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Can Foxes Be Domesticated?

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Certainly, the process of domestication is one of selective breeding. In each successive generation the individuals most at ease around humans are selected for breeding to the point of reaching domestication. This process has its limits, though, less intelligent animals such as reptiles may beyond he limit of true domestication. Many wild animals can be domesticated by selective breeding. Bison would be an example.
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The only successful domesticating program that has been carried out on a particular species of fox was in Russia with the Silver Fox. It took 45 years of selective breeding to get the desired result- a completely domesticated fox.

Foxes also have individual and very distinctive "foxy" barks. However, under the program, the experimental silver foxes did not just become tame, but also started showing more dog-like characteristics and behavior. They also lost their distinctive musky smell, became friendly with humans, and like dogs even put their ears down. Furthermore their bark began to lose its distinctive quality and became more like that of a dog. They even wagged their tails as a sign of affection and happiness.

This project was encouraged by the Russian Communist Party with a view to controling and improving "the human condition".
It is not uncommon to see foxes in cities especially in domestic gardens. However, they cannot be kept as pets because they are extremely wary of humans. They tend to be wild and very smart. There are exceptions of course, and there have been cases of foxes being raised by humans. Invariably though, as they mature they cannot ignore the call of they wild and leave their human homes.

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