I get a lot of this... the moment you lean in to smooth your pooch and you get a wuf of rancid odor. 9 times out of ten any bad odor coming from your puppy's face is caused by something going on in the ear. The ears are connected to the nose, mouth and eyes through a network of complex channels and when something starts growing in those channels the results can be a smelly mess.
Poodles are notorious for having stinky ears because their fur also grows inside the ear and this can trap moisture and bacteria inside. A good puppy owner starts a good grooming routine early and this MUST include cleaning and maintaining the ears in good shape.
If you visit your groomer you can request a good ear cleaning and sometimes (if the fur gets to wild) a good ear hair plucking. This keeps the ear canal clean and allows for airflow.
If your pooch already has the bad smell and is accompanied with brown, sticky ear wax you could have a case of a dog yeast infection. A quick trip to the vet will end with specific ear drops that treat this type of infection. Don't assume it's yeast and self medicate! Sometimes there can be other things going on and a vet visit will be required to get to the bottom of it.
This post will center on yeast and how to treat it. A dog with an yeast-y ear infection can be hard to treat. Sometimes the drops work, but you only end up battling it again a few weeks later. This is where your detective skills have to come in handy. You have a few possibilities on the culprit:
1. Allergies to your dogs diet
2. Overgrowth of ear fur
3.Ear mites (although more rare than what is mentioned above)
Now I'm not saying these are the ONLY reasons, however these are the main ones. Your first line of defense is to raise your pups immune system. This can be done with high quality omegas, probiotics and a healthy diet. I would put a dog on a high quality grain free diet if they are suffering from yeast. This can really help the dog battle the infection. Also remember that you must treat the dog completely if your dealing with yeast. Any brown or discoloration on paws or belly can indicate yeast there too. A good anti-fungal spray will help. If your poodle puppy's feet smell yeasty (like Frito chips) then you must treat the paws with spray too. Dog will usually use their paws to scratch their ears then lick their paws and the cycle will start all over again.
You want to make sure your poodle puppy's ears are clean and free of extra fur. There are specific wipes you can purchase that are infused with natural ingredients that promote a bacteria free environment. We have also had GREAT success at treating yeasty dog ears with Zymox and a good ear wash. Some ear washes can also help if there are any ear mites. Cats are usually carriers of mites and can pass it on to your dog so if you have any other animals at home you will have to treat them for mites too.