Can A Dog Kill A Raccoon? | Petforcat

Have you ever wondered about the complex relationship between your dog and the pesky critters commonly called raccoons? If yes, then you’re not alone! The dynamics between these two creatures are quite fascinating!

The age-old question lingers: Can a dog kill a raccoon? The short answer to this question is yes, but it is typically uncommon. The reason is that raccoons are generally not aggressive towards dogs, while dogs have a higher probability of attacking raccoons.

For a better understanding of this question, we’ll also delve into the depths of canine instincts, consider the potential dangers of raccoon encounters, and explore various ways to ensure your beloved pet’s safety.

Join us in this fascinating article as we’ll discuss the complex relationship between dogs vs raccoons.

Can a Dog Kill a Raccoon?

Can a Dog Kill a Raccoon?

Can a Dog Kill a Raccoon?

Yes, a dog can kill a raccoon. Dogs have sharp teeth and strong jaws & if they engage in a physical confrontation, they can seriously injure or kill the raccoon.  On the other hand, raccoons also defend themselves, so such encounters can be dangerous for both the dog and the raccoon.

Here are some situations where a dog may encounter a raccoon and potentially harm or kill it.

  • Size and Strength

Dogs come in various breeds and sizes, and their ability to harm or kill a raccoon largely depends on their size and strength. Larger, more powerful dog breeds are more capable of injuring or killing a raccoon than smaller breeds.

  • Predatory Behavior:

Many dog breeds, especially those bred for hunting, may be triggered by the presence of smaller animals like raccoons due to their strong predatory nature and are more likely to chase or attack a raccoon.

Has a raccoon ever been killed by a dog?

Yes, on August 4th, 2023, a raccoon was killed by a domesticated dog in the yard of a resident in Richmond County, as confirmed by the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).

The raccoon tested positive for rabies when tested in the laboratory by animal services. (Source)

Raccoon vs Dog Who Wins:

The outcome of a one-to-one confrontation between a raccoon and a dog is unpredictable, and there is no guaranteed winner, and there’s no definitive answer to who wins in such encounters.

The outcome often depends on various factors, such as the dog’s size and strength, the raccoon’s size and temperament, and whether the dog is trained or not. In some cases, a larger and more powerful dog may be successful in capturing a raccoon.

However, it’s important to note that even if a dog “wins” by catching a raccoon, it can expose itself to various risks, including injury and diseases like rabies.

Additionally, raccoons are known for their resourcefulness and ability to defend themselves if they feel threatened. This unpredictability makes it crucial for dog owners to prioritize safety and take precautions to avoid confrontations.

What dogs can kill a raccoon?

What dogs can kill a raccoon?

Generally, larger and more powerful dog breeds are more likely to catch and kill a raccoon. Some of the breeds that may have a better chance in such encounters include:

  1. Coonhounds: Coonhounds, as their name suggests, were specifically bred for hunting and other small game. These dogs are well-known for their tracking abilities and determination when it comes to pursuing raccoons. Coonhounds have exceptional skills in treeing raccoons. They locate the raccoons up the tree and subsequently inform their human handlers about the raccoon’s whereabouts.
  2. While Coonhounds are trained to hunt, it’s important to clarify that their primary purpose is to locate the raccoon rather than directly kill raccoons. The idea is to find the raccoon so that the hunter can take necessary steps, such as capturing or humanely dispatching the animal. The decision to capture or dispatch the raccoon is left to the dog’s owner or handler.
  3. Rottweilers: These powerful dogs have a natural protective behavior and can be challenging in encounters with smaller animals.
  4. Pit Bulls: Pit Bulls are famous for their strength & also effective in dealing with raccoons.
  5. Mastiffs: Mastiffs are a large and powerful breed of dog, which makes them more than capable of dealing with raccoon encounters.
  6. Bull Terriers: These dogs are also muscular and can kill raccoons during a fight with raccoons.
  7. American Staffordshire Terriers: These dogs share traits with Pit Bulls and can be quite powerful, capable of killing raccoons.

My dog killed a raccoon. Should I be worried?

My dog killed a raccoon. Should I be worried?If your dog has killed a raccoon, you should consider safety measures. If a raccoon bites your dog before it dies, there is a chance that the raccoon could be infected with rabies, which poses a health risk.

It is crucial to take appropriate action to ensure your dog’s safety, including seeking veterinary care as needed.

Also, contact your veterinarian for guidance on what steps to take next, including ensuring your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date and monitoring their health for any signs of scratches.

Further, you should take measures to prevent such encounters in the future, like securing your dog outdoors or keeping raccoons away from your property to protect both your dog and the raccoons.

Can a Raccoon Kill a Pitbull?

It’s unlikely for a single raccoon to kill a healthy and full-grown Pit Bull. Pit Bulls are powerful dogs with strong jaws, and they are generally larger and stronger than raccoons.

It’s worth noting that raccoons are known to carry diseases such as rabies. In the event of a confrontation between a dog and a raccoon, there’s a chance of harm to both animals.

If a raccoon bites a pitbull and transfers rabies, there is no guarantee that the pitbull will survive if it starts to exhibit symptoms because rabies is considered fatal to dogs.
In short, a raccoon can’t kill a pitbull without biting, but a pitbull can kill a raccoon.

Dog vs Raccoon: Comparison


Below is a table comparing the characteristics of raccoon vs dog, including their running speed, bite force, and much more.




Bite Force

230 to 250 PSI

100 bite force quotient (BFQ)

Top Speed

48 to 72 km/h

16 to 24 km/h


1.4 to 110 kg

4.5 to 9 kg


15 to 110 cm

up to 30 cm


42 Teeth

40 Teeth


10 to 13 years

2-3 years in wild & 20 years as pet


Read More: The Fascinating Life of Baby Raccoon

Raccoon Walking with Arched Back




Can a Raccoon Kill a German Shepherd?

No, a single raccoon can’t kill a healthy and full-grown German Shepherd. German Shepherds are typically larger and more powerful than raccoons. However, as with any confrontation between dogs and raccoons, there is a risk of injury to both the dog and the raccoon and the potential for disease transmission.

Can a Raccoon Kill a Small Dog?

Yes, it’s possible for a raccoon to injure or kill a small dog in a confrontation. Raccoons are typically not aggressive towards dogs, but if a dog attacks a raccoon, the raccoon may fight back. While it’s rare for raccoons to attack dogs, small dogs are more vulnerable.

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