The Raccoon Dog, also called Tanuki, is native to East Asia and
has been introduced to Eastern Europe. It is called
"Raccoon" Dog because of its superficial resemblance to the
Raccoon, especially when fattened for winter, but it is a
true dog unrelated to Raccoons.
The Raccoon Dog is one of the only dogs to climb trees and
is the only dog species to hibernate over winter.
When preparing for hibernation, the dog will double its
weight and its fur will become longer and thicker for
Those shown here are in summer. Asian wild Raccoon Dog populations have declined massively
through hunting for the fur trade. In addition, there has
been a substantial increase in captive farming of the dogs
for their winter fur, especially in China where millions are
bred for fur.
In parts of their introduced range in Europe they are seen as an undesirable invasive species.