Top 10 Dog Breeds that Kill Rabbits

Dogs have been bred for various purposes over centuries, ranging from companionship to hunting. Among these purposes, certain breeds have been specifically developed for their hunting instincts and prowess. For those who have pet rabbits or live in areas with wild rabbit populations, it’s crucial to know which dog breeds possess strong hunting instincts. This article highlights the top 10 dog breeds known for their ability to hunt and kill rabbits.


Beagles are renowned for their excellent sense of smell and tracking abilities. Originally bred for hunting small game such as rabbits, Beagles have a strong prey drive and are persistent hunters.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers are small but incredibly tenacious. They were bred to hunt foxes and other small animals, making them adept at chasing and killing rabbits. Their high energy and determination make them relentless hunters.


Originally bred to hunt burrowing animals like badgers, Dachshunds have a natural instinct to dig and chase small animals. Their long bodies and keen sense of smell make them effective at tracking and catching rabbits.


Whippets, known for their speed and agility, were bred for hunting small game. Their slender bodies and quick movements allow them to chase down rabbits with ease, making them formidable hunters.

Fox Terrier

Fox Terriers were developed for hunting and digging out foxes and other small prey. Their strong prey drive and determination mean they are highly capable of catching and killing rabbits.

Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terriers, or Scotties, were bred to hunt vermin on farms. Their instinct to chase and capture small animals makes them effective rabbit hunters, despite their small size.


The Basenji is an ancient breed known for its hunting skills. With a strong prey drive and excellent tracking abilities, Basenjis are proficient at hunting rabbits and other small game.


Greyhounds, renowned for their speed, were historically used in coursing to chase down game, including rabbits. Their incredible acceleration and keen eyesight make them exceptional hunters.

Border Collie

While primarily known for their herding abilities, Border Collies have a strong prey drive and are highly intelligent. This combination makes them effective hunters of small animals like rabbits.

Rat Terrier

As their name suggests, Rat Terriers were bred to hunt rats and other small vermin. Their high energy levels, agility, and strong prey drive make them adept at catching rabbits.


Understanding the hunting instincts of various dog breeds is crucial for rabbit owners and those living in areas with wild rabbit populations. The breeds listed above have been developed over centuries for their hunting abilities and possess strong prey drives that make them capable of catching and killing rabbits. While these instincts are a natural part of their behavior, proper training and supervision can help manage and mitigate their hunting tendencies.


Can I own both a rabbit and one of these dog breeds?

Yes, but it requires careful management, training, and supervision to ensure the safety of the rabbit.

Are these dog breeds aggressive towards other pets?

Not inherently. While they have strong prey drives, their behavior towards other pets depends on their training and socialization.

How can I protect my pet rabbit from these dog breeds?

Ensure your rabbit’s enclosure is secure and supervise interactions between your dog and rabbit. Training your dog to obey commands can also help.

Are all dogs within these breeds guaranteed to hunt rabbits?

Not necessarily. While the breeds have strong hunting instincts, individual dogs may vary in their behavior and prey drive.

Can these dog breeds be trained not to hunt rabbits?

Yes, with proper training and supervision, it is possible to manage their hunting instincts and reduce their tendency to chase rabbits.

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