Although the raccoon dog resembles a raccoon, due to its shape, size and facial characteristics, it is very much a member of the dog family. It is considered to be one of the earliest species that other dog species have evolved from.
The raccoon dog has a long torso, short legs and a short tail. The canine teeth are small and relatively weak and the molars are flat. The intestines are about 50 percent longer than those of other dog family species which allows them to process the vegetable component of their diet. The winter fur is dense and long, with hairs around 120mm long. The color is a dirty brown or gray color, with earthy tones. The guard hairs are black. The chest hairs are dark brown and the abdomen is a yellow-brown color. On its back, is a dark stripe that gets wider at the shoulders, forming a cross-shape.
Dexterous front paws and pointed snout
Genetics and Reproduction
Raccoon dogs are monogamous animals, with pair formations usually occurring in autumn. Males will fight briefly, but not fatally, for mates. Estrus lasts from a few hours to six days, during which females will mate up to five times. Females will enter estrus again after 20–24 days, even when pregnant. The gestation period lasts 61–70 days, with pups being born in the spring. Litter sizes on average consist of 6–8 pups, although first-time mothers typically give birth to fewer pups than older ones. Males take an active role in raising the pups which is very significant.
Growth Rate & Stages
At birth, pups are blind and covered in short, dense, soft wool lacking guard hairs. Their eyes open after 9–10 days, with the teeth erupting after 14–16 days. Guard hairs begin to grow after 10 days, and first appear on the hips and shoulders. After two weeks, they lighten in color, with black tones remaining only around the eyes. Lactation lasts for 45–60 days, though pups will begin eating food brought to them as early as the age of three weeks or one month. They reach their full growth at the age of 4.5 months. Pups will leave their parents in late summer. By Autumn, the pups, which by then resemble adults, will unite in pairs and reach sexual maturity at 8–10 months.
Ecology and Habitats
Thick forests close to water
Dietary Needs and Habits
Raccoon dogs are omnivores that feed on insects, rodents, amphibians, birds, fish, small reptiles, molluscs, carrion and insectivores as well as fruits, nuts and berries. Raccoon dogs adapt their diets to the season; in late autumn and winter, they feed mostly on rodents, and carrion, while fruit, insects, and amphibians predominate in spring. In summer, they eat fewer rodents, and mainly target nesting birds and fruits, grains, and vegetables.
Raccoon dogs are the only canids known to hibernate. In early winter, they increase their subcutaneous fat by 18–23% and their internal fat by 3–5%. During their hibernation, their metabolism decreases by 25%. Their daily activities increase during in the early spring when the females become receptive and when food is more available.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
Raccoon Dogs are typically hunted for their fur
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Across the Sinim and Ecumene regions
Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms
The wolf is the main predator of the raccoon dog as packs of wolves are known to kill large numbers of raccoon dogs in the spring and summer months when they are also feeding their growing young. Foxes and wildcats are the other main predators of the raccoon dog along with hominins who have hunted them for their meat and thick fur.
3 - 8 years
3kg - 10kg (6.6lbs - 22lbs)
50cm - 65cm (19.6in - 26in)