Top 10 Dog Breeds Ideal for Catching Rats
Dog Breeds that Excel at Catching Rats
I used to believe that the cat was the universal pet for catching mice, rats, and other rodents. Or maybe I have watched too many Tom and Jerry episodes. It turns out, cats are not that willing to chase their prey unless they feel like it. I tried once to make my cat catch a rat in the garden — she completely ignored the rat and me, and just and continued laying in the grass.
Then, I did some research online and discovered that cats will only occasionally bringing home a rodent prey just to brag about it, but they're not as prone to catching them. Dogs, on the other hand, are the ideal solution to any rat problem. There are certain breeds that were specially created to control the rat population.
Most of these breeds are different kinds of Terriers.
- Terrier comes from the word "terra," which means earth. This is the reason some people refer to terriers as "Earth dogs." They were bred to hunt rodents and other tiny animals that live underground.
- These dogs all have small bodies and surprising amount of energy. They can quickly dig up a hole in order to catch their pray.
- The Terrier also has a thick tail which the owner could use to pull out the dog from the hole if needed.
There are some other dog breeds which are pretty good rat catchers, but the Terriers are definitely a majority. This article will go over the top ten dog breeds ideal for catching rats or rodents.
Top 10 Rat-Hunting Dogs
- Rat Terrier
- Cairn Terrier
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Norfolk Terrier
- Jack Russell Terrier
- West Highland White Terrier
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Lakeland Terrier
- German Pinscher
1. Rat Terrier
Their name says it all: this dog is the perfect rat hunter. Rat Terriers are small, active, and can be a great companion.
- Rat Terriers are very loving, which makes it appropriate as a sweet family pet. They are really good with children, especially if the dog is raised by the family since he or she was a puppy.
- They are are very easy to train, and will play and even swim with you. Their energy is remarkable.
- You can raise this breed even in an apartment. Just keep in mind that it needs regular exercise to use up its energy. If you live in a house with a garden, then prepare to have an occasional hole in the ground since rat terriers love to dig. It's in their nature.
- They come in a variety of coat colours, including spotted, black, red, chocolate, and white.
2. Cairn Terrier
The Cairn Terrier is one of the oldest Terrier breeds. They have hundreds of years of experience in hunting and killing mice and rats.
- This cute little dog has a weatherproof and hypo-allergenic coat, which needs regular grooming and maintenance. Their most common coat colours are black, red, grey and cream.
- Cairn Terriers are very lovable, loyal, cheerful and friendly. They also like to be independent, but if you show them who the boss is, you will have no trouble training them.
- These dogs need to be played with and walked on a fairly regular basis, so make sure to fit a daily walk in your schedule.
3. Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier, also known as the Yorkie, is a rather small, toy-sized dog. But don't let its size fool you, because this is one of its best advantages when catching rats and other vermin.
- This breed has a silky coat, and its most common colours are brown and black. Weekly combing and brushing will ensure the good look of the beautiful fur.
- The Yorkie is a very clever and energetic dog. It can also be willful sometimes and try to take over the whole house. It needs to be properly trained to become an amazing companion.
- The Yorkshire Terrier is perfect for a family with grown children. It can be happy both in an apartment and a house with a yard. Just keep in mind that this breed also needs to exercise on a daily basis.
4. Norfolk Terrier
The Norfolk Terrier is a British terrier breed and is one of the smallest working dogs. The small size is, again, an advantage when hunting rodents.
- This dog has a straight coat that comes in red, black or tan colours. It needs to be brushed daily.
- They may be tiny, but its courage is enormous. It is also very affectionate, friendly and easy to train.
- If you don't have a problem with rats, you can still use the dog's ratting instincts for playing. The Norfolk Terrier will be more than happy to retrieve anything you toss for it—a ball, a toy or a stick.
5. Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell Terrier is considered one of the best ratters. It originates from a fox hunting breed, so catching small animals such as rats and mice is one of its basic instincts.
- Its coat is short and smooth, with predominantly white as the colour. It's easy to groom the coat as well—simply use a firm bristle brush regularly.
- Jack Russell Terriers are very clever, cheerful, loving and playful dogs. They get along with children easily, as long as the kids don't tease or hit them.
- If trained correctly, these terriers can perform fascinating tricks.
- Since Jack Russell Terriers are extremely energetic, they need to be taken on long daily walks. Consider this fact when deciding whether this is the right dog breed for you or not.
A Jack Russell Terrier in Action
6. West Highland White Terrier
The West Highland White Terrier, also known as the Westie, is one of the most popular breeds in the United Kingdom and the U.S. This dog was bred to control the rodent population in farms and can quickly catch any rat or mice.
- All Westies are white, with a soft undercoat and hard outer coat.
- This dog can be an extremely loyal companion and will travel to the end of the world for its owner.
- The Westie is very friendly and is suitable for families with children. But keep in mind that some Westies can be pretty stubborn and training them can be quite difficult. Once trained, they will show only loyalty towards their master.
7. Lakeland Terrier
The Lakeland Terrier originates from the Lake District in England. This breed's size and energy levels make them ideal for hunting rodents in hard to reach places.
- This breed also has two layers of coats—hard and wiry on top, and a softer fur underneath. This breed doesn't need a lot of grooming, and they can happily live in an apartment.
- These Terriers love children and are very joyful and playful.
- It's also in this dog's nature to chase smaller animals, so if you have cats or other small pets, you should socialize the Lakeland Terrier with them at an early age.
8. Miniature Schnauzer
The Miniature Schnauzer comes from Germany, where it was bred by farmers to be efficient ratters.
- This breed usually comes in colours of black, black and silver, white or a "salt and pepper" mix. The Miniature Schnauzer is also famous for its coat clipped as a beard, moustache and eyebrows.
- Despite its size, this breed can be a great guardian dog that is completely devoted to its master and family.
- The Miniature Schnauzer is also a very intelligent, cheerful dog that enjoys being around children. If you live in an apartment, then this dog is the perfect companion for you. This breed is very calm indoors, given that it gets its daily dose of exercise and walking.
The Dachshund, also known as the Wiener or Sausage dog, is famous for its short legs and long body. It was bred to hunt small animals such as rats, rabbits, and prairie dogs.
- The coat of the Dachshund comes in many colour variations: brown, black, cream, tan, grey, as well as other different colour combinations.
- These dogs are very active, clever, brave, happy and curious. Dachshunds are suitable for families with older children, and they also travel well.
- Like all of the other ratter breeds, these dogs love to dig and have an instinct for chasing smaller animals, but if trained properly they can get along with other pets.
- Give a Dachshund human leadership and long daily walks, and it will become the perfect family companion.
10. German Pinscher
The German Pinschers date back to the 18th century when they were mainly used for guarding coaches and killing vermin. Nowadays, these dogs are more of a family companion, but can still be seen searching and chasing rats in open areas or homes.
- The coat of the German Pinscher is strong and glossy and comes in dark brown, black and tan or red colour.
- The German Pinscher is a guardian by nature. So, often, it will bark to announce the arrival of visitors. But it will soon calm down and become the sweet, lively and playful dog it is.
- This breed requires a lot of long walks and exercises.
All the above-listed dog breeds are not only cheerful and loyal companions, but they can also be a great help to you if you have problems with rodents. The dogs will give their best to make their owner and ancestors proud by eliminating the unwanted pests. Sometimes, even a rat control team can't catch a rodent as fast as a ratter dog can. So we shouldn't underestimate the potential of the smaller breeds.
Is your dog a ratter too? Please share your experience with us below and let me know if you have any questions! Thanks for reading!