Do Dogs Kill Squirrels?

Do Dogs Kill Squirrels?

The dog is a tame wolf with an upturned tail that has evolved over the years. The dog is a domestic animal. Dogs are often doing activities like assisting police and the military, hunting, guarding, supporting, protecting, friendship, rehabilitation, and assisting disabled people are just a few of the services they do for humans, and we all know that these furry friends are our beloved pets.

Dogs can have a lot of good influence on their owners’ lives. They can affect children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. Dogs also promote an active lifestyle and provide companionship. Dogs have unique chemistry with people and usually form attachment connections with their owners. It is normal if they are scared or agitated when removed or separated from them.

Predatory Behaviour of Dogs

Preying is a biological process in which one creature, the predator, kills and eats another, the prey. The ability of an animal to track down, chase down, and kill other creatures for sustenance is predation, and the predatory drive is present in all canines to some extent.

This drive is responsible for your dog’s eagerness to chase a ball or shake a toy. However, hunting and killing were a way of life in a dog’s evolutionary history.

Breeds of Dogs

The seven groups of categorizing breeds of dogs are:

Herding dogs

A herding dog is also known as a stock dog or working dog. They are a breed of pastoral dog. These dogs have been trained in herding. They belong to herding breeds. Types of herding dogs include:

German Shephard & Collie

These dogs are recognized as loving family dogs.

Their ability to respond to the sound of a whistle or a command is well-known. They are fast learners, and they enjoy training. Their herding instincts enable them to be highly athletic. They can stay consistent with active families.


Hunters use these dogs as a type of hunting dog. They actively track or chase their prey. They are mainly of two types: scent hounds who are trained to track by scent and endurance:

Bloodhound & Dachshund

And the second type is the sight hounds, who primarily hunt by sight and speed:

Italian Greyhound, Afghan Hound, Basset Hound & Sporting dogs

Sporting dogs were bred and trained to assist humans in hunting games such as birds and waterfowl and for pure enjoyment or “sport,” hence the name. They are very trainable and make excellent companions because they were designed to assist hunters in finding game.

Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, & Vizsla

These are the type of sporting dogs. They can, however, grow frustrated and destructive if they do not expend enough energy.

Non-Sporting Dogs

They are one of the numerous breeds of dogs of various sizes that were once used for hunting or working but are now primarily raised for show or as pets. They are incredibly determined, which derives from their roots, even burrowing into the earth, thanks to their modern terrier breeding. Because of their diminutive stature and animated, adaptive personality features make them amusing and excellent city dogs.


Terriers are one of the most adaptable dog breeds. They are highly versatile and are anything but a family dog, as they are skilled at hunting, athletics, and companionship. Terriers are a dog breed developed to hunt rodents and pests. A terrier is a dog of the terrier type that is relatively small, skinny, and fearless. There are many breeds and breeding lines of the terrier type.

  • Bull Terrier
  • Boston Terrier

Toy Dogs


A toy dog is a little dog that weighs less than 15 pounds. They’ve been genetically altered to be small for generations and come in various types, appearances, and personalities.

  • Japanese Chin
  • Affenpinscher
  • Pomeranian

Working dogs

They are all classified as working dogs. Working dogs are reliable and faithful. They are powerful. They are also very conscientious and unswerving. They are playful and silly. Some are categorized as stoic.  Their alert and concentrated demeanor are well-suited to their image as defenders, and their vitality and strong frame make them wonderful outdoor companions. At the same time, their daring attitude may require their owners to be a little more careful.

  • Great Dane

General Comportment of Dogs

Many distinct breeds of dogs exist, but they all share traits like loyalty, affection, playfulness, gentleness, fierce protection of their owners, patience, and intelligence.

They all like similar games, like fetching balls and sticks, chasing lights, their tails, and even animals.

Why Do Dogs Chase Animals?

Prey drive is a natural feature in dogs that makes them hunters and predators. In certain dogs, this drive can be strong. Nothing else in the dog’s environment will matter once it is turned on except his prey.

Many dogs today still have predatory instincts. When dogs feel a jolt of movement in or on their daily walks, they are alerted and quickly go on the hunt to find the reason.  They might run into some little creature like a squirrel which activates their hunting sense!

Chasing Squirrels

Squirrel chasing is particularly common among dog breeds with natural hunting instincts. When they detect the scent of a small animal such as a squirrel, they lose it. Chasing squirrels is a challenge for dogs, wired into some breeds. Small dog breeds, such as Terriers, are natural-born hunters, yet unrestrained chasing can result in unpleasant outcomes in many cases.

Domestication of Dogs and Their Behaviour Pattern

Dogs are kept at homes as pets and are tamed and trained. However, domestication did not affect the fact that dogs do things for their survival. Predatory hunting includes everything that dogs enjoy.

Stalking their prey and chasing it. Then engage in a feud with it and celebrate after successfully eliminating it and eating it. This behavior is observed when dogs chase squirrels now and then.

Do Dogs Kill Squirrels?

Yes. Dogs, at times, do end up severely harming, injuring, or even killing the squirrels while chasing them. Although if your dog enjoys chasing and killing squirrels, he poses a threat not only to the squirrel but also to himself. It is best to control this drive and his surroundings, so your dog does not kill squirrels.

The Solution to Squirrel Killer

A dog’s prey drive isn’t something that goes away easily and can be completely removed. But instead, you can take measures to train them to focus on you and subdue their hunting instincts. The training process to manage or override a dog’s innate drive to hunt wildlife can be lengthy. Certain breeds have a stronger hunting drive and require a longer training time. But it can always be achieved with consistency.

Our Final Thoughts

You will need to properly teach your dog and manage his environment to keep him from killing squirrels. Put your dog on a leash and walk around the yard while teaching him various obedience commands. With time, patience, and love, the dog will start adapting.

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