Will A Fox Attack A Small Dog – Should You Be Worried?

Will a Fox Attack a Small DogThis is a really interesting topic as you will find all sorts of conflicting information on the internet but what is the Real answer?

Could a fox consider your small dog as a Prey, attack it and eat it? Is such a thing even possible?

In this article, We will Find out If it’s actually possible, why that could happen, and should you be actually worried if you encounter a fox while walking your dog or when leaving your small dog unattended in your backyard?

Will a fox attack a small dog or not?

Yes, a Fox can attack a small Dog, however it’s EXTREMELY rare for this to happen and would usually only occur in exceptional circumstances.  There have been a few recorded/reported incidences of this happening, but if you compare how many foxes there are and how many times a fox has attacked a small dog, it adds up to an extremely rare occurrence.

If you happen to live in an area, rural or urban, where there is a dense fox population, you may well be worried that a fox will attack your cute little dog, either whilst you’re out walking or in your back yard.  Well the reality is that foxes co-exist beside dogs AND cats quite harmoniously unless of course, they feel under threat.
Also Read: Do Foxes Come out During the Day

Can Either A Red Or Grey Fox Attack And Eat Your Small Dog?

Once again, the factual answer to this is “yes”, but as I mentioned above, the actual chance of this happening is miniscule. The red fox is more likely to be found in towns and cities as it seems to be very happy living amongst humans.

This is the fox you are most likely to encounter when walking your precious pooch.  In contrast, the gray fox is more timid and prefers rural areas in the countryside, around swamps and generally quieter, more isolated environments.  As for actually eating a small dog – this would almost never happen – but with nature you can never truly say never!

Will A Fox Attack A Small Dog

Why Would A Fox Attack A Small Dog

Although there have been a few reports of foxes attacking small dogs, it has not really been proven why, but it is most likely because the fox (or it’s vixen) is protecting a den full of cubs.  As with most wild animals, if you venture too close to where they have their young, they will become very aggressive and do everything they can to protect their little brood.

Will A Red Fox Attack A Small Dog?

It is more likely for the red fox to attack a small dog than a gray fox, purely because they are found more in towns and populated areas and therefore humans and their pets are more likely to be near a red fox den than a gray fox.

So if you discover a red fox has made a den somewhere in your garden – and you will know because your cute little dog won’t stop yapping! – it would be a wise idea to build some sort of small fence or barrier to separate the area your dog uses from the den, just to make sure said pooch doesn’t venture too close.  Red foxes do not have permanent homes but tend to come back to the same den each year, usually around January-February time, to have their young.

The vixen will give birth to an average 4-5 cubs within 53 days of getting pregnant.  So, do the maths and you will start to see these cute, playful little fluffsters venturing out around March-April time.  So beware from Jan-April time that your small dog doesn’t go unnecessarily annoying the young family.

Will A Grey Fox Attack A Small Dog?

It is even less likely for a gray fox to attack a small dog because they are a lot more shy and tend to live where there aren’t so many people and pets around.  It’s not impossible for it to happen, and the fox would probably have to be under severe threat in an enclosed space without an escape route, for it to attack. But surely this would be the same for any creature and even a human?!?!  So, it’s pretty much a given that you have no worries of this happening, certainly if you show respect for nature.

What To Do If A Fox Approaches Your Small Dog

It’s quite unusual for a fox to approach a dog – big or small. If this were to happen in your back yard or whilst your dog is off the leash, the most sensible approach is to put a leash on your dog and just stand and observe for a while, making sure you stay with your dog.

The chances are that the fox will retreat but if it doesn’t and you feel threatened, you can scare it away by throwing water or just walking slowly towards it making any loud noise – banging a pot or pan or blowing a whistle.  If you see it acting strangely like biting itself or walking round and round in circles, take your dog away immediately and call your local Wildlife Rehabilitator.

Do Foxes And Dogs Get Along?

Surprisingly for some people yes, they do tend to live quite harmoniously so long as there is no threat.  Mostly, a fox will pretty much ignore a dog and just stay out of its way, except in very rare cases.  But even more surprisingly, I actually have a friend who had a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who used to play with the foxes at night in the garden! It was an incredible sight to see them rolling around together, especially given the reputation that Staffies have! There have even been incidences of foxes playing with cats! Nature really is a wonderful thing!

Would A Fox Actually Eat A Small Dog?

Foxes are predators and will prey on rodents, reptiles, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs and juicy bugs, but small dogs……?  Not likely to be on this menu! Foxes are actually related to dogs and it’s just not in nature’s order for them to feed on dogs.  In the same we wouldn’t eat another human – OK there may have been some reported cases of cannibalism, but as with foxes killing small dogs, these are extremely rare and isolated incidences.


Will A Fox Attack A Small Dog On A Leash While You Walk Your Dog?

Well, interestingly, I actually had a first-hand experience of meeting a fox whilst walking my dogs on their leash, not just once, but on several occasions in the town I used to live in.  There I was, with my cute little Poochons and all of a sudden they started going nuts and barking like crazy.  Because it was dark, I didn’t see the fox at first, but there it was, brazen as hell just standing there about 20 feet away.

Oh boy did my dogs decibels disturb the neighbours as the curtains started twitching! So I got them to just stay and I stood still to see what happened.

The fox didn’t come any closer but equally it seemed totally unfazed by the crazed yapping of my little angels turned devils!  We walked forward a couple of steps with my two beasts lunging forward like they were Rottweilers, and eventually, the fox got scared and ran off.  There was a part of me that was tempted to let my pooches off the lead just to see what would happen, but knowing what I know about foxes, I decided not to antagonize it just in case it had a small family in a den nearby.


A Cute video of a Fox Playing with a Dog

In Conclusion

Foxes are more likely to be afraid of a dog than the other way around.  Foxes are wild creatures and therefore just try to go about their lives and hunt and forage for themselves and their families without being a threat to either dogs or humans.  If a dog acts aggressively to a fox, the fox would most likely be afraid and just run away.

So as long as we all respect nature and don’t allow our dogs to be a threat to ANY wild animal, life should go along harmoniously and without any incident for you and your much-loved dog(s).

Here’s a simple trick on how to keep foxes away from your Garden

A novel(!?) way to deter foxes from entering your garden, or using a den under your shed to start another family is to urinate around the entrance – but gals mind those stinging nettles “ouch!”. But, seriously, if you put human urine or used cat litter by the entrance of the den for a couple of weeks, the fox will no longer use the den.  It will smell this as another creature’s scent, therefore, making it a no-go for the fox family