These Rare Japanese Tanuki Dogs Look Identical To Raccoons

Without all the trash and dirt

How many times have you asked that “not an animal person” friend of yours to admit that raccoons are actually adorable?

Most dog/animal lovers alike would agree that despite their “trashy” behavior and general smell that raccoons are underrated as far as cute animals go. But what if you could have a pet as adorable as the lovable rodent, but with all the companionship of the beloved dog? Ladies and gents, we present to you the rare Japanese dog: the Tanuki.

The Tanuki are a sub-species of the Asian raccoon-dog. They’re often associated with raccoons and badgers even though they are not related because of their resemblance to each other. Take a look at some pictures of the adorable little beats below:

This one’s actually named Tanu, and his adventures are documented by his owner on Twitter.

According to Japanese legend, Tanuki has been represented in folklore as jolly and mischievous, and can even shape-shift. We think they’re cute enough as is, so hope they stay as is.

Main image courtesy rumpleteaser via Flickr