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What are the Best Dog Breeds for Pest Control?

Last Updated on October 4, 2023 by Dogs Vets

What are the Best Dog Breeds for Pest Control?


In the quest for a pest-free home or property, some dog breeds stand out as natural allies.

These canine companions are not only loyal and loving but also excel at keeping unwanted critters at bay.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top dog breeds that are renowned for their pest control abilities. So, if you’re looking for a four-legged pest control partner, read on to discover your best options.


Best dog breeds for pest control?

If you have a problem with rodents, insects, or other pests in your home or garden, you might be wondering what kind of dog can help you get rid of them.

Dogs have been used for pest control for centuries, and some breeds are especially good at hunting, chasing, or deterring unwanted critters.




Terriers are known for their tenacity and hunting instincts. We delve into the world of these small but mighty dogs, each with a unique set of skills that make them effective pest hunters.

Terriers are a group of dogs that were originally bred to hunt and kill vermin, such as rats, mice, moles, and rabbits. They have a strong prey drive, a fearless attitude, and a keen sense of smell.

Terriers are usually small to medium-sized, with wiry coats and short legs. Some of the most popular terrier breeds for pest control are:


Jack Russell Terrier:

Jack Russell terriers

This energetic and intelligent breed is one of the best rat catchers in the world. They can dig, chase, and kill rodents with ease, and are also good at keeping other pests like squirrels and foxes away.

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Cairn Terrier:

Cairn Terrier

This breed is native to Scotland, where it was used to hunt otters and badgers. They have a tough and weather-resistant coat, and a curious and independent personality.

They are good at sniffing out and flushing out pests from their hiding places.


Border Terrier:

Border Terrier

This breed is from the border region between England and Scotland, where it was used to hunt foxes and other small game.

They have a wiry coat that sheds dirt and water, and a friendly and adaptable temperament. They are good at chasing and deterring pests like mice, rats, and rabbits.


Rat Terrier

Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier is a breed known for its high energy levels and muscular body.

These dogs are intelligent, social, and love attention, making them a great fit for families. They are also fearless and can be wary of strangers, but they may eventually warm up to them.

Rat Terriers are suitable for both indoor and outdoor playtime due to their energetic nature



Hounds are a group of dogs that were bred to hunt by sight or scent. They have a keen sense of smell, a loud bark or howl, and a high stamina.

Hounds are usually medium to large-sized, with long ears and legs. Some of the most popular hound breeds for pest control are:



beagle scent hounds dog

This breed is one of the most popular dogs in the world, and for good reason. They are friendly, loyal, and easy to train. They were originally bred to hunt rabbits and hares, but they can also track down and chase away other pests like raccoons, skunks, and opossums.


Basset Hound:

Basset Hound

This breed is known for its long ears, droopy eyes, and short legs. They were originally bred to hunt badgers and other burrowing animals. They have a powerful nose that can detect even the faintest scent of a pest, and a deep voice that can alert you to their presence.




This breed is one of the oldest and most respected hunting dogs in the world.

They were originally bred to track down criminals and missing people, but they can also hunt down any kind of pest that leaves a trail. They have an exceptional nose that can follow a scent for miles, and a loyal and gentle personality.


Herding Dogs

Herding dogs are a group of dogs that were bred to herd livestock, such as sheep, cattle, or goats. They have a strong instinct to control the movement of other animals, a high intelligence, and a good work ethic.

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Herding dogs are usually medium-sized, with long coats and tails. Some of the most popular herding breeds for pest control are:


Australian Shepherd:

The Australian Shepherds
The Australian Shepherds

The Australian Shepherd, often referred to as the Aussie, is a highly intelligent and active medium-sized dog breed known for its natural herding instincts.

Aussies have a thick double coat that requires routine grooming to prevent tangles and manage shedding. They are characterized by their agility, obedience, and herding abilities.

This breed is highly intelligent, affectionate, loyal, and great with children. They thrive on physical exercise and require a minimum of one to two hours of activity per day to stay happy and healthy.

Early socialization and obedience training are strongly recommended to harness their intelligence and loyalty effectively.

Aussies are known for their striking appearance, with a combination of colors and markings on their coat. They make excellent companions for active individuals and families who can provide them with the mental and physical stimulation they need.


Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees Dog

The Great Pyrenees, often referred to as Pyrs, are known for their gentle and calm temperament. They are a giant breed with a thick white coat, consisting of a coarse outer layer and a soft, woolly undercoat.

While they are generally gentle giants, they can also exhibit stubbornness at times.

These dogs excel as guard dogs and family pets due to their docile nature. They are affectionate with their families, but they can be reserved around strangers.

Great Pyrenees require regular grooming due to their heavy shedding and have moderate exercise needs. They are known for their loyalty and can make excellent companions for those who can accommodate their size and grooming requirements.



Dachshund Appearance

Dachshunds are famous for their hunting abilities, particularly for going after burrowing pests like rats and badgers.

Their elongated bodies and tenacious nature make them skilled hunters, capable of tracking and eliminating pests. They have a strong prey drive, making them excellent for pest control around the home.




The Papillon, known for its distinctive butterfly-like ears, is a highly trainable companion dog. While they may not have the same hunting instincts as some other breeds, their intelligence and agility allow them to catch small pests.

Papillons are alert and quick, which can make them effective at catching rodents and insects.


Miniature Pinscher (Min Pin):

Miniature Pinscher

The Miniature Pinscher, or Min Pin, is a toy breed that resembles the larger Doberman Pinscher. These small dogs are excellent at-home pest controllers.

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Their size allows them to access tight spaces where pests may hide, and their alertness makes them quick to react to any signs of infestation.


The Furry Feline Friends

Yes, you read that right – cats also deserve a mention. While we’re discussing dogs, we can’t ignore the rivalry between these two beloved pets.

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Find out how cats complement their canine counterparts in the fight against pests.



In the battle against pests, choosing the right dog breed can make all the difference.

Each of the breeds mentioned above brings its unique set of skills and qualities to the table. Whether you’re a homeowner, farmer, or simply looking for a loyal companion, these dogs can be your allies in the pest control journey.






Can any dog be trained for pest control?

While many dogs have natural hunting instincts, some breeds are more inclined towards pest control due to their genetics and temperament. It’s easier to train breeds that have a history of hunting.


Do I need professional training to make my dog a pest control expert?

While professional training can help, basic obedience training combined with natural instincts can often suffice. However, for larger-scale pest control, professional guidance may be beneficial.


Are there any downsides to using dogs for pest control?

Dogs can be a valuable asset, but they require care, attention, and training. Additionally, not all dog breeds are suitable for all types of pests.


Can cats effectively control pests like dogs?

Cats can help control smaller pests like rodents, but dogs are generally more versatile in handling various types of pests.


How do I choose the right breed for my specific pest control needs?

Consider your environment, the type of pests you want to control, and the dog’s temperament when selecting a breed for pest control.


What other factors should I consider when using dogs for pest control?

Factors such as the dog’s age, health, and socialization skills can affect their effectiveness as pest control partners.


Can I rely solely on dogs for pest control, or should I use other methods too?

While dogs can be effective, combining them with other pest control methods like traps and deterrents may yield better results.





  1. American Kennel Club – Terrier Breeds
  2. Farmers’ Almanac – Dogs for Farm Pest Control
  3. The Spruce Pets – Breeds That Make Good Watchdogs






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