To prevent Swiper from success, Dora must repeat the phrase, "Swiper, no swiping!" three times. Usually, she prevails, and Swiper slinks away, snapping his fingers and saying, "Oh, man!"; sometimes, however, Swiper gets to the item before Dora has a chance to repeat the phrase. He then gloats, "You're too late!" (and frequently "You'll never find it now!")
Swiper's pelt is primarily an orange burgundy creme, with highlights on his eyebrows, the top of his snout, undercarriage, and the end of his tail. His white eyes and black pupils are concealed behind a blue do-rag/mask, matching his gloves.
Swiper's motive for theft is patently childish; he never seems actually to want the object he takes, since he almost immediately throws it away to hide the item from Dora (prompting her to ask the audience to help her find it). Until recently, it was unclear if he swipes merely for the joy of swiping, or from a desire to annoy and frustrate Dora. Compounding the confusion is the fact that, given the right reason, for example, that the item in question is a present for Dora's puppy, he'll return items he has taken, no matter how much effort he went through to get them. It is also shown that he rarely knows the full importance of what he's taken; for example, he had no idea the aforementioned gift was for Dora's puppy. In the episode "Dora Saves the Mermaids", he revealed that he "liked swiping." He has some kind of New York accent and lives in a burrow on top of Blueberry Hill.
Swiper is very fast and agile, and something of a master of disguise. He seems to have a great deal of technical knowledge, as he's built a variety of vehicles and gadgets (including a remote-controlled robot butterfly) to help him swipe things. Most of the time, however, he simply relies on his natural stalking abilities (sometimes with the aid of a costume, he would always give himself away as his Signature tail connately pops out of the costume) to sneak up on Dora. In the early episodes he often "hid" by curling up into a ball, which neither Dora nor Boots ever recognized as Swiper; he apparently doesn't do this anymore.
He has only been seen once without his mask, when the robot butterfly he built to swipe from Dora and Boots (in the episode "Dora's Got a Puppy") apparently malfunctioned; after they stopped it, it swiped his mask and gloves and kept them from him for a few humorous seconds. (See picture below)
Although his age is not mentioned, he celebrates a birthday in the season 2 episode, "Whose Birthday is It?". He is however possibly in his younger adult years; he has a young voice, appearance, and he has a living grandma. None of Swiper's relatives has ever been seen, but his grandmother has been mentioned in two episodes: "A Letter for Swiper" and "Swiper the Explorer".
Over the course of the series, it's shown that there's more to Swiper's character than an urge to swipe things. In one episode it was revealed that Swiper has a soft spot for puppies, and in another that he likes Cowboy cookies. In a few episodes, he expresses feelings of joy with a fox-like cry of, "Yip-yip-yippee!" In the episode "A Letter For Swiper," Dora filled in for a delivery bird whose glasses were broken; Dora delivered stickers to Swiper (which were sent by his grandmother), and he thanked her for it without trying to swipe anything. In the episode "Swiper the Explorer," Swiper helps Dora on her quest to help Baby Fox find its mommy, and Swiper carries the baby fox almost all through the episode. Also in this episode, it's revealed that Swiper doesn't speak Spanish, and wishes that he did.
The interaction between Dora and the antagonistic fox also reveals the kindness and grace of Dora's character. In one episode, "Dora's Dance to the Rescue", Swiper took pity on a Dancing Elf who was caught in a magic bottle, similar to a genie. The elf tricked the sympathetic Swiper into removing the bottle's cork, thereby releasing the elf and his talking cane. Unfortunately, the wily fox was thereby entrapped in his place. Stuck and desperate, Swiper called out to Dora and Boots. The remainder of the episode chronicled an epic adventure involving most of the land's creatures, eventually ending with the release of Swiper after a dance contest. The episode was atypical as it involved many dances and songs, demonstrated a close, un-conflicted relationship between Swiper and the other creatures, and had Dora refer to the elf in an uncharacteristically judgmental way ("mean Elf").
In this and several other episodes, Swiper finds himself captured, trapped, or in some sort of trouble. Despite his history of mean-spiritedness toward Dora, she demonstrates that the fox is her friend (which he doesn't find out until "Dora's World Adventure") and will always unquestioningly help Swiper just as she would her other friends, Benny, Isa, Boots, and Tico. If Dora needs his help he will come to her aid in the same manner.
In "Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure", another atypical episode, Swiper's love of swiping ends up getting him on Santa's naughty list, when he fails to head Santa's warnings about swiping on Christmas. At first, everyone dismisses what has happened, but Dora immediately insists on helping Swiper. After asking Santa if she can do something, Santa sends Dora and Swiper on an epic quest through time to help Swiper get off the naughty list. Upon coming back, Swiper initially fails his quest, but everyone then expresses that Swiper is their friend and that they want to share their gifts with him because they care about him, despite all the things he's done. It is at this point Swiper learns the true meaning of Christmas, and tries to give Dora his most prized possession, a stuffed bunny he had since he was really young. Dora refuses to accept it but suggests that they can share it, and Swiper shares his bunny with her. Upon seeing him share his bunny, Santa returns and puts Swiper back on the nice list. It is then revealed that Swiper shared his gifts and didn't swipe anything every Christmas after that.
Swiper is far from being unable to feel guilty for his actions. In the episode "A Present For Santa", Swiper returns the present that he swiped, upon discovering that it was for Santa.
In the episode "Dora's World Adventure", Swiper helps Dora return the friendship bracelets he had swiped all over the world, and was shown to feel guilty once he discovered the magnitude of what he'd done and what he had stolen. During this time Swiper gets a taste of his own medicine, so to speak, as each country they visit has its own "Swiper," only of different species, who tries to steal the bracelets: Fifi the skunk in France, Sami the hyena in Tanzania, Fomkah the bear in Russia, and Ying Ying the weasel in China. All of these animals act and dress nearly identically to Swiper and are stopped in the same way he is: by saying their name, followed by "no swiping" three times. Then they run off, saying Swiper's catch phrase, "Ohh, maann" in the local language. Their entrances are also preluded by a sound, only with local music; e.g. Ying Ying has a chau Gong|gong playing.
Swiper was born around the same time as some of the child characters, but Swiper has seemingly aged at a faster rate possibly because of his species difference. Swiper spent a lot of his childhood with his Grandma Fox. As for his stealing, the only known reason he does it is for fun (possibly) but the writers didn't want to give Swiper a detailed backstory on his stealing because they thought the show would be cleaner that way.
- Swiper is not considered a true villain. He's just sneaky and he tends to reveal his good side on some episodes. Thus he's role is more that of a mischievous antagonist who means no real harm to anyone.
- In "Bark Bark to the Play Park", it is revealed that he is the owner of Perrito's Twin.
- Swiper lost one of his gloves in the episode "The Lost City" but got it back.
- Swiper has interacted with various characters to show his good side.
- When Swiper appeared on "Dora In Wonderland", his role was the Knave of Hearts.
- Swiper makes his return on the Dora and Friends episode "Return to the Rainforest", where he manages to swipe Backpack and Map from Boots as he was taking them to visit Dora and her friends in Playa Verde, only to end up being blown away by a strong wind, before he can hide them. After being confronted by Dora over his theft and explaining what happened, he joins Dora and her friends (past & present) in helping find Map and Backpack.
- He also appears in the Dora and Friends: Into the City! episode, "Dora's Rainforest Reunion".
- Swiper doesn't want anyone else swiping from Dora but him.
- Swiper was raised by his grandmother.
- In Dora's Got a Puppy, it's the only episode Swiper is seen without his mask and gloves.
- Sometimes Swiper can be found on his good side in some episodes, but he's mostly swiping almost throughout the series.
- Swiper never makes an appearance in Go, Diego, Go!, he's never seen or mentioned.
- Dora and Boots don't like it when Swiper is sometimes swiping from them, but whether they like it or not, that's his job which he seems to not care, but sometimes he tries not to swipe anyway even though he likes to.
- In Beaches, Swiper makes his whisking sound as soon as Dora and Boots finish the Travel Song.
- Swiper doesn't seem to ever be seen crying throughout the series whenever he gets sad about something, however, in Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure, he almost cries.
- Both Map and Swiper have never gotten other voice actors throughout the series unlike all the other characters getting new voice actors and voice actresses, they're the only ones that have always been voiced by Marc Weiner.
- Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure is the first episode Swiper says Swiper, no swiping! to his future self which doesn't work due to Older Dora telling him that they stopped having their Christmas party because of him going on swiping no matter what after he got on the naughty list which makes them still too late whether they like it or not, it wouldn't work for him anyway when he's too old.
- In Beaches, Dora and Boots sing part of the Travel Song while Swiper is on to him sneaking behind every booth because Dora tells the viewer to watch out for him while they're singing it.
- Sometimes Swiper doesn't make his whisking sound when he's around, sometimes Dora and Boots immediately just mention him coming out and to watch out for him.
- In Three Little Piggies, Swiper doesn't swipe anything even though he's trying to but he sometimes says "you're too late", but when Dora and Boots are singing We Did It!, they technically steal his catchphrase and say he's too late trying to swipe the pigs' blue ribbons.
- Sometimes Swiper travels with Dora instead of Boots whenever he's in his good side or even with both of them in some episodes, because Boots is sometimes busy and unable to travel with Dora or she sometimes travels alone without anyone.
- Swiper has gotten a few major roles in some episodes whenever he has ideas on swiping, or if he's ever on his good side.
- Swiper's Favorite Things is the last episode in which he is on his good side the entire episode, however, in Dora's Thanksgiving Day Parade, he appears at the end of the episode and he's on his bad side for a short time almost about to swipe the pie but he turns to his good side right away when he feels sad about getting left out and everyone inviting him to the Thanksgiving Dinner Party.
- In Rescue, Rescue, Rescue!, Dora and Boots zoom pass Swiper in Tico's rocket car while he's approaching and they don't even see him coming just as they're getting to the Gooey Geyser as fast as they can saving Benny.