Are Mice Scared of Dogs? (+How to Help Your Pup!)

“Are mice scared of dogs? And how do I stop my dog from barking at mice?” In this article, we’ll answer these questions and also fill you in on if dogs scare away mice effectively or not, and how dogs generally react when they encounter mice. We’ll also guide you on how to get rid of mice when you have dogs without exposing them to any risk.

You’ll learn whether dogs attract mice and also if mice can make your dog sick. Plus, we’ll delve into whether dogs are scared of mice and if mice can hurt dogs. And, if your dog won’t stop barking at a mouse, we’ve got solutions for that too. Keep reading for all this and more below!

Are Mice Scared of Dogs?

are mice scared of dogs?

Mice are scared of dogs generally, primarily due to the dogs’ predatory nature and larger size. The smell of a dog can also be a deterrent for mice. However, the effectiveness of a dog in keeping mice away can vary based on factors such as the dog’s breed and individual behavior.

Prey-Predator Relationship

In the animal kingdom, mice are often prey, while dogs are predators. Mice have evolved to fear creatures that pose a threat to them, and dogs certainly fall into that category. The presence of a dog can be enough to make a mouse think twice about taking up residence in your home.

Are Mice Scared of Dogs Smell?

Mice have an excellent sense of smell, which they use to detect potential dangers. The scent of a dog can signal the presence of a predator, making mice more likely to avoid an area. The smell can be a potent deterrent, making the presence of a dog a useful part of your pest control strategy.

The Role of the Dog’s Breed

Certain dog breeds, such as terriers and dachshunds, were originally bred for pest control, including hunting and killing mice and rats. These breeds are more likely to actively pursue and deter rodents than others. However, even non-hunting breeds can create a level of fear and uncertainty in mice simply by their presence and scent.

Dogs’ Behavior and Mice

Even though a dog’s presence and scent can scare away mice, the dog’s behavior also plays a significant role. A dog that is uninterested in chasing or investigating mice may not deter them as effectively. Additionally, mice can become accustomed to a dog’s presence if there is no direct threat, reducing the deterrent effect over time.

Are Mice Afraid of Dogs? Yes (Generally)

In conclusion, mice are afraid of dogs generally, and a dog’s scent can act as a deterrent. However, the effectiveness can vary based on factors such as the dog’s breed and individual behavior. It’s also important to note that while dogs can aid in deterring mice, they should not be the only method of pest control in your home.

In the next section, we’ll quickly explain how to stop your dog barking at mice (a common reaction for our pups). You should read it even if your dog doesn’t react to mice by barking because we’ll also teach you how to treat the resulting underlying issues your dog may now have.

Dog Barking at Mouse: How to Stop

To stop a dog from barking at a mouse, use methods like teaching the “quiet” command, providing alternative distractions, and addressing the root cause — the presence of mice.

  1. Teach the “Quiet” Command: Start by letting your dog bark 2-3 times, then say “Quiet” in a calm, firm voice. Wait until they stop barking, even if it’s just to breathe, then praise them and give them a treat. Start lengthening the time they must remain quiet before earning the treat. Eventually, they should start associating the command with stopping barking and earning rewards.
  2. Provide Alternative Distractions: Distracting your dog with toys or games can be a good strategy. An interactive toy or a game of fetch could divert your dog’s attention away from the mouse.
  3. Address the Presence of Mice: Eliminate the root cause if possible. This might involve calling a pest control service or taking steps to make your home less inviting to mice. These might include cleaning up food leftovers and sealing potential entry points.
  4. Consistent Training: Consistency is key in all training exercises. Maintain a regular schedule and continue to reinforce the behavior you want to see.

These steps will get your dog to stop barking at mice, but it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (anxiety, territorial dominance, etc.) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address them, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last then?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like when your dog barks at a mouse and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog barking at a mouse ever again!

Do Dogs Scare Away Mice?

Dog Barking at Mouse

Dogs scare away mice, but it’s not guaranteed. Their presence, scent, and noise can deter rodents from inhabiting certain areas. However, a dog alone may not be a foolproof solution to a mouse problem.

  1. Dog’s Presence: The presence of a dog in a house can indeed act as a deterrent for mice. Rodents naturally avoid areas with predators, and dogs are known to chase and catch small animals, including mice. The mice may steer clear of areas that are frequently used by the dog.
  2. Dog’s Scent: Mice have an excellent sense of smell, which they use to detect threats. The scent of a dog can signal to mice that a potential predator is nearby, causing them to avoid the area. Regularly allowing your dog to mark its territory outside can help keep mice away.
  3. Noises: Dogs can be quite noisy, and this can scare mice away. The sounds of barking, howling, or even just moving around can be enough to make mice feel unsafe.
  4. Dog Breeds: Some dog breeds, especially terriers, were bred specifically for pest control. These dogs have a strong prey drive and are particularly effective at keeping mice at bay. However, not all dogs will have the same instinct or ability to chase and catch mice.

While dogs can help to deter mice, they are not a guaranteed solution to a rodent problem. They can be part of an integrated pest management approach, but other methods such as sealing entry points, keeping the house clean, and using traps may also be necessary. If you have a significant mouse problem, it might be best to consult a pest control professional.

Learn about handling your dog’s reactions to the mice in the second section of this article. Not doing anything will lead to their issue spreading. You’ll soon find your dog chasing squirrels or barking at them, barking at possums or killing them, or even getting aggressive with tarantulas or insects as crazy as that sounds. Any critter will do, so you should get to work with them now.

How Do Dogs React to Mice?

Dogs often react to mice out of curiosity, excitement, or their instinctual prey drive. Reactions can vary widely, ranging from barking and chasing to fear or indifference, depending largely on the individual dog’s temperament and breed.

  1. Curiosity: For many dogs, their first reaction to a mouse may be one of curiosity. Dogs are naturally inquisitive animals and a small, fast-moving creature like a mouse can be quite intriguing. They may sniff, paw, or follow the mouse around, simply trying to figure out what it is.
  2. Prey Drive: Dogs, especially certain breeds like terriers, have a strong instinctual prey drive. When they see a small, fast-moving creature like a mouse, these instincts can kick in. They may chase, catch, or even kill the mouse. This reaction can be stronger in dogs that have been bred for hunting or ratting.
  3. Barking: Some dogs may respond to a mouse by barking or howling. This is often a way for the dog to alert their human companions of the mouse’s presence. Barking can also be a reaction to the excitement of the chase or a way to express frustration if they cannot reach the mouse.
  4. Fear or Indifference: Not all dogs react to mice with interest or excitement. Some may be afraid, especially if the mouse moves quickly or startles them. Others may simply be indifferent to the presence of a mouse, especially if they haven’t been bred for hunting or they are older and less playful.

How a dog reacts to a mouse can greatly vary depending on the individual dog’s temperament, breed, and personal experiences. If your dog encounters a mouse, monitor their behavior to ensure they don’t harm themselves or the mouse, and consider calling a pest control professional if mice become a regular problem in your home.

We explain how to treat your dog’s behavior in reaction to the mice in the second section.

How to Get Rid of Mice When You Have Dogs?

Getting rid of mice when you have dogs involves a combination of non-toxic strategies and preventive measures. This includes maintaining cleanliness, sealing entry points, using pet-safe traps, and employing natural deterrents. It’s obviously vital to ensure the safety of your pet while dealing with a mouse infestation.

Maintain Cleanliness

Mice are attracted to areas where food and water are readily available. Ensure your home, particularly your kitchen and dining area, is clean and free of food scraps. Secure your garbage bins and store pet food in airtight containers. Regular cleaning can deter mice from settling in your home.

Seal Entry Points

Mice can squeeze through small holes and cracks in your home’s walls, floors, and foundation. Inspect your home and seal any potential entry points with materials like steel wool or caulk. This not only prevents mice from entering your home but also keeps your dogs from coming into direct contact with these pests.

Use Pet-Safe Traps

There are various mouse traps available that are safe to use around pets. These include live-catch traps and enclosed snap traps, which can catch and remove mice without posing a risk to your dogs. Remember to check these traps regularly for captured mice.

Natural Deterrents

Certain natural deterrents, like peppermint oil, can help keep mice away and are safe for dogs. Soak cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them in areas where mice are likely to enter. However, some dogs might be sensitive to strong scents, so it’s important to monitor your pet’s reaction.

Professional Pest Control

If the infestation is too large to handle on your own, consider hiring a professional pest control service. They have the experience and tools to manage and eliminate mouse infestations effectively. Ensure they use pet-safe methods to keep your furry friends safe during the process.

Dogs Can Deter Mice But Need Help

While dogs can sometimes help deter mice, it’s important to take additional measures to keep these pests at bay. Remember to prioritize your pet’s safety while handling a mouse problem. Professional help is recommended if the infestation persists or is large. For assistance treating your dog’s reaction to the mice, go back to the second section.

Do Dogs Attract Mice?

Dogs do not directly attract mice, but certain aspects related to dog ownership, such as leftover food, stored dog food, and even dog feces or urine can indeed attract these pests. It’s crucial to maintain cleanliness and proper storage of food items to prevent attracting mice to your home.

Food and Water Sources

Mice are primarily attracted to areas where they can find food and water. Dog food left out in bowls, water dishes, or improperly stored dog food can be inviting for mice. Always clean up your dog’s food and water dishes after meals and store pet food in airtight containers.

Does Dog Poop Attract Mice?

Contrary to some beliefs, dog feces can attract mice. Mice are scavengers and while they prefer grains, fruits, and seeds, they will eat just about anything when food is scarce, including dog feces. Regularly cleaning up after your dog, particularly in your yard, can help deter mice.

Does Dog Pee Attract Mice?

Dog urine does not typically attract mice. However, mice are curious creatures and may investigate areas where dogs urinate due to the scent markers. But unlike food sources, dog urine doesn’t provide a resource that mice need, making it an unlikely attraction.

Cluttered Spaces

Dogs often have toys, beds, and other paraphernalia that might create clutter. Mice like to nest in quiet, cluttered areas that offer protection and warmth. Regularly cleaning up and minimizing clutter can reduce the likelihood of creating a favorable environment for mice.

Preventing Mouse Infestation in Dog Homes

While dogs themselves do not attract mice, certain aspects related to owning a dog can. Ensuring cleanliness, properly storing dog food, and regularly cleaning up after your dog can significantly help in preventing a mouse infestation in your home. Remember, prevention is always easier than eradication when it comes to pest control. Treat your dog’s response in the second section.

Can Mice Make My Dog Sick?

Mice can make your dog sick. Dogs can be exposed to diseases carried by mice through ingestion, bites, or contact with mouse urine or feces. However, the actual risk can depend on several factors.

  1. Disease Transmission: Mice can carry various diseases that can be transmitted to dogs. These include parasites like ticks or fleas, bacteria like Leptospira that causes Leptospirosis (a disease affecting the liver and kidney), or viruses such as Hantavirus. If a dog eats a mouse, comes into contact with its urine or feces, or is bitten by a mouse, it could potentially become infected.
  2. Risk Factors: The risk of disease transmission largely depends on the mouse population in your area and the lifestyle of your dog. Dogs with access to outdoor spaces, particularly in rural or wooded areas, are more likely to come into contact with mice. Similarly, certain dog breeds with strong hunting instincts, like terriers, may be more likely to chase and catch mice, thereby increasing their risk of exposure.
  3. Prevention Measures: To protect your dog from diseases transmitted by mice, it is crucial to maintain good hygiene practices and prevent exposure where possible. This includes regular flea and tick prevention, preventing access to areas with high mouse activity, and immediate cleanup of any mouse urine or feces. Regular veterinary check-ups can also help in early detection and treatment of any diseases.
  4. Veterinary Care: If your dog has been exposed to mice and exhibits symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever, it’s essential to seek veterinary care immediately. Some diseases can be severe or fatal if not treated promptly.

While mice can potentially make your dog sick, this risk can be managed and minimized through proper hygiene, prevention measures, and veterinary care. If you suspect your dog has been exposed to mice, consult with your vet to discuss any potential risks and necessary treatments.

Are Dogs Scared of Mice?

While some dogs may be startled or show a fearful response to mice, most aren’t inherently scared of them. Fear of mice in dogs largely depends on their individual personalities, experiences, and instincts. Some dogs may view mice as prey, while others may show curiosity or indifference.

Innate Hunting Instinct

Many dogs have a strong predatory instinct and may view small, fast-moving creatures like mice as prey. This instinct can cause them to chase or pounce on the mouse rather than exhibiting fear. This instinctive behavior is particularly common in breeds historically used for hunting or vermin control, such as terriers.

Individual Experiences

A dog’s experiences can significantly impact their reactions to mice. For example, a dog who’s had a negative encounter with a mouse, perhaps getting scratched or bitten, might become fearful. Conversely, dogs who haven’t had any negative experiences with mice may show curiosity or indifference.

Size and Temperament

The dog’s size and temperament can also play a role in their reaction to mice. Larger dogs may be less likely to feel threatened due to their size advantage, while smaller dogs might feel more intimidated. Similarly, a more anxious or skittish dog may show fear towards mice compared to a dog with a more confident demeanor.


Dogs who were well-socialized during their crucial formative weeks are less likely to be fearful of mice. Early exposure to a variety of sights, sounds, and smells, including small animals like mice, can help dogs react more calmly in their presence.

Understanding Your Dog’s Fear

Understanding why dogs might fear mice requires looking into their instincts, individual experiences, size, and level of socialization. If your dog shows excessive fear towards mice, go back to the second section of this article for guidance on managing this behavior effectively. The goal is to ensure your dog’s comfort and safety at all times.

Can Mice Hurt Dogs?

Yes, mice can harm dogs indirectly through the transmission of diseases or directly through bites, though it’s rare and serious harm is not common.

  1. Disease Transmission: Mice can be carriers of various diseases and parasites that can infect dogs. Leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and hantavirus are some of the diseases that mice can carry. Additionally, ticks, fleas, and mites that infest mice can also spread diseases like Lyme disease and typhus to dogs.
  2. Bites: If cornered or threatened, a mouse might bite a dog in self-defense. While mice bites are generally not very harmful, they can potentially lead to infection if not properly cleaned and treated.
  3. Behavioral Risk: If a dog perceives a mouse as prey and attempts to catch it, the chase could lead to accidental injuries. For example, the dog might knock over objects, run into a traffic area, or get into spaces where they could get stuck or injured.
  4. Predatory Poisoning: If a mouse has ingested poison and a dog subsequently catches and ingests that mouse, the dog could be at risk of secondary poisoning. It’s important to be aware of this potential risk, especially if you are using rodenticides in or around your home.

While the risk is relatively low, mice can indeed potentially harm dogs, mainly through disease transmission and less commonly through direct physical harm. Ensure your dog is vaccinated, regularly treated for parasites, and monitored during outside activities to mitigate these risks. Learn to control your dog’s behavior in the second section.

I’m sure you’re ready to know you can control your dog if they see a mouse, so I’ll let you get started now. Good luck with everything, and thank you for checking out our article “Are Mice Scared of Dogs? (+How to Help Your Pup!)”.

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.