Hybrids are always intriguing.
And since dogs and foxes come from the same family…
It’s exciting to picture how cute their babies would be.
But this brings you to the question:
“Can dogs and foxes even breed?”
Well, buckle up…
It’s time for a fun biology lesson.
Continue reading to learn:
- 5 awesome canine hybrids.
- 15 adorable dog breeds that look like foxes.
- 3 real reasons why dogs and foxes might be incompatible.
- 7 important things you need to know about dogs and foxes.
- And many, many more…
Table of contents
- Can dogs and foxes breed?
- Dog and fox cross breed – 7 things you need to know
- Can foxes breed with any other animal?
Can dogs and foxes breed?
Dogs and foxes can’t breed. This is due to their genetic differences. Though they come from the same species, breeding is still impossible. While some dogs may look like foxes, it’s not proof of the hybrid’s existence. There are also many claims of doxes, but none has been proven by science today.
Dog and fox cross breed – 7 things you need to know
#1: Their DNAs don’t match
First, let’s talk about science.
Dogs and foxes come from the same family.
And it’s the Canidae species.
That means they both come from wolves.
But despite their shared ancestry…
Dogs still can’t breed with foxes
It’s because of their genetic differences.
And truth be told, the gap is very wide.
You see, experts at VCA Hospitals say:
Dogs have 78 chromosomes. Meanwhile, foxes only have 34.
With that, you can see how different these 2 Fidos can be.
“What about other hybrid animals? Like mules?”
Well, a horse and a donkey have the same chromosomes.
To be specific…
Horses have 64, and donkeys have 62. That’s why these two animals can breed together.
“But what if my dog already mated with a fox?”
In that case, the result is… nothing.
Dogs and foxes still can’t produce a baby Dox.
It’s due to the prezygotic barrier. This stops different species from breeding.
And what creates this barrier, you ask?
Foxes and dogs don’t have the same gametes
These are sex cells in animals.
That said, dogs have 35 gametes, while foxes only have 17.
So even if the 2 animals mate…
The male’s sperm can’t fertilize the female’s eggs.
And that’s due to the prezygotic barrier.
You might also like: Fact Check: Can A Dog Get A Cat Pregnant? (With Video)
#2: Dogs and foxes aren’t the same subspecies
As I briefly mentioned in #1…
Dogs and foxes are both Canidaes.
But they’re still different from each other.
To start off, foxes evolved from wolves 12 million years ago.
And for dogs…
They appeared 40,000 years ago.
That’s why these 2 Fidos aren’t in the same group.
“They just have an age gap, though.”
You’re right, but it’s a very big one.
During the time foxes were evolving…
Dogs didn’t even exist yet.
So not only are their DNAs so different…
Their habitat and personalities aren’t the same too.
Due to this, mixing the two just won’t work out at all.
“Then which group are dogs classified in?”
For that, Fido belongs to the Canis tribe.
Meanwhile, foxes are in the Vulpes group.
And for better understanding…
Here are 7 animals from those tribes:
|Canis (true dogs)||Vulpes (true foxes)|
|Jackals||Tibetan sand fox|
|African wild dog||Pale fox|
|Greenland dog||Fennec fox|
Note: This table shows you the difference between the 2 canine groups.
Moreover, foxes have slimmer and longer bodies. Meanwhile, dogs or wolves tend to be bigger and stronger.
With their physical difference alone…
You already know they won’t be compatible.
#3: Their offspring won’t survive
Let’s say Fido or the vixen did get pregnant.
Can you finally meet a Dox?
The short answer is: No.
Even if a vixen (a female fox) gets pregnant…
The babies won’t even survive.
Why? Because most of them might:
- Be born weak or sick.
- Pass away right after birth.
- Die inside their mom’s womb.
- Be born with abnormal body parts.
Warning: The mother could also die from birth issues.
Just look at this example from PETA.
The Liger hybrid is prone to many health concerns, such as:
- Organ failure.
- Mental issues.
- Shorter life spans.
With these risks…
A Dox might also face the same problems.
And that’s why this hybrid isn’t worth the risk at all.
#4: Chihuahuas don’t come from foxes
Some people believe Chihuahuas came from foxes.
And that’s why they think:
Breeding Chis with a fox might work.
But this isn’t factual at all.
For one, Chis came from Mexico. And foxes are from South Africa.
Clearly, these two Fidos don’t have the same origins.
So it’s unlikely that Chis are directly related to foxes.
That’s why these 2 Fidos are incompatible.
In the end, like other dogs…
Chis come from wolves. No matter how small they are.
Though, these wild theories aren’t surprising at all.
There was even a fake report saying Chihuahuas are rats.
Check out also: 101 Fun Chihuahua Facts That You Need To Know (#6 = Weird)
#5: Dogs and foxes can get along
As you’ve read so far…
It’s clear that a fox-dog hybrid isn’t possible.
But do you know what could come true?
It’s the fact that dogs and foxes can become best friends.
There’s even an adorable movie about it, entitled:
And it tells a story of how these 2 Fidos became friends.
“But that’s just fiction, not reality.”
I knew that’s the sentiment of most. So, I prepared for that as well.
You see, there’s a domesticated fox named Juniper.
And she’s friends with a dog called Moose.
You can watch their lovely bond from this clip:
#6: Lack of proof
Despite many reports of Doxes…
None of them has been proven (yet).
Let me give some examples of those claims.
#6.1: Dox in Hannover Zoo
Hybrids were popular, especially in the 19th century.
So to join the trend…
Hannover Zoo tried to make their own crossed breed.
And they paired a female dog with a fox.
The zoo’s director reports the success.
But according to them, 1 out of 4 Doxes died at birth.
And in the following days…
The remaining fur babies also passed away.
Now, remember what I mentioned in fact #3?
Even if Fido becomes pregnant…
Their fox puppies might not survive at all.
And that’s why Hannover’s report could be real.
As science says:
Hybrids tend to be born weak. Or they might be stronger than their parents.
Either way, there’s usually an abnormality.
But in the end, since there’s no hard proof from Hannover Zoo…
The report remains an unsupported claim.
#6.2: Grosvenor Museum displays a Dox
Despite the lack of proof…
The Grosvenor Museum shows a stuffed animal.
And they labeled it as a Dox.
Moreover, the museum also says:
It’s the only possible Dox in the world. And there’s a little story about it.
Apparently, a fox and a pooch made love on a canal boat. That’s what created the Dox on their display.
Now, there’s also no confirmation about this.
And it only creates more mystery about Doxes.
#6.3: Man spots a Dox in Michigan
This one’s also about a news report.
And the article’s headline wrote:
“Indian man from Michigan shot a freak of nature.”
This happened after a sheep was killed.
And based on their claims…
The pooch that was shot looked like a Dox.
How did they know?
As they examined the animal’s remains…
They said that the skin felt like a fox’s pelt. But it also felt similar to a dog’s.
This leads them to the conclusion:
The dog was half fox all along.
And apparently, it wasn’t the first Dox in Michigan.
But since no photos were found as evidence…
This news report remains unclear.
#BONUS: Spitz and a Fox hybrid
A zoo from Germany also has a claim.
And I’m talking about Hellabrunn zoo.
The zoo talked about a fox-dog hybrid.
According to Hellabrunn zoo:
They crossed a German Spitz with a red fox.
And there’s a driving force behind this mix.
You see, Charles Darwin once wrote:
The German Spitz seems to breed easier with foxes than any dog.
And you’ll find this in his book: Origin of Species.
Someone might try crossing a Spitz and a fox again.
And who knows?
They might successfully make a Dox in the future, just not today.
#7: Some dog breeds look a lot like foxes
Even though dogs and foxes can’t breed…
Some Fidos can look like a Dox.
And to give you some ideas…
Take a look at breeds like:
- Shiba Inus.
- Volpino Italianos.
- Alaskan Klee Kais.
- American Eskimos.
- Icelandic Sheepdogs.
And out of these 15 Fidos…
The most popular ones are Corgis and Shiba Inus.
Why, you asked?
From their looks alone…
You’d easily mistake these Fidos for a fox.
Can foxes breed with any other animal?
Foxes can’t breed with any other animals.
At least, none that we know of.
For now, the conclusion is:
Foxes can’t interbreed.
But don’t feel down just yet…
How about looking at dog hybrids instead?
I’m talking about the ones that actually exist.
Here are some cool dog hybrids that we know of:
- Wolf x dogs.
- Dog x dingo.
- Jackal x dog.
- Coyote x dog.
And as you can tell…
All these mixes are from the same Canis tribe.
That’s what I mentioned in fact #2.