Ever spot what you thought was a fox, but it turned out to be your neighbor’s dog? It’s no surprise that some dog breeds are often confused with foxes, as today's dogs descended from wolves, a close fox relative. But unlike their wild cousins, dogs have evolved to understand and communicate with humans. If you're looking for a dog with a slightly more wild appearance, here are 10 breeds that resemble foxes.
Many dogs that look like foxes are spitz breeds. They tend to be intelligent, active, and high shedders.
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Originally bred for hunting, the shiba inu is a spitz breed of Japan. These intelligent, independent dogs are known to be a challenge to train and can develop issues, including possessiveness and aggression. But they're also an affectionate, loyal breed with their families, though they might be wary of strangers.
Height: 14 to 17 inches
Weight: 17 to 23 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Curled tail; thick double coat; colors include black and tan, cream, and red
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Often referred to as a "silent hunter," the Akita is the largest Japanese spitz breed. They're quiet, temperamental dogs that can be difficult to train. But they also tend to be fiercely loyal and have long served as guard and hunting dogs. As a high-energy breed, Akitas require rigorous daily exercise.
Height: 24 to 28 inches
Weight: 70 to 130 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Triangular head; curled tail; thick double coat; colors include black, fawn, red, and more
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The American Eskimo dog looks quite similar to the snowy white Arctic fox. These dogs tend to be affectionate, as well as loyal and protective watchdogs for their families. They also love to play outdoors, even in cold weather. Note that their heavy coats shed a fair amount and require diligent grooming.
Height: 9 to 19 inches
Weight: 6 to 35 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Alert expression; medium-length double coat; colors include white or white and biscuit
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The independent, spunky schipperke looks like a small black fox. While these dogs are usually very loyal and loving, they're extremely prone to barking. They love to be involved in daily activities, especially outdoor exercise, with their families. But they will quickly take off to chase a squirrel or other wildlife.
Height: 10 to 13 inches
Weight: 10 to 16 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Tailless; black coat of several lengths; can have white markingsContinue to 5 of 10 below.
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The Samoyed is another spitz breed, and it originated in the Siberian area of Russia. These strong and intelligent dogs were historically bred to pull sledges on polar expeditions. But today, they are primarily kept as affectionate and playful family pets, though their instincts to chase small animals still remain.
Height: 19 to 24 inches
Weight: 35 to 65 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Alert expression; thick double coat; colors include white, cream, and biscuit
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Often called the "barking bird" dog, the Finnish spitz is a highly energetic breed that requires a significant amount of daily exercise for both its physical and mental well-being. These dogs can make loving family pets. But they are prone to barking out of boredom when their exercise needs aren't met.
Height: 16 to 20 inches
Weight: 20 to 33 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Pointed muzzle; upright ears; curled tail; red-gold double coat
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The Norwegian elkhound represents both the hound and spitz breeds. It's a playful yet protective dog that makes a loyal pet. But it craves human companionship and can be prone to separation anxiety. Despite its smaller stature, the Norwegian elkhound is an extremely energetic breed that requires rigorous daily exercise.
Height: 20 to 21 inches
Weight: 48 to 55 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Curled tail; thick coat; colors include black, gray, white, and more
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Also known as the Eskimo spitz, the German spitz makes an exceptional companion because of its friendly and affectionate nature. These dogs tend to be loyal to their families and great with children. They're also an intelligent breed that's quick to learn, but they do require lots of daily exercise.
Height: 12 to 15 inches
Weight: 24 to 26 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Alert expression; colors include black, brown, orange, red, and whiteContinue to 9 of 10 below.
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The Alaskan klee kai looks like a lap-sized husky. These dogs are intelligent and playful, as well as extremely energetic. They're usually loving and loyal with their families, but many are cautious around strangers. Although they're found in an array of colors, the red-and-white version looks strikingly similar to a red fox.
Height: 13 to 17 inches
Weight: 10 to 15 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Thick double coat; colors include black and white, red and white, and gray and white
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Many Chihuahuas, especially those with long fur, look strikingly similar to the tiny fennec fox. These dogs tend to bond closely with their favorite humans but might be standoffish with other people and animals. Despite their small size, they need a fair amount of mental and physical exercise to keep them happy.
Height: 5 to 8 inches
Weight: Up to 6 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Alert expression; smooth or long coat; colors include black, tan, fawn, chocolate, and more