Dog-horse Hybrids?

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EUGENE M. MCCARTHY, PHD GENETICS

     
reality thermometer
Reality Thermometer (estimated reliability of this cross).

Are dog-horse hybrids possible? Perhaps not. Such a cross would, of course, be extremely distant. Moreover, all in all, the available evidence for this cross is extremely thin (as reflected in the low temperature on the Reality Thermometer at right). But at least three such hybrids have in fact been reported, though it must be kept in mind that these reports are both old and uncorroborated.

The following is a brief account of a strange canine offspring foaled by a mare. It appeared on page 4 (col. 5) of the May 26, 1888, issue of The Progress, a newspaper published in White Earth, Minnesota (Access original)

    Equine and Canine
A mare belonging to Mr. Bellefeuille gave birth to a monstrosity on Tuesday. The feet, tail and head of this singular freak, bore a striking resemblance to that of a dog. It was lively and strong, and would, in all probabilities, have lived had not the owner unwisely put it to death.

White Earth is a census-designated place in Becker County, northwestern Minnesota.

In the next report only one forefoot resembled that of a dog. It appeared on the front page of the April 28, 1906, issue of The Bega Budget, a newspaper published in New South Wales, Australia (Access original)

    The champion freak of nature to date is reported from Goonoo Goonoo (wherever in thunder that is!). A foal was born which possessed an equine’s two hind legs, a calf’s near forefoot, while the off forefoot possessed all the characteristics of dog’s foot, with nails complete. The foal was born alive and sucked its mother three days. But the owner began to see the monstrosity in his dreams and was forced to shoot it.

It is not unusual for owners to put newborn hybrids to death, the reason being that they see them as unnatural monsters.

In a much older account, the 17th-century German equine veterinarian Georg Simon Winters von Adlersflügel (1703, p. 138) mentions that he himself saw a horse with a long dog’s tail at Castle Dachau in Bohemia in 1648. His illustration of the animal (Adlersflügel 1703, Plate 26) is shown below.

Of course, his mere assertion that he saw such a creature is no proof he actually did. It is true, however, that when horses are lying down, dogs will attempt to mate with them, as is documented in various YouTube videos. Moreover, Adlersflügel was one of the leading experts on horses of his day. One has to wonder why a respected professional would choose to fabricate such a story and even publish it under his own name?

dog-horse hybrid

A list of dog crosses

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.

dog-cow hybrid A dog-cow hybrid?
reliability arrow

Dog × Wolf >>

Coyote × Wolf >>

Dog × Dingo >>

Dog × Jackal >>

Dog × Coyote >>

Dog × Cow >>

Dog × Fox >>

Dog × Cat >>

Fox × Raccoon Dog >>

Dog × Maned Wolf >>

Dog × Bear >>

Dog × Primate >>

Fox × Raccoon >>

Dog × Sheep >>

Dog × Goat >>

Dog × Pig >>

Fox × Wolf >>

Dog × Horse >>

Dog × Rabbit >>

Dog × Turkey >>

Dog × Parrot >>

Dog × Hawk >>



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