Fox dogs are one of the most popular dog breeds in Japan. They have been known since ancient times. There are several theories about their origin: they could be descendants of wolves or coyotes, but it is thought that these were domesticated from wild ones long ago. However, there are some researchers who believe that foxes originated from a species of giant panda which lived thousands years ago.
The Japanese have always been fond of foxes. A few years ago, a group of Japanese scientists came up with the idea that there was a genetic link between foxes and dogs.
Some experts say that this relationship is not so much based on genes as it is based on environment. For example, if a dog owner lives near mountains where there are plenty of food sources then his/her dog will become bigger than other dogs and produce larger litters. If a person living in a city has no such advantages, then his/her dog would probably be smaller than other dogs and produce fewer litters.
In Japan, foxes are considered cute and cuddly animals. Therefore, they are often used as mascots for various products.
The fur of foxes is very soft and warm. Fox fur is also used to make blankets and bedding materials (for example). During the winter, many people like to wear the skins of these animals. If you own a pet fox, you can sell its fur and make money.
The Japanese are not only interested in using the fur of these animals, but they have also managed to find other uses for them. For example, some people raise pet foxes and keep them as house pets.
Certain people even train their pet foxes to do tricks. Training a pet fox is not an easy job; the animal is very intelligent. It does not respond to traditional dog obedience training, but instead it involves a system of positive reinforcement. This involves rewarding the animal whenever it obeys commands. There are even people who enter their pet fox in dog shows.
However, many people still kill and eat these animals. They are considered a “tradition” in some areas of Japan.
Many people say that it is cruel to eat these animals because they are so cute and cuddly. In response, other people say that it is no different than killing a lamb for food. They argue that animals are meant to be eaten.
The best approach is to never kill a fox for food or fur. These animals have been living on the earth for a very long time and should continue their existence, just as other animals do.
Sources & references used in this article:
Detection and accuracy rates of dogs trained to find scats of San Joaquin kit foxes (Vulpes macrotis mutica) by DA Smith, K Ralls, A Hurt, B Adams… – Animal …, 2003 – Wiley Online Library
Early Canid Domestication: The Farm-Fox Experiment: Foxes bred for tamability in a 40-year experiment exhibit remarkable transformations that suggest an interplay … by LN Trut – American Scientist, 1999 – JSTOR
Social cognitive evolution in captive foxes is a correlated by-product of experimental domestication by B Hare, I Plyusnina, N Ignacio, O Schepina, A Stepika… – Current Biology, 2005 – Elsevier
How to tame a fox (and build a dog): visionary scientists and a Siberian tale of jump-started evolution by LA Dugatkin, L Trut, LN Trut – 2017 – books.google.com
Changes in kit fox defecation patterns during the reproductive season: implications for noninvasive surveys by K Ralls, S Sharma, DA Smith… – The Journal of …, 2010 – Wiley Online Library
Using the dog genome to find single nucleotide polymorphisms in red foxes and other distantly related members of the Canidae by BN Sacks, S Louie – Molecular Ecology Resources, 2008 – Wiley Online Library