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!
Tanyaec on August 06, 2020:
Well, I just have to say.. I have a 'cheek'. Longhaired Chihuahua/Pekingese mix. I have never seen a dog more obssessed with catching mice and rats. She NEVER gives up, and constantly 'on the hunt' .. Finds one.. Wont sleep until she catches and kills. (gross)..
But, after dead, she brings me and drops, proud as can be...thank goodness.
Now about 9yrs old. We live near a field.. Her count so far this year... 10. Amazing girl
glenny on July 27, 2020:
Im from north east england best ratters (some good ones on here) but the manchester terrier has the record most rats in 5 mins the staffie in a hour most round here use patterdales or plummers border terriers common too
I imagine a fox terrier ,Irish terrier,welsh terrier,jagd terrier,kerry blue terrier would cause havoc too lol
Adopted by God on July 12, 2020:
I don’t quite understand the logic by some on here to not want these animals doing what God created them to do, what you call “instincts” are the blueprints under which God created them. Poison is dangerous to animals and people alike, and rats carrying these diseases have a balance in the animals that kill them, to protect people, another of God’s wonders after giving us dominion over them. The fact that any animals welfare is put above humans makes me sad as I’m sure it does God as well. Stepping down from soapbox now, May the Lord God bless you all and remember Jesus is Lord!
PS I am in need of such a terrier for rats as my cat is quite useless in this area lol
Eileen on June 04, 2020:
My silky terrier couldn't give a shit about rats, although she stalked a cabinet for an entire day when we had a mouse problem. My schnauzer mix (who was a stray) is another story. We have palm rats who like to eat the berries from the palm trees, and they hide in the garden. He is out the door in a shot, surfacing with a rat in his mouth. Has also come back with mice, toads and an already-dead baby bunny.
Rick on May 09, 2020:
We have a 44 lb dog that is half Weimaraner and possibly half lab but because of her size I'm sure there's another breed involved too. But she is apparently a ratter, she kills them, does not eat them. She also lays them out in the same spot in the flower bed beside the porch. She loves cats and never bothers them. Birds on the other hand always get her attention, but she's never had the chance to go bird hunting.
Brent on May 03, 2020:
Have mole problems in my yard and garden need a dog that will eliminate these rodents
E Ferrie on April 24, 2020:
Is 18 years for a cross between a Collie and a Jack Russell to live a record......
Michael Brown on January 28, 2020:
My Akita has done in Rat, Possum, and Raccoon. If it comes in the yard, she's gonna kill it.
Tab Morrow on January 26, 2020:
Just don't let the dog lick your face!!
Cynthia Fulcher on January 12, 2020:
The mice problem is so bad they are about to carry us away! We have tried the all natural stuff traps and my husband HATES cats
We resorted to poison which as work and then.... it happened 2 of our Aussies ate a block I caught it within minutes and are on Vitimin K 1
Now we will get a mousing dog
I’ve had rat terriers in the past and seen them in action they are incredible!!
Tiffany on November 22, 2019:
Can a chuihua help keep mice away?
Tammy on October 04, 2019:
Both of my Pembroke Welsh Corgis are mousers, will kill any snake the can get ahold of, and keep rabbits out of the garden.
Patricia Strickland on October 02, 2019:
I had a miniature pincher she loved to flush out the mouse and kill it
Michael on June 26, 2019:
My dachshunds have always killed rats, without any training. It's just instinct.
Lynn on May 13, 2019:
Rats have multiple diseases which can not only make a dog very ill but can also be passed to a human. Letting a pet dog kill rats is dangerous to the dog and humans. Pulling a dog by the tail will severely injure the dog. These are both terrible ideas. Please do not move a dog by pulling the tail and do not let your pet dog hunt rats. Secondary poisoning, bubonic plague, rabies and many other diseases can be passed to humans. These are bad ideas. Just ask your dog's veterinarian.
Mark on February 15, 2019:
I have a JRT and a terrier mix. Both have great innate ratting-killing instincts. However, when hunting together, the added competition aspect makes them incredibly lethal to rats. The kills are quick, relatively humane. The most the rat can get off is two squeaks.
Oddly enough, even through the JRT is a bit less than 20 pounds, she does not do the shaking-by-the-neck thing. No matter how big the rat is, she crushes it with her jaws. If I don't take the dead rat away promptly, she will usually pull its head off for good measure.
Greg Christensen on October 04, 2018:
With the increasing and lawful use of rat and mouse poison during certain months, I would NEVER own a dog that could catch and consume rats.
Rich on September 06, 2018:
We have two chihuahua mixes--one is a 8 lb. miniature dachshund/chihuahua (a "chiweenie") and the other is a 15 lb. chihuahua-terrier-thing (an adorable medium-small-sized brown animal). Individually, they're effective rat hunters/killers: both have very quick acceleration, the chiweenie is completely fearless, and the brown dog has the ability to jump like a deer and soar about 10-15 feet through the air. Hunting together, however, they become a super-ratter team. No rat ever stands a chance in our back yard.
tina on August 20, 2018:
We have two chow chows they have killed dozens of rats---same way shake them to death--
sophie on July 23, 2018:
anna on July 23, 2018:
hi im anna and i am so selfish and better than you all thanks not
Crossharp on July 05, 2018:
Watch this and then decide, https://youtu.be/gh84o5STysk
Alan Thompson on July 05, 2018:
Irish Wheaten Terrier
Debbie on April 14, 2018:
We have a shih tzu, who doesn't even make the list, he's great at catching mice, better than the cat
Todd on April 13, 2018:
My Staffordshire bull terrier used to hunt out and kill rats on regular basis as we walked along the canal towpath.
Parker Wall on March 23, 2018:
The silky terrier.... fast as lighting and strong enough to over power any rodent, small to fit in holes but not too small
Martin kirkbride on March 03, 2018:
Nonsense article. The Manchester Terrier is by far the the best rat catcher, bar none.
Jynn on February 23, 2018:
I bred mini schnauzers. They never caught a rat.
O had a working Aussie, she was amazing ratter
All the breeds you mention may have been originally bred for ratting, but this instinct is bred out of them now and they are great companion dogs but crap as hunters. Try again and get some breeds in your article that actually work as rat hunters and killers
Mshak on February 14, 2018:
My German Shepard just left a dead rat on his patio bed. Last week it was a small bird. He was raised since a pup with 3 cats. Maybe they influenced him, lol.
Dsw on January 29, 2018:
Is a parson terrier as good a ratter as a Jack Russel
christopher johnston on January 24, 2018:
I think you are missing one of the best ones .The Bull terrier.
Ms. D on January 09, 2018:
I have a mini Schnauzer mix, and, yeah, he's a fantastic hunter. He's killed several birds and a couple squirrels in my yard, but does a finer job sniffing out problems inside.
I own a couple of rental properties, and, since they're on the older side, rodents are occasionally a problem, despite my best efforts. When one presents itself, I bring him over and let him sniff around. He'll alert quickly on where they're getting in and/or nesting, and I can patch and treat in a meaningful way. I can usually have the problem licked within a week of a report, by using his "nose."
I also recently bought a home that HAD an outdoor rat problem. Since he's been using the yard, he's killed 2 and his alerting has gone way down...I assume they have decided it's "safer" to live somewhere else!
WThibs on December 12, 2017:
I have two Morkies (Yorkie/Maltese mix) and two Papillons. All of them are excellent hunters, but my male Papillon is relentless and will stalk a cornered rodent hidden undercover for 24 hours a day if I allowed him to. He's quite large for a Papillon, so he can deliver a one-bite kill. He hunts mice, rats, squirrels, birds, snakes, frogs, and apples. He can hear an apple breaking from a branch and catch it before it lands on the ground. He's ten years old!
Petra Moskova on November 29, 2017:
This breed is specially bred as rat exterminator.
Steven Gregory on November 25, 2017:
My 11yr old JRT...Jack has killed4 skunks in the last 6-7 yes 2 at once to him mice are a piece of cake
Tracey on November 17, 2017:
my siberian husky cross border collie, just caught a rat in the kitchen,and bit it killing, it,
Leti on November 10, 2017:
My 1/2 yorkie 1/2 shitzu has been catching rats our back yard faces a huge empty field next to a canyon. He has so far brought 3 in from the back patio, it scares the crap out of me. I’m just worried he will catch something from the rats....
Tammy on October 13, 2017:
I have another dog to add to your huge list, the Basenji. He goes crazy wanting out if there’s a mouse under the wood pile or by the fences, he don’t eat them just kill, but they don’t get in the house.
Debbie Turner on October 02, 2017:
We have a Blue Hiller, didn't know that they can catch mice and rats but he does! Very protective and will bite. Excellent dog!!!!!
dogcommenter on July 26, 2017:
I have a black-and-tan minipinscher/dauchshund mix. Name is Luckey Barker and he is as handsome and winsome a dog as ever there was. Once, when he was five (5) he found a big old rat in the garden woodpile. For an hour he ran to and fro, back and forth, across that woodpile hounding the thing. I finally obliged him, and not knowing what he had cornered I lifted the wood pile piece by piece as he watched, alert and attentive. When I got down to the bottom of the pile I espied the milky-grey-tan outlines of a pronated rat hugging the ground. Luckey Barker saw that rat at the same time.
Now, a really rather remarkable thing happened. He had never before seen a rat in his life, but minipinschers are natural born rat assassins and dauchshunds are bred to kill the vicious and dangerous badgers. So I reckon he had the instinct in him.
He immediately went airborne with a flex of all four forepaws at once and was directly over that pronated rodent, vertical as lightning about to descend from the heavens. I reckon the rat hadn't an idea in the world of what was happening. He came down in a single movement like a helicopter straight from above, and, grabbing that rat by the back of it's neck he snapped it's neckbone in a flash while he was still in the air descending. The rat was as good as dead before the dog even hit the ground. It was thunderstruck.
The big old rat was twitching. Luckey Barker was raring to get at the rat again to sous it out, but I held him back by his leather harness.
Examining the rat as I picked it up with a piece of cardboard I noted that the dog hadn't even broken the skin of the rat or drawn blood. Can you imagine that? But he had performed a perfect kill -- based entirely in dog instinct.
I have wondered at this event and marveled at his remarkable prescience and God-given ability. I now understand how a perfected ratter could eradicate a nest of twenty rats in no time without suffering a single rat bite. The genuine German varmint hunter is a hunting and killing machine.
But as for that Luckey Barker has never raised a lip to me or acted in a mean way, and is the gentlest and most loving and watchful dog.
I learned a lesson that day. I got a lesson about dog knowledge. A lot can be taught to an intelligent dog, and a lot can be said about human owners influencing their canine companions. But then there is something else. A friend of mine who is a farmer calls it `dogness'. It is the quality of being of a dog. It is inherent, innate, inbred awareness and knowledge. Miniature cocker spaniels aren't good at defending farm perimeters against marauding snow dogs, and pit bulls aren't good at birding. That is just the way it is.
So, if you have a ratter blessed by God and a rodent wreaking havoc you are fortunate because there is precious little you will have to do to get things set right, I reckon. Just let the Natural Law take it's course, and forget about mucking up the world with rat poison.
Mark on July 06, 2017:
I have 2 yorkshire terriers they seem to do more barking and try to chase rats and mice but never seem to try and kill them
Leslie Moser on June 25, 2017:
My APBT has caught 2 rats in the last week. This time she was sleeping on the couch next to me. Suddenly jumped up, no barking, ran outside and started rooting in front of the house. Next I check, she is on porch chomping on rat. Eek! Not ready for that
Indira on May 10, 2017:
What is your opinion as to which dog breed would be the best to hunt voles? Not caring about the dog digging holes in the yard. Thanks!
DB on May 02, 2017:
We have a 20 lb male Shih-tzu. To our surprise he's sniffed out and killed a few rats on our property.
Foxy on April 14, 2017:
Believe or not labradors having been catching and killing rats you look online there is plenty of videos on you tube showing you just that
pop on April 05, 2017:
American toy fox terrier....
Boris on April 01, 2017:
Had terriers all my life. They are exterminators of rats, no cat can come even close. One day at village we were clearing some old barn, one dog alone killed over 50 mice. They also dig and catch moles and one bat.
Linda M on March 30, 2017:
Our terrier mix has been leaving
Us dead rat presents at the back door. At least we think it's him. We also have an aussidoodle. I do worry that the dogs may get ill. They have all their shots. No one else seems to be worried about this.
Christina on March 22, 2017:
I have a 7 yr old Yorkie poo that's dying to get a rat living just outside the side gate of my home. She has brought me a gopher, a little chewed on but still a prize catch! I really hope she gets the rat soon. He's less welcome than the gopher was.
Rick day on March 20, 2017:
How about iguanas, I am over run ,l can't have plants or garden or even citrus. I need help , ready to give up plus would love a canine companion
Debs on February 20, 2017:
Min pins have my vote.
Nicko on February 04, 2017:
My German Shepherd just caught and killed his first rat this morning. Did not try to eat just kept on sniffing around for more rats by the garage he left the clean up to me as usual with all the business he does outside :)
Sharla D Pruitt on January 14, 2017:
My dogs i think are a mix of Irish Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, and Carin Terrier. The boys are protective over me and the female is protective over my boyfriend. Defiantly mamas boys and daddys girl. Not only are good chasing rats my oldest one can tell the difference between a sparow and a pidgin. At my uncles house he will protect the pidgins get rid of sparows that attack them.
Julia on December 20, 2016:
I had a 7lbs Yorkie and she caught a 3.5 lb rat with ease. We also have a Doberman and she was boss. Don't underestimate the Yorkie because of its size. She was lethal when it came to rodents!
Sharonville Peabody on November 29, 2016:
I have a maltese poodle mix. Looks like 100% maltese. He drives me crazy hunting rats. He doesn't like squirrels either.
Conrad on November 20, 2016:
I have 3 pibulls they kill rats & racoons but not the tiny mice maybe i need a rat terrier for mice
Hobbit70 on November 08, 2016:
I have a chihuahua and he is obsessed with catching rats. Sounds odd he literally hunts them.
Fiona on November 02, 2016:
My Border Collie would out rat any of these dogs. Not just with speed and tenacity, but intelligence as well.
Nikiaw89 on September 30, 2016:
My 5year old shih tzu loves catching mice and bringing them to us
No One Important... on September 05, 2016:
AKC images say that the Norfolk Terrier, you show, is actually a Norwich Terrier. Norfolk Terriers have lop ears, unless these guys had there ears cropped. ???
Lyn on August 06, 2016:
Parson's Terriers/Jack Russell or Patterdales are the best ratters I've come across.
Becamay on July 01, 2016:
I Have a Cairn Terrier/Dachshund mix that has been catching mice in the back yard and brining them in the house to give me. I now know why she is intent on doing this!
Pat on June 01, 2016:
I have a cairn terrier. I also have a rat. My pup has slept through the night while our rat guest has chewed through the hall and even through my bedroom door. Was kind of hoping my cairn terrier might actually help me get the thing.... Instead I'm probably about to be forced into getting a second pet, a real rat hunting animal...a cat.
Jenny on May 30, 2016:
My dog Lucy is a mix of Rottie, Schnauzer, Weimeraner, and Saluki. She is obsessed with chasing the mice in my apartment. She hasn't caught one yet, but used to catch all kinds of mice, birds, and squirrels when we had a house.
Greg on May 25, 2016:
I have a Formosan , Taiwanese Dingo, I actually have two, and for rodent killing omg, my female has xray vision, she will stare at an empty pot thinking there is a rat in there. This morning at 4 am I had her outside and sure enough she found one on my upstairs patio, she cornered it and paralyzed it. I heard the rat shreeking I went upstairs and was horrified. my dog has always been a ratter, I feel sorry for the rat in question today, I just do.
Nick Alvarez on May 22, 2016:
As a dog owner of a Dachshund and Rat Terrier, both female, let me give you experiencedrama insight.
The Dachshund is a very loving breed, loyal to its owner. They come in red or black. If you feed them too much they will get fat and slow as they love to eat anything you put down.
There are always rats in this area and I never experienced my dachshund kill rats. Dachshund's do dig but not to catch anything. The problem with dachshund's is that because they are long, they get spinal problems that can paralyze them and have to be put down. So don't allow a dachshund to jump on you, jump up on anything and for God sakes don't let your brats pick up or stretch a dachshund.
Dachshund's are hard to pottie train.
Dachshund's that get out of your back yard are hard to recover because even with their short legs are fast.
Dachshund's are obedient.
Dachshunds will love anyone.
Dachshund's will bark at first, but when they get to know you, they will want you to pet them.
If you like to be alone at times, don't own a Dachshund.
Dachshund's shit alot.
Rat Terrier's are hyper active, disloyal to owners that want obedience and are stubborn.
Ray Terriers are rat killers and will hunt. If you have any pet mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas ect...don't have a Rat Terrier around.
These dogs are not fat because they are hyperactive.
Rat Terriers learn how to pottie train very well.
Rat Terriers are fast and quick.
Rat Terriers have great markings.
Rat Terriers are independent and love their space.
Rat Terriers tend to be irritable.
WB on May 15, 2016:
Out of these, which would be the best with super active kids that are a little afraid of dogs, but want their own?
Deb on April 26, 2016:
Will a mini schnauzer chew where a mouse has been
David on April 15, 2016:
Our dog is a chiweenie and proving to be quite the ratter.
Tina on March 20, 2016:
My Siberian Husky is the best at *mousing*
If we hear a mouse anywhere on or in our property we just bring over our big fluffy boy, and within an hour no more mouse. He does not eat them it just takes one one hard bite and the mouse is dead. He is an amazing dog.
Patti on February 11, 2016:
I have a Jack Russell and a Dachshund/Yorkie mix (I call it a Dorkie). They both are great mousers. My lazy cat loves to watch them catch mice.
Kyle on January 05, 2016:
Just thought I'd say that our Jack Russell caught tons of mice, moles, and even the occasional squirrel or bird. It was rare that I didn't find evidence of a kill when out mowing the lawn.
I didn't realize how valuable his services were until a couple of years after he was gone. Mice in the house and moles in the yard!
Geordiesmb on December 16, 2015:
Sorry but the number one hunting terrier for all rodents , rabbits etc is the fearless hard as nails PATTERDALE TERRIER that's what there bred for to go down holes where other types won't . And they are fantastic family pets to ..
Todd on November 05, 2015:
My dog is an English retriever and has killed two rats this week. He's 100 pounds and looks a little slow, but when he smells a rat, he's full speed ahead ! He kills them on first chomp, amazing!
Chantelle on September 22, 2015:
I own and breed German Pinschers in the uk, and yes they love to chase and kill rats or pretty much any pray animal. Also yes mine do eat them given the chance.
Bryce Miller on August 03, 2015:
Also I have a boxer black mouth cur mix she has killed rats and there is a chance I catch her eating them but it's rare to catch her in the act
Bryce Miller on August 03, 2015:
Dachshunds were first bred to hunt badgers that is why they have their hot dog like shape to chase the badger out of its burrow.
Jess on June 30, 2015:
I have a miniature dachshund and he's great at catching mice. I've seen him go from sleeping to bolting after a mouse (don't have rats here) in less than 4 seconds. He almost always catches them. He doesn't usually kill them though. He messes with them for a bit until he's confident they're dead (when really, they're just playing dead) then he gets distracted and off to his next adventure and the mouse stands up and bolts.
He also tries to go down gopher holes, biting at the ground and digging. One time he had so much dirt in his mouth my dad had to dig it out because he was choking on it...
lindon on June 01, 2015:
I have a shitzus cross jack russell believe me they kill rats ive seen her v quick
Beatris Johnson (author) from London on February 18, 2015:
@roodkapje Thanks for sharing this cute looking breed :)
@Vin I don't think this is common for shi-tzus but maybe yours is more curious and playful one :)
Vin on February 17, 2015:
I have a mixed shi-tzu & poodle she chases squerrils & has caught a mouse is this common?
roodkapje on February 06, 2015:
Great article! But I think you forgot a breed. It's a dog Espacially bred for ratcatching in Prague. This breed is originated from Czech. Its not really a well known breed. Its called Prazsky Krysarik, which roughly translates to ratcatcher. A really funny, energetic and lithe dog. Here Is a link to the Prazsky Krysarik club http://prazsky-krysarik.cz
Pickles1 on December 28, 2014:
I have a cairn terrier and he has killed a couple of rats. When he hears them below the ground he tries to get to them. Awesome at rodent killing, but they do not eat them. Go for the kill by attacking the abdomen. Only attacks when moving. Just sniffs them when dead or paralzed.
Eowyn on November 18, 2014:
The dachshund was originally used to hunt badgers.
Beatris Johnson (author) from London on October 27, 2014:
And he is probably doing a better job than the cat ;)
Dave on October 16, 2014:
Our Cocker Spaniel has caught and killed 6 field mice/rats this summer. We have 7 ac. and they are coming out of the woods. He and our cat have a competition going i think. He is just 9 months old and we don't let him out all the time but while he is out he does a good job.
Beatris Johnson (author) from London on September 29, 2014:
I must admit that while doing my research on the topic, I didn't come across this breed. Thank you, Bettyboop, for sharing it!
Bettyboop on September 26, 2014:
You left off probably the top dog at catching mice.. the Schipperke!
mg on September 26, 2014:
Terriers are the best,I have a border x jack Russell and if a stray rat wanders on my property,sorry Mr rat your going to the big trash pile in the sky.
Bastian on September 26, 2014:
Dachshund are great rat killers.....my dwarf-dachshund girl goes absolutly crazy when she see other animals cats rats mouse
Hey there on July 13, 2014:
American pitbulls were used to kill rats in pits after dogfighting and bull/bear baiting became illegal.
John on July 11, 2014:
Plummer terrier is probs the best dog for ratting, funny how all theses breeds are British
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on June 03, 2014:
Hi Beatris Johnson, sorry to respond so late. My dog is a mix, and I'm not sure what mixture she is. She's the daughter of a street dog that my neighbor noticed was pregnant and so she adopted her. When the puppies were born, we were given one. That's all I know of her past.
brockbasher on June 01, 2014:
You forgot miniture english bull terrier, sealyham terrier, border terrier and the terrier with the best nose the bedlington.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 18, 2013:
The photos in this hub are beautiful! The hub is informative, too. Thanks for sharing all the details.
Beatris Johnson (author) from London on November 18, 2013:
I think these dogs hunt rats just for the kill. Its one of their basic instincts. While I was doing my research, I didn't come across any information about a dog actually eating a rat. What breed is your dog?
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on November 15, 2013:
Do these dogs hunt for the kill, or do they actually eat the rats? I think Cats eat rats, but what about dogs? My dog has killed a rat, two kittens and a rabbit. I have a hard time reigning her in. I wonder if it's an instinct, or maybe sometimes she kills for the blood (sometimes it's hot so I wondered if she wants to drink the blood, so now I always bring water for her to drink).
biblicaliving from U.S.A. on November 13, 2013:
Very well written hub. It was informative and your analysis of terriers being great "varmit" dogs is spot on. Not only are cats prone to being "slackers," but a big enough rat will kick their... Good Hub!
Beatris Johnson (author) from London on November 13, 2013:
Thank you, Hezekiah! A big dog can also kill a rat but it will have troubles catching one, especially if the vermin is hiding in a small hole.
Hezekiah from Japan on November 13, 2013:
Excellent Hub, I never ever though about using a dog to catch a rat. I always thought it was the cats job, or even a mouse trap. I guess some of the bigger dogs or not really cut out for it. Not agile enough.