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Are Wolfdogs Technically not Hybrids?

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:30 pm
by Sparttan117
I recently found out that the domestic dog (canis lupus familiaris) is scientifically classified as a subspecies of the grey wolf (canis lupus). Would that mean that a wolfdog isn't a hybrid because both of the parents were the same species? This could just be me overthinking everything (in fact, it probably is), but if wolfdogs aren't hybrids, since most laws regarding wolfdogs regard hybrids between wolves and domestic dogs, would wolfdogs not technically have any special laws because they're not technically hybrids and legally have to be treated the same as domestic dogs?

Re: Are Wolfdogs Technically not Hybrids?

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:23 pm
by Ash
This is a difficult question, because it totally depends who you are talking to. Sometimes the dog is referred to as "Canis Familiaris" which means it's a different species entirely. I personally do not agree with that, but that's me. Unfortunately, lawmakers can and do have laws against hybridized dogs regardless, but depending on the wording of the law and the scientific name of the domestic dog they choose for their law to follow, they can and are still banned.

I personally stay away from the term "wolf hybrid" for the reasons you specifically stated. And use the term "wolfdog" instead.

Re: Are Wolfdogs Technically not Hybrids?

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:53 pm
by Sparttan117
Ash wrote:Sometimes the dog is referred to as "Canis Familiaris" which means it's a different species entirely.


The problem there is that the dog has been proven to be the same species as a wolf. The scientific name canis familiaris is outdated. The modern classification of dogs is canis lupus familiaris according to College Board in their Advanced Placement Environmental Science class, in organisms that sexually reproduce, if two organisms can breed and produce fertile offspring (fertile as in their offspring can have offspring of their own), they are biologically the same species. Even if you call them separate species (which I understand you personally don't Ash), they aren't. In the words of William Shakespeare, "What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet."

I just wish that lawmakers would wake up and base the laws that we live by on objective science that is proven rather than personal preference and belief. :wall:

Edit: formatting

Re: Are Wolfdogs Technically not Hybrids?

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:26 pm
by TamanduaGirl
Maybe, kinda, but not really. Species vs Subspecies is not that cut and dry. There's no exact line. There's several factors weighed then the decision is kind of arbitrary. (I know there's a self appointed group that "regulates" naming but sometimes the classification of subspecies or not seems to change as the wind blows).

New science also say dogs did not evolve from wolves but both evolved from a previous more ancient species which more likely makes them similar closely related but separate species. https://www.nature.com/scitable/blog/ac ... ted_wolves

Doesn't really matter either way if the law says they ban a hybrid of wolves, using hybrid instead of mix doesn't invalidate the law just because they are technically listed as subspecies. If the law was science based then they would just ban wolf mixes rather than just not banning them due to hybrid being invalid.

Re: Are Wolfdogs Technically not Hybrids?

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:31 pm
by GitaBooks
The word hybrid can be used with subspecies as well. I believe that the Domestic Dog and Wolf are separate subspecies of the same species. In this case, they are a hybrid. Sort of like a hybrid between the Zabu type cow and the European type cow. Technically they are genetically distinct, but not enough so that they are considered separate species.

Re: Are Wolfdogs Technically not Hybrids?

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:29 pm
by naja-naja
Taxonomically/scientifically, they are not. Legally, for ownership/licencing/ban purposes they are.