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12 Wild and Exotic Pets From Dog Family

Updated on July 18, 2017

Nowadays, the demand for exotic pets like wolves and foxes are growing, and many people like them as a pet. Many People are fascinated to own them because usually they have higher instincts, strong physical traits and have higher levels of energy and stamina and, also a distinct look. But temperament of non-domesticated pets differ quite dramatically as well. And some wild canids like, Wolves are very stubborn, erratic, difficult to train, and a danger to children and other small animals. But some of the canids which are yet not domesticated and are social and can make a good pet, read this article to know about the 12 different canidae species which are ever kept as pets or can be domesticated.


Below are the 12 dog species which are kept as Exotic pets, you may see Bat- eared fox and common foxes are different species, similarly for to the short-eared dog, African wild dog and Indian wild dog (Dhole) - they all are the different species and has different scientific names.

Fox Species
Scientific name
Pet Status
Canis lupus
Wild (Exotic Pets)
Canis latrans
Wild (Exotic Pets)
Canis aureus
Wild (Exotic Pets)
Vulpes vulpes
Wild (Exotic Pets)
Bat-Eared Fox
Otocyon megalotis
Wild (Exotic Pets)
Island Fox
Urocyon littoralis
Wild (Exotic Pets)
Racoon Dog
Nyctereutes procyonoides
Wild (Exotic Pets)
Indian Wild Dog
Cuon alpinus
Wild (Exotic Pets)
African Wild Dog
Canis lupus dingo
Wild (Exotic Pets)
Bush Dog
Speothos venaticus
Wild (Exotic Pets)
Short-Eared Dog
Atelocynus microtis
Wild (Exotic Pets)

1. Wolf

 Wolf as Pet
Wolf as Pet | Source

Dogs are the descendants of wolves and are most of the modern dog breeds are developed from grey wolf. However, the recent genetic studies have shown that the dogs descend from an extinct genus that diverged from modern-day grey wolves about 40,000 years ago. Because of their close genetic similarity, dogs and wolves share many physical traits. But the wolves are stronger with higher levels of energy and stamina. Wolf instincts and temperament differ quite dramatically as well. That said, wolves are beautiful, powerful creatures. It's not surprising that many people fantasise about having one as a pet.

2. Coyote

A Pet Coyote
A Pet Coyote | Source

The coyotes are the candid member that looks like wolves, but they are smaller than wolves. The wolf has small, straight upward erected ears, whether coyotes have medium, outside straight ears. Also, their eyes are different, Coyote a jackal and Fox, all three can have yellow and brown eyes whether wolf has small eyes of varying shades of yellow color. Blue or black eyes of wolves are considered as a genetic default. But coyotes are comparatively less stubborn than wolves and easier to domesticate, but more breeders and exotic pet lovers prefer wolves than coyote because of their giant size, excellent strength and instinct.

3. Jackal

The Jackal
The Jackal | Source

It’s more common to see the wolves and coyotes as pets, but it’s very rare to see a pet jackal or say, Is it even possible to own jackals for pets? Some rare examples are there that people keeping the smaller jackals like black backed as pets. Though they are very elegant and pretty creatures, but it’s not easy to tame them and grooming including vet care, is also very high. In recent years Golden jackals attracted some breeders to pet, because they are little bigger than black-backed and are more social, while black-backed live singly or in pairs, the Goldens live with the adult pair. Overall Jackals are less common as pets, but there are few who owned them as an exotic pet.

4. Fox

Fox as pet
Fox as pet | Source

Foxes are omnivorous mammals belonging to several genera of the Canidae family. Because of their close genetic similarity, dogs and foxes share many physical traits. But the domesticated dogs are reliable pets and companions. Foxes are not domesticated and reliable as pets. But in recent years the demand for Exotic pets are growing and many people kept them as an exotic pet, and some foxes are being domesticated the Siberian Red fox, Silver fox are an example for recent domestication.

5. Bat-Eared Fox

Pet  Bat-Eared Fox
Pet Bat-Eared Fox | Source

The cape Foxes are also known as Maltosis, which are the canned from dog family also called Cape Fox, Big-eared Fox or bat-eared fox, found in open, arid areas of eastern and southern Africa. Maltosis are like the red fox in appearance, but have unusually large ears. These foxes are yellowish gray with black face and leg along with black-tipped ears and tail. Cape foxes are mainly active at night, they lie up during the day. They are opportunists and known to hunt and eat reptiles, rabbits, spiders and birds. They also eat eggs and carrion and most insects or fruits.

6. Island Fox

A pet  Island Fox
A pet Island Fox | Source

The island fox is a small fox that is the closest relative, the gray fox but much smaller in size. They are native to the six of the eight Channel Islands of California. These are the six subspecies, each unique to the island it lives.

1. San Miguel Island fox (Urocyon littoralis littoralis
2. Santa Rosa Island fox (Urocyon littoralis santarosae)
3. Santa Cruz Island fox (Urocyon littoralis santacruzae)
4. Santa Catalina Island fox (Urocyon littoralis catalinae)
5. San Nicolas Island fox (Urocyon littoralis dickey)
6. San Clemente Island fox (Urocyon littoralis clementae)

All these foxes reflect their evolutionary history, which are considered an U.S. Endangered Species (2004) on four islands: San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Santa Catalina Islands and once nearly extinct California Island foxes are no longer endangered.

7. Raccoon Dog

Pet Raccoon Dog
Pet Raccoon Dog | Source

Raccoon Dogs are also known as Tanuki, which are the member of the canid family but they are not the true dog and also known as Magnut and because of their resemblance to a Raccoon they are commonly known as Raccoon dog that lives in Asia (mainly in Japan), in pairs or small groups. Male Tanukis are helpful fathers, bringing food to their pregnant mate and helping to raise the young.

Raccoon dogs suffer and die for their fur in intensive confinement operations in China and Finland, and their fur has been widely faked as fur of different species. Raccoon dogs do not bark like foxes but growl.

8. Indian Wild Dog

Indian Wild Dog (Dhole)
Indian Wild Dog (Dhole) | Source

Dhole are the wild dogs, lives in Asian countries (mainly in India and South Asian countries) that are also known as an Asiatic wild dog, Dhole, Indian Wild dog, Red wolf. They are medium sized, very athletic and sturdy dogs that live in the large pack and look like a mix of dog and fox.
But their genetic study confirmed that they do not have a blood line of Dog or Fox and they belong to distinct species. Asiatic wild dogs can be smooth coated or hairy. Usually, the dogs that live in cold weather they are hairy like the dogs from the Indian Himalayan region and the border of India and Russia, and that are living also living in Central and Southndia, are smooth coated.

9. African Wild Dog

African Wild Dog
African Wild Dog | Source

The African wild dogs are medium to large sized non-domesticated wild dogs, native from African region. They are also recognized by other names also, like, Cape wild dog, African wild dog, African hunting dog, bat-ear dogs, African painted dog and painted wolf. The African wild dogs are the most athletic and solidly built of African candles, which are very social animals that live in a pack.
African wild dogs are the intelligent hunters, they can run up to the speed of 41 mph for 10 to 60 minutes. Usually male dog takes charge for the first attack by grabbing dangerous prey by the nose. African wild dogs kill their prey in 2-5 minutes but they may take 30 minutes to take down some larger prey like wildebeest and warthogs.

10. Australian Dingo

Pet Australian Dingo
Pet Australian Dingo | Source

Australian Dingos are the wild dogs from Australia, which are best described as “a wolf in the form of a dog”. Their origin is not clear, but many breeders and biologists believe that basically, they are the primitive type dogs, which were bought in Australia from Asian countries and possibly they mixed with native wolves and created Dingo. Dingo are social animals that live in packs in wild and depends on the hunt, even they also eat dead animal meat. They are naturally healthy, athletic and sturdy dogs, even they are wild animals. They are friendly animals that do not attack humans and easy to domesticate and make a good pet.

11. Amazon Short-Eared Dog

Amazon Short-Eared Dog
Amazon Short-Eared Dog | Source

The short-eared dogs are also known as the short-eared zorro and small-eared dog that resemblance to the bush dog and lives in Amazonian basin. They are medium sized dog that has short-eared dog has short and slender limbs, short and rounded ears, Short thick coat and fox-like muzzle and bushy tail. Their color vary from from dark to reddish-grey, but can also be nearly navy blue, coffee brown, dark grey or chestnut-grey until to black. They are one of the most unusual canids which are never domesticated but they are shy, social animals.

12. Bush Dog

 Bush Dog
Bush Dog | Source

Bush dogs are the rare and unique dogs, which are also known as Savannah Dog. Vinegar Dog or the French name Zorro. They are native from Amazon basin that also lives in other parts of South America. Adult Bush Dogs have soft long brownish-tan fur, with a lighter reddish tinge on the head, neck and back, accompanied with a bushy tail. But the puppies are darker in colour and tinges are usually not visible.

These dogs are very shy and it is difficult to spot them in the wild. Usually, they live around water and are the top notched swimmers that have excellent swimming ability and are capable of diving underwater. Their shy nature and extraordinary swimming talent make them unique. Bush dogs are the only species left living naturally in the wild, without human intervention, in the genus Speothos.


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