Pertussis, a respiratory disease caused by infection with Bordetella pertussis, represents one of the most devastating diseases in infants and young children worldwide. Significant research efforts over the last five decades have led to the introduction of two types of vaccines, which are now available worldwide and which have significantly reduced the global incidence of pertussis. The use of animal models and, in particular, the mouse model has benefited in the development of these vaccines tremendously. However, open questions regarding the duration of immunity, the type of immune response needed for protection and the role of mucosal and innate immunity in disease protection still remain. Here, we review the various animal models available currently and their benefits for studying this important disease.