One of the more fascinating things about nature is the offspring of interspecies breeding. The Liger, a hybrid between the lion and tiger, is a unique example. Wolf dogs are also popular among dog enthusiasts and have been bred for centuries. What about a mix of the dog and jackal? Is this possible?
It most certainly is! Although not common, there are instances where this has happened. Read on below to find out more.
What Is the History Behind Jackal Dog Hybrids?
Jackal dog hybrids were first recorded in the 18th century by a naturalist from a Dutch East India ship. He adopted a jackal that mated with his spaniel, producing the first recorded hybrid. He later mated the hybrid with a terrier, and it gave birth to around five puppies, proving these hybrids are fertile. In the 19th century, Charles Darwin also mated a jackal with a dog as he was researched the interbreeding between canine species and whether the hybrids produced were fertile.
Russians also started breeding jackals with huskies for hunting in the 1970s, claiming that the hybrid had stronger senses and was superior to hunting dogs. Hybrids could identify each person’s scent, track animals over long distances, and withstand low temperatures.
How Does a Jackal Dog Hybrid Happen?
A jackal dog hybrid can happen when a female jackal and male dog mate or a female dog and a male jackal mate. The offspring usually carries 50% of each parent’s DNA and usually takes on traits from both parents. Phenotypically, it can resemble both parents or take more after one parent.
The color of the coat and size will mainly depend on the breed of dog the jackal mated with. The length of the coat also differs. Golden Jackals, the most popular species, have a golden-colored coat. When they mate with dogs, the hybrids may have a dark or a light coat color.1
Other physical factors that are affected are the ears and feet. Jackals tend to have short, triangular ears, while dogs have long, straight, or floppy ones. The hybrid can have long triangular ears with rounded tips. The toe pads also differ between hybrids.
What Other Animals Can Breed With Dogs?
Now that we know that jackals can breed with dogs to create adorable puppies, the question remains, what other animals can dogs breed with?
It’s not shocking that wolves and dogs have been bred in the past to create wolf-dog hybrids. Wolves are natural hunters, and humans have always been fascinated by them. Gray wolves have been crossed with wolf-like dogs such as German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies to improve domestic dogs and develop exotic pets. Dogs and wolves also sometimes hybridize freely, producing fertile offspring. Typically, a wolf-dog takes after the wolf parent in size and characteristics.
Wolf dogs are highly controversial due to their size and characteristics, making them unfit as domestic pets.
Coyote-dog hybrids were once prevalent in Pennsylvania due to the interaction between dogs and coyotes. Most of these “coydog” populations occurred naturally and had a red or brown coat. The hybrid offspring tends to have more dog-like traits. However, the breeding pattern between coyotes and dogs is not synchronized, which makes interbreeding uncommon. The solitary nature of coyotes has also made this kind of mating uncommon.
Coydogs are unsuitable as pets, and they are thus likely to be abandoned or allowed to stray.
What Is the Legal Implication of Canine Hybrids?
In some states in the U.S., dog hybrids (wolfdogs) are illegal and considered wild animals mainly due to their wild nature. Wild canines crossbred with other animals are often held in captivity mainly for research. They may also pose a serious threat to human health and other animals in their environment as well as an ethical problem in keeping wild species in captivity. In other states, wolfdogs are either allowed with strict regulations or completely unregulated.
According to the AVMA, persons who own canine hybrids should be aware of the laws in their state and have a permit for their presence. They also need special housing for the hybrids away from people and other domestic animals because they can exhibit unpredictable behavior.
Do Animals Ever Breed With Other Species?
Breeding between different animal species is rare but not unheard of. Some types of seals, dolphins, birds, and big cats have been known to mate with other animals. It’s difficult to explain why it happens since it has no particular benefits. In most cases, the offspring produced does not function well and may not survive into adulthood.
Antarctic fur seals have been seen chasing and mounting king penguins. These episodes have been documented with no clear understanding of why they may have happened.
Jackal dog hybrids are certainly real and very possible. Humans have attempted to domesticate everything from snakes to hippos and even crocodiles. For centuries, the Golden Jackal has made an impression on Middle Eastern civilizations—Anubis, an ancient Egyptian god, was depicted as a man with the head of a jackal. According to ancient records and fables, jackal pups were hand raised and tamed.
Featured Image Credit: Achim Rodekohr, Pixabay