Although there is no single breed called a ‘fox dog’, there are plenty of dogs that look like foxes!
Dogs and foxes both belong in the Canidae family. So, it makes sense that they share similar appearances.
There are actually 12 species of “true fox”. They are generally smaller than other canids, such as dogs and wolves, and have flatter skulls.
Let’s take a closer look at our top 16 dogs that look like foxes.
- Shiba Inu
- Finnish Spitz
- Long Haired Chihuahua
- Alaskan Klee Kai
- Korean Jindo Dog
- American Eskimo
- German Spitz
- Volpino Italiano
- Icelandic Sheepdog
- Norwegian Elkhound
- Indian Spitz
- Welsh Corgi
- Japanese Spitz
Click the links above to jump straight to the breeds you’re interested in!
Is A Fox A Dog?
Many people ask: are foxes cats or dogs?
Foxes and dogs both belong to with Canidae family. This family is actually made up of 36 different species, all of who are closely related.
However, studies have shown that dogs are more closely related to wolves than foxes.
So, while foxes and dogs belong to the same family, they are still very different animals. Dogs share more genetic similarities with wolves than foxes.
Plus, foxes are still wild creatures, whereas dogs have been domesticated to live alongside us.
Can You Keep a Fox as a Pet?
We’ve domesticated dogs to live alongside us as our friends and companions. But, they do still have their natural instincts. Which is what makes them so great at certain jobs.
This can mean some domestic dog breeds are better in homes without small animals to chase or hunt.
However, foxes haven’t been domesticated. They still hunt to survive, and are still aggressive to most humans.
Is it Legal to Keep One as a Pet?
In the UK it is not illegal to keep a fox as a pet. But, it will be very challenging, due to their wild nature.
In America, the legality of keeping foxes as pets will depend on your state.
However, foxes have very specialist needs that must be met. And, it is possible to catch diseases like mange from a wild fox.
So, it is not necessarily wise to try and keep one as a pet. This is where fox dogs, or dogs that look like foxes, come in handy!
What Do Fox Dogs Look Like?
Fox dogs share similar appearances to foxes, so you can come as close to keeping one as a pet as possible.
Some of the features that a fox and a dog could share are:
- Long bushy tail
- Big triangular ears
- Fur color
- Narrow, pointed snout
The Shiba Inu is the first fox dog that comes to mind for many people. Thanks to its reddish coat, white markings, triangular ears, and its pointed snout, it looks just like a fox!
This breed originated in Japan. It grows up to 16.7 inches tall, weighing up to 23 pounds as an adult. So, it will be stockier and heavier than your average fox!
However, the Shiba Inu isn’t for everyone. It has quite a distinct temperament!
You can expect a Shiba fox dog to be loyal and affectionate with family, but they can be loud and aggressive towards strangers.
Like the Shiba Inu, the Finnish Spitz makes a great fox dog because of its fur color!
It’s covered in a fluffy reddish coat, paired with a fluffy, curled tail, and triangular, pointed ears.
The Finnish Spitz fox dog will weigh up to 33 pounds, and reach up to 17.5 inches tall when fully grown.
Long Haired Chihuahua
Our next fox dog is a tiny choice! The long haired Chihuahua is a dog that looks like a fox, thanks to its big, triangular ears, fluffy coat, and pointed snout!
This breed of dog will be smaller than your average fox. It weighs from 3 to 6 pounds, growing up to only 15 inches tall.
Long Haired Chihuahuas are loyal, intelligent, and sometimes stubborn! So they can be difficult to train if you are new to the breed.
Some Chihuahuas are also prone to aggression, so socialization is important for this breed.
Alaskan Klee Kai
Now, if you’ve seen an Alaskan Klee Kai, you might be surprised to know we would compare this breed to the Arctic Fox!
In the summer months, the Arctic Fox sheds its fluffy white coat. It emerges in a much thinner and MUCH darker coat.
So, even the typical dark black or brownish fur of the Alaskan Klee Kai can be seen as fox like! Plus, you can’t forget its narrow pointed snout and triangular ears.
This breed also has a beautifully fluffy, curled tail. It is an energetic and playful breed that can be reserved with strangers.
Korean Jindo Dog
The Korean Jindo breed is a medium sized fox dog. It grows up to 22 inches and can weigh up to 50 pounds when fully grown!
This breed is athletic and playful, but will also be gentle and loyal.
Korean Jindo Dogs come in a variety of colors. But their most fox-like color is red, or fawn!
This breed has triangular pointed ears that also contribute to the fox appearance.
Depending on its fur color, the Akita is another dog that looks like a fox! With its reddish coat color, this dog has the same markings as a red fox!
It also has a very fluffy tail, and those recognisable triangular ears.
This is a pretty large breed, from 70 to 130 pounds, growing up to 28 inches.
They are known for being loving and loyal, but possible wary of strangers. So, socialization is extremely important when it comes to this breed.
You can take a look at our complete guide to the Akita if you are interested in this breed!
American Eskimo Dog
The American Eskimo Dog is a great fox dog if you love the arctic fox!
It has a huge fluffy white coat, pointed ears, and a curled tail.
The size of this breed will depend on whether you get a toy, miniature, or standard sized breed.
However, no matter the size, this fox dog will be clever, alert, and generally friendly.
The Schipperke looks just like a black fox. It has a beautiful, dark, fluffy coat.
This breed has the typical fox dog curled fluffy tail, triangular ears, and pointed snout.
The Schipperke is a small dog breed from Belgium. It will grow up to 13 inches tall, weighing no more than 16 pounds.
Another great candidate for an arctic fox dog is the Samoyed breed!
This is another large breed. It will grow up to 23 inches tall, weighing up to 65 pounds as an adult dog.
Along with its fluffy coat, the Samoyed has a fluffy, curled tail, pointed triangular ears, and a narrow snout. So, it looks just like a big fox.
It will be friendly, gentle, and playful. This breed is even friendly towards strangers, but may show aggression towards smaller animals due to natural instincts.
The German Spitz fox dog has a beautiful fox-like face. It has a big fluffy coat that looks especially fox-like in its fawn, reddish color.
It has a narrow, pointed face, triangular ears, and a big fluffy tail.
This breed is attentive, active, and loyal. It is also very small! It will weigh up to 26 pounds and grow up to 15 inches tall.
The Volpino Italiano fox dog is just like the arctic fox! It is from Italy, as you can guess from the name.
This little dog will grow up to 12 inches, weighing up to 14 pounds. So it’s one of the smaller dogs on our list!
The Volpino Italiano is affectionate, active, playful, and watchful. So, it can make a great family dog when properly socialised.
The Icelandic Sheepdog fox dog is actually the only pure breed native to Iceland!
This is quite a small breed. It grows up to 18 inches tall, weighing anywhere up to 30 pounds.
The Icie breed looks very fox like. It has triangular ears, a narrow snout, and triangular ears. It comes in a variety of colors, but looks especially fox-like with its red coat.
You can expect this fox dog to be athletic, affectionate, and people-oriented. But, as a herding dog, the breed is often vocal, and may have chasing instincts.
This breed has a history that stretches back a very long time. Thanks to its quite dark fur, this fox dog looks more like the Corsac fox, or the arctic fox in summer.
But, it still has those foxy triangular ears, pointed snout, and fluffy coat!
This breed is intelligent, confident, and independent. So training can sometimes be a challenge.
This is also quite a vocal breed.
If you’d like to find out more about the Norwegian Elkhound, just take a look at our complete guide.
The Indian Spitz fox dog is another great candidate for an arctic fox lookalike.
It has a beautiful fluffy white coat and tail. It has those all-important triangular ears, and a narrow snout.
This breed also comes with a brown coat color, that makes it look more like the classic red fox.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an interesting fox dog, because dwarfism makes its legs very short.
It looks quite fox-like thanks to its fur color and pattern. It also has big, triangular ears and a long snout.
This breed will be intelligent, friendly, and loyal. So they can make good pets.
But, unfortunately, due to their body structure, they are prone to more health problems than most of the other breeds on this list.
Take a closer look at the Pembroke Welsh Corgi in this complete guide.
This is another fox dog that is the spitting image of an arctic fox!
The Japanese fox has a beautiful fluffy white coat and tail. It has little fluffy triangular ears, and a pointy snout.
This is a small breed that will weigh up to 25 pounds, growing up to 15 inches tall.
You can expect the Japanese Spitz to be clever, playful, and loyal to its family.
Which is Your Favorite?
We’ve looked at 16 great dogs that look like foxes. But which fox dog is your favorite?
If you’ve owned any of these breeds, make sure you tell us about them in the comments. We can’t wait to hear from you!
References and Resources
- RSPCA, Foxes.
- Stepniak, E. (et al), ‘Use of RAPD Technique in Evolution Studies of Four Species in the Family Canidae’ (2002)