Top 7 Dog Breeds that will Protect Your Family from Snakes

Dog Breeds that will Protect Your Family from Snakes

Ah, snakes! Those slithery, legless creatures that might just give you the heebie-jeebies. Ever felt a little shiver down your spine at the thought of encountering one in your garden? You’re not alone! A new study suggests that all humans have a ‘genetic phobia‘ of snakes that’s kind of wired into us.

Now, while most snakes are just minding their own business, not all of us are thrilled at the idea of stumbling upon one during a lovely backyard BBQ. And here’s a snakebite fact: about 7,000 to 8,000 people each year do get bitten by those venomous ones.

venomous snake

Don’t worry! We’ve got a pretty cool solution that’s not only effective but also adds a bundle of joy to your life: dogs! With their top-notch sense of smell and hearing, they can pick up on a snake’s presence way before we do. Their natural instinct to protect their territory (and you!) means they’re on the job, keeping those sneaky snakes out of your yard.

Signs Your Dog Sense a Snakes

Before you get too excited, remember that not every dog is a born snake charmer. It’s all about the breed, their individual personality, and a bit of training magic. Here are 7 dog breeds that are pros at snake-busting.

Dog Breeds That Will Protect Your Family from Snakes

1. Mini Fox Terriers 

can dogs kill snakes
Image credit: @ckc4thedogs on Instagram

Mini Fox Terrier is a tiny but mighty little dog with a big heart for adventure and a knack for keeping your home safe from slinky intruders like snakes. Known affectionately as the Little Foxie, this pint-sized protector might just be the hero you didn’t know your family needed!

Originating from the land down under, Australia, the Mini Fox Terrier has a history as a fearless hunter and vermin chaser. Don’t let their small size fool you; these dogs are all about action, especially when it comes to chasing down rodents or squeezing through the tightest of spots to keep pests at bay.

Why consider a Mini Fox Terrier for your family, especially if you’re in an area where snakes might pop by uninvited? Well, for starters, their small size and sleek coat mean they’re low maintenance and fit right in, even in cozy living spaces. They’re incredibly loyal and fit seamlessly into the family, making them fantastic companions for kids and adults alike.

Wikipedia says that the Little Foxie thrives on affection and positive reinforcement. No need for endless treats during training sessions; a good pat and some praise go a long way with these clever pups. Keep them engaged with fun games and a bit of daily exercise, and they’ll be happy campers, perfect for both city living and homes with limited outdoor space.

2. Airedale Terrier 

best pet for killing snakes

The Airedale Terrier is your go-to buddy for keeping those sneaky snakes at bay. With their incredible knack for hunting and a nose that can sniff out adventure (and snakes!) from afar, these dogs are natural-born protectors against slithery visitors.

Airedales are the brave hearts of the dog world, never shying away from a challenge, especially when it comes to tracking down snakes. They use smart tactics like stalking and quick moves to outsmart their slippery opponents. Plus, their agility means they’re great at navigating all kinds of outdoor spaces – perfect for keeping your backyard snake-free.

But life with an Airedale isn’t all about work; it’s about fun, too! They’re the embodiment of the phrase ‘work hard, play hard.’ Lively and full of zest, Orvis notes that Airedales bring a sense of joy and energy to any family. However, they do have a strong desire to dig, chase, and make their presence known with a good bark, so they fit best with families who can offer consistent, engaging training to keep their minds sharp and their bodies active.

Airedales loves hanging out with kids, making them fantastic family pets. Just remember, they’re quite bouncy and enthusiastic, so keeping an eye on them around the little ones is a good idea to make sure everyone has fun safely.

3. Australian Terrier

dogs that kill snakes

The Australian Terrier is like a pocket-sized superhero when it comes to keeping your home safe from snakes. These fearless furballs are hardwired to chase and outsmart smaller critters, snakes included. Thanks to their bold and high-spirited hunting instincts, they’re natural snake deterrents.

Not just fierce protectors, Australian Terriers are bundles of joy and energy, always up for some fun. They bring a confident and watchful presence to your home, doubling as cuddly companions and vigilant watchdogs. Their loyalty and affection for their families know no bounds, making them fantastic furry family members.

Despite their small stature, they pack a big personality, complete with smarts and a dash of independence. This can sometimes translate into a stubborn streak, but with consistent training and plenty of positive reinforcement, they’re eager to learn and please.

WebMD states that Australian Terriers thrive on activity and engagement, so keeping them entertained is key to a happy household. They’re the perfect partner for outdoor adventures, whether it’s a stroll around the neighborhood or exploring new trails. Just remember, a bored Australian Terrier might find less desirable ways to expend their energy, like an impromptu chewing spree.

4. Cairn Terrier

best dogs for snakes

The Cairn Terrier is a champion when it comes to keeping your space critter-free, including those uninvited snake guests. Born with a natural knack for hunting, these robust little dogs don’t hesitate to tackle small prey, making them effective natural snake deterrents. Beyond their hunting prowess, Cairn Terriers are also keen and alert, qualities that lend themselves well to the role of watchdog, safeguarding their home and loved ones with a protective zeal.

But it’s not all about the chase and guard duty; Cairn Terriers are wonderfully sociable, boasting a friendly and independent spirit that makes them ideal family pets. Whether you’re living the city life in an apartment or sprawled out in a larger home, these compact companions adapt beautifully to their surroundings, winning over both rookie pet owners and seasoned dog parents.

Despite their small size, Cairn Terriers are bursting with energy and enthusiasm, thriving on interaction and activity with their human families. From leisurely walks to playful antics around the house, they look to their owners for fun and exercise. A word to the wise: Cairn Terriers aren’t fans of solitude. If you’re considering welcoming one into your home, ensure you can offer the time, affection, and engagement they need to flourish.

5. Daschund 

dogs that hunt snakes

The Dachshund, with its unmistakable long body and short legs, is a breed that’s hard to miss. This distinctive design isn’t just for looks; it’s a testament to their original role in Germany as expert badger hunters, navigating burrows and tunnels to flush out their quarry with ease. But their hunting prowess doesn’t end there – Dachshunds have also carved out a niche as fearless snake hunters, making them a surprisingly effective ally against these reptilian intruders.

Their secret weapon? An exceptional sense of smell. Thanks to their long snouts and powerful noses, Dachshunds can sniff out the presence of snakes long before they come into view. Dachshunds are known for their bravery. When faced with a snake, these little warriors don’t back down.

Their courageous and determined nature makes them more than capable of standing their ground and dealing with the threat head-on. To tap into their full potential as snake hunters, Dachshunds can be trained specifically in scent detection and snake avoidance tactics.

6. Jack Russell Terrier  

best dog to kill rattlesnakes

Famed for its hunting instincts and exceptional intelligence, this breed excels in many tasks, including being an adept snake hunter. Thanks to their acute sense of smell and remarkable eyesight, Jack Russells can detect and track down snakes with impressive precision. Their energetic nature and strong prey drive are what make them natural at this task, embodying the spirit of a hunter in every sense. These dogs don’t just chase; they engage with their prey using a blend of tactics that capitalize on sight, scent, and sound, showcasing their versatile hunting skills.

They utilize their agility and tenacity to confront and neutralize these reptiles, displaying a remarkable persistence that doesn’t fade until the threat is eliminated. Their method? A swift pounce followed by a series of bites and shakes aimed at immobilizing the snake.

Moreover, Jack Russells are known for their daring nature, not hesitating to chase an aggressive snake to its hiding spot and even dig to extract and confront their adversary. Their boldness, coupled with their hunting prowess, makes them efficient at dealing with snakes.

7. Norfolk Terrier

best dog to kill snakes

The Norfolk Terrier, a charming and robust little dog from the United Kingdom, comes with a short, wiry coat that’s low on shedding but high on appeal. These sturdy, athletic canines were originally bred for a very practical purpose: keeping barns free from rodents. This heritage makes them not just adorable companions, but also fearless and efficient hunters, capable of taking on tasks like snake hunting with surprising gusto.

In true terrier spirit, Norfolks are both alert and feisty, embodying a level of devotion to their owners that’s as heartwarming as it is steadfast. They create deep connections with their human families, thriving in environments where they’re included as true members. Their affinity for children and playful nature make them excellent playmates, adding a lively spark to any home.

One of the standout traits of the Norfolk Terrier is their boundless energy, paired with a strong prey drive. This combination means they’re always ready for action, whether that’s a game of fetch in the yard or a more serious task like keeping an eye out for slinky intruders. However, this same drive requires responsible supervision, especially around smaller animals, to ensure their hunting instincts are channeled positively.

While Norfolk Terriers are undoubtedly intelligent, they do have a streak of stubbornness, particularly when it comes to obedience. This trait isn’t a barrier to training, though; it simply means that starting early, focusing on socialization, and maintaining consistency is key to molding well-behaved, sociable pets.

Alternative Snake Deterrents

Alternative Snake Deterrents

Looking for ways to keep snakes at bay without causing them harm? This handy chart offers some smart, simple, and humane snake deterrents. From planting lemongrass to using everyday household items, these tips can help make your space less inviting to snakes.


Choosing a dog that can protect against snakes involves considering breeds with strong herding instincts, as they are naturally alert and can be trained to recognize the signs of dangerous wildlife. Training is crucial, not only to hone their skills in detecting and dealing with snakes but also to ensure they respond to commands to stay or retreat, keeping both the dog and its human family safe.

Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that while having a dog can reduce the risk of snake encounters, it’s not a foolproof solution. Snakes can be unpredictable, and encounters with them can be dangerous. Therefore, training your dog to alert you at the sign of a snake without running after or attacking it is essential.

Moreover, supervision is always advised, especially in areas known for wild snake populations, to prevent your dog from wandering into potentially hazardous situations. Lastly, staying informed about the local snake species and their behavior can significantly contribute to the safety of your and your dog’s outdoor adventures.

Mahvash Kazmi
Mahvash Kazmi, with a rich academic background in English Literature and Journalism, is not just a master of words but also a passionate advocate for the voiceless. Her vast experience, from teaching to insightful content creation, is underpinned by a profound love for animals and an unwavering commitment to conservation. An ardent animal lover, she often finds solace in nature's tales and the gentle purrs of her beloved Persian cat, Gracie. Her dedication to the environment and the written word combine to create truly compelling writing. With a heart that beats for the wild and the written word, she crafts compelling stories on animal issues, urging readers to coalesce for a cause.

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