EUGENE M. MCCARTHY, PHD GENETICS, ΦΒΚ
I am obliged to report that which is reported, but not to believe it.
—Herodotus, The History, VII, 152
That male dogs will mount goat does is documented on YouTube (see, for example, the video at right). The reverse mating, billy goat × bitch, also happens, but seemingly with less frequency. Goats also sometimes nurse puppies (see video at right), as do dogs, goats (lowermost video). Such fostering of young animals can result in imprinting, the tendency of an animal when sexually mature to seek mates of the same kind as the foster parent.
But can a cross as disparate as that between a dog and a goat actually produce hybrids? Reports about dog-goat hybrids are rarer than those for certain other types of crosses that seem equally bizarre, such as dog-cow, human-cow, or human-pig. Perhaps the difference is due to the fact that cattle are far more common in developed countries than are goats? Cattle in the U.S. outnumber goats by a factor of about 30 to 1.
One alleged dog-goat hybrid was reported in a news story that appeared in the Gazette de France on May 6, 1768. The Gazette, when it was discontinued in 1915, was the oldest newspaper in France. The same article was reproduced in the scholarly journal Mémoires de l'Académie de Prusse. The reported event allegedly occurred in the village of Mussey, which has since been merged with Val-d'Ornain, a commune about 25 miles north of Joinville in northeastern France. An English translation of the text reads as follows: “We have obtained from Joinville the following particulars, which are
Another report about dog-goat hybrid from the eighteenth century, and from a gazette, appeared on the front page of the August 5, 1788, issue of the Gazeta de Mexico (source). It says that on the 19th of June, 1788.
The following report (which was originally published in the Las Vegas Optic, a newspaper published in Las Vegas, New Mexico) appears on page 5 (column 2) of the February 20, 1902, issue of the Albuquerque Daily Citizen, a newspaper published in Albuquerque, New Mexico (source). It reads as follows:
The following report, which originated in the Indianapolis Journal, appeared on page 2, column 7, of the February 4, 1904, issue of The Saint Paul Globe, a newspaper published in Saint Paul, Minnesota (source):
Another, short report of an ostensible dog-goat hybrid appeared in the February 22, 1910, issue of the Viennese newspaper Welt Blatt:
See also a brief account about a goat-dog hybrid on page 4 of the December 13, 1903, issue of The Indianapolis Journal, a newspaper published in Indianapolis, Indiana (source). In this case, however, the animal pictured in the illustration accompanying the article could easily pass for an ordinary mixed-breed dog.
The following is a list of reported dog crosses discussed on this site. Some of these crosses are much better documented than others (as indicated by the reliability arrow). Moreover, some are extremely disparate, and so must be taken with a large grain of salt. But all have been reported at least once.
By the same author: Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World, Oxford University Press (2006).
Human Origins: Are we hybrids?
On the Origins of New Forms of Life
Cat-rabbit Hybrids: Fact or fiction?
Georges Cuvier: A Biography
Prothero: A Rebuttal
Branches of Biology