Do dogs keep rats away?
Can a pet dog help repel rats? Unfortunately, not really.
It's true that several species of terriers were specifically
bred to catch burrowing rodents, and even rats. Examples
include the Scottish Terrier and the Jack Russell Terrier.
These dogs are actually good at catching rats, if given an
environment to do so. But the problem is that you probably
have rats inside your house, in the attic or walls. Your dog
is of no help there, because the rats are safe in such
enclosed spaces. You might consider letting your dog loose
in the attic, but the rats will easily get away and go down
the walls or other gaps where the dogs can't get them. In
addition, the insulation might not be good for your dog.
Good rat dogs like the Scottish Terrier and the Jack Russell
Terrier can catch rats in the outdoors. Yes, dogs can kill
rats. So if you have such dogs outside, they may catch a rat
or two and keep the population down. But rats breed very
quickly, and there's no way your dog can make a meaningful
dent in the population.
Cats are superior to dogs when it comes to catching rats.
But even several pet cats that are skilled hunters will not
guarantee to solve a problem with rats in your house. I have
been to many rat jobs at households that have many cats, and
outdoor cats. Rats are very good survivors, and when they
have a house to live in, cats and dogs can't solve the
Do dogs keep rats and mice away?
Hard to think of dogs chasing rats and mice. Right? Well,
most people do not relate rat control with dogs. However,
you will be surprised to learn that dogs too are as good and
fierce with rat and mice control as cats are.
Why would you use a dog instead of a cat?
What type of a dog do you need to catch rats and
- While dogs are territorial, cats sometimes have an
attitude that seems to suggest that they really do not
care what is going on around them. This in essence means
if your cat doesn't feel like running around, it simply
- As cats get older, they tend to get less inclined to
heavy work and running around, preferring to sleep as
long as is possible. Dogs on the other hand, will keep
active until they simply can no longer do anything about
- Because dogs are loyal, they tend to want to please
their owners as much as is possible. This means if you
have trained your dog to catch mice and rats in your
home, then you are guaranteed to get the results you are
The truth is any dog can keep rats and mice away. However,
how you train them is what determines the final outcome.
There isn't a type of a dog that best fits this job;
however, you may need to consider a smaller dog that can go
into those hard to reach areas where families of rats and
mice are hiding hoping they never get caught.
A dog that has been in an animal shelter may desperately
want attention and love. These dogs may therefore be easier
to train than the typical house trained dog that has had
shelter all its life.
A dog that is specifically trained to keep rodents away will
also do much better than one that is not trained. Therefore,
you must consider training your dog from an early age for
How do they keep the rats away?
- Their size intimidates the rats, not to mention the
fact that they too can turn predator to rats and mice.
- Their barking can be distressing to rats. Eventually,
this 'bugging' causes the rats or mice to simply move
Your dogs will keep rats away; all you need to do is train
them to do so. When they know their job well, dogs can outdo
the best cat 'mousers'.
Read more about rats:
Do cats keep rats away?
Do rats carry rabies?
Can Rats Chew Through Wires in a
Does car insurance cover rat
Email from reader, with dog
There has been either mice or rats or some other rodent in
my attic for quite a few months. I live with my son
(teenager) who is too scared to go up there I went up approx
october after hearing scurrying whilst in bed I didn't see
anything. Not even mouse poops. I called the local authority
who came out. Left poison in small dishes. Note they don't
even go up for health and safety reasons. Just push open the
attic access lid. Returned 2 weeks later. Poison had been
eaten and lots of mouse droppings he said by them so filled
it up again My brother got up there after me ringing him as
now I was worried. He put some mouse traps up there. About 4
different types. Came back a wEek later. Nothing in the
traps (baited) and I could still here scurrying. I did say I
heard specific scratching in one area. There was a dead baby
bird. Seemed eaten half eaten. Which he removed. He started
to clear it out and an old bag had some bits in the bottom
(like chewed). And an extremely strong pee smell and lots of
poops. we cleared everything out. This was early december.
Teddies. Cards. Cases. Clothes. Anything mice could bury
into. Its 3am here now. 4 months later I am hearing
something running above my head. All the authority has done
is put poison down it keeps getting eaten. My brother has
put up more traps but nothing in them. Outside last week. A
substantial amount of earth was pushed away under the shed.
After seeing it the authority said it was rats. Not mice and
that's possibly what might be in the attic. We bought a dog
last year. Summertime. Kept outside overnight. Foolishly my
husband was leaving it some food out. Also. In my shed. A
very strong smell of pee and huge amount od droppings.
Further investigation showed they had got into an outside
pond fish food supply (chewed thru a bag) as I noticed the
droppings were orange. The same colour. This I cleared out
totally. Throwing out any cardboard boxes etc. And put traps
in. I check them daily. Nothing in them. The dog barks
periodically. I've not told my husband never to leave food
for the dog in case that was the food supply and he doesn't.
It doesn't seem to bark early hours now either. Do dogs kill
rats? I have lived here 20 years and never ever seen a mouse
or rat in my property. I am extremely clean and clutter
free. My garbage is kept inside plastic bins and collected
on a weekly basis. I've never seen any mouse droppings or
mice inside the house. But the fact that the council have
now confirmed rats definitely under the shed is upsetting me
and I don't have funds to call an ex terminator who are
really expensive here. What is my next step. Please help. My
husband is disabled and can't get in the attic. My brother
lives a way away and comes once a week. He said it may be a
squirrel in my attic. Am now going to purchase rat traps and
a squirrel trap. Can rats be caught in a squirrel trap. I am
too scared to now get up there!!! Please help!
THE SAME APPLIES TO MOUSE REMOVAL
Although I wrote this site with rats in mind, such as the
Roof Rat and Norway Rat, the same principles apply to other
rodents, such as the house mouse. Mice behave very similarly
to rats, they're just smaller. Do dogs kill mice? Yes, a dog
can kill a mouse. But same as with rats, can dogs keep mice
away? Not very well, and especially not if mice are inside a
building, and inside the attic and walls. Email me if you
have any questions about mouse removal, how to remove mice,
rodent removal, other queries.