Under the assumption that keeping a dog itself is haram, can Muslims keep pets such as foxes or wolves, which are closely related to dogs but not actually full-breed dogs?
Or can they not keep anything that is in the dog family as a pet?
Most Scholars see that wolves and other predators are not “Najas” as dogs, however having them as pets is another subject detailed below.
The main Rule is keeping animals is permissible except for the ones mentioned (dogs and pigs) or harmful animals that have no use for humans.
Thus it’s allowed to keep a fox or a wolf if there is a need for that, and if you can take good care of them. (Said: Shehab Al-Din Al Ramly).
If there is no need for them, scholars say not to have them because it is a waste of time and money:
Abu Barzah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "Man's feet will not move on the Day of Resurrection before he is asked about his life, how did he consume it, his knowledge, what did he do with it, his wealth, how did he earn it and how did he dispose of it, and about his body, how did he wear it out." [At-Tirmidhi].
Scholars say you may keep such animals (wolf, lion, tiger, etc… ) if you can train them to hunt (for it’s master not for itself) or to guard, while it’s guaranteed not to attack or harm others, but if there is any risk in keeping them then it’s forbidden to keep them, on the contrary they should be killed:
A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: Five are the vicious beasts which should be killed even in the state of Ihram: scorpion, rat, kite, crow and voracious (Alakor) dog. Sahih Muslim 1198 c
Malik said in the Muwatta:
Whatever killed, attacked or scared people such as lion, tiger, leopard or wolf is “Alakor”
Some scholars said the bear and lion cannot be trained for hunt for their master, because they will have their hunt for them selves, so they do not see they can be kept.
It depends on the situation for example you may need a dog for security of your house or maybe it is a guard dog for someone who is blind. However, keeping a dog inside your house as a pet is not permissible as the saliva of the dog is full of germs and bacteria. On the other hand, if you have a big enough back garden you could maybe build a small dog hut/house which is okay as the dog is not in the actual house but is outside.
The general view is that everything is permissible unless there is a verse in the Quran or a hadith that would say it is prohibited. Since we know from many hadiths that keeping dogs is not allowed (check the link above in the comment section). However, That was for dogs specifically. The evidence to support my claim is that we don't use foxes or wolves to guard the herd or the sheep.
So you can assume that keeping foxes and wolves...etc is allowed in Islam.