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Author Topic: Doxes (fox/dog hybrids)
Llewtrah
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Does anyone know of any genetically verified hybrids between foxes (vulpes) and dogs?

There is anecdotal evidence that doxes are rare but are superior to dogs, but so far all the genetic evidence points to the two being unable to form viable embryos. All the supposed hybrids can be accounted for as natural variation of dogs and I can't find any cases where genetic evidence has been in favour of them being real hybrids.

I'm of the opinion that doxes have the same status of cabbits - people simply want to believe in them and if they see things that look like hybrids they then insist that the hybrids exist (but never manage to breed intentional hybrids or present the supposed hybrids for testing for genetic markers).

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Xia
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I have always been told that it is impossible for dogs and foxes to interbreed.
Dogs have 78 chromosomes, foxes have 34, making it highly unlikely that they could produce viable offspring.

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Horse Chestnut
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People are probably confusing "doxes" with pictures of very real domesticated foxes that have appeared in the news lately. Apparently Russian geneticists were attempting to breed a "tamer" fur fox, since the ones currently being raised for fur were vicious and hard to handle. They found that when they bred foxes specifically for domesticated qualities, they not only became more mild tempered, but also changed physically, developing curled tails, floppy ears, and spotted coats.

Of course this ruined them for the fur trade, but it sure made cute little foxy fuzz balls.

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medtchva
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Lots of interesting info here....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canid_hybrid

"(Note: It may be that foxes cannot hybridize with dogs but, as crosses between horses and zebras demonstrate, differences in chromosome number are not the reason. Viable hybrids between species are possible regardless of chromosome number differences provided the gene combination in the hybrid allows for embryonic development to birth. Large differences in chromosome number, however, would make hybrid bitches so poorly fertile as to be essentially sterile. Male hybrids would be sterile due to a phenomenon called Haldane's Rule. The lack of genetically verified fox/dog hybrids indicates that viable embryos are not formed.)"

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Llewtrah
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quote:
Lots of interesting info here....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canid_hybrid

I'm the author of canid hybrid and I've had problems with someone insisting that doxes not only exist, but are fertile and superior to dogs! I've tried to make the article accurate and all the evidence I've found to date says the hybrids don't exist (or are mistaken identity). The dox seems to occupy the same ground as the cabbit - people want it to exist and can't accept that it doesn't.

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Samantha Vimes
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What about coyote/dog hybrids?

My dad brought home a stray when I was a child. The vet had *no* idea what breeds might have gone into it, and the dog had a strange hopping gait when it pursued grasshoppers, mice and other small prey. The dog was mild mannered when young but developed a temper as the years went by and was never good at following orders.

Years later, I started seeing coyotes in the foothills (really not far from where the stray was)-- and I really started to wonder if our dog was really a dog.

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medtchva
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quote:
Originally posted by Samantha Vimes:
What about coyote/dog hybrids?

My dad brought home a stray when I was a child. The vet had *no* idea what breeds might have gone into it, and the dog had a strange hopping gait when it pursued grasshoppers, mice and other small prey. The dog was mild mannered when young but developed a temper as the years went by and was never good at following orders.

Years later, I started seeing coyotes in the foothills (really not far from where the stray was)-- and I really started to wonder if our dog was really a dog.

If you look at the Wikpedia article I quoted, there's a lot of info on coyote/dog hybrids. Yes, they do exist.
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Troberg
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I heard on TV (that vast resource of reliable information, or something...) that foxes are actually closer related to cats than dogs. No idea if it's true or if they are close enough for it to matter.

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Lgreywolf
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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
I heard on TV (that vast resource of reliable information, or something...) that foxes are actually closer related to cats than dogs. No idea if it's true or if they are close enough for it to matter.

No, foxes are canines. They are a member of the dog family, just not close enough to them to successfully breed apparently.

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Brad from Georgia
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OT, but on Saturday my son was talking about some friends who have a new dog. He said, "It's really cute. It's part Eskimo."

I told him, "I thought President Bush had outlawed that."

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The Year Without A SeaPea
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quote:
Originally posted by Horse Chestnut:
People are probably confusing "doxes" with pictures of very real domesticated foxes that have appeared in the news lately. Apparently Russian geneticists were attempting to breed a "tamer" fur fox, since the ones currently being raised for fur were vicious and hard to handle. They found that when they bred foxes specifically for domesticated qualities, they not only became more mild tempered, but also changed physically, developing curled tails, floppy ears, and spotted coats.

Of course this ruined them for the fur trade, but it sure made cute little foxy fuzz balls.

Great. Now I want one.

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Lgreywolf
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Yeah, me too SeaPea!

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U.T. Raptor
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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
I heard on TV (that vast resource of reliable information, or something...) that foxes are actually closer related to cats than dogs. No idea if it's true or if they are close enough for it to matter.

You might be thinking of hyenas. iirc, they're closer to cats than dogs...

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magpie
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Foxes have a lot in common with cats because of convergent evolution, much like how both bats and birds have wings, but are not related, and how sugar gliders and flying squirrels look alike but are extremely distant as far as genes go. It's because cats and foxes both fill the same niche in their environment, being noctornal and eating small mammals.

Dogs and foxes can no longer breed because of divergent evolution. They have different diets and different roles, and have evolved to fit those roles.

On a side note, I had a coydog when I was younger but my mom forced me to give her away. She was sweet but destroyed everything she was near, and no amount of training seemed to work with her.

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Izzy Quigley
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quote:
Originally posted by SeaPea:
quote:
Originally posted by Horse Chestnut:
People are probably confusing "doxes" with pictures of very real domesticated foxes that have appeared in the news lately. Apparently Russian geneticists were attempting to breed a "tamer" fur fox, since the ones currently being raised for fur were vicious and hard to handle. They found that when they bred foxes specifically for domesticated qualities, they not only became more mild tempered, but also changed physically, developing curled tails, floppy ears, and spotted coats.

Of course this ruined them for the fur trade, but it sure made cute little foxy fuzz balls.

Great. Now I want one.
Is it just me, or do they look like a new kind of Pokemon?

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Stormfeather
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I don't know, but I want one too. *sigh*

Wonder what we could do to try to convince them there's a lovely market here in the States. [Wink]

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magpie
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People do have pet foxes in the US. Unfortunately the state I live in doesn't allow many different kind of pets (ferrets are even illegal here) and I don't really live in a place that would be suitable for a fox right now. But back in Wisconsin I saw quite a few, and man did I want one!

The most popular seem to be the fennec foxes but I've heard artic are the friendliest. I'm wonder what kind of pet a catalina fox would make, but I don't think anyone has been allowed to keep one of those as a pet.

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NocturnalGoddess- naughty or nice?
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I've always wanted a domesticated fox... but I'd have to go all-out dork and name him "Mulder".

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BlueByrd
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quote:
Originally posted by Nocturnal Goddess: The Masquerade:
I've always wanted a domesticated fox... but I'd have to go all-out dork and name him "Mulder".

If you want to go for the really obscure, get a vixen and call her Bystroushka.

Blue "You might be asking for trouble that way, of course" Byrd

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The Year Without A SeaPea
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Oh, I forgot about fennec foxes! Yeah, those are available as pets. And super-cute.

I like the idea of naming one Mulder. I totally would.

To be really honest, what I actually want are Pokemon.

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Horse Chestnut
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The little Fennec foxes looks so cute. But I don't think they are truely domesticated foxes. I'm not really sure where these fennec foxes are coming from in the States, but there probably are not enough breeding stock for the sellers to concentrate solely on breeding for temperment. They're just going to breed whatever animals they have on hand. That means you may have a lovely fox kit that is going to grow up to be a not so lovely destructive, aggressive adult.

Also, like the ferrets, these fennec foxes may wind up being very inbred, leading to a wealth of health problems.

Now the Russian domesticated foxes are truely a unique breed. They had a wide variety of wild stock to choose from, and they selected their breeding stock carefully, based solely on the temperment of the animals. From the original stock, only the most non-aggressive kits were bred. After 40 some years, they foxes had become something other than their wild cousins. They were becoming almost a new breed of animal, even though there was no cross breeding with other species. It's a facinating look at how the wolves adopted by our ancient ancestors may have become the great variety of dogs we know now.

Sadly, this article suggests that this line of domesticated foxes may become extinct, due to lack of funding.

(edited because I can never spell "aggressive" right.)

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Xia
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Coydogs are possible but it seems they are not common in the wild. I think most of the people who think or say they have a coydog just have a mutt that happens to look a bit like a coyote... Unless of course they got it from a coydog breeder...


I actually fell in love with pet foxes when I came across a breeder of them. They have several different kinds of foxes including gray foxes and fennec foxes.
I fell in love with the idea when I saw this page! Arctic Foxes!

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
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quote:
Originally posted by Brad from Georgia:
OT, but on Saturday my son was talking about some friends who have a new dog. He said, "It's really cute. It's part Eskimo."

I told him, "I thought President Bush had outlawed that."

The American Eskimo dog is a breed, a member of the AKC's non-sporting group, and, despite their name, they originated in Germany. They are often called "eskies" for short. They resemble many of the spitz breeds, and are small in size and white. They gained noteriety as a circus dog, during the 1800s.

God. I sound like the announcer for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.....

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Llewtrah
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quote:
Originally posted by Ryda Wong:
quote:
Originally posted by Brad from Georgia:
OT, but on Saturday my son was talking about some friends who have a new dog. He said, "It's really cute. It's part Eskimo."

I told him, "I thought President Bush had outlawed that."

The American Eskimo dog is a breed, a member of the AKC's non-sporting group, and, despite their name, they originated in Germany. They are often called "eskies" for short. They resemble many of the spitz breeds, and are small in size and white. They gained noteriety as a circus dog, during the 1800s.

God. I sound like the announcer for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.....

I am suddenly mentally seeing scenes from the film "Best In Show" ....

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
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quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah:
I am suddenly mentally seeing scenes from the film "Best In Show" ....

Yeeeahhh....what's worse? I used to show dogs when I was a kid. [Embarrassed]

It is a bit like Best in Show, but the owner's tend to have several to many dogs, have their entire life and finances wrapped in the venture, and there's ALOT more drugs, alcohol and sex involved than you'd ever think possible.

Quite an eye-opener for an 11 year old.

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nod
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Doxes already exist!

In fact, there's very little difference between a dog and a fox - about 5 pints of beer or double Scotches.

(Sorry - I did wait 2 weeks before descending to this level.)

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Llewtrah
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quote:
Originally posted by Just_this_guy_you_know?:
Doxes already exist!

In fact, there's very little difference between a dog and a fox - about 5 pints of beer or double Scotches.

(Sorry - I did wait 2 weeks before descending to this level.)

That's a doxy you fool! (And not in the Harry Potter sense of doxy either [Big Grin] )

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Rogue1stclass
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Fennecs aren't domesticated and appearently don't tame particularly well unless bottle-fed. They are just stupidly cute though.

Appearently, they are CITES II listed, and it's not legal to get one from their native Africa. However, their are quite a few in the States. As with any exotic mammal, inbreeding varies but is going on, mostly selective breeding to make an animal better suited to the pet trade. There is a terminalogy among exotic breeders to denote how many generations the animal is from "wild".

Foxes are illegal to keep as pets in Alabama, as a pet store a friend worked at found out first hand. In Florida, I believe you need a no cost permit to own one, and comply with mandated housing/care regulations.

The kit fox is a very similar animal that is indigenous to the US, but is protected throughout it's range and not availible in the pet trade.

Domestic foxes are a great idea. We have domestic skunks, after all, why not foxes? I'm sure efforts are already being made to bring them here, and in a few years this will probably be the new "in" pet.

I know I'd get one...

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Lizzy
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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
I heard on TV (that vast resource of reliable information, or something...) that foxes are actually closer related to cats than dogs. No idea if it's true or if they are close enough for it to matter.

Don't feel bad - I heard that at one time too... I started to think I just made it up in my head, but we probably heard it from the same thing.

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