16 Dogs that Can Kill Snakes and Protect Your Family & House

It is estimated that there are more than 3,400 species of snakes around the world and they live on every continent except Antarctica. They can be found in jungles, deserts, grasslands as well as near oceans and rivers. The majority of snake bites happen when people try to kill or capture the snake; some snakes do not bite humans but will defend themselves if threatened.

However, you can also find snakes on the side of the road, in your garden or yard, and, most terrifyingly, anywhere in your house.

Thankfully, man’s best friend, the ever-loyal dog, can be one of your best methods of protection. But not any dog, though.

Here are the 16 dogs that can kill snakes and protect you:

  1. Rat Terrier
  2. Yorkshire Terrier
  3. Airedales
  4. Cairn Terrier
  5. Australian Terrier
  6. Jack Russel Terrier
  7. German Pinscher
  8. Lakeland Terrier
  9. West Highland White Terrier
  10. Norfolk Terrier
  11. Miniature Schnauzer
  12. Rottweilers
  13. German Shepherds
  14. Dachsunds
  15. Mastiffs
  16. Pitbulls

In this article, we are going to introduce each of these amazing dogs briefly, discuss how you can train your dog to kill snakes, and how you can protect your dog and family from snakes and their dangers.

15 Dogs That Can Kill Snakes

Although no dog has been bred specifically to hunt and kill snakes, there are many dogs that will attack and kill snakes. They can do that because of their hunting instincts or because of their protective instincts when they feel themselves or their family threatened by the snake.

Let’s quickly learn about these 15 breeds of dogs that can kill snakes;

Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier is an American dog by heart and origin, and making it even more American is that it was given this name by no one other than Teddy Roosevelt himself. This dog is classified as a terrier breed.

Rat Terriers are tiny, cheerful, and lighthearted dogs that can be carried about easily. Rat Terriers with compact bodies that are robust yet elegant in appearance

These well-shaped exterminators are made to allow for rapid movement while on the job.

Rat Terriers are, as the name might imply, superb in hunting and killing rodents like rats, and while a snake may be a step up from a rat, RTs are still really good at detecting, tracking, hunting, and killing snakes.

Yorkshire Terrier 

The Yorkshire Terrier  as an example of the dogs that can kill snakes

The Yorkshire Terrier is a tiny, toy-size terrier with a silky steel blue coat and a golden-brown skin, weighing no more than seven pounds.

Yorkies worked in the toughest conditions in mines and mills long before becoming Victorian women’s beribboned lapdogs.

Don’t let their small size and adorable faces foold you though, as any Yorkie owner would tell you, Yorkies are absolutely fearless, feisty, bold, and outspoken, with all of the terrier characteristics.

Yorkies have a big-city swagger packed into a small but important package. They are adored by people all around the world. Yorkies are long-lived and hypoallergenic (the coat is closer

Still, Yorkies at terriers at heart and they are excellent in hunting small animals like snakes.

They can smell them and detect them from a mile away, and a well-trained Yorkie is an excellent snake-killing machine. One that you can hunt snakes in the morning before getting ready for a fashion show. A rare combination to find in any animal.


The Airedale Terrier is called “The King of Terriers” for his size, strength, and unwavering spirit. The Airedale Terrier is a versatile breed that has shown versatility as a hunter, athlete, and companion.

The Airedale Terrier is the biggest of all terrier breeds.

Airedales are the ideal example of an alert and ready terrier, just bigger. He may be brave, dedicated, and obstinate like his smaller relatives in the terrier breed. Airedales are tranquil with children but will not back down if they feel their hearth or home is being threatened. Airedaless excel in a wide range of sports.

Airedales are very good in killing snakes, they have the endurance to track them down and can easily tackle any snake on its territory or on the hunt. This is an important trait for a dog that will be out hunting several times per day. Dogs with this kind of stamina are extremely rare breeds these days thanks to the way we breed them.

Lakeland Terrier

The Lakeland Terrier is a small, sturdy dog that was bred to hunt otter and badger in the mountains of England’s lake district. The Lakeland Terriers are still used for this work but perhaps more often as companion dogs living indoors or outside with their families during the day and in a kennel at night.

Lakeland Terriers are the smallest of all terrier breeds, but they have a history as tough hunters that can kill snakes or other small animals around their homes. Lakelands have been described as having an uncanny ability to sense when there is going to be trouble with dogs or people coming into the home or the yard.

Lakeland Terriers are good for people who want a small, active terrier that they can train to hunt snakes outside their house and property during the day but is safe indoors with them at night where it might be sleeping in bed right next to them. They make excellent watch dogs as well since they will bark to let their owners know when there is trouble.

Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier is a small, sturdy dog that was originally bred to hunt foxes in the rocky terrain of Cairn Tandz. The Cairns are still used for this work but perhaps more often as companion dogs living indoors or outside with their families during the day and in a kennel at night

Cairns Terriers are very good hunting dogs, they have the stamina to run for hours and can easily tackle small animals like snakes. They are very fast, active dogs that make excellent watch dogs as well since they will bark to let their owners know when there is trouble.

Australian Terrier

Australian Terriers are the smallest of the working terriers. Dogs in this breed are tough, versatile hunters that were developed to kill small rodents and snakes by day but can be easily trained to sleep inside during nighttime hours.

Australian Terriers have a very high prey drive which makes them good snake killers if they live outdoors or on large properties with lots of lands for them to roam. They are very active and make excellent watchdogs as well since they will bark to let their owners know when there is trouble.

Norfolk Terrier

The Norfolk Terriers a small, sturdy dog that was originally bred to hunt foxes in the rocky terrain of East Anglia where this breed originated from. Dogs in this breed are tough, versatile hunters that were developed to kill small rodents and snakes by day but can be easily trained to sleep inside during nighttime hours.

Norfolk Terriers are very good hunting dogs, they have the stamina to run for hours and can easily tackle small animals like snakes. They are very fast, active dogs that make excellent watchdogs as well.

Jack Russel Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier, often known as the Parson Russell Terrier, is a lively, self-reliant, and intelligent little dog that was bred in England to hunt foxes. They’re lovely and loving but can be difficult to train and handle. Only experienced dog parents should consider adopting one!

This cute, loving, and affectionate dog may appear to be a wonderful option for new pet parents and apartment dwellers at first.

But you may be shocked by the amount of energy and intensity in this little puppy.

These dogs require a lot of exercise and firm, consistent training, or else they may display unpleasant behaviors. However, if you know how to handle them, they can be the perfect dog to protect your family and property from snakes and other rodents.

German Pinscher

Germany definitely has a lot of dogs that originated here, and the German Pinscher is one of the country’s oldest breeds, it served as the basis for numerous pinscher types. This lively, smart dog was originally employed to catch rats but they are smart enough to be trained to do a variety of canine tasks.

West Highland White Terrier

The beautiful West Highland White Terrier (affectionately nicknamed the Westie) has enthralled people for more than 3 centuries now thanks to its smart, cheeky, and always amusing personality

This Terrier is a small yet strong and brave terrier. The Westie’s appearance is appealing. However, underneath the cute exterior lies a real, fearless terrier that can get the job done.

Although they may look like they only belong in castles and villas, West Highland White Terriers are surprisingly good at tracking and hunting rodents and small animals like snakes.

Miniature Schnauzer 

The Miniature Schnauzer is a lively, intelligent dog. They are extremely loyal to their family and can be very protective.

This breed is great for families with kids or other pets because of how gentle they are around people that they love. Dogs of this breed have a high prey drive which means that there’s a good chance your Schnauzer will kill snakes on the property if they see them.


The Pitbull is a very popular dog breed because of their loyalty and intelligence. Dogs of this breed are used for protection by law enforcement, the army, and more.

These dogs have an innate ability to protect what they love from any threat which means that if your pitbull sees a snake, there’s a good chance that it will kill the snake.

Pitbull Dogs are very protective of their families and home so they make great guard dogs as well. You can learn more about Pitbulls in this post on Pitbulls vs dogo Argentino.


Rotties are probably one of my favorite dog breeds, and I’m not alone. Anyone who has known Rotties simply adores them. These are dogs that will move mountains and fight dragons to protect you. Their loyalty and fierceness are simply unmatched.

Rottweilers are not only protective of their family, but they are smart and love to learn. Dogs of this breed make great guard dogs for properties because of how loyal they are and the fact that Rottweilers will kill snakes if given the chance.

German Shepherds 

The ever-so-excellent, jack-of-all-trades German Shepherd is a worthy inclusion to any list of guard dogs, and they have proven they ar more than capable of protecting their families from snakes.

German Shepherds are very protective of their families and homes, which makes them great guard dogs. Dogs of this breed are also able to be trained in protection work so you can train your German Shepherd to kill snakes if it sees one on the property.


Dachshunds may look cute and adorable on the outside, and while they may be a popular target for meme lords online, Dachshunds can be surprisingly good at hunting rodents and snakes.

Dachshunds originated as hunting dogs and were bred for their ability to hunt badgers so they would be able to kill small snakes as well. Dogs of this breed are very protective over the property that they live on, which makes them great guard dogs.


Mastiffs are one of the biggest breeds of dogs in the world and have a strong prey drive, which means they will kill snakes if given the chance. Dogs of this breed are extremely protective over their family so you can be sure that your Mastiff will keep everyone in your home safe from any threats, including snakes.

Mastiffs love to learn new things so training them to kill snakes on the property would be a walk in the park. Dogs of this breed are so loyal and protective that they will even fight off animals much bigger than them if it means protecting their family, which makes them great guard dogs too.

Now that you know about the dogs themselves, let’s briefly discuss what else you need to know to make sure you and your family are always safe from the dangers of snakes.

Can Dogs Kill Snakes?

Dogs can kill snakes and many people keep dogs specifically to protect their families and homes from snakes. Most dogs will instinctively attack snakes but terriers are especially good at hunting snakes and other small rodents and reptiles.

How do dogs kill snakes?

It appears that snake-killing techniques are hereditary in dogs. The delicate spine that runs the length of the snake is damaged by the dog’s violent shaking of the snake. The way the dog shakes the snake also prevents the snake from getting the chance to orient itself and bite the dog.

A skilled snake-hunting dog will wait for just the right moment to strike the reptile and kill it.

There are many breeds of dogs that do not naturally hunt down snakes even if they see one on their property.

This is why it’s important to make sure your dog has been trained from puppyhood to recognize snakes as a threat and taught to kill snakes if they see one.

The Jack Russell terrier is an excellent snake killer. Their quickness and intellect allow them to avoid being bitten until the opportunity arises to capture the snake.

However, even these canines are occasionally bitten. Fortunately, vaccines for dogs who live in rattlesnake-infested areas are available.

Although this vaccine was designed for the western diamondback rattlesnake, it is effective against all of the poisonous snakes in North America.

Dogs who are vaccinated and live where rattlesnakes exist must be watched closely for a few hours after being bitten because they may temporarily go blind from the venom’s effect on their eyes.

Here is a video showing a dog killing a snake in action:

You can learn more about why do dogs kill snakes here.

What makes a good snake-killing dog?

There is no such breed of dog as a snake dog, but there are breeds that are better at this age-old practice than others. Almost all dog breeds have individuals that excel at killing snakes. “Almost all dog breeds have members that are good at killing snakes,” says the narrator.

The ability to dispatch a poisonous snake without being harmed is the difference between being a successful snake dog and one who does not survive to see the veterinarian.

In certain regions of the country, this isn’t crucial since there aren’t many deadly snakes, but this isn’t true in southern Georgia and northern Florida.

Yes, some dogs will never give snakes a second glance, no matter what.

There are certain dogs that may try to kill a snake but aren’t quick enough to avoid being struck by the lightning-quick rattler. Other dogs may attempt to play with the snake without realizing of the danger involved.

Why are Terriers so good at killing snakes?

Terriers are really good at killing snakes because terriers were bred to be strong hunting dogs.

They have a very strong instinct to detect, track, and kill whatever small animal is moving and kill it. This makes them superb in killing snakes, although they can still be better at it if they are trained to do it properly so that they are no harmed in the process,

How to train your dog to avoid snakes

If your dog is not meant to hunt snakes, it’s better to make sure they can stay safe by staying away from snakes instead of biting them.

Here are a couple of useful techniques for training your dog to avoid snakes:

The Leave it Method

The first step is to start with a fundamental skill, such as “leave it.

The command may be used in progressively more difficult scenerios – even close but safe encounters with snakes and other dangerous creatures – as soon as a dog has learnt it in controlled training situations and can redirect their attention from distractions such as toys, dropped food, or enticing odors on walks. Of course, using this command in realistic settings necessitates that you can see your dog’s entire body and not just its head. Dogs that are trained to avoid snakes will stay away from them, even if they get close enough for a strike.

The Come Command

You can also use the “come” command in such cases by reinforcing it with praise or food rewards when the dog obeys you and comes towards you instead of going towards the snake. Dogs will often show a strong aversion to snakes, even if they have never been specifically trained to do so before.

Can you train your dog to attack snakes?

You can train your dog to attack snakes but we advise against It. A dog is too precious to lose in an encounter with a snake, and snakes can be deadly and their venom could kill the dog more quickly than you think – the dog may not even survive the trip to the vet.

Can snakes hurt dogs?

Snakes can and do inflict damage on dogs, and bites are quite costly to cure at a veterinarian. Snakebites might produce infections in dogs, as well as the possibility of death if the snake was poisonous.

It’s possible that your dog no longer has a desire to chase and kill snakes after he is bitten. It means that, after receiving one bite, your snake-killing dog may retire for understandable reasons.

Signs of snake bites on dogs

These are the signs/symptoms of a snake bite in dogs:

  • Weakness ad collapse. The dog may then get back up, but this is still a warning sign of a snake bite.
  • Shaking, twitching, or trembling.
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness in hind legs
  • Blood in their urine
  • Dilated pupils

In some extreme cases, the dog may even be paralyzed.

How to protect your house and dog from snakes

Rather than risking your dog being harmed by a snake, or becoming ill after consuming one, you may take steps to prevent them on your own property. In my opinion, this is less hazardous than instructing your dog to kill snakes.

Keep the Grass Short

Try your best to maintain your lawn throughout the summer as it grows. This will deter snakes rather than trying dog feces. What’s the reason? Snakes enjoy the concealment that long grass provides them.

When grass is short, snakes are unable to move freely without drawing attention from predators. It will also assist you in identifying them before stepping on one!

Don’t Leave water outside

Snakes like water, and while it’s nearly impossible to remove a pond or stream from your yard, you should get rid of any additional accessible water sources. This implies cleaning up any moist zones, such as tarps where water may accumulate, or a children’s paddling pool.

Maintain the Yard as Clean As possible

Snakes prefer to hide in messy locations, and they flourish in unclean settings. A snake could crawl into your yard if you have trash littering it. Woodpiles are ideal hiding places for snakes.

Snakes and rodents are attracted to messes, in particular food or animal waste. This implies that if you’re feeding your dog outside, the food bowls should be cleaned and refitted on a regular basis. The same goes for bird feeders.

Rats and mice may enter your yard as a result of the garbage, which will entice snakes seeking to hunt and consume them.

Install a perch pole

Perches may be used to attract hawks and owls to an area, which helps control snake populations. Poles should be placed in view of the yard and surrounding territory so that the hawk or owl has a clear view of the yard and surroundings.

Seal any cracks

To prevent snakes from entering your house, sidewalks, and foundations, seal cracks and crevices.

Consider purchasing an energy audit. An energy audit may help you locate air gaps and fissures that allow cold air to escape the home – these same flaws and crevices can be used by snakes and other small animals.


Dogs have the instinct to do whatever is moving and doesn’t belong there. They consider anything they don’t know about and seems to be alive to be a threat, which is a very good instinct to have in a hunting animals.

That means that most dogs will instinctively be alerted by the presence of snakes, but what the dog chooses to do next will depend on its breed and history.

Most hunting and guard dogs will attack the snake, while others may try to ignore it completely.

Dogs kill snakes by shaking them violently until they can break the snake’s spine, preventing it from attacking them. Dogs can be vaccinated for this purpose and while some breeds are better at hunting snakes than others, most dogs will instinctively go after a snake if they see one on their property.

Related Questions

What do you do if your dog catches a snake?

If your dog catches a snake and you see them, order the dog to drop it immediately and to come to you rushing. A snake bite can kill your dog.

If you believe your pet has been bitten by a snake, go to the doctor right away. If treated immediately, most pets will overcome a snake bite. Make sure to call ahead of time so that the staff can get everything ready for when you arrive.

Do dogs naturally kill snakes?

Most dogs will naturally attack and kill snakes if they are able to. Dogs have the instinct to attack any animal that is moving and alive but does not belong there, which means snakes are a very natural target for them.

What happens if my dog killed a snake?

You should contact your vet immediately and report what happened. Try to take a picture of the snake so your vet could identify the right medications. Rush your dog to the vet as soon as possible to get your dog checked and treated.

Helpful Resources

The Rat Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier

The Airedale Terrier

Jack Russel Terrier

German Pinscher

West Highland White Terrier

Signs of snake bites in dogs

What to do if your dog encounters a snake

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