Raccoon Dog Natural History

Range & habitat

This species prefers woodland and is even known to be able to climb trees.  It can be found in China, the Korean peninsula, Vietnam, Russia and Japan, however as a result of captive animals being release, it is now also found throughout most of mainland Europe.


Raccoon dogs aren’t picky and will eat a wide range of food items including insects, small mammals, birds, lizards, amphibians, fish and molluscs, as well as feeding on carrion, fruits and nuts.

In some parts of their range, due to the extreme weather, they are also known as being the only canine species which hibernates.


Length; 45 – 71cm

Weight; 3 – 7kg


It is a common species but is hunted very heavily for its fur, even though it is also extensively farmed (especially in China).  It produces a very popular fur for things like coat trims, and due to its price for lower end pelts is often used and resold as faux fur, with several high profile cases of this being exposed.


The Raccoon dogs at Sandwich Wildlife Park

We have 2 raccoon dogs at our park which came to us after the original owner was no longer able to keep them.  They are gorgeous animals which look like unusual dogs, however are not domesticated like the dogs we have in our homes and as such don’t make good pets.  Following the alien and invasive species legislation in the UK they are no longer allowed as a pet species any way.  Our dogs are male and female (although they cannot breed) with the male being Bob and the female Pika.

Unlike some of their wild counterparts, our raccoon dogs do not need to hibernate in the winter.

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