With over 300 dog breeds and countless mixes, it’s impossible to know what every dog looks like. Instead of trying to memorize the characteristics of each breed, sometimes it’s easier to remember what isn’t a dog. Here are seven animals that are not man’s best friend.
This stocky guy is definitely not a dog but is a relative of the weasel. Although the wolverine is a ferocious hunter of small mammals, most of their food comes from scavenging leftovers of larger prey.
Despite their tough attitude, wolverine dads are active in their offsprings' lives. Not only do they check in on their family as they are raised, but once the young mature, they are known to reconnect with their dad to learn survival skills.
Nope, it’s not a new dog hybrid. Despite their name translating to “earth wolf” in Afrikaans and their dog-like features, they have no relation to the canine kind (or to aardvarks, for that matter) and are more closely related to cats. However, like aardvarks, they do prefer tasty termites over other, larger prey. They are even able to withstand the defensive scent of soldier termites which keeps other predators away.
Although they have the same number of teeth as a canine, for your sake, let’s hope you never mistake this fellow for a dog. Though they may look cute and cuddly, the Tasmanian Devil is one grouchy marsupial. With a bite that can crush bone, a spine-chilling shriek and a repulsive scent, it’s best to leave them alone.
Don’t let the name fool you — prairie dogs are rodents who share family ties with squirrels, chipmunks and marmots. Like their squirrel cousins, prairie dogs also have some smart minds. To the human ear, their calls may sound like nothing more than repetitive squeaks, but those little noises might be the most complex vocal language decoded. Not only can they alert their colony of impending danger, but they can also share specific characteristics of predators, like an approaching human wearing blue.
These fluffy creatures may be just as cute as dogs, but red pandas don’t have much else in common with our four-legged friends.
They also are not closely related to giant pandas but do share a similar diet of lots and lots of bamboo. Members of this endangered species are skilled climbers and spend the majority of their time in the trees. During the day they’re likely to be caught snoozing since their nights are spent jumping tree to tree to find the best grub.
Nope, no dogs here, just ancient tapirs that leave more questions than answers. With short legs, a stubby tail, a weight that ranges from 500-800 pounds and a trunk that is actually their upper lip and nose, they almost seem make-believe.
As herbivores, they love lush leaves and juicy fruits, which they eat with the help of their trunks. Though they look like they’d sink in water, they are actually great swimmers and divers, often plunging under to snack on aquatic plants and cool off. There are only four species of tapirs, all of which are rapidly declining.
Found in South America, the maned wolf is truly a lone wolf — well, kind of. Though they belong to the Canidae family, they aren’t closely related to any other canine species and instead are the only remaining species of the genus Chrysocyon.
Unlike other canines, maned wolves are solitary, even when it comes to hunting small mammals. They also love fruits and veggies, which make up over 50% of their diet.