Do Foxes Bark? (What noises do they make?)

  • 5 min read
  • Foxes
Do foxes bark

As you probably know, foxes are related to dogs, so that brings up the question – do foxes act like dogs? Here we take a look if foxes bark if they like to play, what they eat, and much more.  

Do foxes bark? Foxes are very vocal animals, but they do not entirely sound a lot like dogs. Fox vocalizations are higher pitched than a dog’s. This is due in part that foxes are naturally smaller animals than a lot of breeds of dogs. When a fox does “bark”, it is very high-pitched and a bit yippy sounding. The barking of a fox is sometimes mistaken for an owl hooting.

Foxes will also sometimes make a sound like a howl, but it is not what you might expect. Unlike the low, billowing howl of a wolf or certain types of dogs like a husky, a fox’s howl is more like a scream. People have compared this “scream” of a fox to a screaming human baby.  

Do Foxes Bark?
Do Foxes Bark?

When foxes bark or howl, it is often very loud. They bark to identify other foxes and they howl in order to lure other foxes to them during mating season. But most of a fox’s vocalizations are quieter. Most of the time, foxes will communicate by doing something called “gekkering.” 

Gekkering is a guttural chattering that has barks and howls thrown in as well. Foxes will also make a coughing sound, which fox parents use to alarm their pups if they sense danger.  

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Foxes Infographic
Foxes Infographic. Pin It!

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Do foxes live in packs? 

You may have heard that dogs are “pack animals”, but is that true for their fox cousins? Just like dogs, foxes are very social animals and they live in groups known as “leashes”. Foxes like to stay with their families. A leash of foxes may contain mothers, pups, and older siblings, as well as mates, and other foxes of breeding age. Usually, there will be about three or four adult foxes in a leash, but a pack made up of ten adult foxes has been recorded before in Bristol. 

Do foxes play? 

Just like domesticated dogs, foxes are very playful! Foxes are friendly and curious and they are known to play with each other, as well as with other animals. And just like dogs, foxes love playing with balls! Sometimes, foxes can be seen snatching balls from backyards or golf courses and taking them to play with. Foxes will also sometimes steal shoes, gardening gloves, and dog toys that they find in people’s yards to entertain themselves with! 

Fox pups will also play fight with their littermates. This helps them to improve their fighting skills as well as helps to establish the pecking order in their litter. Play fighting is also sometimes used by pups in order to resolve disagreements.  

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What do foxes eat? 

Foxes, like dogs, are omnivores, which means that they have a diet that is a combination of both meat and plants. Foxes will eat other animals such as birds, frogs, rabbits, and small mammals like mice and rats. Some foxes will even wade into shallow water in order to hunt for fish, crabs, and mollusks. They will also eat plant-based foods like berries, seeds, acorns, apples, and vegetables.  

Foxes can hunt for prey at any time of the day, but usually, they will do a lot of hunting at dusk and dawn. These animals have good hearing and eyesight and will stalk their prey before pouncing on it to kill it.  

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Where do foxes live? 

Foxes like to live in forests, mountains, grasslands, and even deserts. Foxes will live in burrows that they dig into the ground. These burrows have tunnels to make more room for other foxes, as well as several exits so that a fox can quickly flee their den if they need to.  

Fennec Fox
Fennec Fox

Can foxes be kept as pets? 

In some countries or states, it may be legal for you to have a pet fox. But just because it is legal, does not mean that it is a good idea. Foxes, unlike dogs, are wild animals and they do better when they are allowed to remain in the wild. Foxes are not easy to train or to housebreak and they are much noisier and smellier than dogs.

Also, while they are so cute, foxes do not get along with other domesticated animals, plus they require a large and secure enclosure.  

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Adrian Volenik

I've lived around animals my whole life and I hold a Diploma in Animal Physiology. When I'm not reading or writing about wild animals, health and fitness, and technology, you can find me playing with my son and two cats. My pastimes include running, playing video games, and solving the NY Times crossword.

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