Foxes are fascinating creatures! Unfortunately, they don’t make good pets. Luckily for you, many dog breeds, particularly Spitzes, have a vulpine appearance.
Since both dogs and foxes are canids, the close resemblance shouldn’t surprise anyone. However, unlike their wilder family members, dog evolution took a different route. That led them to become animals that can understand and sometimes even communicate with humans. Therefore, you might not be able to keep a fox as a pet. But we have fox-like dogs.
Below, you will discover a list of fox-like dog breeds — pick the one that suits your lifestyle and fascinates you the most:
The Shiba Inu is a Japanese Spitz dog breed whose original purpose was to help its owners on hunts. Therefore, Shiba Inus have intelligence and independence in spades. On the flip side, it does make them a challenge for trainers and owners.
What makes them fox-like:
- A curled tail
- Thick double coat
- Coat color, i.e., tan, cream, black and tan, and red
If you’re thinking of going down the Shiba Inu route, know that they can develop possessiveness and display aggression. In other words, a highly social lifestyle and the presence of other pets would be a big No-No with a Shiba Inu in the house.
Related: We met the world’s first domesticated foxes
The Finnish Spitz
Fun Fact: The Finnish Spitz is the national dog of Finland.The Finnish developed this breed as a hunting dog that alerts on game cueing in the hunter!
What gives it a vulpine exterior:
- A square build
- Small, ascendant foxy ears
- Red coat
Finnish spritzes have to be intelligent and active to serve their true purpose. You will see both these traits in domesticated individuals too. Aside from that, they tend to remain aloof towards strangers and protective of their owners.
Over a thousand years ago, these beautiful dogs were a part of Iceland’s fauna. Then, they met the Vikings who found a purpose for them as herding dogs. As they traveled together, the Icelandic sheepdogs would mind the sheep and ponies for their masters. That was how their domestication began.
Vulpine resemblance traits in Icelandic sheepdogs include:
- Narrow fox-like faces
- Upright ears
- A long-haired coat that resembles a fox’s fur
Today, you’ll find both long and short-haired Icelandic Sheepdogs at the breeders’. At 30 pounds and 18 inches, these canines win over dog owners with their loving and friendly natures. If you intend to give one a home, remember that they are quick learners and love to play.
Akita Inu or the Great Japanese
Like the Shiba Inu, this is another Japanese Spitz breed. Akitas can be quiet when on the trail of prey, which earned them the title of The Silent Hunters. These are big dogs, so only go for one if you have sufficient space. They are also extremely loyal.
Features that make them look distinctly vulpine are:
- Upright ears
- Thick long fur
- A double coat that can be pure white, sesame, red, brindle, or fawn
Having an Akita Inu as a pet can be difficult due to their strong temperament. First-time dog parents shouldn’t attempt to keep one.
Alert and friendly, a Japanese Spitz is perfectly suited to apartment living. Their silky coat won’t trap grime and dirt, making grooming less of a nightmare.
Fox-like traits of Japanese Spitz’s are:
- Kitsune-like white coat — A kitsune is a mythical creature in Japanese legends. It has supernatural abilities and wisdom
- Upright ears
- Resembles the Arctic fox
They are relatively small-sized canines and will grow up to be 15 inches tall. These funny and friendly pets make great companions. They are adventurous and loyal too. You’ll love their cheerfulness. Be prepared to run to grab your phone because they smile often.
Another breed of dogs that look like foxes, the Samoyeds look much like Arctic foxes at first glance. They come to us from Russia and Siberia. What’s more, they are one of the most ancient breeds. A sunny temperament is why they are also called Smiley. These dogs will remain by your side for about 12-13 years.
Fox-like features include:
- Pure white fluffy fur that is akin to that of the Arctic fox
- Upright ears
Additionally, Samoyeds make perfect family dogs. It can tolerate other pets as long as you can provide them with the training they need to learn to socialize from a young age.
You may not know it to look at them, but the small and fox-like Pomeranian Spitz has large sled dogs in its ancestry! What makes them the darlings of the dog world is how much they love to be part of a family. Barely weighing in between 3 and 7 pounds, these dogs win your heart with their huge personalities.
Vulpine characteristics you’ll find in Pomeranians include:
- A feisty nature
- Tan colors
- Abundance of fur
- Upright ears
Since the size isn’t an issue, you won’t need much space to house a Pomeranian adequately. They do well even in apartments and no yards. However, that doesn’t mean you can calm down their feisty natures without tiring them out. So, take them outside each day and let them explore what surrounds them.
Additionally, novices should know the Pomeranian breed is suspicious of strangers. Be prepared for them to start barking when they come across someone they don’t know. Our advice would be to get them to begin training from an early age.
Long Haired Chihuahua
This tiny package comes chock full of loyalty, intelligence, and stubbornness! Your long-haired Chihuahua is even smaller than the animal it resembles. Even though they are only15 inches tall and weigh 3-6 pounds, these dogs require socialization training. Otherwise, you could see them become aggressive in the presence of other people and pets.
Fox-like characteristics you would find in Chihuahuas are:
- Big, triangular ears
- A fluffy coat
- Pointed snout
Alaskan Klee Kai
You’d think that the Alaskan Klee Kai is more lupine than vulpine, especially if you have seen one. However, that’s because you’re unaware of the transformation the Arctic Fox goes through during the summer months, shedding its fluffy white coat off and sporting a thinner, darker one in the warm season.
Aside from the coat, other traits make the Alaskan Klee Kai look foxy. Those are:
- A narrow pointed snout
- Triangular ears
- Beautiful, fluffy, and curled tail
Get yourself an Alaskan Klee Kai if you’re up to the challenge of living with an energetic and playful breed. Also, know they act reserved with strangers.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
With such a distinct appearance, most canine lovers will immediately recognize a corgi. What isn’t instantly obvious is that they share a resemblance with their vulpine cousins. After all, foxes aren’t this stumpy. Are they?
However, if you notice these similarities, you will see why corgis are on this list:
- Orange fur — a coloring that brings foxes to mind
- Upright, triangular ears
- Intelligent expressions
- Refined muzzles
What’s more, the red coloration is the one you most commonly see when it comes to corgi fur. The Pembroke Welsh corgis have personalities as large as their bodies are small and stumpy! Their original purpose was to act as herding dogs.
Short or not, corgis do need a good amount of exercise or they get bored. But they will love their time with the family. We’d suggest taking them along on family hiking trips in the spirit of inclusion.
Korean Jindo Dog
When we talk about Korean Jindos, we refer to a medium-sized fox dog. Even though they will only be 22 inches tall, they can amass 50 pounds in weight! So, you might want to skip this breed if you live in a small apartment space.
Their fox-like features are as follows:
- Fox-like coloring, i.e., red or fawn
- Triangular, pointy ears
Besides needing space, the Jindo doesn’t ask for much more. For example, they are gentle and loyal canines, making them perfect family pets. They’re also playful and athletic, so get ready to accompany them on walks.
When you think Keeshonds, you’re considering a true companion dog. The Dutch love these canines for their highly alert nature. It makes them a great choice for a watch dog. Keeshonds will be fine living with apartment dwellers.
The fox-like features in Keeshonds are:
- Pointed snouts
- Erect ears
- Wedge-shaped heads
- A distinctly fox-like cunning expression
Foxes aren’t the only animal these pooches resemble. A very lion-like mane surrounds the neck of a Keeshond. It also makes them look like overweight Pomeranians. But to us, that makes for a very cute dog! Not interested in foxy dogs? Then check out our list of leonine pooches!
Their playful and affectionate natures mean they stay active. Unfortunately, that also means they won’t transform into aggressive protectors in the presence of a dubious stranger. Kees are also obedient and intelligent. Thus, you can train the constant habit of barking out of them. Just don’t leave a Kee on their own for extended periods — they won’t like that!
With a name that refers to their Italian foxiness, you won’t find another more vulpine dog. These fun-sized pooches take their watchdog duties very seriously. Even if their size prevents them from taking on intruders, they will alert the larger canines in the house. When off-duty, they will entertain you with their playfulness. The loyalty they display towards family remains the same.
What makes a Volpino foxy? How about:
- Pointy ears
- Slightly elongated bodies
- An amazing resemblance to white Arctic foxes
Sadly, the Italiano breed almost became extinct in 1965. The world would have lost the remaining five individual dogs without concentrated conservation efforts. By 2006, though, their numbers swelled up to more than 2,000. An Italian native, the Volpinos thrived when breeding projects began happening in different countries. Those included the US, UK, and Scandinavia.
Another foxy canine that brings to mind the snowy white Arctic fox is the American Eskimo dog. These are highly affectionate creatures. But they are equally protective and loyal. If you give a home to one, trust them to play a good watchdog to the family.
Want to know about other fox-like markers this breed carries? Possible traits include:
- Double coats
- Coat colors, i.e., white and biscuit
- Upright ears
- Intelligent expressions
Give your Eskimo plenty of time to play outdoors, especially in cold weather. And lastly, show them some grooming love — their coats will thank you for it!
An Amerindian Malamute, the Kugsha is an American native. They might have slightly more common with wolves than they do with their foxy cousins. Here’s why: these canines are wolf hybrids!
Even so, they do exhibit several vulpine traits, such as:
- Alert, quick, and intelligent natures
- Tan Arctic fox-colored fur
- Lean bodies
- Erect ears
Born to travel long distances, the Kugsha has long legs and a strong body. They can even carry heavy loads as their legs eat up the miles. Only get a Kughsa if you know how to handle an independent, high spirited dog. Their recent domestication doesn’t make them an ideal pick for novices. We’d advise families with kids not to risk adopting one. Kugshas are predators!
Think Schipperke and the mental picture in your head will bring up a canine that looks like a small black fox. Independence and spunkiness are two traits that these pooches have in spades.
What makes them foxy animals? How about:
- Black coats of varying lengths
- Erect ears
- White markings on the fur
Immensely loyal, a Schipperke will love you with all their canine heart. However, they do love to voice their opinions — quite loudly and often. So, train that habit out of them if you don’t want to keep the neighbors up.
Finally, this breed loves to accompany their people in daily activities — particularly those taking place outside.
Other Related Questions
What can you tell about the lineages of dogs and foxes?
Along with our canine companions, wolves, coyotes, and jackals, foxes are canids. In other words, dogs and foxes form part of the family, Canidae. Hence, they are more dog-like than akin to felines. But that’s only one of the weird things you didn’t know about dogs!
While sharing a family tree, the evolutionary roots of foxes and dogs are drastically different. Dogs are from the genus Canis, while foxes form the Vulpes genus.
Which is the most fox-like dog?
That would be the Shibu Inu. Its story, as the American Kennel Club tells it, is that it arrived in the US in1954 for the first time. And we owe thanks to that particular introduction to a military family. People find that to be rather fitting since it was during the 1950s that this canine was fighting for its life. The ravages of WWII almost annihilated this breed. If you’d like to more about the beginning — and the aftermath — of its struggles, look it up.
What makes a fox unlike my Buddy?
Most foxes are predominantly very shy. Also, they only survive for 2-4 years in the wild. Additionally, they won’t make as good a canine companion!
In conclusion, this isn’t an exhaustive listing for dogs that look like foxes. There are many more breeds that resemble their vulpine relatives in some way or another. However, we did select dogs that are closest in appearance. Several other breeds that you could look up can include the Norweigian Elkhound, German Spitz, Cannan Dog, Basenji, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Indian Spitz, and Papillon.