I know what you’re thinking, why would my beautiful little pooch ever be in a situation where they’re face to face with a fox? Well, for many of us whippet owners, we’re based in the UK, some in urban and some in rural areas.
Foxes are very common in these areas as there is plenty of foods for them to pick up, such as bins, litter and other waste. Likewise, with those that live in the countryside, foxes will be in the area hunting for rabbits and other small prey for them to eat.
This means that if you do live in these areas and own a whippet, you may find that your pet comes face-to-face with a fox. So can a whippet kill a fox?
The short answer to this is yes, but it largely depends. Firstly on the size of your whippet and their prey-drive, as well as the size of the fox. If necessary, your whippet is more than equipped to defend themselves in such situations, but so is a fox, so it’s a very even battle that you should avoid at all costs.
Let’s take a closer look…
Why Would A Whippet Need To Kill A Fox?
As mentioned above, there are some scenarios where your whippet may come across a fox and could potentially be fighting for their life. Here are some of the most common reasons why your whippet may need to kill or defend themselves against this predator.
If you’re a regular reader here at WhippetCentral, then you’ll know that whippets are notorious for being working dogs due to their strong prey drive.
Although whippets are small dogs that are typically used for hunting small game such as rabbits and rats, sometimes when out in the field they may encounter a fox and enter pursuit.
This is ILLEGAL, so always ensure you’re deterring your whippet from chasing foxes or other large game.
Living in the UK, foxes are quite common, especially in rural and urban areas. If you and your whippet live in an apartment block in the city, your pet could run into a fox late at night and may need to defend themselves.
Will My Whippet Attack A Fox?
If your whippet comes across a fox, whether out in the field or in the streets late at night. The chances are that your whippet will chase a fox.
Whippets have an incredibly high prey-drive, which means their natural instincts are very strong. They will often chase rabbits, cats, foxes, badgers, deer and much more. Almost any animal that is small and “prey-like”, your whippet will chase.
That being said, this does largely depend on the individual dog and how strong these instincts are. In most cases, yes your whippet will attack a fox, so it’s incredibly important to ensure your pet is trained to a high standard so that you can keep control of their instincts as much as possible.
This involves always ensuring that they are leashed when letting them out in rural areas or late at night in the city, as well as ensuring that their recall is exceptional so that you can intercept the pursuit if needed.
If your whippet does chase and catch up to a fox, this could be disastrous as foxes are predators that are often larger than whippets, it’s important to separate the pair immediately to reduce damage on both parts.
Should I Be Wary Of Foxes In My Area?
If you know that there are foxes in your local area, you should be very wary whilst walking your whippet, especially when off the leash.
Your whippet will likely bolt after a fox at lightning speeds before even giving you a chance to react, and often they’ll have the drive and speed to catch up to a fox which as mentioned could be a disaster.
You’ll always want to be on the lookout for foxes whilst walking your whippet, and it’s wise to keep a close eye on your whippet in case they catch the scent of this predator.
Thankfully, foxes are very timid and will stay well away from humans and dogs, but in the unlikely event of your whippet spotting a fox you should always know how to react.
What To Do If My Whippet Chases A Fox
So, what should you do if your whippet has bolted after a fox and is in hot pursuit of these ginger ninja’s?
- First, you must rely on your recall training; assertively and loudly command your whippet back to your side.
- If this fails, keep calling your whippet back to you whilst following the pursuit to intercept when possible.
- If you’ve caught up to the pair and they are fighting, you should cautiously grab the collar of your whippet and release his grip from the fox, or vice-versa.
- Foxes are much more likely to flee than fight, and they’ll only fight if they have to, so it’s important to gain back control of your whippet as quickly as possible and allow the fox to flee from the confrontation.
- If your whippet has sustained any damage from the fight, you should take them to a veterinarian immediately and explain the situation. Foxes can carry disease that could harm your whippet if not treated swiftly.
The above situations are very rare and unlikely, but it’s always best to know how to react should the worst happen and your whippet encounters a fox in the wild.
The best way to ensure your whippet never encounters a wild fox is by preventing foxes from coming into your proximity in the first instance.
This can be done by paying close attention to your surroundings, never leave rubbish, litter or food outside your home as this is a magnet for wild foxes.
If you live on a farm and own livestock such as chickens or sheep, then you’re at much more risk of having foxes come into your area so should be extra vigilant and cautious if you own a whippet.
Whippets and foxes won’t be friends, your whippet will detect a fox with their incredible eyesight often from afar, and once they’ve spotted a fox they will often bolt after them at incredible speeds.
Foxes and whippets really won’t get along, so it’s important that you do everything possible to stop this encounter from ever happening. To answer the question of can a whippet kill a fox?
Yes, a whippet could kill a fox, but this largely depends on circumstance as some whippets are much larger than others, and some foxes are also quite small.
So yes, a whippet could kill a fox, but just as easily a fox could kill your whippet. This matchup is really down to circumstance and luck, which is why you’ll want to avoid your whippet encountering a fox in the wild at all costs.
Hopefully, this post has given you some insight into the dangers if your whippet comes across a fox, and has helped you prepare for should this encounter ever happen.