Are Raccoon Dogs Real? (Owner Experience)

Raccoon dogs are a species of canid that is native to Japan. Raccoon dogs have been mistaken for raccoons and other animals because they look similar, especially when they’re young. 

They have a black mask around their eyes and dark fur on their body with lighter brown coloring underneath. Despite this resemblance to other animals, there are many ways you can tell if you’ve encountered one:

Raccoon dogs are a unique and fascinating species native to East Asia.
Despite their name and appearance, raccoon dogs are not closely related to raccoons.
Raccoon dogs can be kept as pets in some areas, but require specialized care and attention.
While not typically dangerous to humans, raccoon dogs can be aggressive when threatened and carry certain diseases.
It is important to carefully consider the responsibilities and legalities of owning a raccoon dog as a pet.

Are Raccoon Dogs Real?

You may have seen raccoon dogs in some ads and wondered, “Are raccoon dogs real?” The answer to that question is yes! Raccoon dogs, also known as Tanuki or Japanese raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides), are a wild species of canid native to Japan. 

They’re related to foxes, wolves, and jackals. Some people think they’re mythical creatures because their appearance varies so much from region to region; but no matter what shape they take in a given area, you’ll always be able to recognize them by their distinctive stripes.

If you want your pet Raccoon Dog vaccinated against the rabies virus (and who wouldn’t?), make sure he gets a booster shot every three years instead of annually!

RACCOON DOG – Species Spotlight

Are Raccoon Dogs Dangerous?

It is a common misconception that raccoon dogs are dangerous to humans. This is not the case, because they are not even dangerous to other raccoon dogs. 

Raccoon dogs do not attack or bite people and they have never been known to kill any human beings in history. If a person were attacked by a raccoon dog, it would be an accident on their part because the animal did not mean to harm them in any way.

Raccoon dogs are not aggressive animals and will only become aggressive if threatened with violence or when defending their territory from intruders like humans, who may try to enter their homes without permission. 

The best thing you can do if you see a raccoon dog in your yard is stayed away from it so that neither party gets hurt during their interaction.

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How To Identify A Raccoon Dog?

Raccoon dogs are the size of a small dog, with a long snout and bushy tail. They have distinctive black masks around their eyes, which are usually framed by white fur. 

This pattern is similar to that seen on raccoons, but raccoon dogs tend to have a shorter lifespan than their larger cousins.

Raccoon dogs can be differentiated from other animals by looking for specific physical characteristics:

  • Short tail (1–3 inches) vs longer tails on foxes or coyotes (4–10 inches)
  • Narrow face and pointed ears vs broad faces and rounded ears on wolves/coyotes/foxes
  • Thick fur on feet vs shorter fur on paws/pads

What Are The Signs Of Rabies In A Raccoon Dog?

Rabies is a virus that affects the brain. It may be transmitted through contact with saliva from an infected animal, usually by a bite. 

The virus causes inflammation of nerves and eventually death in infected animals. In humans, rabies is fatal without immediate treatment but can be prevented if caught early enough.

Raccoon dogs are not only dangerous to humans, but they also pose a threat to other animals such as dogs and cats because they can spread rabies through their saliva if they bite them or scratch them while trying to fight back against an attack. 

Raccoons that live in urban areas are even more likely than wild ones to come into contact with humans due to increased human activity near their habitats (e.g., garbage cans).

“If you’re wondering whether raccoon dogs are dangerous, check out our author’s personal experience with these animals in their backyard. Our article on raccoon dog danger provides insights into what to expect when coexisting with this species.”

Is It True That Raccoon Dogs Don’t Like Water?

Yes, but they’re not true raccoons. They are in the same family as the common raccoon, however. 

These animals are also known as masked palm civets or small-toothed palm civets. Raccoon dogs are found in southeast Asia and parts of Indonesia. 

They can be omnivorous (eat both plant and animal matter), although their diet mostly consists of insects and small rodents such as mice and rats.

How Big Is A Full-Grown Raccoon Dog?

Raccoon dogs are about the size of a large dog, measuring between 2 and 3 feet long from nose to tail. 

The average weight for an adult male raccoon dog is between 15 and 20 pounds, while the average weight for an adult female raccoon dog is between 7 and 10 pounds. A full-grown raccoon dog can be as big as a medium-sized dog or even a large dog!

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What Is The Average Weight Of A Full-Grown Raccoon Dog?

Yes, raccoon dogs are real. They are a species of canine that is native to Asia and Europe but can also be found in North America as well. 

They have been known to carry rabies, which is why it’s important to know how to identify them and how they behave when they’re infected with the disease.

How To Identify A Raccoon Dog?

The easiest way to identify a raccoon dog is by looking at its teeth since this animal has sharp incisors that make it easy for them to eat meat or other tough foods like nuts, seeds, or corn husks. 

Another way you can tell if someone might have rabies is by looking at their saliva because these animals produce more saliva than other animals do!

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How Much Does A Full-Grown Male Raccoon Dog Weigh?

There is no standard or average weight for a full-grown male raccoon dog. The weight can be anywhere between 20 pounds to 30 pounds, with some individuals weighing even more than that.

The weight of a raccoon dog will depend on the health of the individual animal, as well as its environment and diet.

In terms of size, it’s important to understand that this species is not native to North America and was actually introduced by humans as feral animals in areas like California and Oregon.

What Is The Average Life Span Of A Raccoon Dog?

Raccoon dogs have a relatively short lifespan compared to other species, with some living as long as 15 years and others only living 8 to 10 years. This is still longer than your average human, but it’s important to keep in mind that their lives are not as long-lived as some other species such as elephants or whales.

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Do All Raccoons Have Rabies?

You’ve probably heard that raccoons are dirty, dangerous creatures. They’re also said to have rabies and other diseases that can harm humans. But the truth is far from this stereotype!

Raccoons do carry a type of bacteria that causes rabies, but it’s only found in about one out of every 1,000 raccoons. In fact, most raccoon bites are not caused by rabid animals they’re caused by non-rabid (vaccinated) animals protecting their territory or food sources. 

Even if you try to pet them or feed them outside your home and they bite you because they’re scared or annoyed, it doesn’t mean they will have rabies when tested later on!

Are Raccoon Dogs Dangerous To Humans?

No matter how cute or cuddly raccoon dogs may appear, these animals are wild animals and should be treated as such. While most raccoon dogs will not harm humans, there are certain precautions that you should take if you are planning on encountering one.

Raccoon dogs can carry rabies and it is important to note that there has been an increase in cases of rabies worldwide in the last decade. In addition to being bitten by a raccoon dog, transmission of the disease can occur if any part of their saliva comes into contact with an open wound or mucous membrane (e.g., eyes).

While this risk may seem relatively low, it is important to know what signs and symptoms indicate a potential exposure so that proper treatment can be provided immediately after an encounter with a raccoon dog. 

The first sign of possible infection includes swelling around where they were bitten; however, some people do not have any visible symptoms until days later when they start feeling nauseous or having difficulty swallowing food.

I Love Raccoons And Raccoon Dogs

I love raccoons and raccoon dogs. Raccoon dogs are one of my favorite animals because they’re so cute and cuddly, and I own a pet raccoon dog named Bob.

Raccoon dogs are extremely intelligent, which makes them great pets for people who want a challenge in training their animal companions to do tricks or be trained as service animals.


I feel confident in my answer to the question, “are raccoons and raccoon dogs dangerous?” In short, no, they are not dangerous. Raccoons are very intelligent creatures that can be taught tricks like riding a skateboard or playing fetch with their favorite toys. 

They have a reputation for being tricksters but this is largely due to their large size and bushy tail which makes them look more imposing than they really are. 

The fact that these animals live in close proximity to humans means we should be aware of any potential problems (like rabies) but we also need to remember that these critters do not want anything bad happening either!

Further Reading

Here are some additional articles about raccoon dogs that you may find interesting:

The Care and Keeping of Raccoon Dogs – This article from The Atlantic provides an in-depth look at the behavior and care of raccoon dogs as pets.

Covid Outbreaks in Wuhan Linked to Raccoon Dogs – This New York Times article explores the possible link between raccoon dogs and the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China.

The Raccoon Dog: Cute, Wild, Terrible Idea for a Pet – The Guardian takes a look at the pros and cons of keeping a raccoon dog as a pet.


What is a raccoon dog?

A raccoon dog, also known as a tanuki, is a small canine native to East Asia that is known for its distinctive markings and raccoon-like appearance.

Are raccoon dogs dangerous?

While raccoon dogs are generally not considered dangerous to humans, they can be aggressive when threatened and are known carriers of certain diseases.

Can raccoon dogs be kept as pets?

Raccoon dogs can be kept as pets in some areas, but they require specialized care and attention due to their unique needs and behaviors.

Are raccoon dogs related to raccoons?

Despite their name and appearance, raccoon dogs are not closely related to raccoons. They are more closely related to foxes and other canids.

What should I consider before getting a raccoon dog as a pet?

Before getting a raccoon dog as a pet, it is important to research their care requirements and ensure that you have the time, resources, and expertise necessary to provide for their needs. Additionally, it may be illegal to keep raccoon dogs as pets in some areas.