Raccoon Dog

The Common Raccoon Dog, or Canis ubiqueus, is a native of northern Vietnam and the East Asian continent. Its closest relatives, in spite of its name, are not American raccoons, but rather real foxes. Only the North American Gray fox, to which it is not closely related, and the Raccoon dog belong to the Canidae family and share the habit of habitually climbing trees.

Raccoon Dog
SPECIESNyctereutes procyonoides


Raccoon dogs have long, thick winter coats with coarse guard hairs and dense underfur. They are shielded from chilly weather by it. This fur has black guard hairs and is a dirty earth brown or brownish grey tint. Compared to the torso, the tail is darker. There’s a dark line across the back that gets wider at the shoulders and forms a cross. The chest is dark brown or blackish, and the abdomen is yellow brown. The cheeks are covered in long hair that resembles whiskers. The summertime fur has a redder, straw-colored hue. White raccoon dogs are rare and can be found in China and Japan.

Raccoon Dog Photos

Dog raccoons are gregarious creatures. They hunt and live in small family groups or pairs. But in the majority of human sightings, individuals are observed alone. Dogs that are raccoon-related are active day and night. They have very limited vision, therefore they rely heavily on their excellent sense of smell when they are foraging. These animals can swim, dive, and even climb trees in order to hunt their prey. Vocalizations are a means of communication for raccoon dogs. Instead of barking, they make a growling sound that is followed by a slow, depressing moan. Males may growl and shriek when battling for females. Typically, raccoon dogs hibernate in pairs starting early in the winter.

Habits and Lifestyle

Habits and Lifestyle

Dogs that hunt raccoons are omnivores. Insects, rodents, fish, amphibians, birds, mollusks, reptiles, and carrion are among the foods they consume, along with fruits, nuts, and berries.

Diet and Nutrition

Dog raccoons are lifelong monogamous partners. On the other hand, captive males have been observed mating with up to five or six females. Males will engage in brief, non-lethal combat to win a mate. Depending on the area, their breeding season lasts from early February to late April. The puppies are born in April or May after a gestation period of 61–70 days. Typically, litter sizes consist of 6–8 puppies, yet in rare circumstances, 15–16 puppies may be born. The males actively participate in the pups’ upbringing. Puppies weigh between 60 and 110 g at birth, are blind, and have short, dense, silky wool coverings without guard hairs. After 9–10 days, their eyes open, and after 14–16 days, their teeth erupt. During the 45–60 day lactation period, puppies start consuming food that is offered to them. as early as three weeks to one month of age. When they are 4.5 months old, they reach their full size, and in late August or early September, they leave their parents. The puppies form pairs by October, by which time they resemble adults. At eight to ten months of age, reproductive maturity is attained.

Mating Habits

The largest threat to raccoon dogs is hunting, and they are often hunted as nuisance animals. Locally, they are also affected by diseases, road kills, and dog predation. Extreme habitat loss may also contribute to population declines.


Population threats

The IUCN Red List states that it is unclear how many raccoon dogs there are in the world. That being said, the species’ anticipated population in Finland is between 110,000 and 120,000 mature individuals; in the fall, the population is expected to reach 320,000 individuals, including the young of the year. According to the IUCN Red List, this species is currently listed as Least Concern (LC), and its population is stable.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • The raccoon dog got its name because it resembles a raccoon on the surface, even though they are unrelated.
  • The scientific name for this species, Nyctereutes procyonoides, means “the night wanderer” in Greek. “Night” is represented by the term nukt, and “wanderer” by the word ereutēs.
  • The tanuki, or raccoon dog, is a well-known and traditional breed in Japan.
  • The only other canid that hibernates is the raccoon dog.
  • Toads with poisonous skin secretions can be eaten by raccoon dogs because they generate a lot of saliva to counteract the toxins.
  • The raccoon dog is similar to wild dogs in that it may reside in cities and even in houses like other domesticated dogs.



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