we were required to return at dark or sooner if the youngest among us demonstrated signs of frostbite, was totally hypothermic or if there was a significant amount of blood involved. The re-entry procedure involved shaking off the snow or ice or, more often, the copious amounts of mud coating our footwear.

A attribution of questionable provenance.

I looked for the origin of the phrase “go out and blow the stink off” but wasn’t able to nail it down. Some attribute it to Montana author William Kittredge (1932-2020) but I think the phrase is far older than that. There are anecdotes on the ‘net about the phrase being popular in the 1930s. It also seems to have been in common use in the United Kingdom around the same time.

Regardless of derivation, I guess it’s baked in the DNA because Nana’s “endearing phrase” survived her and is an integral part of my vocabulary. Yes, it’s grammatically incorrect, thank you very much, and now go look up “pedant” in your Funk & Wagnall’s.

As usual, none of the foregoing has anything to do with today’s story. Except for the smelly part.

“Howzabout we stop right here.”

Today, we’re going to address the big question of “Does Your Dog Stink?

If you share your life with a Basset Hound, Cocker Spaniel or Labrador Retriever, you know about stink because “” has named them the 3 stinkiest dogs.

It’s not due to poor hygiene on the doggos’ part; the allegation of dog odor is due mostly to these breeds’ penchant for ear infections, allergies and/or excessive drooling which the Alpha Japanese Female accuses me of doing when a particularly nice dark beer goes on sale.

But I digress.

Everybody gangs up on the Bassett.

“” agrees with the Basset Hound and Cocker Spaniel ratings but asserts that a St. Bernard tops the heap when it comes to reeking canines. “” agrees. Who are we to challenge these fonts of dog wisdom?

In addition to the aforementioned Holy Trinity of dog stinkeroos, the Top 10 olfactory offenders list includes Pugs, Shar-pei, Bloodhounds, Beagles, Bulldogs, Yorkies (surprise!), Boxers and, according to one heretical website, Malti-poos.

Do you agree with these nominations? Discuss among yourselves.

So, if we are throwing shade on these so-called armpit breeds, which are the least smelly dogs? Fair question, even if I did ask it of myself.

“This is starting to get personal.”

According to some websites, the three least stinky dog breeds are the Dalmatian, German Pinscher and Papillion. I can’t comment because I have never known any of these three although when we were kids, anytime “German Pinscher” was mentioned, somebody was sure to reach out and pinch his friend unmercifully while yelling, “Yah, Yah.” says the best smelling dogs are Maltese, Bichon Frisé and Basenji. We asked for comments but the Basenji had nothing to say. Nonetheless, we like for its shout-out to the Malts.

There is a website called “” (of course there is) which raises the bar on identifying good smelling pooches. Its Top 3 Best Smellers are: Alaskan Malamute, Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie and Chinese Crested.

I am going to have to take those recommendations on faith and, no, I didn’t have clue #1 what the hell an Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie might be. But the internet knows everything…

Probably bays for baguettes.

I guess what we can take from this less than extensive and in-depth research is that no one agrees completely on the subject of dog smell. Like obscenity, you know it when you see (sniff) it. That probably wasn’t the best analogy.

When needing a bath, Max smells like these.

Fortunately, Max is a very nice smelling dog. As I’ve related before, when he is in need of a bath he smells like a Fritos corn chip and that’s as bad as it gets. Even when wet he doesn’t offend.

The exception to the fresh-as-a-Malt condition occurs a few hours after he’s had a dinner of Cesar Pot Roast with Spring Vegetables.

Great going in; not so great coming out. Trust me.

I don’t know what kind of roast they put in there but it reminds me of another of Nana’s favored sayings about we young ones: “You smell like something crawled up in you and died a week ago.”

“I got your Pot Roast right here, buddy.”

79 replies

  1. Thanks for the highly valuable information! Fantastic, I laughed until my husband asked what was wrong with me. Chester agrees about the basset down the street but Sparkles, she smells like french poodlefume.

    Liked by 3 people

    • One time, just to see what happens, I doused Max in some after shave while drying him off after a bath. Just a little spread over his fur. He smelled like a dog of ill repute so I directed him to go see DogMom. There was an extended silence and then I heard her roar, “What did you do to this dog?” There was no good explanation, of course, so I just ‘fessed up that I was curious to see her reaction. It was a cold hard night.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve not heard the expression “Blow the stink off” – the closest I have is “Blow the cobwebs away” – but I also used to go out for the day with my brother and friends. There was a lot more freedom back then as it was safer.
    Thank you for the reminder of those carefree days and your very entertaining post. 😀
    Maxwell is so cute! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    • It may be an age thing. According to the sources I looked at, that expression hit its peak circa 1950 – 1960 and then pretty much disappeared except for fellow oldsters like me. I seldom hear it anymore and when I use the expression younger people look at me like I am a fossil which, in fact, I am but it’s not nice for the snappers of whippers to point that out.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Funny how expressions come and go – and sometimes are limited to a small geographical area. Like “Wessel cup” – for a Christmas tree bauble, that I first heard as a kid when we moved to Yorkshire.
        I think the young Whippersnappers are missing out on the wonderful variety of language, as nowadays they all communicate via emojis! 😀

        Liked by 2 people

        • That’s true but there is a flip side. My sainted Grandmother had a pocketful of expressions that were allowable in her day but would be considered incredibly racist today. She had an entire repertoire of simply horrifying songs and would proudly sit at the piano and belt them out. I can’t even modify them enough to allow repeating here. She was born in 1899 and lived to be 96. Tough old broad and not a racist bone in her body but the social norms were quite different.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. One thing I learned at an early age…if the dog rises in leisurely fashion from a comfortable position and strolls away it behoves you to get out of the room as fast as possible before you are in need of a gas mask.

    Something learned later in life….do not take the dog in the car on a freezing cold day less than three hours after it has had a meal. You thus avoid the choice of asphyxiation or frostbite.

    Do these list makers ever take into account the availability of dead animals, sludge of any sort, and other animals’ calling cards?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I thought specifically about Miss Lilly when I saw that folks were ganging up on the Bassets. I wanted your input as you clearly have superior knowledge. You seem to be confirming that Lilly and her breed waft a distinctive aroma so please go to the head of the class and instruct us in the causes of said fragrance and just how unique it might be.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Everybody knows that cat droppings are incredibly foul. Another of Nana’s delicate exoressions about something that was really bad was: “It’s meaner than cat s***!” I think we all can appreciate that but here’s the question and I have not yet Goog’d an answer: do cats fart? You should be an expert on this so I refer to you this critical matter. We’ll be waiting for your elucidation.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Well, of course this is top o’ the heap as soon as you type: ‘do cats….’ To paraphrase Google: cats are elegant creatures so you will not know if they do. In the words of my cats, if you don’t hear it, it never happened. The End.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Three words: silent but deadly. Actually I dived deeper and found out that the prevailing wisdom as to why cats fart less is that they do not inhale as much air while eating unlike dogs who are known to gobble.

              Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve conferred with Norman & Elsa and they think that Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie is only CG’d and not a real live dog. As for the Fritos smell, it’s a common condition with dogs. That’s because bacteria, fungi, and other causes of odors are normal and present on pet skin (much like our our dermis) and when it comes to Frito scent, it is mostly likely caused by the bacteria Proteus or Pseudomonas which creates a “yeasty” smell. Another cause of the odor is sweat (but only for male dogs-female dogs only glisten) which gets lodged between your pet’s paw pads and fur since sweat glands are located in a dog’s paws. It’s their natural “air conditioning at work.” If funk turns foul, health problems can ensue but I suspect Max being a silky cotton form of perfection, only needs to blow a little stink off. Give him a marble or a spot of mud to carry in his dog pack and send him outside with a strict curfew. He’ll be just fine. 🐶

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree…has anyone ever heard of a Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie? Bueller? Bueller? Not even the French-o-philes who occasionally grace this silly place have ever heard of that dog. What do you bet that in France it’s called something like a “Squirrel Terrier?” Thanks for the doctoral level dissertation on the root causes of dog smell but I am an American and therefore do not want to hear any science. The smell comes dogs eating Fritos, just like the good Lord intended. It’s in the DogBible. Rover 17, 11:23.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. This is hysterical!! Max would never be on a ‘stinky dog’ list. The AJF wouldn’t stand for it! Miss Murphy wouldn’t qualify either……well, except for those occasions where she unknowingly (?) steps on her own poo and gets in the house before I discover she had a misstep. Hey! At least she doesn’t roll around in it like some pups do! 😂

    Max, you look positively handsome in today’s photos.

    Think positive. Test negative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup, Goldens are nowhere near the top on the list of smelly dogs. That was my experience, too, back when we had a Golden. They smell like sunshine most of the time. There was definitely a tinge of wet dog smell after a walk in the rain but not overpowering at all. Of course, I fully expected Miss Murphy to be a dainty dog.


  6. It always seemed to me that going out to blow the stink off would, in fact, make you sweatier and smell worse. I am glad to hear that Max does not offend the senses. And I will agree that our eldest pound dog, half basset, and nearly 12 now, while soft of fur and temperament, positively REEEEEEEEEKS from his pie hole. Though blind now, he continues to smile, wafting hot fetid air at us. I hold his mouth open and spray in doggie minty doggie breath spray to no avail. It’s the kind of breath that says, “There’s disease in my insides,” and yet none has been found. The younger pound mix eats the exact same Rachel Ray kibble and smells fine, despite spending hours out in the yard, cavorting and putting a pox on squirrels. I also agree with you about the Bichon Frisé, as my mother has one, and it NEVER smells. It’s just a clean ball of white fur.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well look at MIss Moneybags here feeding her pets Rachel Ray. Fancy stuff. Thanks for the frontline 411 on Basset smell. We have other Basset owners here too and we are awaiting them to chime in on their beloved dogger. I trust that you, like me, always refer to Bichon Frisé as Bitchin’ Frizzies when you are in the company of said dog’s owners. They hate that but it’s funny, probably even better with a Texas accent.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s usually how I refer to my hair in the humidity, but I’ll have to use that next time I’m able to get within 6 feet of my parents. And for the record, I always fed our dogs a cheap grocery store brand. But after the last Fourth of July fireworks sounded like a war zone for 2 days, our youngest dog wouldn’t eat at all. She was so shaken. I had to try all kinds of different things to get her to eat and only Nutrish worked. When we tried to go back, she would not deign to touch the cheap stuff. Now I have to use my 401k on her. And where is that stupid stimulus check?

        Liked by 1 person

        • And why don’t we get a partial stimulus check for our dogs? Huh? Huh? Do the Feds know what it costs to have a dog these days? It’s too late to try and walk back your extravagant spending on Nutrish. But then again, each tiny Cesar pack costs $.89 here which is a lot when scaled over time. We use Cesar as an alternate to Max’s usual “Blue” which goes for $2.49/can (four meals) and makes the folks at PetSmart smile every time we visit.


          • $2.49???????? Omgosh. I got a big 40 lb bag of Nutrish for about a dollar a pound if I’m lucky. I don’t even buy $0.89 single yogurts for myself because I’m not the Queen of England. Also, as an aside, I just saw a commercial for another pet cloning place. As soon as the woman starts talking, you can already tell she’s crazy. I thought only Barbra Streisand did that. The lady in the commercial is bemoaning the fact that her precious terrier is getting old, and she cannot possibly accept the inevitability of death, so she’s going to pony up at least 50,000 Blue cans worth of cash to clone the dog. Does this sound like the end of the world? Should I start cloning my husband? He’s getting old.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know. It’s ridiculous. I go to WallyWorld and Ol’Roy sells for a pittance and contains all the essentials: ground dirt, puffed dust, unidentified poultry by-products and “flavoring.” If you own a frou-frou dog, all frugality goes out the window. Cute triumphs affordability. I could fight it but what chance do you think I would stand against the AJF and “her son.” Cloning is scary stuff. The world doesn’t need two of me. One is generally considered excessive according to most reports. Maybe Leona Helmsley who willed several million dollars to her Maltese “Trouble” would have been game for cloning. If it would have provided a million bucks I would have kept that dog alive for eternity.

              Liked by 2 people

          • Quit your whining and try feeding a Golden Retriever for a month! Two cases of Purina Savor tasty thingies in a can, a huge bag of Royal Canin and a small bag of Pro Plan are just the beginning. This is one major reason we only have one dog.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Whining is what I do. It’s a lifestyle for me. I can’t quit it. Max used to nosh Purina Savor when he was a kibble dog. We stopped for awhile when he had dental issues and went to soft food and that was the last kibble ever seen in the house. He just looks at us and mumbles, “What are you gonna do with money, take it with you?” I tell him that is indeed my plan but he doesn’t listen. Dog ownership – it’s expensive!

              Liked by 2 people

              • It always amuses me that we humans impute to our dogs a level of taste that they never could claim. Like in Max’s case where we are certain he prefers the flavor of Cesar Filet Mignon to Cesar Turkey and gravy. I mean, come on, this is an animal that will munch its own poo or a squirrel dead for three days and we treat them like connoisseurs, like Gordon Ramsey with paws. They really have done a number on us.

                Liked by 1 person

  7. I believe we’re related. The same rules applied when I was growing up, and my mother would often tell us to “get outside and blow the stink off!” I was not a smelly child so I took offense to this until I decided it was actually rather funny – when she said it to the other kids. Also, Maverick is quite happy that he didn’t make the smelly dog list. He gets a bath at least once a month and I use this horrendously expensive shampoo that our groomer recommended, so he smells rather delightful most days.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dogs smell.
    That’s why cats are better, they look after themselves and are more considerate of others.
    They also don’t need you to take them for walks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I grew up with the same “Blow the stink off you” expression. Family came from SW PA, though. A lot of colorful expressions from that area come from Pennsylvania Dutch or were imported from the Appalachian region.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting. As I mentioned that saying was also heard in England around the 50s and 60s and now I wonder if it was of Appalachian origin with their English/Scottish forebears. I bet you say that to Toby from time to time.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. HA! Your Nana is someone I would’ve loved! 🙂

    Cooper and I discussed all of this…Coop admitted he smells like Fritos at times, too. (That’s how we know he needs to see The Dreaded (Dun Dun DUN!) Groomer! 😉 )
    Coop said he likes the different smelling pooches…it’s how he know if it’s Mary Puppins or Groucho Barks or Little Bow Wow coming down the road! Coop said, “I smells ’em before I sees ’em!” 😉 😛
    (((HUGS))) 🙂
    PS…the photos of Max are sooooooo sweet! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I can confirm that Alaskan malamutes do not stink. Until they’ve had a close encounter with a skunk. Then…they stink, horribly, for weeks. Until the smell eventually mellows into something like what you smell when you walk into a Starbucks. Better than Fritos, but just barely.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. OMG OMG … laughing away over here so hard I woke Buddy up!!!

    First, I must say, my husband was the first one to introduce me to the “blow the stink off” expression. I’d never heard it before. I think the first time he used it was when I was preggers … he wanted to get me out of the house, take a car ride and “blow the stink off.” I didn’t stink, thank you very much, and it took a while for the insult to subside. But … we use the expression all the time now!!

    And yes, I am also of the generation that went outside in the am, and came home at dark. However, I take exception to even the remotest possibility that a Reese’s peanut butter cup could go for an entire day in the pocket of a child. Not possible.

    Lastly, best smelling dogs … yes, the Maltese … but also the Samoyed!! Trust me. Nothing like putting your arms around a Sammy, burying your nose in her ruff, and taking a whiff!! Best doggie smell in da world!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Rosie told me Lady smells, and that she’s a better candidate for Max’s affections. I just did a tad of research and found that cavaliers and borders both make it onto the top ten dogs who don’t like being home alone.
    Our daughter is scoring high on the rarely at home list again at the moment. GHer friends live round the corner so it’s easier to catch up in person.
    Hope 2021 is going better for you. Things have got busier here now. We’re not quite back to normal but all the activities are back and my car is busy. There were a few benefits to covid.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lady smells? Oh my. Max will be so disappointed. He envisioned her as daisy-fresh all the time. On the other hand, canines love the stink. Dig in it, roll in it, snuffle deep inside. So that’s a plus for Lady’s fragrance. Two dogs talking: “I think I love that girl dog, did you smell her?” “Oh yeah, she really stinks!” “Yeah, it’s great.”

      Liked by 1 person

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