Best Dogs for Mole Catching: Say Goodbye to Those Pesky Moles

Moles can wreak havoc on your lawn or garden, digging up tunnels and making a mess. If you’re looking for an effective way to keep them away, dogs can be your best friend. Not only will they deter moles, but they might even dig them up and eliminate the problem. But which dog breeds are best suited for this job? Let’s explore the top mole-catching breeds below.

The Top Breeds for Mole Catching

There are plenty of dog breeds that excel at digging up and catching moles. Let’s dive into the details of these breeds and discover which one might be the perfect mole-catching companion for you.

1. Yorkshire Terrier

You might be surprised to learn that your adorable Yorkshire Terrier is actually a proficient mole catcher. Their small size gives them an advantage, allowing them to maneuver through tight spaces and corners where moles hide. Yorkshire Terriers are intelligent, energetic dogs that require plenty of exercise. Besides being great mole catchers, they are well-suited for families, especially those with young children.

2. Jack Russel Terrier

Jack Russel Terriers are fantastic at catching moles and other rodents. Their origins as a fox-hunting breed in England make them skilled at flushing out moles from hidden areas. These dogs are energetic, happy, and love to work. They make wonderful companions and are known for their intelligence and ability to learn tricks. However, their high energy level means they require multiple long walks a day.

3. Dachshund

Dachshunds were originally bred for flushing out burrowing animals like badgers and gophers, which makes them an excellent choice for mole catching. They are renowned for their keen sense of smell, which hunters have utilized in hunting larger animals such as boars. Dachshunds are popular family pets and have a lot of personality. Though they can be stubborn, they form extremely loyal bonds with their owners when given regular exercise and long walks.

4. Lakeland Terrier

Originating from the Lake District in England, Lakeland Terriers make great mole catchers due to their small size and abundant energy. They excel at finding and eliminating rodents in hard-to-reach places. Lakeland Terriers are playful and known for their love of children. However, they have a strong prey drive and may chase small pets, so early socialization is crucial.

5. German Pinscher

The German Pinscher is not a terrier breed but has a great knack for catching moles. They are medium-sized dogs famous for their mole-catching capabilities and make excellent guard dogs. With their exceptional sense of smell, German Pinschers can detect moles from a distance and will alert you to any visitors. They are loyal and protective companions, but their assertive nature makes them less suitable for families with young children.

6. Rat Terrier

Originating from America, Rat Terriers are named for President Theodore Roosevelt and are considered one of the best breeds for mole-catching. They are avid diggers and are especially useful on farms for eliminating rodents. While they require regular exercise, they adapt well to house or apartment living. Rat Terriers are gentle with children and make great family pets despite their occasional tendency to dig holes in the yard.

Dogs vs. Cats: Why Dogs Are Superior for Mole Catching

While cats are known to catch mice and moles, dogs often outperform them in effectiveness. Unlike cats, certain breeds of dogs have been specifically developed for hunting rodents. These dogs, known as ratters, are generally small to medium-sized with short, smooth coats. Unlike cats, dogs can be trained to pursue and catch moles. This information is valuable, especially for those living in rural areas or on farms.

The Historical Significance of Ratters

Over the years, ratters have been selectively bred for their agility and determination in hunting down moles. They possess uncommon fearlessness for their size and were crucial in controlling rat and rodent populations in the 1800s. They also played a role in protecting merchandise in factories, preventing losses due to rodents.

Rat-catching dogs even became a lucrative business, with “rat catchers” selling live rats to those involved in rat baiting, a cruel sport popular in the 1800s. Thankfully, the banning of this sport in 1912 consigned it to history.

Is It Cruel to Let Your Dog Catch Moles?

There are valid arguments for and against allowing dogs to hunt moles. However, terrier-type dogs and breeds bred for rodent catching generally derive instinctual satisfaction from this activity. Mole-catching is supported by many animal welfare organizations as a humane method of rodent control. Allowing dogs to catch moles also discourages the use of inhumane methods like glue traps.


Moles can create havoc in your environment, but with the right dog breed as your ally, you can bid farewell to these pesky creatures. Yorkshire Terriers, Jack Russel Terriers, Dachshunds, Lakeland Terriers, German Pinschers, and Rat Terriers are all excellent choices for mole catching. Dogs are often more effective than cats, as they can be trained specifically for this task. Remember, owning a dog that catches moles is a humane way to control rodent populations. So, wave goodbye to troublesome moles and let your furry friend handle the job.

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  • “Foxes Beware: How Dogs Can Keep Them Away From Your Yard or Garden”

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