Domestic Foxes

Foxes, like minks, chinchillas and other plush animals have been bred for their fur for over a hundred years. Juniper, Fig and foxes like them are considered "domestic fur-bearing animals"or “ranched foxes”.  Ranched foxes are descended from animals that were originally bred for their fur and that means that they have lost many of their natural instincts. These traits were unintentionally bred out of these animals after generations of being handled by humans and eugenics. In fact, these tame foxes have well over 4,000 genetic differences compared to wild foxes. They were bred to have more of a plush coat and to be larger in body size resulting in a bigger skeleton proportion compared to wild fox. Their coat has straight follicles, while wild foxes have somewhat of a coarse coat and broken follicles.

While tameness was not the original intention when breeding these animals, after several generations of relying solely upon humans, their dispositions also began to change from that of their wild counterparts. They became more docile, less shy, and acceptant of human interaction.

Unfortunately, due to those reasons these animals are considered "non-releasable". Their dependence and lack of fear makes them unsuitable to live in the wild. For animals like Juniper, and Fig their options are pelt or pet.

And so became the domestic fox. 

Jessika Coker