If you've always dreamed of keeping a fox as a pet, perhaps the next best thing is acquiring a foxy-looking canine. These dogs don't have actual fox ancestry, but they do have those upright ears, bushy tails and long snouts. Foxy breeds come in various sizes and colors.
With his pricked ears and long nose, the Pomeranian looks like a friendly, miniature fox. This tiny dog, usually weighing 7 pounds, doesn't think of himself as small. You might have to protect your little buddy from himself, as he thinks nothing of challenging a dog 10 times his size. Don't let his size fool you -- there's an athlete in there if you want to compete in canine sports like agility. Your Pom is smart, alert, active ... and loud. Poms bark a lot. Those who dislike the breed might call it yapping. They're also not the easiest dogs to housebreak. Extraordinary cuteness makes up for certain flaws.
Probably no domestic dog more resembles a fox than the Japanese shiba inu. Red-coated shiba inus even have similar coloring to the red fox. The double coat also appears in black and tan. Weighing less than 30 pounds at maturity, the shiba inu was bred to hunt small game in its native land. In a domestic situation, that's not good news for smaller household pets. This confident dog might be too challenging for the inexperienced dog owner, unless you put in plenty of time with a trainer. He's an excellent watchdog.
When this native Dutch breed first appeared in England in the late 19th century, they were referred to as "fox dogs," according to the Keeshond Club of America. They were also known as "overweight Pomeranians." Although they were used to guard barges and farms, Keeshonds evolved primarily as companion dogs. They don't hunt, herd or track, but no breed beats them for hanging out with their people. These medium-sized, good-natured but independent dogs get along well with other dogs as well as cats and other household pets. Keesies don't require more than moderate exercise, although their thick gray coats need regular grooming. While they are good watchdogs, it's a thin line between sounding the alarm and barking incessantly.
Pretend you've got a snow-white fox -- that's the American Eskimo. Available in standard and miniature sizes, the Eskie has nothing to do with actual Eskimos. Not just a pretty face, this dog is one smart cookie. In 19th and early 20th century America, the Eskie was often found performing in circus dog acts. He's an alert, happy, outgoing dog who needs a fair amount of exercise. A good watchdog, he'll alert you to any actual foxes or other intruders around your home. His double coat requires regular, if not daily, brushing.
Other Foxy Dogs
Many of the Nordic breeds have foxy characteristics. That includes the Samoyed, Norwegian elkhound and the Finnish spitz. The Schipperke resembles a little black fox. You're likely to find many mixed-breed dogs with a foxy appearance. Visit online rescues to find your fox-like companion. You might even want to search for the obvious; a dog named "Foxy."
- Vetstreet: Pomeranian
- American Kennel Club: Get to Know the Shiba Inu
- American Kennel Club: Get to Know the American Eskimo
- Petfinder: Adopt an American Eskimo Dog (Miniature)
- Vetstreet: Keeshond
- Petfinder: Adopt a Shiba Inu
- Messy Beast: Hybrid Canines
- Petfinder: Adopt A Finnish Spitz
- Petfinder: Adopt A Schipperke
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.