Mating between dogs and coyotes, jackals, wolves and dingoes produces offspring. Interbreeding occurs in the wild and due to human intervention. The term "coydog" generally applies to the offspring of a dog and a coyote, although some apply the term "dogote" to the offspring of a female dog and a male coyote. Serological studies are used to help determine ancestry, including interbreeding, according to Suny College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
DNA studies determine if an animal possesses dog, coyote or both dog and coyote genes. According to Mike Forstner of the Texas State University biology department, the process involves comparing the DNA of an animal to database sequences.
Although universities and research facilities evaluate specimens to determine the genetics of animals for research or other purposes, commercial laboratories rarely test for interbreeding parentage. Although some companies may offer wolf-dog testing, no commercial testing for coyote mixes is available as of August 2010.
According to Clemson University, breeding in the wild between coyotes and dogs rarely occurs in the southeastern United States. Unless legitimate concerns exist, such as a known breeder of the mix, testing presents expenses with probable negative results. If your dog likely possesses coyote heritage, contact university and research centers about special case testing.
According to author Betsy Sikora Siino, the offspring of dogs and wild animals often pose serious safety issues. Testing your dog helps determine the presence of coyote DNA and may help guide training and other issues. Be aware that some states and local areas prohibit or place restrictions against ownership of the offspring of domesticated and wild animals.
- MSNBC.Com: Coyote + wolf = new breed of predator
- New Hampshire Fish and Game Department: Wildlife Profile--Eastern Coyote
- Digital Journal: Mangy Coy-Dogs Raise Specter of Chupacabras in Hood County Texas
- Conservation Northwest: DNA samples confirm gray wolves are back in Methow Valley
- Born Free USA: Summary of State Laws Relating to Private Possession of Exotic Animals
- coyote image by Sue McMurtrie from Fotolia.com