Have you ever done a double-take when you pass someone walking what looks like a fox?
On closer inspection, you realize it’s just a dog with some very fox-like features.
Perhaps you own a dog —or wish you owned a dog —with the same features.
Red fur, long, pointy ears, and a bushy tail are some of the characteristics that set foxes apart.
However, humans seem to crave these features in their domesticated canines as well.
Below, we’ve listed 10 dog breeds that look uncannily like wild foxes.
1. Shiba Inu
Bred for hunting, the shiba inu descends from the Japanese Spitz breed.
They have the orange-red coat and white underbelly of many wild fox breeds.
Owners seek out these dogs due to their intelligence and independent nature.
Although loving and affectionate with their families, these dogs may become possessive and aggressive.
Plus, they don’t always do well with strangers.
These dogs reach up to 17 inches in height and may weigh between 17 and 23 pounds.
They have thick fur with a soft undercoat.
Like foxes, shiba inus vary in color from red and cream to black and tan.
If you decide to bring home one of these loyal dogs as a puppy, you can look forward to companionship for the next 13 to 16 years.
The Arctic Samoyed also owes its ancestry to the Japanese Spitz.
They are bred in Siberia and have the unique distinction of participating in several polar expeditions.
Samoyeds make playful pets but have a strong proclivity for chasing squirrels and other wildlife.
Standing 24 inches tall, these medium-sized dogs weigh between 35 and 65 pounds.
Samoyeds have a double coat and white, biscuit or cream-colored fur that would blend in perfectly in the Arctic.
Their undercoats are soft and fluffy.
Your Samoyed, should you choose to bring one home, will live about 14 years with lots of love and care.
3. American Eskimo
The American Eskimo resembles the white Arctic fox, even on close inspection.
With pure white or cream coats, these gorgeous dogs tend to draw attention.
American Eskimos remain loyal and fiercely protective of their families.
Therefore, they make great watchdogs but love to play outside any time of the year.
Their heavy coats protect them from the cold but require copious grooming when they shed.
These dogs come in a range of sizes from 9 to 19 inches tall.
Toy American Eskimos weigh less than 10 pounds while standard American Eskimos can weigh up to 35 pounds.
Typically, they live up to 15 years.
Akitas are silent hunters and also derive from the Japanese Spitz.
They aren’t always the easiest breed to train, but they are highly intelligent and make excellent guard dogs.
This high-energy breed requires as much exercise as you can give them.
In return, Akitas are known for fierce loyalty toward their humans.
This working-class dog makes an excellent hunting companion and can reach 28 inches in height.
Akitas range widely in weight from 70 to 130 pounds, depending on their breeding.
Most Akitas have short, thick coats and may have red, black, fawn or white fur.
Also, they live 10 to 13 years and make great long-term companions for young children.
The spunky schipperke is easily mistaken for a black fox.
Most people find these dogs loving and loyal.
However, schipperkes are very vocal and tend to bark.
This breed makes an excellent outdoor companion for family events, including hikes and afternoons in the backyard.
However, keep your leash handy since they do love to chase squirrels and other animals.
This small breed reaches up to 13 inches in height and weighs about 16 pounds.
They usually have a coarse black coat and white markings.
You can expect your schipperke to live to the ripe age of 14 years old.
6. Finnish Spitz
Chances are plenty of people have accused the Finnish Spitz of having an ultra-foxy appearance.
Its nickname is the barking bird dog.
They don’t just bark at birds, however.
These red-gold beauties are known for their intelligence and habit of barking when bored.
So, give your Finnish Spitz plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to help keep them quiet.
Standing up to 20 inches tall and weighing up to 35 pounds, the Finnish Spitz has a dazzling red-gold coat.
These popular dogs live up to 14 years.
7. Norwegian Elkhound
The noble-looking Norwegian elkhound has an intriguing combination of hound and Spitz features.
Depending on its size, a Norwegian elkhound may resemble a wolf more than a fox.
However, its long ears, black fur and intelligent eyes also give it a foxy appearance.
These dogs love to be around people and may suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.
To keep your Norwegian elkhound happy, give them lots of exercise and attention.
These dogs often live up to 15 years and weigh about 55 pounds.
They reach 21 inches in height when mature and have long thick coats and a mix of gray, white, and black fur.
8. German Spitz
If you own a German Spitz, you already know what a great companion these dogs make.
Friendly and highly affectionate, they also share the coloring and size of wild red foxes.
Reaching up to 15 inches high and weighing in at a whopping 26 pounds, the German Spitz is a quick learner that craves activity and exercise daily.
They make awesome dogs for families with small children with the energy to keep up with these playful dogs.
The German Spitz has a short, soft undercoat and a straight outer coat.
It ranges in color from red to orange to brown and may also have white and black markings.
Your German spitz will probably live 13 to 15 years.
9. Alaskan Klee Kai
The Alaskan Klee Kai weighs in at 15 pounds and reaches up to 17 inches tall.
Considered lapdogs, these playful and energetic animals love to socialize with their families.
However, they may appear shy around strangers.
When they have red and white fur, they are very similar to red foxes.
Alaskan Klee Kais have a long lifespan and may live up to 16 years.
Many people don’t make the connection right away.
However, Chihuahuas have long ears and share many features with the fennec fox.
Chihuahuas are quick to pick a favorite human and may be standoffish to other animals in the household.
These tiny dogs reach 5 to 8 inches in height and typically weigh around six pounds.
They have great variation in the length, consistency and color of their fur.
Some have tan, fawn or chocolate fur while others are black and white or completely white.
Chihuahuas make excellent companions and live up to 20 years.