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Difference Between Dog, Wolf, Jackal, Coyote and Fox.

Updated on October 31, 2015

The Domestic dogs, wolves, foxes, jackals and coyote belong to the same Canidae family and they share more similar characteristics than differences. Canids evolution history started around 50 million years ago that’s mainly categorised into two different categories – Cat like (feliforms) and Dog like (Coliforms).

Facts about Canidae Family,

You may like to know some basic facts about Canidae family members,

  • All members of Canidae Family are known as- CANIDs
  • Canidae family includes a diverse group of- 34species
  • The biggest member of Canidae family is- Gray Wolf
  • Smallest member of the family is- Fennec Fox
  • Longest Member of Family is- Maned Wolf
  • The shortest and slowest member of this family is- Bush dog.
  • Approx 3/4th member of this family are identified as endangered.

Most discussed topics about canid

Most Canids share similar physical traits and characteristics and have less differences. But they also have own exclusive individualities, where they surpass others. These Uniqueness of canids attract many people to domesticate them and kept as a pet. Dogs are the world's most accepted pets and other animals from the same Canidae family are always an attraction and interest. Mainly wolf, jackal, coyote and foxes have an interest and desirability for domestication.

Canidae Family Members
Canidae Family Members | Source

You may observe some discussions and queries regarding these candid members are very common and frequent like,

  • What is the difference between a wolf and a dog?
  • What is the Difference between Coyote and Red Fox?
  • What is the Difference between wolf and jackal?
  • Are dogs descended from wolves? Are dogs similar to wolves?
  • Do wolves bark? OR Do Dog howl?
  • Do wolves have blue eyes?
  • What’s the Common colour of Dogs' eyes?

Only a right comparison between all these popular canids (wolf, jackal, coyote and foxes) can provide an appropriate consideration for all these queries,

Comparison Between Canids

1: Scientific Introduction

 
DOG
WOLF
JACKAL
COYOTE
FOX
Scientific Name
Canis lupus familiaris
Canis lupus
Canis aureus
Canis latrans
Vulpes vulpes.
Rank
Subspecies
Species
Species
Species
Species
Trophic level
secondary carnivores
Carnivorous
carnivore
Carnivorous
Carnivorous

2: Physical Traits

Dogs are the domesticated animal and groomed for specific needs, their traits vary extensively. Standards are almost comparable to other members of the same species.

  • In General dogs have short and weak jaw and muzzle than wolves, coyote and similar to jackal and fox.
  • Wolves have the largest brain among candid family member.
  • The dog and Fox have thinner legs than wolves, coyote and jackals.
Refer below chart for exact comparison of physical traits.

Length Comparison
Length Comparison
Height Comparison
Height Comparison
 
DOG
WOLF
JACKAL
COYOTE
FOX
Weight
1.5 - 90 kg
50 kg
8–11 kg
6.8 – 21 kg
2.2 – 14 kg
Height (At Shoulder)
16 -90 cm
80 -85 cm
35–45 cm
58 – 66 cm
35 – 50 cm
Length
13 -115 cm
110 cm
70 to 85 cm
76 – 86 cm
45 – 90 cm
Life Span
5 -22 years
11-17 years
10 - 12 years
6-7 years
5 years

3: Eyes and Vision Comparison

DOG's eyes VS WOLF and COYOTE eyes
DOG's eyes VS WOLF and COYOTE eyes
DOG's eyes VS JACKAL and FOX eyes
DOG's eyes VS JACKAL and FOX eyes

Dogs Eyes

  • Dog’s eye color varies, they can have white, blue, brown and yellow shaded eyes. Like, Siberian husky, Alaskan malamute has blue eyes.
  • White eyes are very rare for dogs, Louisiana Leopard hound, Indian Rajapalayam are some rare examples, Some dogs from these breeds have whitish eyes.
  • Yellow and brown color are common for most of the dogs.

WOLF EYES

  • The wolf has small eyes of varying shades of yellow color. Blue or black eyes of wolves is considered as a genetic default.

Coyote, Jackals and Fox eye Color

  • Coyote a jackal and Fox, all three can have yellow and brown eyes. [With varying shades of light and dark color- depending on climates].

Canid eye Revelation

 
DOG
WOLF
JACKAL
COYOTE
FOX
Color
Yellow, Brown, Blue, Light blue like white
Yellow
Yellow
Yellow and brown shades
Yellow and brown shades
Eye Size
Medium to Large
Small to Medium
Medium
Medium
Medium
Night Vision
Average
Excel
Average
Excel
Excel
Distance Vision
Excel
Average
Average
Average
Average
Angular Movement
Excel
Average
Excel
Excel
Excel

4: Paws and Nails

All the animals of Canidea Family have very similar paw shape, it’s not easy to distinguish between their paw track print. Paw print size is another way to identify their track. Even some bigger dog's paw size is almost same like wolf and coyotes and smaller size dogs has a same size track print like foxes and jackals. To identify them, you need to analyse their paw size and pattern both that may provide an accurate track.

Paw track analysis

  • Dog vs wolves track: Track of wolves, has marked for two big bloated front toes. Dogs have smaller and or rounded shape track.
  • Wolf vs fox track: Wolves and foxes have comparatively more gap, in between nails and toes. And usually they leaves nails print on the ground. Such figure provides them an improved balance at run and make a strong grip with ground.
  • Coyote and Fox track print Vs Wolves vs Dogs track:

    Coyote and fox will leave separate marking for nails, whether wolf’s nail print will be adjoined with toe prints. And dogs usually doesn’t leave nails print.

Track size analysis:

 
DOG
WOLF
COYOTE
FOX
Length
0.9 - 3.5 inches
~4 inches
~2.5 inches
~ 1.4 inches
Width
0.8 - 3.3 inches
~4 inches
~2.25 inches
~1.25 inches

5: Canid Ear Comparison

WOLF, Coyote, Jackal, Fox Ears
WOLF, Coyote, Jackal, Fox Ears
DOG EARS
DOG EARS

Comparison,

Dogs Dogs ears shape extensively varies, depending upon their breed. They can have naturally erected or hanging ears, also their size can vary very widely. Which is a major difference with all other members of canidae family.

The wolf has small, straight upward erected ears.

The coyote has medium, outside straight ears.

Jackal and foxes have moderately broad, bigger and erected ears.

6: Tail Comparison

Dog tail’s size, shape, length and coat vary widely. But the rest of cyanide has same tail patter like their other species members.

 
DOG
WOLF
COYOTE
JACKAL
FOX
Tail length
8 - 55 cms
29 – 50 cm
30 – 41 cm
20 - 30 cms
30 - 50 Cms

Dog Tail Vs Other Canid Tail

Dog tail Vs rest of canidae family members
Dog tail Vs rest of canidae family members

7: Muzzle and Skull

Canid Skull Comperasion
Canid Skull Comperasion

Dog vs Wolves

Dogs are the descendants of wolves and are classified as a subspecies of the grey wolf. Recent genetic studies, however, have shown that 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. Though they have some differences, like wolves have longer muzzles and a broader skull. That help them to take down larger prey. Wolves have physically larger brains.

DOGS VS WOLVES AND COYOTE


Wolves and coyotes both Canids share many common dog-like appearances, but they differ in a number of ways. Wolves are much larger than coyotes and doesn’t have a broader muzzle like wolves, but they have very similar and broad skull like wolves. Pointed muzzle of the coyote is a major difference from wolves.

FOX

Compared to other canid of their family, foxes are slighter and weak. Also, they do not have strong muzzle and skull like other members.

8: Head and intelligence level

Wolves’ has a much larger head in comparison to their body size and other canids. Whether dogs head vary, coyote and jackal have almost similar head and foxes are having a comparatively smaller head. Also Wolves are the most intelligent count among family.

 
HEAD
INTELLIGENCE LEVEL
DOG
Dogs head size vary, they have medium sized head in comparison to body.
Low - Average
WOLF
Wolves’ heads are much larger in comparison to their body size and other canids head size.
Very High
COYOTE
The coyote has a medium size head, somewhat similar to a dog.
Average
JACKAL
Jackal has a medium sized head in comparison to their body.
Average
FOX
Fox has a medium sized head like a jackal in comparison to their body. And smaller among all Canidae family members.
Average - High

9: Consideration as a pet

Wolves, however, are stronger with higher levels of energy and stamina. Wolf instincts and temperament differ quite dramatically as well.Wolves are stubborn, erratic, difficult to train, and a danger to children and other small animals. These qualities make them a poor choice to keep as a guard dog or household pet. As similar to wolves other members are also not domesticated and not advised to keep as a pet. But the dogs are domesticated and are great companions, they are right as pets at home.

Do you like to have a pet like WOLF, COYOTE, JACKAL, FOX?

See results

© 2015 ARADHYA

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    • srai01 profile image
      Author

      ARADHYA 2 months ago

      Plz Share the Pic. , I will try my best .

    • srai01 profile image
      Author

      ARADHYA 6 months ago

      Thanks GalaxyRat! :)

    • GalaxyRat profile image

      GalaxyRat 6 months ago from The Crazy Rat Lady's House

      I love it, thx for the info.

    • srai01 profile image
      Author

      ARADHYA 8 months ago

      @Maria Cecillia

      Dogs Height varies widely but all the dogs belongs to same category.

    • Maria Cecilia profile image

      Maria Cecilia 8 months ago from Philippines

      wow this is very interesting, and based on your chart dog is the smallest among them? but there are dogs who are so large too at what category do they belong?

    • profile image

      indra christian 12 months ago

      this is cool and informative article. also very detail

    • profile image

      Pat k 23 months ago

      Alaskan Huskies also have the same ey options as Siberians.

    • profile image

      Pat k 23 months ago

      This article is not accurate in regards to the eyes... Alaskan Malamutes DO NOT have blue eyes. Their eyes are solely brown. Siberian Huskies not only have blue eyes, they can have brown eyes, parti-eye, and can also be bi-eyed or any combination of these.

    • srai01 profile image
      Author

      ARADHYA 2 years ago

      Thanks Dr.Mark!

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 2 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Very interesting reading, thanks!