13 Astounding Facts You Didn’t Know About Raccoon Dogs

Posted by on May 5, 2016 | Permalink

Many people may not have heard of the raccoon dog, a fascinating small mammal indigenous to East Asia, but what they might also not have heard is that they often fall victim to the horribly cruel fur industry and end up on the shelf of a clothing shop right here in the UK.

The following facts give a glimpse into their interesting and varied lives and why you should never be seen sporting a fur collar made out of a raccoon dog’s coat:

  1. Despite the distinctive raccoon-like markings on their fur, raccoon dogs are not closely related to the North American raccoon. They’re actually a member of the Canidae family, which includes foxes, wolves and domesticated dogs.raccoon dog
  2. Their natural habitat is in woodland and forest areas close to the water. They are pretty comfortable in marshes and ponds, where they often forage for food. 
  3. Raccoon dogs are monogamous, and mated pairs will work together to raise their young. Whilst the female is pregnant, the male will bring food to support her.
  4. Their curved claws allow them to climb up trees, and they’ve been observed looking for fruit and berries amongst the branches.raccoon dog
  5. They have thick fur with a dense undercoat to help keep themselves warm in the winter.
  6. Sadly, their beautiful fur has made them a target, and they are farmed in China just for their coats.
  7. On fur farms, they are kept in tiny wire-mesh cages their entire lives. They are often driven mad by the unbearable confinement.
    Raccoon Dogs Fur FarmJo-Anne McArthur | We Animals
  8. The fur industry sometimes mislabels raccoon dog fur as “Asiatic raccoon”, and there have even been instances in which raccoon dog skins were sold as faux fur to unsuspecting consumers.
  9. Raccoon dogs are unique in that they are the only canids to go into short hibernation spells, and they choose to bed down in pairs.raccoon dog
  10. Their voices are just TOO cute to handle. 
  11. They appear frequently in Japanese folklore and are known as “tanuki”. Statues of them are placed at the entrances to shops and restaurants to bring good fortune.raccoon dog tanuki statue
  12. But in the fur trade, raccoon dogs are sometimes bludgeoned, beaten and skinned.
    raccoon dog fur farm cageJo-Anne McArthur | We Animals
  13. Some are still alive and fully conscious while being skinned. One raccoon dog in this heart-breaking video still had the strength to raise his head and look into the camera after his skin had been torn off. 

You can help raccoon dogs by refusing to wear any fur and speaking out against retailers that sell items made from the fur of these lovely animals.