I’ve worked for 6 years in a humane society so I have seen a lot of dog breeds of all shapes and sizes. And oh yes, I’ve seen small dog breeds and large ones who looked like foxes. I’m sure there are more than 7 dog breeds who resemble foxes but the ones below are those who (at least to me) look like foxes the most.
- Japanese Shiba Inu
- Finnish Spitz
- American Eskimo
Ok, let’s look at each breed, and see that “foxy” look which makes a particular dog breed resembles a fox. I will be comparing the pair (the dog and the fox) and describe some basic interesting facts about each.
Keeshonds are Holland’s most beloved dogs. Their faces look like foxes with the pointed snout, erect ears and wedge-shaped head. Their expression is also quite fox-like. It’s funny but a keeshond is also sometimes referred to as an “overweight pomeranian” because of its lion-like mane around the neck.
This dog breed is a companion dog, truly man’s best friend. It is affectionate, lively and friendly even to strangers. Kees are likewise very obedient and intelligent. They can be barkers though but you can easily train them as they are smart. Like a lot of dogs, they don’t like to be left alone for a long time.
They are also quite alert and can make good watch dogs. Kees are also good companions for apartment dwellers.
You probably have watched the 2009 film starring Richard Gere which featured a Japanese Akita named Hachiko. That movie is a tear jerker. It is about an Akita who waited every day at the train station for his owner (who has passed away) to return, until the end of his own life. Well, Hachiko is now the world’s most famous Akita.
Akitas have that typical spitz-like appearance, with its wedge-shaped head, a body with a dense double coat, and prick ears. Hence, they resemble red foxes. Their coats, however, come in brindle, white and red.
The red fox fur color also varies, but is usually reddish-brown to flame-red and white to black.
Do you know that the female red fox is called a vixen while the male one is called…a dog? It’s famous for its bushy tail which is called a brush and it helps the red fox warm in cold weather. The Akita, on the other hand, has a plumed tail curled over its back.
Personality-wise, the Akitas are bold, powerful and independent dogs, quite devoted and protective of the family they are part of, especially children. They are generally not friendly toward strangers and can be aggressive toward other dogs they don’t know.
JAPANESE SHIBA INU
Here is another fox lookalike with its small upright ears, squinty eyes and curly tail – the Shiba Inu.
The Shiba Inu is also known by other names – Japanese Small Size Dog, Japanese Brushwood Dog, Japanese Turf Dog and Shiba Ken. Inu is the Japanese word for dog while Shiba means brushwood.
It is the smallest among the 6 spitz dogs which originated in Japan. It’s not really as small as the miniature or toy dog breeds. The male is about 22 lbs. and height ranges from 14-17 inches while the female is around 18 lbs. with a height of 13-16 inches.
In terms of colour, a Shiba Inu can be red (like the colour of the brushwood), sesame (red with black), black and tan, or white.
Note that Shibas have a strong chasing instincts and will go after anything that moves so they should never be off leash. They can be agressive towards other dogs and cats.
They have lots of energy and quite smart, certainly not a lap dog! The Shiba Inu is also quite agile so don’t leave him in your fenced-in backyard alone because he can jump or climb over the fence or even dig himself under it.
Honestly, I haven’t seen one personally but dholes have been described as somewhat of a cross between a Gray Wolf and a Red Fox. The color of the Dhole’s fur is similar to a fox – usually tan to reddish brown on the backside and flanks and white on the neck, chest and underside. Their tail, like the fox, is brushy which oftentimes has a black tip.
Dhole is known by various names – the wild dog of Asia, Indian wild dog, Asiatic wild dog and red dog. They roam in the jungles and forests of East and Central Asia.
This dog is now endangered, with only 949 to 2,215 breeding dholes left in the wild, according to an as yet unpublished update to the IUCN Red List. These figures are less than the world’s breeding tigers. They roam in the jungles and forests of East and Central Asia.
They live in a pack consisting of 5-12 dos and are quite athletic. It is said that they could jump over 7 feet straight up into the air, run very fast and swim as well. They are said to be as big as German Shepherds.
Interestingly, they can make various sound – whistle, scream, mew, and would you believe…even make a clucking sound like a chicken!
As its name implies, Finnish Spitz originated in Finland. They are fondly called Finns or Finkies.
With its pointed muzzle, dense golden red or honey-coloured coat and short erect ears, the Finnish Spitz certainly resembles a fox. Like other spitz dog breeds, it also has a plumed tail curled over its back and a thick fur around the neck and chest.
Finns are friendly dogs although they would bark if someone they don’t know comes around. They are also good with other pets as well as with children, loyal and playful, but they are barkers. So , if you live in an apartment building for instance and has a neighbour who doesn’t like dogs who bark a lot, then brace yourself. You might get the building superintendent knocking on your door one day to take care of a complaint!
The Finnish Spitz dogs were bred to help hunters of small game and birds through their bark. Hence, they are known as “barking bird dogs”. They are Finland’s national dog and there are even barking contests held in the country.
Last but not the least among dogs that look like foxes are Pomeranians. Also know as Poms, it shares the characteristics of a Spitz breed – small pointed ears, a pointed muzzle, a double coat and a plumed tail. Hence, the Poms especially the face, resemble foxes.
Pomeranians are considered a toy breed because of its small size. They come in the widest range of colors – white, black, brown, red, orange, cream, blue, sable, ginger (like the one in the photo above), black and tan, brown and tan, spotted, brindle, and a combinations of these colors. The most common colors, however, are orange, cream/white or black.
Poms are quite alert and are very much aware of their environment so they can be great alarm dogs. But they can also bark excessively so the barking should be controlled, the sooner the better.
While most are friendly, playful and lively, some can be bossy and agressive towards other dogs. But generally, Pomeranians get along with other pets.
The American Eskimo dog is also known as American Spitz. Fondly called as Eskies, these dogs have that cute and fluffy look, just like the Arctic Fox in the above photo. Both have a white, dense and fluffy fur coat that protects them from the cold. Both their paws (although not shown in the above pics) are well covered with fur as a protection against frost bites.
With their abundant fur, both the American Eskimo and the Arctic Fox (as its name implies) are obviously more suited to live in places with a colder climate.
During the winter months, the Arctic Fox’s white fur helps it to blend in with its surroundings which are usually covered with snow. But it’s interesting to note that its white fur darkens during the summer and other times of the year. This happens so that the fox can continue to blend in with the environment.
Now let’s look at the eyes. Both the Eskie and the Arctic Fox have oval-shaped eyes that are slightly slanted. Both also has wedge-shaped heads which is broadest at the back and tapering to the tip of the nose.
In terms of size, there are 3 kind of American Eskimo or Spitz: the Toy (which is the smallest), the Miniature (a little bigger than the Toy), and Standard ( which is the biggest among the three). Although, it is relatively larger than the Toy and Miniature Eskies, the Standard is a medim-sized dog.
Irregardless of the size, Eskies are a very agile and lively dog breed and quite intelligent, I must say.
OTHER DOGS THAT LOOK LIKE FOXES
There are other dogs that look like foxes which are not mentioned here. As I said earlier, the aforementioned dogs are, to my humble opinion, the ones who look like foxes the most.
But I’m sure others would disagree (and that’s ok) and might think that the following dog breeds may look like foxes even more: the Samoyed, Chihuahua, Corgi, Norweigian Elkhound, Papillon, Keeshond, Schipper, Korean Jindo Dogs, Alaskan Klee Kai, Volpino Italiano, Icelandic Sheepdog, Khugsa Dog and many more.