Dog Hybrids

Family Canidae



dog-cow A dog-cow?

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Note: A great variety of dog hybrids are known, or at least reported, perhaps because these animals are more indiscriminately promiscuous than most mammals. There are, for example, well-documented cases of dogs mating with birds, though — not surprisingly — no avian-dog hybrids are known (although a few have been reported).

Canis anthus [African Wolf]
× Canis aureus [Golden Jackal] CHR. CON: southern Israel. Hybrids were produced in 19th century breeding experiments (Cuvier 1824). Two hybrids survived from a litter of five. Although these two jackals were long treated as conspecific, they were split by Koepfli et al. (2015).

Note: The diploid chromosome number of golden jackals is 2n = 78.

Canis aureus Golden Jackal
(Canis aureus)

Canis aureus [Golden Jackal]
See also: Canis anthus, Hyaena hyaena × Canis familiaris.
× Cuon alpinus [Dhole] CHR?? CON: southern Asia. Pocock (1941, p. 163) mentions this hybrid but offers no details.
× Canis familiaris (↔) [Dog] CAENHR(India). HPF(♂&♀). CON: southeastern Europe, Africa, Asia. See the separate article about jackal-dog hybrids.
× Canis latrans [Coyote] CHR. HPF(♂&♀). DRS. The Nuremburg Zoo (Germany) reported a male and a female F₂ hybrid. Herre 1965; International Zoo Yearbook 1967 (p. 310), 1968 (p. 298), 1970 (p. 260), 1971 (p. 272); Seitz 1959b, 1965.
× Canis lupus [Wolf] ENHR. HPF(♂&♀). CON: Eurasia, northern Africa. Natural hybrids have been detected in DNA studies. Gaubert et al. 2012; Moura et al. 2013
+ Canis simensis [Ethiopian Wolf | Simien Fox] Nicol (1971) says a wild C. simensis male regularly associated with jackals and mated with jackal females. However, he mentions no hybrids, and none seem to have been reported elsewhere.

Note: Canis dingo is often treated as conspecific with C. familiaris and/or C. lupus.

Canis dingo [Dingo] (2n = 78)
× Canis familiaris (↔) [Dog] CAENHR. HPF(♂&♀). CON: Australia, Indonesia, New Guinea, southeast Asia. See the separate article about dingo-dog hybrids.
× Canis hallstromi [New Guinea Singing Dog] CHR. DRS. London Zoo and Nuremburg Zoo have both had hybrids. International Zoo Yearbook 1968 (p. 298), 1970 (p. 261), 1971 (p. 272); 1990 (p. 454).
× Canis lupus (↔) [Wolf] CHR. HPF. DRS. Anonymous 1932; Barlett Society; Flower 1929a (p. 114); International Zoo Yearbook 1969 (p. 226); Zuckerman 1953.
× Canis pallipes [Indian Wolf] CHR. DRS. Hybrids were produced at the Melbourne Zoo in 1934. The Argus (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: 1848-1956) Thursday, Sept. 20, 1934, p. 7.
× Vulpes vulpes [Red Fox] DRS. Gray (1972, p. 49) cites Kaleski (1933) for this cross, but Kaleski’ book is speculative and seems unreliable. Darwin (1868, vol. 1., p. 31) mentions that “Dr. Hodgkin states that a female Dingo in England attracted the male wild foxes,” and says “with respect to Dr. Hodgkins’ statement made before Brit. Assoc., see ‘The Zoologist,’ vol. iv., for 1845-46, p. 1097.”

Canis familiaris [Domestic Dog] (2n = 78)
See also: Canis aureus; C. dingo.
+ Anas platyrhynchos [Duck] No actual hybrids of this type have been reported, but there are many videos on YouTube showing male dogs mating with female ducks.
+ Anser cygnoides [Swan Goose] Mating is reported, but no actual hybrids. See the separate article “Bird × Mammal.”
× Bos javanicus [Banteng] See the separate article “Dog-cow Hybrids.”
× Bos taurus [European Domestic Cattle] See the separate articles “Dog-cow Hybrids.”
× Canis latrans (↔ usu. ♀) [Coyote] CAENHR(North America). HPF(♂&♀). See the separate article about coyote-dog hybrids.
× Canis lupus (♀?) [Wolf] CAENHR(North America, Eurasia). HPF(♂&♀). See the separate article about wolf-dog hybrids.
× Canis pallipes [Indian Wolf] NHR. India and adjacent countries. Manners-Smith 1901.
× Canis rufus [Red Wolf] NHR(southeastern U.S.). Gipson et al. 1974.
× Canis simensis (♀) [Ethiopian Wolf | Simien Fox] NHR(Bale Mountains, Ethiopia). Hybridization is considered a threat to the critically endangered Ethiopian Wolf. A handful of hybrid wolves were recorded in the Web Valley of the Bale Mountains in the 1980-90s. The hybrids had short muzzles, stocky bodies and distinctive coat patterns. Gottelli and Sillero-Zubiri 1992; Gottelli et al. 1994; Sillero-Zubiri and Macdonald 1997. Pictures: source.
× Capra hircus [Goat] See the separate article about goat-dog hybrids.
× Cerdocyon thous [Crab-eating Fox] CHR. CON: northeastern South America. Cabrera and Yepes (1940) say hybrids from this cross were used by indigenous hunters of the Guianas (see also Van Gelder 1977b, p. 11). Darwin (1868, vol. 1, p. 23) writes, “In Guiana it has been known since the time of Buffon that the natives cross their dogs with an aboriginal species, apparently the Canis cancrivorus [which is a synonym of Cerdocyon thous]. Sir R. Schomburgk, who has so carefully explored these regions, writes to me, 'I have been repeatedly told by the Arawaak Indians, who reside near the coast, that they cross their dogs with a wild species to improve the breed, and individual dogs have been shown to me which certainly resembled the C. cancrivorus much more than the common breed.'” Gray (1972, p. 48) incorrectly equated “Pseudalopex azarae” with Cerdocyon thous, which led her to list this cross. However, the reports she cited (Heck 1932, Krieg 1925) refer to C. familiaris × Pseudalopex gymnocercus.
× Chrysocyon brachyurus [Maned Wolf] See the separate article about maned wolf-dog hybrids.
× Felis catus [Domestic Cat] CAENHR(North America). HPF(♂&♀). See the separate article about cat-dog hybrids.
× Felis concolor [Puma] See the separate article “A Dog-puma Hybrid?
+ Gallus gallus [Domestic Fowl] See the separate article “Dog-chicken Hybrids.”
× Human [Homo sapiens] See the separate article about primate-dog hybrids.
× Hyaena hyaena [Striped Hyena] Nott (1856, p. 495) states that the dog produces hybrids with the hyena, “but to what extent has not yet been determined.” However, he provides no citation, and this cross does not appear to be substantiated by any reliable report, although it is mentioned by various early writers (e.g., Scaliger 1612, p. 648). Hyenas, along with foxes, wolves and jackals, do figure in the speculations of various authors concerning the origins of the domestic dog. Blumenbach (1776, p. 9) notes that Bochart (1663, p. 832) suggested that the jackal (Canis aureus) was a product of this cross.
+ Lepus europaeus [European Hare] Mating is reported, but no actual hybrids. Peter Simon Pallas, the 18th century naturalist, says a tame hare kept with dogs mated with a bitch. This report is mentioned merely to document the fact that very different animals are sometimes willing to mate, even in certain cases where the production of hybrids would seem unlikely. Pallas (1767-1780, fascicule IX, p. 36).
× Macropus sp. [Kangaroo] See the separate article “Dog-kangaroo Hybrids?.”
× Meleagris gallopavo [Turkey] See the separate article about an alleged turkey-dog hybrid.
× Oryctolagus cuniculus [European Rabbit] See also the separate article “Dog-rabbit Hybrids.”
× Ovis aries [Sheep] See the separate article Dog-sheep hybrids.
× Panthera leo [Lion] There appear to be no reliable reports of dog-lion hybrids, but Aristotle (On the Generation of Animals 747b33-36) states the following: “a dog differs in species from a lion, and the offspring of a male dog and a female lion is different in species.”
× Panthera tigris [Tiger] Although there appear to be no reliable reports of hybrids of this type, Aristotle (History of Animals, Book VIII, Chapter 27) does offer the following bit of hearsay in connection with this cross: “They say that the Indian dogs are derived from the tiger and the dog not directly, but from the third mixture of the breeds, for they say that the first race was very fierce. They take the dogs and tie them up in the desert. Many of them are devoured if the wild animal does not happen to desire sexual intercourse.” For further discussion of this topic in Aristotle, see Platt (1909). Likewise, Diodorus Siculus (Library of History, XVII.92) states that an Indian ruler, Sopeithes, gave Alexander the Great a gift of tiger-dog hybrids: “To Alexander he presented many impressive gifts, among them one hundred and fifty dogs remarkable for their size and courage and other good qualities. People said that they had a strain of tiger blood. He wanted Alexander to test their mettle in action, and he brought into a ring a full grown lion and two of the poorest of the dogs. He set these on the lion, and when they were having a hard time of it he released two others to assist them. The four were getting the upper hand over the lion when Sopeithes sent in a man with a scimitar who hacked at the right leg of one of the dogs. At this Alexander shouted out indignantly and the guards rushed up and seized the arm of the Indian, but Sopeithes said that he would give him three other dogs for that one, and the handler, taking a firm grip on the leg, severed it slowly. The dog, in the meanwhile, uttered neither yelp nor whimper, but continued with his teeth clamped shut until, fainting with loss of blood, he died on top of the lion.” A video on YouTube shows a tame tiger mating with a large dog (a Rottweiler) in captivity.
× Primates [Primate] Mating is reported, and there are old reports claiming that actual dog hybrids involving primates have occurred. See the separate article about primate-dog hybrids.
× Pseudalopex gymnocercus (♀) [Pampas Fox | Argentine Fox] (= agarae) CHR. CON: Uruguay, Paraguay, southern Brazil, northern Argentina. Reared with a Fox Terrier, a Pampas Fox mated with the dog to produce two litters, with a total of five fox-dog hybrids. A single male hybrid survived to maturity. It was more like its dam than its sire. Heck 1932; Krieg 1925. See also: Canis familiaris × Cerdocyon thous.
× Sus scrofa [Pig] See the separate article about pig × dog hybrids.
× Ursus americanus [Black Bear] See the separate article about bear-dog hybrids.
× Ursus arctos [Brown Bear] See the separate article about bear-dog hybrids.
× Vulpes bengalensis (♀) [Bengal Fox] CHR. CON: Pakistan, India, southern Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh. Hybrids of both sexes were born to a vixen and a mongrel dog (Alsatian × Bull Terrier). Raj says fox-dog hybrids from this cross are generally doglike in appearance, but have straight bushy tails and are nocturnally active. Raj 1953.
× Vulpes vulpes (♂) [Red Fox] CHR. HPF. See the separate article about fox-dog hybrids.

Note: Canis hallstromi is often treated as conspecific with Canis familiaris, and sometimes as a subspecies of Canis dingo.

Canis hallstromi [New Guinea Singing Dog] See: Canis dingo. Duff and Lawson (2004) do not list Canis hallstromi.

Coyote (Canis latrans)
(Canis latrans)

Canis latrans [Coyote] (2n = 78)
See also: Canis aureus; C. familiaris.
× Canis lupus (♂) [Wolf] CAENHR(North America). HPF. See the separate article “Coyote × Wolf.”
× Canis rufus [Red Wolf] CAENHR. HPF. CON: Texas and eastward in the southern U.S. Paradiso (1968) examined a large series of Canis specimens from eastern Texas and found they spanned the entire range of variation from typical latrans to typical rufus, which led him to conclude that massive hybridization between the two was occurring; but see the separate article “Coyote × Wolf.” McCarley (1962) suggested that the entire population C. rufus rufus is the product of hybridization between C. latrans and C. rufus gregoryi. Clutton-Brock et al. 1976 (p. 143); Custer and Pence 1981; Gipson et al. 1974, 1975; Honecki et al. 1982 (p. 245); International Zoo Yearbook 1975 (p. 371); Kelly 1999; Linzey 1970; Mengel 1971; Paradiso 1968; Paradiso and Nowak 1972; Riley and McBride 1975; Young and Goldman 1944 (p. 480).
× Vulpes vulpes (♀) [Red Fox] CHR. Two male pups were born at Cohanzick Zoo (Bridgeton, Connecticut, U.S.). Neglected by their mother, they died after three days. The parents were in contact with each other at an early age and perhaps imprinted on each other. International Zoo Yearbook 1975 (p. 372); van Gelder 1977b (p. 10).

Wolf (Canis lupus)
(Canis lupus)

Canis lupus [Wolf] (2n = 78)
See also: Canis aureus; C. dingo; C. familiaris, C. latrans; C. familiaris × C. latrans; and the separate article about wolf-dog hybrids.
× Canis pallipes [Indian Wolf] CHR. DRS. Though once treated as a separate species, the Indian Wolf is now usually treated as a subspecies of C. lupus. Hybrids were born in the London Zoological Gardens in 1850, 1932 and 1934. Flower 1929a (p. 114); Zuckerman 1953.
× Canis rufus [Red Wolf] NHR(southeastern U.S.). See Canis latrans × C. lupus. Clutton-Brock et al. 1976 (p. 143); Honecki et al. 1982 (p. 245).
× Canis simensis [Ethiopian Wolf | Simien Fox] NHR(Ethiopia). A carnivora forum website posted a picture of a probable hybrid.
× Hyaena hyaena [Striped Hyena] This cross is listed in early texts, but is not substantiated by any reliable modern report. Conrad Gesner (1560, p. 78) says, “The hyena conceives by a wolf and brings forth Onolysum, as it is pronounced (it is written Monolycum), which lives not in a herd but as a solitary, and wanders among men and flocks, as a Greek wrote recently, who attributes to him indeed rough thick hair: and without neck vertebrae and stiffened in one upright bone” (translated in Zirkle 1935, p. 34).
× Panthera pardus [Leopard] This cross, mentioned in early natural histories, supposedly produced the “lycopanther.” This claim has not, however, been substantiated by any reliable modern report. Gesner (1560, p. 68), Zirkle 1935 (p. 33).
× Vulpes vulpes [Red Fox] CON: North America and Eurasia. See the separate article “Wolf × Red Fox.”

Canis pallipes [Indian Wolf] (2n = 78) See: Canis dingo; C. familiaris; C. lupus.

Canis rufus [Red Wolf] (2n = 78) C. rufus is now usually regarded as a hybrid population derived from the cross Canis latrans × C. lupus (Wilson and Reeder 2005, p. 577). Nevertheless, Nowak (2002) argued that the red wolf should still be treated as a separate species. See: Canis familiaris; C. latrans; C. lupus, and the separate article “Coyote × Wolf.”

Canis simensis [Ethiopian Wolf | Simien Fox] See: Canis aureus; C. familiaris; C. lupus.

Cerdocyon thous [Crab-eating Fox] (2n=74) See: Canis familiaris.

Chrysocyon brachyurus (2n=76) [Maned Wolf] See: Canis familiaris.

Cuon alpinus Dhole (Cuon alpinus) Image: Wikimedia, Kalyanvarma

Cuon alpinus [Dhole] (2n = 78) See: Canis aureus.

Pseudalopex gymnocercus [Pampas Fox | Argentine Fox] See: Canis familiaris.

Urocyon cinereoargenteus [Gray Fox] (2n = 66)
× Vulpes vulpes [Red Fox] CANHR. CON: North America. Bezdek (1944) describes a probable natural hybrid, which had black ears, feet, and stockings, a typical red fox (Vulpes vulpes) face and tail, including the white tip. The back sides, and belly were typical of the normal gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus). Cole and Shackelford 1946 (p. 326); Seton 1929.

Vulpes bengalensis [Bengal Fox] (2n = 60)
See also: Canis familiaris.
× Vulpes vulpes [Red Fox] NHR?? CON: India. In an old report McMaster (1871, p. 55) expresses his suspicion that a fox he shot near Hyderabad was a hybrid between V. bengalensis and a “desert fox,” then treated as Vulpes leucopus, but now as a subspecies of V. vulpes.

Vulpes lagopus [Arctic Fox]
× Vulpes vulpes (usu. ♂) [Red Fox] CHR. HPF. CON: northern North America, northern Eurasia. See the separate article" Arctic Fox × Red Fox."

Vulpes macrotis [Kit Fox] (2n = 50)
× Vulpes velox [Swift Fox] ENHR(southwestern U.S.). The hybrid zone, which is about 100 km wide, is in southeastern New Mexico and western Texas. Its position corresponds to the interface between high plains grassland and desert. These taxa are often lumped. Egoscue 1979; McGrew 1979; Mercure et al. 1993 Packard and Bowers 1970; Rowher and Kilgore 1973; Thornton and Creel 1975.
× Vulpes vulpes [Red Fox] NHR(southwestern U.S.). Three probable hybrids were taken in western Texas (Reagan Co.). The karyotype of one hybrid had 43 chromosomes. Creel and Thornton 1974; Rowher and Kilgore 1973 (p. 164); Thornton et al. 1971.

Red Fox Red Fox (Vulpes Vulpes) Image: Minette Layne

Note: The North American Red Fox, also known as the Silver Fox, Vulpes fulva, was long treated as a separate species from the European Red Fox (to which the epithet Vulpes vulpes was formerly restricted), but most authorities now lump it with V. vulpes, which is the treatment followed here. Gray (1972, p. 52) says that according to Gudmundsson (1945), hybrids between silver fox and European red fox abort when inseminated with silver fox semen. For additional information on hybrids of this type see: Cole and Shackelford 1946; Flower 1929a; International Zoo Yearbook 1968, 1971.

Vulpes vulpes [Red Fox] (2n = 34) See: Canis dingo; Canis familiaris; C. latrans; C. lupus; Urocyon cinereoargenteus; Vulpes bengalensis; V. lagopus; V. macrotis and the separate article “Raccoon × Fox.”
× Felis cattus [Domestic Cat] NHR?? An old news report describes a hybrid of this type (or, perhaps, bobcat × fox). It appeared on page 2, col. 4 of the Jan. 2, 1911 issue of the Norwich Bulletin published in Norwich, Connecticut (source). It reads as follows: “George Pierce of North Sterling is making a record that will put him in line for proclamation as the champion fox hunter of Windham county. He killed five of the animals during December, one of them hybrid, half fox, half wildcat weighing nine and one-half pounds. This animal is described as having a head of the shape of a fox with cat’s ears and teeth. The animal was undoubtedly much the same as the one shot at South Killingly last winter and later exhibited in Danielson.” Note that from the description it is unclear whether the suggested feline parent is a bobcat (Felis rufa) or simply a wild cat (Felis cattus).

deer-cow hybrid Deer-cow hybrids?

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By the same author: Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World, Oxford University Press (2006).

Dog Hybrids - ©

Darwin’s views on the origin of dog breeds

In The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication Darwin (1868) expressed his opinion that the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) is originally derived from extensive interbreeding of various types of wild canids, which seems to contradict the viewpoint he gives in The Origin of Species, where he says that evolution occurs as a variety of descendant types arise from a single common ancestor. But in Variation (1868, vol. 1, p. 26) he says: “From this resemblance in several countries of the half-domesticated dogs to the wild species still living there,—from the facility with which they can often be crossed together,—from even half-tamed animals being so much valued by savages,—and from the other circumstances previously remarked on which favour their domestication, it is highly probable that the domestic dogs of the world have descended from two good species of wolf (viz. C. lupus and C. latrans), and from two or three other doubtful species of wolves (namely, the European, Indian, and North African forms); from at least one or two South American canine species; from several races or species of the jackal; and perhaps from one or more extinct species.” And a few pages later (Darwin 1868, vol. 1, p. 31) he says, “Pallas assumes that a long course of domestication eliminates that sterility which the parent-species would have exhibited if only lately captured; no distinct facts are recorded in support of this hypothesis; but the evidence seems to me so strong (independently of the evidence derived from other domesticated animals) in favour of our domestic dogs having descended from several wild stocks, that I am led to admit the truth of this hypothesis.”

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