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Are the Foxes Hounding my Pet?

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 14 Mar 2014 | comments*Discuss
Are The Foxes Hounding My Pet?

Q.I have seen several foxes out and about while walking my dog of an evening. We live in a fairly built up area and they do not seem frightened by the presence of humans.

My concern is that for the last two nights a fox has followed me and my dog home (a Westie). If I speeded up, so did the fox. I ran to my front door and when I looked out of an upstairs window the fox was just sitting outside my house.

I am concerned whether the fox would attack my dog as she is only small. I would like advice on how to stop the fox following us, as I do not want to stop our evening walks.

(Mrs Sue Hall, 23 September 2008)


Urban foxes are inquisitive but by nature there is nothing to distinguish their genetic make up to rural foxes and they are generally timid creatures, especially where close up contact to humans are concerned so if you’re out walking your dog, there is far more chance of another dog causing you problems than the fox will. And, unfortunately, because of the expense involved alongside the difficulty of getting rid of an entire urban fox population, local authorities tend not to have any policies in place to rid an area of a particular problem. Therefore, it’s best to adopt an attitude that the fox shares your urban environment but to also realise that they are highly unlikely to cause you any harm.

More often than not, if it came too close, your Westie would most probably react by barking or growling and this would most likely make the fox run off. The only time a small dog might get injured by a fox is where the fox was injured and the dog got too close to it whereby it might attack in self-defence or if a dog was to disturb a den, especially if it was a vixen defending her cubs but that’s clearly not the case here. Therefore, you shouldn’t really be concerned.

One solution if you’re still nervous might be to carry a dog repellent alarm which gives off either a high-pitched audible or ultrasonic sound. These run off batteries and can be carried in your pocket. Then, if the fox (or an aggressive dog for that matter) got too close, a quick blast of the alarm will usually stop it in its tracks and have it retreating or it will at least keep the fox at a safe distance.

If, however, you become concerned that the fox may be intent on making a den in your garden, then there are other repellents you can buy and measures you can take to deter them from doing so and you can find out more information from two organisations – the National Fox Welfare Society and the Fox Project or for more general advice, contact your local RSPCA. All of these organisations can also give you advice on general basic issues regarding the disposal of waste food and rubbish as if a fox is prepared to sit outside your house, it's likely to enter your garden at some point if it thinks a free meal is on offer.

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i have seen a few foxes in my garden during the day which i seem to think there living under next doors sheds im so scared to go in the garden its un real there scare me so much would they go in garden if we were in it
kell - 14-Mar-14 @ 3:50 PM
I have foxes in my garden, they live under our garden hut, they are here everry year, the female has about 4 or 5 pups every year, Does the mother fox leave them after a few weeks, as we only seem to have 2 or 3 foxes all year round. Ifeed them most nights with dog food, Am I doing right or wrong.
paddy - 8-Aug-11 @ 6:37 PM
About a week ago I was walking my 15 month Alaskan Malamute on a long lead at about 1am. He suddenly lunged and before I could stop him had rolled something over and was sitting on it. I realised it was a fox and grabbed him and pulled him off, the fox ran off (it was quite small but not a cub) and as it was very late and I could not see if it was OK, I was also very shaken up so I went home to check my dog. He had no blood on him so I dont think he bit the fox and no other injuries. The next day I went back to the area and found a dead fox. It was awful and I feel totally responsible, if only I had gone back to check on it I might have been able to get it to a vet or wildlife centre. I have noticed that on several occasions we have been followed by foxes and one in particular screams at us and follows making such a noise that I am finding it worrying. I think my dog must have crushed the fox now as he is white and Im sure I would have seen blood, also it happened so quickly that there was no time for him to attack and he was not growling. Anyway I thought I would ask about this, I will keep a close eye on my dog from now on and not allow him to chase anything. I live in London by the way.
Lell - 4-Jul-11 @ 12:45 AM
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