12 Fascinating Facts about Raccoon Dogs

Curious raccoon walking on a branch

Raccoon dogs are related to the skunks and the weasels, but they have a much more interesting history.

It turns out that they are amazing animals that are a lot more intelligent than people give them credit for.

Here are 12 fascinating facts about raccoon dogs.


1. Omnivores

Raccoon dogs are a type of canid native to East Asia.

As their name suggests, they are closely related to raccoons and look similar to them, with bushy tails and masked faces.

However, raccoon dogs are not actually raccoons, but a separate species in the same family.

Raccoon dogs are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals.

Their diet varies depending on the season and what is available but can include things like fruits, vegetables, small mammals, and insects.

In some areas, raccoon dogs are considered pests because they will eat crops or kill livestock.

In other areas, they are considered a valuable part of the ecosystem because they help to control populations of smaller animals.


2. Two Species and Four Subspecies of Raccoon Dogs

Raccoon dogs, also known as tanuki, are a canid indigenous to East Asia.

The two extant species are the Asian raccoon dog, Nyctereutes procyonoides, and the Japanese raccoon dog, Nyctereutes viverrinus.

There are four subspecies of the raccoon dogs, two in each species.

The Asian raccoon dog is found throughout East Asia, from the Korean Peninsula to northeastern China and southeastern Siberia.

The Japanese raccoon dog is found in Japan and the Ryukyu Islands.

Raccoon dogs are nocturnal and omnivorous, feeding on a variety of small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and fruits.

They are good swimmers and climbers, and often den in hollow trees or burrows.

Raccoon dogs are hunted for their fur in many parts of their range.

In China, they are considered a delicacy and are often raised on farms for their meat.

In Japan, they are considered a pest and are often killed on sight.


3. Lifespans Remain Unclear To This Day

Raccoon dogs are a species of canid native to East Asia.

The exact lifespan of these animals is unclear, as there is little scientific data on them.

However, anecdotal evidence suggests that they can live for up to 10 years in the wild.

In captivity, they may live even longer, as they are not subject to the same risks as their wild counterparts.

This makes them an ideal pet for those looking for a long-term commitment.


4. Don’t Bark

Raccoons are interesting creatures. They are known for their intelligence and their ability to problem-solve.

But one thing that raccoons are not known for is their barking. In fact, raccoon dogs don’t bark at all.

There are a few reasons why raccoon dogs don’t bark.

First, they don’t have the vocal cords necessary to produce a bark.

Second, they are generally quiet and shy animals.

And third, they don’t have the same social structure as dogs, so they don’t need to communicate in the same way.

So next time you see a raccoon dog, don’t expect to hear it bark.

But do take the time to appreciate this unique and fascinating animal.


5. Tanukis are popular in Japanese folklore

Raccoon dogs, also known as tanukis, are popular animals in Japanese folklore.

They are often depicted as mischievous but lovable creatures and are said to have the ability to transform into humans.

Tanukis are said to be fond of playing tricks on people and are often portrayed as being very cunning.

They are also said to be very good at finding food and are often seen rummaging through trash cans in search of a meal.

Despite their mischievous nature, tanukis are also said to be very friendly and loving creatures.

They are often depicted as being very loyal to their friends and are said to be always ready to help out those in need.

If you’re ever in Japan, be sure to keep an eye out for these lovable creatures!


6. Rare white tanuki was discovered in 2013

The white tanuki, a member of the raccoon dog family, is an extremely rare creature.

In 2013, one was discovered in the wild in Japan. This beautiful animal has white fur with black markings on its face and body.

It is believed that there is only a handful of white tanuki in the world.


7. Has a Place in Japanese Myth

Raccoon dogs, also known as tanuki, are a species of canid native to East Asia.

In Japanese mythology, tanuki is often portrayed as tricksters and shapeshifters.

And they are said to have the power to transform into any form they please.

While they are not actually related to raccoons, raccoon dogs get their name from their similar appearance to North American animals.

They are small and stocky, with brown fur and a black mask around their eyes.

In Japan, raccoon dogs are considered to be good luck symbols, and they are often seen in artwork and sculptures.

Many Japanese homes have a raccoon dog statue in their front yard or garden, as it is believed that these animals bring good fortune.


8. Raccoon dogs were the main characters in a Studio Ghibli film from 1994

Raccoon dogs were the main characters in a Studio Ghibli film from 1994.

The film, titled Pom Poko, told the story of a group of raccoon dogs who band together to defend their home from humans who are trying to destroy it.

The film was a critical and commercial success and won the Japan Academy Prize for Best Animated Feature Film.


9. Tanukis are an invasive species in Europe

Tanukis are an invasive species in Europe.

They were introduced to the continent in the early 20th century, and have since spread rapidly.

They are now found in most European countries and are a major problem in some.

Tanukis are a threat to native wildlife, and can also cause significant damage to crops and property.

Efforts to control their populations have so far been largely unsuccessful.


10. Super Mario Bros. 3 features a tanuki

Super Mario Bros. 3 features a tanuki as one of its main characters.

The tanuki is a Japanese raccoon dog that is said to have magical powers.

In the game, the tanuki is able to transform into various objects and animals.

This helps Mario to progress through the game and defeat his enemies.

The tanuki is a key character in the game and helps to make it an enjoyable and unique experience.


11. Pelts are sold as “faux fur”

Raccoon dogs are often used in the fur industry, as their pelts are sold as “faux fur.”

In fact, raccoon dog pelts are some of the most commonly used pelts in the industry.

This is due to the fact that they are relatively inexpensive and their fur is very similar to that of other animals, such as foxes and coyotes.

As a result, raccoon dog pelts are often used to create products that are labeled as “faux fur.”


12. Only canid that hibernates in winter

The raccoon dog is a canid that is native to East Asia. It is the only canid species that hibernate in winter.

The raccoon dog has many adaptations for winter. It has thick fur, which helps it stay warm in cold temperatures.

It also has large paws with long claws, which help it walk on snow and ice without slipping.

The raccoon dog also hibernates during the winter months.

Meaning that it sleeps for long periods of time throughout the season to conserve energy and food stores while the weather is cold and the food supply is low.

Check this article for more interesting facts about other animals!

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