Do Dogs Kill Snakes? [ + Crucial Training & Safety Tips]

Do dogs kill snakes? Do they actually eat them? Do they play with them? Do dogs kill other animals or just snakes? These are all questions that you need to know the answers to If you live in an area with snakes because it can make a huge difference to the safety of your family and your dog.

Let’s start with the main question; Do Dogs Kill Snakes?

Yes, Dogs do kill snakes and some brees, like terriers, have been bred to hunt and kill small moving animals like snakes and rodents. Dogs can kill snakes by shaking them really strongly which paralyzes the snake and prevents it from biting the dog, and then fatally wounding the snake with a strong bite.

However, snakes don’t usually go out without a fight, and they don’t always deserve their bad rep.

To learn what would happen in an encounter between your dog and a snake, how to keep your dog safe from snakes, and how to choose the right dog if you live in an area known for having snakes, keep reading.

Why Do Dogs kill snakes?

dog hunting snake to show why do dogs kill snakes

All dogs have an instinct to protect their property, family, and possessions. They also have the instinct to hunt, and small moving animals are the ideal targets for dogs.

Over the centuries, some dogs, mainly in Europe, were specially trained to find and kill small animals such as rodents and snakes. These turned into terriers, which are still used today in places like New York to hunt and kill rats.

Here is a video showing what I mean:

There is no particular dog breed that was specially bred to kill snakes, but some dog breeds, like Doberman, and terrier-type dogs, are better at killing snakes instinctively than others.

What dog breeds can kill snakes?

Most terriers can kill snakes as they were bred to hunt and kill small animals in general, and snakes are no exception. If you want to check the specific breeds that are best suited to protect your house from snakes, check out my guide to the dogs that can kill snakes here.

My Dog Killed a Snake!

If your dog has killed a snake, you should rush to the vet as soon as possible. The snake’s venom can be harmful to your dog and even fatal.

If possible, take a picture of the snake so your vet can identify the right medication quickly, and provide the vet with as much detail as possible. It’s also preferable if you can call them while you’re on the way so they can get ahead of the situation and make any preparations.

Do Dogs hate snakes?

Dogs do not hate snakes but will attack and kill them on sight because they will consider them a threat to their property and their family. However, snakes are not special in this regard, as dogs will still attack anything that poses a threat to their family or property.

Can Dogs detect snakes?

Dogs are really good in detecting small moving animals. They can hear, smell, and sense them much more quickly than we could.

It has been found that dogs can distinguish between a poisonous rattlesnake and a non-venomous garter snake by smell, but not because the odor is frightening to them. As a result, rather than fleeing, dogs will most likely investigate, putting them in significant danger.

Can Dogs smell snakes?

Dogs can smell snakes. Dogs have a very acute sense of smell, which enables them to detect almost everything, even inside the ground. Their olfactory system is 40 times greater than that of humans, making their scent detecting capabilities forty times superior.

Snakes are reptiles that produce odors that humans cannot smell, but which can be detected by dogs. Dogs have 300 million sensory receptors in their noses, making them highly vulnerable to any snake scent.

When a dog detects the scent of a snake, it will constantly try to warn you or give notice. As a result, knowing how your dog behaves when attempting to notify you after a dog sniffs a snake is critical.

How to know your dog has smelled a snake?

Dogs are naturally interested in their surroundings and environment. Dogs’ noses are always on the ground, sniffing for any scent. As a result, a dog can detect whether there is a snake nearby or not. In most cases, though, dogs do not comprehend what they are detecting but instead sense the scent produced by a snake.

A stiff tail, a paw up, and the nose remaining planted on the location where the odor is emanating are some of the common warning signals that dogs employ. It might run towards where the scent is coming after detecting it in certain situations, depending on your dog. Dogs also bark to warn you about whatever they’ve discovered.

It’s critical to comprehend these dog behaviors since they may growl, howl, bite, nip, or lick anything or person that catches its attention with the scent. Some of the dogs’ selections can be quite hazardous, especially if it’s a snake and wants to protect itself.

Can Pet Snakes and Dogs Get Along?

No, Pet Snakes and Dogs do not get along. Dogs and snakes can not coexist in the same space and the dog will almost definitely try to kill the snake.

Why You Should Not Worry too much about snakes

Thankfully, most snakes in the North American continent are not poisonous. However, although the majority of North American snakes are not poisonous, rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, copperheads and coral snakes are exceptions. It’s worth your time to research if any of these venomous snakes live in your region and how to identify them.

There are many non-venomous snakes that aren’t harmful to people. Snakes, in fact, play an essential part in the ecosystem and many of them are quite helpful on the farm because they hunt mice, rats, and other tiny creatures.

Also keep in mind that snakes (and most other animals) are protected in most states, and you won’t be able to kill them unless they’re about to cause harm to you or your property, including your livestock and poultry.

However, some people are simply scared of snakes. If that’s the case, you may utilize dogs to get rid of them. Terriers were created to hunt and kill small predators (such as rats and mice), and their owners frequently notice that their dogs are aggressive toward snakes.

Helpful Resources

The History of Terriers

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