mice lying next to each other

If you have a mouse problem, someone has probably recommended you get a cat. But if you’re more of a dog person, is there any hope that a dog can help?

Although some people have suggested that any large predator in your home will help scare mice away, that’s not necessarily true. Mice aren’t necessarily scared of dogs, but many types of dogs do hunt mice. And while dogs might not take care of a current problem, they might make mice less likely to infest your home in the first place.

Will Mice Avoid Homes with Dogs?

When talking about mice being afraid of dogs, there are two real questions—whether introducing a dog can help with a mouse problem and whether mice will avoid homes where dogs already live. If you already have a mouse problem, just bringing a dog into your home is unlikely to solve it. Mice won’t flee from dogs unless the dog has a strong hunting instinct, and even if your dog does catch some mice, they can be difficult to eradicate completely.

On the other hand, mice on the move might skip by homes with dogs if they have easier options available. Mice generally look for places with fewer predators when they need a new home, and dogs can be one more possible threat.

Do Dogs Hunt Mice?

Although dogs aren’t going to scare away mice just by their presence, some dogs do hunt mice. Dogs with strong prey drives are likely to chase, stalk, and bark at mice. This can alert you to a mouse problem faster, making it easier to get professional help. Some dogs are also good enough hunters to make a big dent in your mouse population. Although dogs don’t always hunt mice, if your dog is a hunter, you might see good results.

cairn terrier in the woods
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

What Dog Breeds are Good Against Mice

No dog is guaranteed to be a good hunter, but some breeds were developed to hunt small animals. Dogs from these breeds are more likely to pay attention to mice and other vermin and even be able to hunt and kill them. The most famous type of dog for mouse control is the terrier.

There are many different breeds of terriers, but most of them were bred to hunt small animals. Chihuahuas were also bred to help control mouse and rat populations, and they can be effective hunters as well. Other dogs that are often good hunters are Daschunds, Pinschers, and Papillons. Many small farm dogs of any breed also have pest control tendencies.


Having a dog doesn’t guarantee you a mouse-free life, but it can’t hurt. If you live in an area prone to mouse infestations, getting a breed with a history of pest control can help. These dogs can hunt mice or tip you off to infestations early. But if you see signs of mice, a professional service might be more helpful than a dog.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay