We have about 339 recognized breeds of dogs in the world, each one of them has been selectively bred with certain abilities in the mind, and it can be clearly seen the way dogs have been incorporated in various jobs around the world. In modern times, we come across dogs that are highly capable of aiding humans, for instance, the service dogs that are trained from their puppy-hood to be able to take care of disabled or people with certain disorders. Other breeds such as the herding dog have always been an assistant of shepherds for thousands of years. As you can see each breed of dog is equipped with characteristics that allow them to excel at certain tasks than others, this makes you wonder if there are any dogs that are efficient in getting rid of snakes. This is a serious question people from areas that have high snake populations often ask.
Dog Breeds That Kill Snakes
Dogs are natural predators, and being pack animals, they are great at protecting their families and due to this, it is often observed that dogs engage in fights with other animals and even kill them in order to deter them away from their territory. As for the snakes, they have been around for millions of years, and it is evident that we have encountered them countless times and still do today. It may come as a surprise but despite this, we have not tried to breed dogs in order to kill snakes specifically. Nonetheless, there are some species that are more than capable of dealing with and getting rid of these slithering reptiles.
1. Airedale Terrier: Due to their size and nature, Airedales have earned the name The King of Terriers, and is perhaps one of the most versatile dog breeds in the world. Other than their hunting capabilities, these are often part of dog shows and can be observed excelling in those as well. They have a dense coat with wiry hair that is tanned often with black markings. Perhaps they have one of the most unique beards and mustaches that gives this terrier a distinct face. Originally, these were bred to hunt down and kill otters and rats; therefore, hunting down prey is in their DNA, and these are quick to attack snakes. Finally, just like a good boy/girl, they lift the dead snake and walk with it. American Kennel Club
2. Australian Terrier: Unlike the previous terrier, this one is fairly small, but that doesn’t stop it from being such a great dog. These are very lively dogs as they approach each new thing with curiosity, but this curiosity is never backed by fear instead they are courageous. This specific breed has shorter legs with a long torso and neck while having a sturdy built, as for their coat, it has silky hairs and is easily distinguished from the rest of the harsh coat. For these, it is often recommended that they shouldn’t be a part of a household that has many dogs as it can become problematic; however, when it comes to their hunting abilities, things are different. Australian terriers, like most of their cousins, trace their ancestry to European terriers, and these were bred to work as alert dogs, and with that these were often used in gold mines and farms to kill rodents. I don’t need to tell you that Australia is a hub of snakes and undoubtedly, these came across snakes more often than not and are very efficient in neutralizing them. American Kennel Club
3. Dachshund: Perhaps one of the most famous breeds and loved by many, these have been a part of many TV shows and movies, if that was not enough, celebrities often keep them as pets. Even if someone who is unfamiliar with dog types may easily guess Dachshund by their distinct look, long hot-dog-like torso with tiny legs, and an alert expression, and these are often referred to as the wiener dogs. These are small dogs, as even the largest ones go up to 32 pounds, and these have 3 types of coats; smooth, wirehaired, and longhaired. Unlike other breeds, these are not built for running distances, jumping, or other strenuous tasks, other than that, these dogs are more than happy to be engaged in playful activities like fetching. Despite their celebrity-like status, these were bred to hunt, and thanks to their small stature, they were able to able to rush into badgers’ and foxes’ dens and alerted humans about them. Given their pedigree to fight for hours in tunnels, they are familiar with snakes for many years now and know how to get rid of them. American Kennel Club
4. Cairn Terrier: Another terrier on this list, these small little work dogs are lightweight but exudes strength, and their maximum height is at 10 inches. They also have a double coat, and while they have wiry hair atop, they have a downy underside. Though these are very good with families and act as great companions, these are highly alert dogs with a high demand for physical activity despite their size. Cairn was bred in Scotland and is known to root out foxes and other small animals, meaning just like any other terrier hunting is in their genetics and they easily kill small to medium snakes, so if a snake happens to be in your backyard, you can be certain this fluff ball will take care of it. American Kennel Club
5. German Pinscher: If you ask a non-dog person about this one, chances are they will say it is a Doberman as they appear similar to them, however; German Pinscher is among one of the oldest breeds of dogs in Germany. These are highly energetic and alert hounds that were initially bred to hunt down rats but later were trained to perform other canine work as well. German Pinscher is about knee-high tall dogs, and they have a black and brown coat with red accents that appear to be shining, and these are ready for whatever comes their way whether it be strenuous activities or even fighting snakes themselves. They can kill off a snake with ease. American Kennel Club
6. Jack Russel Terrier: This adorable-looking hound is a dedicated worker and is full of life and not to mention their friendly nature. They exhibit an expression of intelligence with their almond-shaped eyes and V-shaped ears, which are also the hallmark of the breed. Its coat is mostly white with markings that are usually tan or black. This breed also moves freely and has an effortless gait that shows the confidence of this terrier. These dogs were bred to be a part of English foxhunt, so they are equipped with hunting abilities and are often seen disengaging snakes easily. American Kennel Club
7. Lakeland Terrier: Lakeland Terriers were used as farmer’s dogs in the past when they’d work in packs to take down sheep-stealing foxes. They got their name from Lake District in England, and these small dogs come in many different colors and have a coat that is hard, wiry and sheds less. Their mustache and beard, along with the pattern of coat on the limbs, give this dog a stance that is very robust and appears dominating. Unlike other breeds, these do not require excessive exercise, they do, however, need open air each day to stay mentally well. Being a working man’s dog, in the past, they often came across many threats, which they surely neutralized and are more than capable of killing snakes. American Kennel Club
8. Miniature Schnauzer: Miniature Schnauzer is one of the family-friendly breeds as it is not so small in size, sheds less, and has an outgoing personality. The height of this hound is anywhere from 12 to 14 inches and with its magnificent beard, it gives people with beards a run for their money. Their coat is hard, wiry, and comes in either black or black and silver. These are very friendly dogs and make great watchdogs, it was originally bred to work similarly like a small terrier, but its personality is quite different, and it is not an aggressive dog towards humans, but when it comes to protecting the area, these are very serious dogs and can easily take down small snakes. American Kennel Club
As you can see from the list, most of the snake-killing breeds are terriers because of their past experience in hunting down smaller animals. Nonetheless, all of these eight dogs can prove beneficial if you happen to live among areas that have a lot of snakes.