Do Dogs Hunt Mice? Everything You Need to Know About Your Dog’s Hunting Instincts


Dogs are known for their exceptional skills in terms of sniffing out and tracking game. While it is common to see dogs hunting down bigger prey like deer or rabbits, not many people are aware that dogs can hunt mice as well. This might come as a surprise to some but yes, dogs have an innate instinct to go after these small rodents.

The Science Behind It

Dogs have been bred for specific purposes such as herding, guarding and hunting over the years. The ability to track small prey like mice has been passed down from generation to generation through selective breeding by humans. In fact, certain breeds of dogs have been specifically bred for their mouse-hunting capabilities such as Terriers which were originally developed for controlling rats and other rodents.

How do Dogs Hunt Mice?

The process of how a dog hunts depends on its breed and instincts. Generally speaking, smaller breeds such as Terriers will use their strong sense of smell along with their quick reflexes to catch the mouse while larger breeds like German Shepherds may rely more on sight or sound. Some dogs might dig up holes or burrows where mice hide while others prefer chasing them around until they finally manage to trap them.

Should You Train Your Dog To Hunt Mice?

While it is true that some dog owners encourage their pets’ natural instincts by training them to hunt mice, it’s important to consider whether this is a safe practice both for your pet and other animals nearby. For instance, if your dog catches a rodent infected with diseases such as rabies or leptospirosis then there could be serious health risks involved both for you and your canine friend. Additionally, if your dog is not properly supervised when hunting then he might end up causing harm unintentionally either by damaging property or injuring other pets nearby.


Dogs are incredible animals with diverse capabilities, and their hunting instinct is just one of many exceptional qualities. While it’s true that dogs can hunt mice, whether or not you should train your dog to do so depends on various factors such as the breed, safety concerns and your personal preferences. If you decide to let your dog do what comes naturally and go after rodents, make sure to take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety as well as those around them.