Difference Between Dog and Fox

Dogs and Foxes are animals. Dogs are more domesticated members of the Canis genus. Foxes are not domesticated and are from the non-canis genera.


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Both of these animals share the same order which is Carnivora. The C.Lupus species of the Candiae family are called Dogs and Foxes are from the Vilpini tribe of the Candiae family.

Key Takeaways

  1. Dogs belong to the Canis lupus familiaris species, whereas foxes belong to various species within the Vulpes genus.
  2. Domesticated dogs exhibit diverse physical appearances and temperaments, while foxes maintain their wild characteristics and behaviors.
  3. Dogs serve various purposes like companionship, guarding, and assistance, whereas foxes are primarily known for their adaptability and cunningness.

Dog vs Fox

The difference between Dogs and Foxes is that they differ in their lineages. Foxes belong to the Vulpes and Dogs to the C.lupus.Dogs and Foxes share the same kingdom which is Animalia and the same phylum which is Chordata. Dogs can live in our  homes and foxes live in the wild.

Dog vs

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Dogs are derived from ancient wolves. Its nearest relative is the modern grey wolf. They adapt to humans easily and have a long association with humans.

They survive on starch-rich diets. They perform various roles to help humans. They are called “man’s best friend “. They are from the species called C.Familiaris.

In the Canidae family, foxes are smaller than the other members such as wolves and jackals. They are digitigrade which means they walk on their toes.

They are wild animals and cannot be domesticated. Unlike dogs which are social animals foxes are extremely very shy. Foxes have a musky odour. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDogFox
Etymology The word dog came from the Old English word Docga.The word fox is derived from the Proto-Indo-European word Puk.
Life Span A dog can live up to  10-13 years.A fox can live up to 2-5 years.
Scientific NameA dog scientific name is Canis Lupus FamiliarisA fox scientific name is Vulpes Vulpes
HabitatDogs are adaptable in homes when they are domesticated. They live in deserts, grasslands, forests, rain forests, coastal regions and arctic zones.They live in forests, grasslands, mountains and deserts.
SpeciesIt belongs to C.LupusIt belongs to the Vulpini tribe

What is Dog? 

The domestic dog is a descendant of the wolf. Over 15,000 years ago the dog was domesticated by hunter-gatherers. The dogs are selectively bred based on their behaviours such as sensory capabilities and physical attributes.

There are several dog breeds in various shapes and colours. They belong to the Canini tribe.

Dogs perform so many roles for humans and have been helpful. They help in herding, load pulling, herding, assisting the police and military, helping in therapy and the disabled individuals.

They belong to the class of mammals. There are over 450 dog breeds that are globally recognised. The Binomial name of a dog is Canis Familiaris.

A dog’s senses incorporate the ability to see, hear, smell, taste, touch and sensitivity to the earth magnetic field. Their sexual maturity begins from one year to six months in both female and male dogs. They have advanced memory skills and can associate verbal commands of over 1,000 words.

Dogs’ communication behavior is through their eye gaze, facial expressions, body posture, vocalization and gustatory communication. They are omnivorous.

According to a survey report, there are over nine hundred million dogs globally among which seventeen to twenty-four per cent of dogs are raised as pets.


What is Fox?

Foxes are medium to small-sized animals. They are omnivorous. They belong to the class of mammals. They live on every continent except Antarctica.

Foxes have a flattened skull, upright triangle ears, upturned snout and bushy tail. They are from the Canidae family. Their order is Carnivora and the suborder is Caniformia.

The name Fox is derived from the Proto-Indo-European word pun which means thick-haired tail.

Foxes differ in their fur colour, length and density. According to the change in seasons, foxes, coat colour and texture may vary in the colder months; fox pelts are richer and denser; they are lighter in the warmer months.

To help them navigate foxes have whiskers on their legs and face. A male fox is called a dog fox and a female fox is called Vixen. A Gray fox can run up to 68 kilometres per hour. They are cunning animals. The red fox is especially hunted for its pelt which is a mainstay when it comes to the fur trade.

In many folklore, foxes are utilised as a symbol of cunningness and trickery. Foxes can evade hunters. In Asian folklore, foxes are the same as familiar spirits who possess magical powers. In western folklore, foxes are portrayed to be mischievous.

Main Differences Between Dog and Fox

  1. Over twelve thousand years dogs have given companionship to humans and are domestic animals. Foxes are wild animals.
  2. Dogs belong to the two main subspecies and have now evolved up to four hundred and fifty breeds. Foxes have about twelve species. Dogs are friendly towards humans while foxes stay away from humans.
  3. The foxes are smaller in height when compared to dogs and they weigh between five to six kilograms. Dogs are heavier in size than foxes.
  4. Dogs are domesticated and even in the wild, they live in large packs and also hunt in packs. Whereas foxes live alone and hunt small animals such as rats, rabbits etc.
  5. Dogs are adaptable to various environments when they are domesticated They can live in homes if they are domesticated. They live in deserts, grasslands, forests, rain forests, coastal regions and arctic zones. Foxes live in forests, grasslands, mountains and deserts.
  6. Foxes have a lifespan of about two to four years, but dogs can live for about twelve to thirteen years. Foxes are very difficult to train. Dogs obey the commands but foxes do not. Foxes cannot be relied upon and cannot be house trained. Dogs can be relied on and can be house trained.
Difference Between Dog and
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S088875439995989X
  2. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/parasitology/article/role-of-dog-behaviour-and-environmental-fecal-contamination-in-transmission-of-echinococcus-multilocularis-in-tibetan-communities/5E8F8232DE2C775BB7339BB510823276

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