Featured Image Credit: napkinsthefox / Instagram
Some pet owners get the satisfaction of trying to domesticate wild animals, such as the Canadian Marble Fox, instead of merely raising the usual household companions.
While this may be legal in some regions, we cannot stray away from the fact that these creatures have a tendency to be aggressive towards humans no matter how cute they may appear.
They can be unpredictable compared to dogs, so pet owners should take great caution in raising them.
If you want to learn more about Canadian Marble Foxes, make sure not to skip any section from this guide.
This offers a very comprehensive list of facts about this fox variety to help you decide whether owning them is worth the risk.
What Is a Canadian Marble Fox?
A Canadian Marble Fox, also known as Arctic Marble Fox, is a non-naturally occurring variety known for its predominantly white fur accentuated with grayish-black or brownish color. Their pointy muzzle and furry tail are similar to their other cousins even though they are a bit smaller.
It is essential to clarify that the word “Canadian” and “marble,” which are attached to their name, were not used to indicate another species but to describe the geographic location where they thrive and their fur coloring, which is marble-like.
Some people find this confusing because they think this creature is different from an Arctic Fox. They are just described more specifically to show distinction among other Arctic Fox varieties.
What Does a Canadian Marble Fox Look Like?
Canadian Marble Foxes are almost cat-like in appearance. They are known for their thick white fur and the symmetrical grayish-black rings on their eyebrows and their eyes’ rim. This is often referred to as a burglar’s mask and creates a phantom-looking effect.
They also have the same black markings inside their perky little ears, which completes the illusion that they are mythological. However, some of them have brown marks instead of black.
Here are some examples of Canadian Marble Fox from Instagram:
Meanwhile, if you want to see how spectacular they look in action, watch these videos from Youtube:
How Big Do Canadian Marble Foxes Get When Fully Grown?
There is a slight variation in the size of male Canadian Marble Foxes from the female ones, but they are both significantly smaller than other fox varieties. Males are usually 7 to 21 pounds, while females range from 3 to 8 pounds.
In terms of height, male Canadian Marble Foxes are also taller, with a measurement of 18 to 27 inches. Meanwhile, female Marble Foxes are around 20 inches tall.
Where Do Canadian Marble Foxes Come From?
As mentioned earlier, Canadian Marble Foxes do not naturally occur in the wild. The Fur Commission USA reported that the first marble fox was born on a farm owned by Sverre Omber in Norway in 1945.
Apparently, this fox variety results from a genetic mutation that happens when arctic foxes are bred with red foxes. This phenomenon is also called the color phase because it has developed a non-natural color morph or the marble shade.
Unfortunately, as years passed, some breeders were selfish enough to breed this animal for the fur trade. They selectively bred Canadian Marble Foxes because they saw them as profitable.
Just recently, the B.C. According to CBC News, Wildlife Park in Canada rescued a pair of these creatures from a facility in Quebec.
They are believed to be 4 years of age, and they are now being trained by the park’s staff to lessen somehow their slyness.
Watch the video below to see the Marble Foxes rescued by B.C. Wildlife Park:
Are Canadian Marble Foxes Domesticated?
To be honest, Canadian Marble Foxes aren’t meant to be domesticated. However, some people’s enthusiasm for this animal urges them to train and make them their household pets.
It is possible to teach Marble Foxes some tricks but expect them to forget almost all you have taught them after quite some time. They just aren’t built to be tamed because they belong to the wild.
If you choose to buy a Canadian Marble Fox from a legal breeder, understand that there are some risks you need to be willing to accept.
They are very unpredictable and may cause harm to your housemates or other animals. It is strongly suggested that you do in-depth research on this fox variety before spending your hard-earned cash to purchase one.
Where Do Canadian Marble Foxes Live?
Since Marble Foxes are a crossbreed of Red Foxes and Arctic Foxes, they can exist and live anywhere, depending on where they were born.
They were only called “Canadian” Marble Foxes because they are a native of Northern Canada and some other areas within the Arctic Circle.
Thus, the term Canada at the beginning of their name is only a geographical indicator of where they originated or where they are mostly seen.
Is It Legal to Own a Canadian Marble Fox?
As much as it is best to provide you with a concrete list of states that allow owning a Canadian Marble Fox in the United States, note that laws are ever-changing, and some of these may change over time.
However, only three states are known to permit keeping foxes as pets, and they are Indiana, Arkansas, and Alaska. Meanwhile, Texas, California, New York, and Oregon have an outright ban on pet foxes.
In Europe, the following countries allow the catching, breeding, and selling of pet foxes:
- United Kingdom
There are also some countries in Africa that consider foxes as legal pets. They are South Africa, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. In Asia, only Korea and Japan have an established law allowing foxes.
Your safest option would be to speak directly to an official who is well-versed in wild animal laws governing your area for you to be guided.
This is because many countries implement a blanket ban on owning wild animals, not only the Canadian Marble Fox. The main reason for this is that foxes have a tendency to carry rabies.
This can be harmful to both humans and other animals, primarily because they are known to be aggressive and sly.
Is the Canadian Marble Fox Endangered?
Although Canadian Marble Foxes aren’t common, they aren’t considered an endangered species because they are only a crossbreed of an Arctic Fox and a Red Fox.
In other words, they can be artificially bred anywhere as long as the breeder is professional and is permitted by the state.
Unfortunately, the fact that this fox variety is not endangered drives some people to exploit them in unspeakable ways.
Many animal organizations are already working on alleviating the occurrence of these illegal breeding practices, but some are still stubborn in trying to reproduce.
Canadian Marble Fox Temperament and Personality
Since Canadian Marble Foxes are a crossbreed of the Red and Arctic Foxes, it is risky to make them your household pet. They may initially be tamed by obedience training, but their actual characteristics will manifest after some time.
Canadian Marble Foxes are very stubborn, so it is quite difficult to train them. Hence, if you plan to own one, you need to train and socialize them early, especially since they tend to fear humans. Further, they need plenty of attention to not develop unlikeable characteristics.
Further, they can also be destructive, like their Red Fox parents, and they can also display aggression due to their hunting instincts. On the other hand, they can get along with dogs, but they need constant exposure to them.
A trainer colleague of mine who has 15 years in training dogs with difficult temperaments had the opportunity to train a five-month Canadian Marble Fox kit once. He has mentioned that it is nowhere near as easy as training domesticated dogs.
He had a difficult time due to the stubborn nature of the Marble Fox, and even with the use of positive reinforcement techniques, it is easily distracted, even by small movements or sounds around the area.
Canadian Marble Fox vs. Arctic Fox: What’s the Difference?
The Canadian Marble Fox and the Arctic Fox are essentially the same in temperament, but they seem to be different because of the geographical signifier and color descriptor used for the former.
Arctic Foxes usually come in two primary color morphs, which are white and blue. Because their genes are combined with those of the Red Fox, they have developed another color, the marble shade. Thus, the existence of the Canadian Marble Fox.
Note that this doesn’t happen naturally and is only possible because some breeders are dedicated to producing Marble Arctic Foxes.
Canadian Marble Fox Lifespan and Health Issues
Will you be able to keep the Canadian Marble Fox as your pet for a very long time? The answer is yes. They are known to live for 10 to 15 years in captivity if given proper care. Meanwhile, some reports state that they only thrive for 5 years in the wild.
They will only live for this long if all their ailments are treated, which is quite hard to accomplish, especially when you are illegally keeping them. Most veterinarians won’t help you because of the fear of lawsuits.
However, for those states where they can e legally kept, the Canadian Marble Fox needs to be monitored by veterinarians to ensure that they do not suffer from severe illnesses.
You should also have them vaccinated since they are prone to rabies and distemper. However, some foxes suffer from critical reactions to vaccines, so it would be necessary that your veterinarian is an expert on exotic animals.
Below are some other diseases that the Canadian Marble Fox might acquire:
- Bovine Tuberculosis: Bovine tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria that affects the animal’s lungs, intestines, and other parts of the body. Its symptoms include weakness and coughing.
- Leishmaniasis: Leishmaniasis is caused by a protozoa that is transmitted through the bites of sand flies. This can either cause skin or organ infection or both. Its clinical signs include fever, lack of appetite, weakness, weight loss, and nosebleeding, amongst others.
- Histoplasmosis: Also called Darling’s disease, this is a fungal disease that is chronic and non-contagious. The Canadian Marble Fox with this condition can suffer from weight loss, fever, diarrhea, and pale mucous membranes, to name a few.
In a controlled and clean environment, it is easier to prevent these illnesses from happening. However, if you observe the symptoms, partner with your vet immediately.
How to Care for a Canadian Marble Fox
Before heading over to a fox breeder, make sure that you know how to care for this wild animal you want to domesticate.
Raising these cute rascals is not an easy feat. This is something you need to know not to discourage you but to prepare you for the challenging job of being a fox parent.
Food and Diet
Foxes practically eat anything, be it kibbles, meat, vegetables, or fruits. Initially, they should only be fed twice a day. But you would need to make adjustments to suit their appetite in the long run.
Here are some other reminders about feeding your fox:
- Do not feed them sweet foods that don’t offer much nutrition.
- For healthier fur, you can give them grain-free kibbles.
- Do not make your fox hunt their live food; for instance, rats or mice. If they do so, they will think that all small animals are food, which will cause a big problem.
- If you feed your fox raw meat, they will need frequent deworming.
Cleaning and Grooming
Canadian Marble Foxes don’t need to be bathed frequently because they are pretty clean animals. However, they give out a foul smell due to their scent gland and urine.
There’s not much you can do about it because it’s a biological thing, but you can remove the odor through the following tips:
- Combine water and vinegar and spray it all over their enclosures.
- You may add dish soap to your solution to deter flies.
- Clean your Marble Fox enclosure twice a week. Eventually, you’ll be able to assess how frequently it needs cleaning.
- If your fox caused stains on your floor, use a combination of baking soda and vinegar to remove them.
Training and Exercise
Canadian Marble Foxes require special training, so you would have to be very cautious in settling them in your home. Here are some reminders when you start teaching them:
- If you bought a baby Marble Fox or one that is under 6 months of age, have him socialize with humans as much as possible.
- Talk to your fox so they get familiar with your voice.
- If you bought an adult fox, spend time sitting or lying with them so they become accustomed to your presence.
- Use treats in training them and do it every day.
Exercising your Canadian Marble Fox regularly is a must. They have a higher amount of energy than dogs or cats, so they would benefit from spending at least two hours walking or running outside.
This will make them happy and a little less fussy when you go home because they have already dispensed much of their energy.
If your lifestyle doesn’t allow spending time outdoors with your fox, you might need to reconsider if it is a good pet for you.
How Much Does a Canadian Marble Fox Cost? Prices & Expenses
It is difficult to state the exact price of the Canadian Marble Fox because there aren’t many breeders of this animal variety.
However, since they are only a cross of Red and Arctic Foxes, which are very common, they cannot possibly range from $400 to $3,000. Their price may vary depending on their marbling and their overall quality.
It is also necessary to note that some foxes are more expensive than others because of the breeder’s reputation and the parent fox’s lineage.
Places to Find Canadian Marble Foxes for Sale
Looking for a Canadian Marble Fox for sale is not that easy. You may encounter some breeders that illegally breed this variety and sell them at an expensive price.
While it is true that there aren’t many farms that sell this kind of fox, reputable breeders won’t ask for so much just to own this animal.
Here are some reminders before buying your very own Canadian Marble Fox:
- Check if it is legal to own a fox in your area.
- Find a veterinarian who knows how to handle wild animals and is willing to look after your fox.
- Understand that the Canadian Marble Fox is not a domesticated variety, so you would have to spend months training them.
- Background check the breeder you are buying from if they are licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Below are some known reputable farms/breeders where you can buy your Canadian Marble Fox:
- Lost River Exotics – Lost River Exotics is a small farm in Southern Indiana, run by a family of animal breeders. They are USDA licensed, but they do not offer tours on their farms because some of their animals haven’t had their shots yet.
- Frazier Farms – This breeder is located in Tennessee, and its facility is USDA federally licensed. They breed different fox varieties, so there is a possibility that you can purchase a Canadian Marble Fox from them.
- Panhandle Exotics – Panhandle Exotics has been around since 2012, intending to match pets to new families. They are located in Pensacola, Florida, and they are family-owned. You can view a wide variety of foxes and other exotic animals on their page. Their contact number is also posted there.
Always remember to do your research, even if you are dealing with a reputable breeder of foxes. Ask the breeder for tips and suggestions on how to become a successful owner of one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Allowed to De-fang Canadian Marble Foxes?
Some people think that removing the fangs of their Marble Foxes will help tame them, but this is a big mistake. It is not allowed to de-fang foxes because it is dangerous for them.
They might break their jaw in the process, which will create more problems. Not to mention that it is plain cruel to do such a thing.
Can the Canadian Marble Fox Scent Glands Be Removed?
If you can no longer deal with your fox odor, ask the help of animal shelters or wildlife parks if they can adopt them.
Never ever think of removing their scent glands because it is a complicated procedure that can be deadly for them. It also won’t remove the odor of their urine, so it is quite useless.
Does Spaying or Neutering Have an Effect on the Canadian Marble Fox Odor?
Unfortunately, the act of removing the reproductive organ of your Canadian Marble Fox cannot entirely remove the pungent smell they gave off. It will only reduce the scent of its markings, but the smell won’t go away completely.
In my opinion, if you are planning to spay or neuter your fox for this purpose, just skip it and find ways how to clean their cage thoroughly.
How Many Breeds of Fox Are There?
According to World Atlas, there are only 12 species that are tagged as true foxes:
- Arctic Fox
- Fennec Fox
- Pale Fox
- Blanford’s Fox
- Cape Fox
- Corsac Fox
- Tibetan Sand Fox
- Swift Fox
- Rüppel’s Fox
- Bengal Fox
- Red Fox
Among all these types, the Red Fox is the most common.
Can Marble Foxes Mate With Dogs?
The short answer to this question is no. It is impossible to mate with foxes and dogs because they do not share the same number of chromosomes, and their genetic pattern is different.
Although both are initially members of the same family, the evolutionary path they have taken for 10 million years is poles apart.
Canadian Marble Foxes are an intriguing type of animal. They look really adorable with their marble-colored fur and their small size, but they aren’t suggested to be family pets.
This is primarily because they are meant to live in the wild, and their temperament is not suited for a pet companion.
If you want to own a Canadian Marble Fox, you need to make sure that it is legal to own one in your state to avoid any lawsuit.
Also, you have to carefully study how to tame them and cater to their needs because they are simply not wired to be stay-at-home pets.
Before purchasing one, know that the responsibility of owning this animal is sometimes too overwhelming, and you have to be prepared physically and mentally for you to coexist peacefully.
Are you up to the challenge of domesticating a Canadian Marble Fox? Share your thoughts with us through the comments section below!