Doesn't really answer the question but since they are related to dogs
and can be bred into border-like collies, I guess you might find one
that is curious about your dogs. One of our neighbors, about 2-3 miles
away, also sees a family of foxes play in the evening...entertainment
from their back porch.
FOX, smallest member of the DOG FAMILY, Canidae, which also includes
wolves, coyotes, jackals, and dogs. Foxes are characterized by short
legs, an elongated narrow muzzle, erect triangular ears, thick fur, and
a long bushy tail. The 13 or 14 species of foxes are found throughout
the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa, inhabiting mostly forest, chaparral,
and desert regions. Most of the nine species of the genus Vulpes, to
which the red fox belongs, can adapt to diverse climates and habitats.
Most foxes feed on mice, voles, rabbits, birds? eggs, fruit, large
insects, and carrion. Because their prey is small, foxes are solitary
rather than pack hunters. They generally work territories of less than 8
sq km (3 sq mi), which they defend from other foxes. They are swift,
agile runners; the red fox can reach a speed of 48 km (30 mi) per hour.
The European red fox, V. vulpes, and the North American red fox, V.
fulva, are by far the most common. They are similar and are sometimes
considered of the same species. The foxes are 90 to 105 cm (36 to 42 in)
long, not including the tail, weigh about 7 kg (about 15 lb), and are
distinguished by black ears and feet and a white tip on the tail. The
coat is usually some shade of rusty red or reddish-brown, sprinkled with
light-tipped hairs. V. vulpes ranges across Eurasia and North Africa,
and V. fulva from northern Mexico to the Arctic. Within these vast zones
diverse subspecies of red fox have developed; those of the south are
smaller and have lighter colored coats, and those of the north are
larger, with thicker and darker coats. The silver fox, valued for its
black, frosted fur, is simply a variant of the red fox.
The great alertness of the red fox, and its keen senses of smell,
hearing, and sight, enable it to live close to human habitation without
being easily noticed. Farmland with woodlots and open fields provides it
with good cover and abundant rodents, especially field mice. When red
foxes have been eradicated from rural areas, populations of rodents have
swelled. Red foxes were introduced to Australia to cope with its plague
of previously introduced rabbits.
On pairing, red foxes occupy a territory of 3 to 8 sq km (1.5 to 3 sq
mi). They mate in midwinter, and following a 50- to 55-day gestation
period, the vixen bears two to eight cubs in a den that is frequently an
enlarged groundhog hole. The cubs are born with their eyes closed and
are attended in the den by both parents for about five weeks. By fall
the young leave or are driven from the territory. Red foxes are believed
to pair for life; their lifespan is about 12 years.
Thirty percent were extremely aggressive toward man, 60% were either
fearful or fearfully aggressive, and 10% displayed a quiet exploratory
reaction without either fear or aggression. The objective of this
experiment was to breed animals similar in behavior to the domestic dog.
By selecting and breeding the tamest individuals, 20 years later the
experiment succeeded in turning wild foxes into tame, border collie-like
fox-dogs. The highly selected "tame" population of (fox-dog) foxes
actively sought human contact and would whine and wag their tails when
people approached (Belyaev 1979). This behavior was in sharp contrast to
wild foxes which showed extremely aggressive and fearful behavior toward
man. Keeler et al. (1970) described this behavior:
Bonnie Zone 6+ ETN
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- RE: Fox
- From: "Lynda Young" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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