The Best Dog Breeds for Snake Elimination


Few things strike more fear into the hearts of pet owners than the sight of a venomous snake slithering into their yard. Not only are snake bites extremely dangerous for dogs, but some serpents can reach over 5 feet long and pack a deadly bite. Thankfully, canines have evolved to effectively take on these reptilian foes. In fact, there are many stories of heroic dogs slaying snakes to protect their families.

The purpose of this article is to explore the key factors that make certain dog breeds adept snake killers. We will examine their natural instincts, physical traits, temperament and trainability as snake destroyers. Finally, we will provide breed recommendations for owning the ultimate canine snake killer.

By understanding what characteristics make dogs effective snake hunters, you can ensure your pet helps keep your yard safe and snake-free.

Natural Instinct

a dog staring down a snake

Certain dog breeds have a naturally higher prey drive motivated by their instinct to hunt. Breeds like Siberian Huskies were initially bred to pull sleds, yet still exhibit a strong desire to stalk and chase prey due to their high prey drive (source). Terriers, bred for hunting rodents, have an inherent motivation to locate, pursue, and capture prey (source).

Historically, breeds such as Beagles, Bloodhounds, and Coonhounds were utilized for hunting given their keen sense of smell paired with high prey drive. Their natural instincts make them well-suited for tracking and chasing down prey like rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, and other small game (source). When evaluating breeds adept at hunting snakes, key traits include speed, bite force, protective nature, bravery, and physical attributes evolved for the chase and capture of prey.


When it comes to killing snakes, speed is of the essence. Fast dog breeds are able to swiftly react to and catch snakes before being bitten. Their quick reflexes and agility allow them to avoid snake bites while attacking. According to Highland Canine, some of the fastest dog breeds include:

  • Greyhounds, which can run up to 45 mph
  • Salukis, which have been clocked at 42 mph
  • Afghan Hounds, which can reach speeds of 40 mph
  • Vizslas, also capable of speeds up to 40 mph

These athletic breeds have the rapid response time and speed needed to effectively chase down and kill snakes before they have a chance to strike. Their innate speed gives them an advantage when facing the quick reflexes of snakes.

a fast running dog breed

Bite Force

One of the most important physical attributes for a dog to be an efficient snake killer is a strong bite force. Dogs with powerful jaws and large teeth can deliver a crushing bite to quickly subdue and kill venomous snakes before getting bitten themselves. According to research, the top dog breeds with the strongest bite force measured in PSI (pounds per square inch) include:

  • Kangal – 743 PSI
  • Bandog – 730 PSI
  • Cane Corso – 700 PSI
  • Dogue de Bordeaux – 556 PSI
  • Tosa Inu – 556 PSI

These muscular breeds have jaws designed to grip and hold large prey. When facing a venomous snake, they can clamp down with enough force to crush the snake’s spine and kill it quickly. Their powerful bites combined with protective instincts make them ideal snake killers.

a large dog with a powerful bite

Protective Nature

When evaluating dog breeds for protection against snakes, it’s important to consider their protective instincts. Some dogs have a strong desire to defend their family and property against threats. Breeds like German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers are known for being loyal guard dogs who will put themselves in harm’s way to protect their owners (source).

Rottweilers have powerful protective instincts bred into them from their history as cattle dogs. They are intelligent, obedient, and willing to defend. Rottweilers form strong bonds with their owners and will bravely confront snakes or other intruders (source).

Doberman Pinschers are incredibly loyal and make excellent guard dogs. They are fearless, energetic and smart. A Doberman Pinscher will readily defend against any threat to its home or family. Their size, speed and aggression make them willing and able to confront snakes (source).

a doberman pinscher guard dog

When looking for a canine protector against snakes, breeds with strong guarding instincts are a top choice. Loyal dogs like Rottweilers and Dobermans exhibit protective behaviors that make them natural guardians against snakes and other intruders.


When it comes to facing off against dangerous snakes, bravery is an essential trait in the best dog breeds for the task. Dogs rely heavily on their instincts, so naturally courageous and fearless breeds are critical. Without bravery, even an otherwise capable dog may become too frightened to properly defend and protect. According to sources, some of the most courageous dog breeds include:

The Bouvier des Flandres is a versatile working dog from Belgium known for bravery and protective instincts. As one source mentions, this breed has historically served in the military and as guard dogs, providing evidence of their bravery. With their strong will and physical power, Bouvier des Flandres can likely face snakes fearlessly.

Rottweilers also exhibit courage and confidence when properly trained and socialized. According to the source above, this breed has been used for search and rescue, police work, and guarding, requiring bravery in the face of potential threats. As large, sturdy dogs, Rottweilers can leverage their bravery when defending against snakes.

By focusing on naturally courageous breeds like the Bouvier des Flandres and Rottweiler, owners can feel confident their dog will react bravely when snakes emerge, rather than fleeing in fear. This fearlessness gives them an edge in snake deterrent and defense.


When choosing a dog breed for snake killing, trainability is extremely important. Proper training is necessary to teach dogs how to safely and effectively identify, approach, and kill venomous snakes. Some breeds are naturally more intelligent and eager to please, making them easier to train for this specific task.

According to the AKC, some of the most trainable dog breeds include Border Collies, Poodles, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Doberman Pinschers. These breeds consistently rank among the top most intelligent dogs. Their high level of trainability allows them to learn complex commands and responsively follow direction when hunting snakes on a property.[1]

Doberman Pinschers, for example, were originally bred to be guard dogs and have maintained their strong protective instincts and ability to follow direction. With proper training, they can hone their natural skills to become adept snake hunters and killers. Their confidence and fearlessness makes them well-suited for this task.[2]

Seeking out breeds that are both intelligent and eager to please will provide the best foundation for training a dog to effectively and safely kill venomous snakes on a property. Their natural abilities can be honed through dedicated training.

Physical Attributes

Certain physical attributes like muscular build, speed, and agility make some dog breeds well-suited for confronting and killing snakes. Strong, athletic breeds that are light on their feet can jump back if a snake lashes out and then quickly strike to subdue it. For example, terriers have compact and robust bodies with powerful jaws for subduing prey (American Kennel Club). Herding breeds like Australian cattle dogs have lean yet muscular frames allowing them to neatly maneuver around snakes with their quick reflexes and boundless energy.

Other ideal attributes include a thick double coat that acts as an extra layer of protection from potential snake bites. Breeds like chows and Norwegian elkhounds have very dense fur that snakes can have difficulty penetrating to the skin. Deep chests and loose skin around the neck also help shield vital areas from snake fangs. Overall, sturdy breeds with an athletic yet protective physique are well-designed to defeat snakes.

an australian cattle dog jumping

Top Breed Recommendations

When it comes to choosing a dog breed that can effectively kill snakes, certain breeds stand out for their instincts, abilities, and attributes. Based on research from sources like A-Z Animals, Quora, and Reddit, here are the top 5 recommended dog breeds for killing snakes:

  1. Jack Russell Terrier – Tenacious small hunting terriers with strong prey drive. Their small size allows them to fearlessly pursue snakes into their burrows and bolt holes.

  2. Rat Terrier – Athletic short-legged breed skilled at vermin hunting. Possess cat-like agility and reflexes to avoid snake bites.

  3. Australian Terrier – Plucky terriers originally bred to control snakes and rodents. Excellent sniffers that can track down hidden snakes.

  4. Dachshund – Low long-bodied hounds bred to hunt badgers and other burrowing animals. Brave dogs that won’t back down from snakes.

  5. Cairn Terrier – Sturdy short-legged terriers with immense courage and curiosity. Will vigorously pursue snakes with determination.

While individual training and socialization is important, these breeds possess key instincts and physical traits that enable success against snakes, from high prey drive, courage, curiosity, athleticism, agility, stamina, and more.


In summary, the key factors that make a breed skilled at killing snakes include strong natural instincts, speed, powerful bite force, protective nature, bravery, and trainability. Breeds like the Jack Russell Terrier and Miniature Fox Terrier possess many of these traits, which is why they were ranked as top recommendations.

It’s incredible to see the bravery and determination some dogs demonstrate when facing off against snakes, like the rescue dog who killed a venomous snake on his doorstep to protect his foster family, sustaining multiple bites in the process ( Dogs have an impressive ability to save their families from these dangerous reptiles.

With proper training and supervision, certain breeds have proven themselves more than capable of handling venomous snakes and protecting their homes. Their loyalty and courage in confronting these predators is remarkable.

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