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Difference Between Dog, Wolf, Jackal, Coyote and Fox

Updated on August 11, 2020

The Domestic dogs, wolves, foxes, jackals and coyote all are members of the same Canidae family, and their physical trait and appearance is very similar. But they are all different species and their nature is different. Their evolutionary history has started around 50 years ago, they are categorised into two categories – Cat like (feliforms) and Dog like (Coliforms).

The Canid and Canidae Family

Interesting information on the family of dogs and wolves (Canidae Family)

  • The members of the Canidae group are called Canids.
  • The largest animal among the members of the Canidae family is the Gray Wolf.
  • The tallest animal of Canidae family is the Maned Wolf.
  • The smallest animal of Canidae family is the Fenec Fox.
  • The most innocent animal of Canidae family is the Bush Dog.
  • All members of the Kanidai group have different number of chromosomes, which is why they cannot interbreed and produce a healthy and fertile offspring. But both dogs and wolves have the same number of chromosomes (78, 39 pairs), and they can interbreed.

Wolf, Jackal, Coyote and Fox as Pet

All the members of the Canidae family appear similar but they all have their have own exclusive individualities, where they surpass others, that attract people to keep them as a pet. Such as the intelligence, stamina, strength and physical appearance of wolves, The fox's sharp mind and soft fur, and the jackal's agility and quick movement.

But considering their individual specialty is not enough to own them, it is also necessary to know how they behave as a pet? And apart from dogs, no member of this family is domesticated and can't be considered as a pet.

Canidae Family Members
Canidae Family Members | Source

Comparison Between Canids Behavior (Dog, Wolf, Jackal, Coyote and Fox)

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

The physical structure of all the species of Canidae group is similar but their size and capacity differ significantly and they all have their own special characteristics
Although there is a difference in physical traits among the same species of members of this group, but it is very minor except dogs. According to breed in dogs, their physical composition varies greatly.

The Height and Length of Canidae Family Members (Dog, Wolf, Coyote, Jackal and Fox)

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

Eyes and Vision (Dog, Wolf, Jackal, Coyote and Fox)
Eyes and Vision (Dog, Wolf, Jackal, Coyote and Fox)
Eyes and Vision (Dog, Wolf, Jackal, Coyote and Fox)
Eyes and Vision (Dog, Wolf, Jackal, Coyote and Fox)

Dog's eyes

  • Most dogs have big, yellow and brown eyes, white eyes are very rare for dogs.
    Some dogs like Louisiana Leopard hound, Indian Rajapalayam are some others are the rare examples, which have whitish eyes.

Wolf's 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 eyes

  • Coyote a jackal and Fox, all three can have brown and yellow eyes, whose shades varies light or dark, according to the climate.

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

The Paw structure is almost the same for all the members of the Canidae family and it is very difficult to differentiate between their paw prints.

Some bigger dog's paw size is almost same like wolf and coyotes and smaller size dogs can have the 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: Ear Comparison

Compare Ears
Compare Ears
WOLF, Coyote, Jackal, Fox Ears
WOLF, Coyote, Jackal, Fox Ears

Dog Ears (Different size and shape)

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

The length and shape of dog's tails are varied, that can be in the range of 8 - 55 cm, whether other Canadae family members have the same tail pattern but length varies.

 
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

Comments

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    • profile image

      ;) 

      8 weeks ago

      These animals are some of my favourite animals. :)

    • profile image

      oeleve 

      3 months ago

      good information... learned the relation and the evolution of the dogs, want to congratulate the writer.

    • profile image

      GalexX_987 

      14 months ago

      This is really helpful! Im taking notes for these canines' structure to help with my art! (I was quite surprised at the difference between wolf and fox skulls! I thought that a wolf would have a more rounded skull due to how a wolf looks from the outside)

    • profile image

      ~~~ 

      16 months ago

      Idk if you take constructive criticism but the images regarding wolf eye color are... wrong. A blue-eyed, adult wolf is a myth and if you see a picture of a mature canine with blue eyes I guarantee you it is either a dog or a wolfdog.

    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR

      ARADHYA 

      23 months ago

      Thanks Dear Zero,

      These pictures/artwork are my own creation.

      I see these pictures shared at many sites, which are copied from this article.

    • profile image

      Zero 

      23 months ago

      Very Informative article, however the artwork used to showcase the various members of the Canidae family is not properly sourced.

      Original artist is snowsilver on deviantart

    • profile image

      Perscadia 

      24 months ago

      It's quite disappointing how people voted on having these wild animals as pets. However cute they may look they still have dangerous instincts that can't be erased by domestication.

    • profile image

      hannah 

      2 years ago

      i love it so much

    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR

      ARADHYA 

      2 years ago

      Thanks ! Happy to know

    • profile image

      Melia 

      2 years ago

      Thank you for the complete and detail information. Me and my son like it!

    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR

      ARADHYA 

      3 years ago

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

    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR

      ARADHYA 

      3 years ago

      Thanks GalaxyRat! :)

    • profile image

      GalaxyRat 

      3 years ago

      I love it, thx for the info.

    • srai01 profile imageAUTHOR

      ARADHYA 

      3 years ago

      @Maria Cecillia

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

    • Maria Cecilia profile image

      Maria Cecilia 

      3 years 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 

      3 years ago

      this is cool and informative article. also very detail

    • profile image

      Pat k 

      4 years ago

      Alaskan Huskies also have the same ey options as Siberians.

    • profile image

      Pat k 

      4 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      ARADHYA 

      5 years ago

      Thanks Dr.Mark!

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Very interesting reading, thanks!

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