What breed of dog is great at killing rats??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by rovergirl, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. rovergirl

    rovergirl Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 20, 2010
    Hi everyone!

    So it all started last winter when I noticed one lonely little rat run in my coop a few times. I didn't think much of it besides "yuck". BIg mistake! This summer I started seeing lots of rats and tunnels all behind my Barn... and we caught at least 30 in a live trap over the summer! But then they got too smart for it and won't go near it anymore.... I put out posion and it won't kill them! I seen they were nibbling on it and they even stole the extra blocks from the garage.. but they still alive! We tried sticky traps but they get off of them. We tried the huge snap traps but they steal the bait without getting killed. My barn is over a 100 years old and not by any means tight and they chew through everything to get where they want to be. Now they have started to kill my almost 2 month old chickens (I had 25 I am now down to 12!) they disappear during the night. They even went after a rooster that I has separated from my flock because he was gettting picked on. So enough is enough, these varmits are too dang smart for traps and posion and they are breeding up a storm.. my husband is allergic to cats so we are considering a dog. I have read that terriers are bred for hunting rats but also wanted to hear what experience you all have. What breeds do you know to be the best rat killers? Thank you so much!

  2. SouthPhillyJim

    SouthPhillyJim Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 14, 2010
    Port Norris, NJ
    Rat terriers and Dachunds? sp? .
  3. Barred Rocks forever

    Barred Rocks forever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2009
    any terrier ever made lol
  4. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

    May 18, 2009
    Yup, terriers. But beware, they are also good at killing chickens!
  5. lleighmay

    lleighmay Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    Any of the terrier/small hunting breeds will be great for hunting and killing rats. Unfortunately they are generally not so good with chickens since they are bred to hunt/kill. I've got 3 Jack Russells who do a good job on the local vermin population but I have to be ever vigilant to keep them and the birds separated. They don't actually go after the birds but I'm not stupid enough to think they wouldn't if they wound up in the same enclosure either on purpose or accidentally.
    I do have barn cats which are also excellent hunters (and if kept outside might not affect your husband depending on the severity of his allergies) but I don't know if mine will hunt rats as efficiently as they hunt mice.
  6. BlacksheepCardigans

    BlacksheepCardigans Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 11, 2010
    Southeast NH
    The go-to-ground terriers or terrier/dachshund mixes... but they'll also kill your chickens and you need to fence them like you'd fence a predator. If you have a way to separate the dog from the chickens but still allow the dog access to the rats, they're your best bet. But be prepared. We have a shortie Jack (short-legged Jack Russell Terrer) x Dachshund who is insane about ratting or killing anything rodent-like, but he's not easy to live with.

    If there's an Earthdog club or a go-to-ground club in your area, they'd be the people to ask about the working lines to buy from. Or start conversations with people who you know are active hunters; they may know someone who has terriers to go after fox and groundhog. Those will rat very naturally as well.
  7. Lifesong Farm

    Lifesong Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2010
    Noble County
    I have used a home made trap for mice. It also works for rats. You could give it a try.


    Here is another version. This is the one I used.

    You may also be able to see if any of the Earth dog group members might want to bring their dogs out for a day of work/play/training. If you get a pup I would start training that chickens are not ok and give plenty of praise for the vermin.

    If you get feral cats to hang around they won't come near you. There may even be someone you can get spayed feral cats from. I know there is a group around here that is happy to place feral cats where they can get food and shelter and don't have to deal with humans.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  8. eggboy

    eggboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2010
    Yorkshire terriers were bred for hunting rats and they don't shed so if your husband has allergies they should be great for you. Also you could get a B.B. gun and start hunting them a Shotgun would be easier but more dangerous. You could get a c02 B.B. gun pistol with a holster and carry it around the barn and shoot the rats whenever you see them.
  9. CityClucks

    CityClucks The Center of a 50 Mile Radius

    Jan 31, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    My Jack Russell is great at keeping rats, squirrels and mice away--and (due to his lifetiime of socialization and training) I can leave him in the yard with my chickens.

    YMMV = your mileage may vary/don't try this at home [​IMG]
  10. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    My Jack Russell and black lab would team up on rats, digging toward them starting at two different holes. Surprising how often this succeeded. And they were also safe around the chickens.

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