Meet The Raccoon Dog - The Only Canid Known To Hibernate

October 15, 2019

The raccoon dog, also known as a mangut, tanuki or neoguri, is a canid indigenous to East Asia.

Despite its name, a raccoon dog is not a raccoon. And it's not really a dog either.

raccoon dog
Credit: Wiki Commons

The closest comparison is with foxes and badgers - nocturnal mammals who like woods and undergrowth.

They also regularly climb trees.

raccoon dog

Their cuddly appearance meant until recently they were openly traded as exotic pets, which the RSPCA emphasises is a bad idea.

They become "aggressive and unmanageable" if they are kept inside or in small yards. Raccoon dogs need large home ranges.


Recently, a pair of raccoon dogs were "terrorizing", "vicious" and left a village "under siege" - according to some headlines in the UK.

The two escaped their enclosure at their Nottinghamshire home.

raccoon dog
One of the raccoon dogs that terrorized Nottinghamshire village

"It was 04:00 and I could hear a wild noise, a noise I'd never heard before," Mandy Marsh said.

"My husband went out and was gone for about 10 minutes and he came back and said, 'You've got to see this'. "He said, 'I don't know what it is, it's like a wild animal attacking the goat'."

In a Facebook post, Nottinghamshire Police confirmed that, after a number of sightings, the animals were recaptured and returned to their owners.

So what is that sound they make?

Like foxes, they do not bark, uttering instead a growl, followed by a long-drawn, melancholy whine.

Here's some more interesting facts about the raccoon dog.

Raccoon dogs are also the only canids known to hibernate.

They grow to be around 2 feet long and weigh anywhere from 6-15 pounds.

Their longevity is largely unknown, but animals 6–7 years of age have been encountered in the wild.

They do not live in packs. Once a full grown adult, pups leave their parents and then unite in pairs.

Watch the video below.

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