Reminder: The selected responses presented below are a reflection of the collaborative effort of Hybrid Wolf Mailing List aka. Wolfdoglist members to share opinions / information about wolf x dogs, responsible "ownership" and breeding practices. This FAQ is not a scientific or veterinary resource. Some responses have been edited for brevity.
Wolfdog FAQ - Question # 5
Is there a genetic test to prove my animal has wolf in it ?
In 1993 dogs were reclassified as Canis Lupus Familiaris, a subspecies ofCanis Lupus. There is no test currently, DNA or blood, to determine whether adog has any "wolf blood" in him.
There has been, to my knowledge, no court case against a hybrid owner that was lost by the hybrid owner when the issue involved was identification. In other words, the states, counties etc. have been unable to prove in a court the identity of a suspected hybrid. This is primarily because wolves and dogs are the same species and no scientist has yet found a DNA marker that will hold up in court to "prove" an animal has recent wolf ancestry.
They probably never will, partly because a number of dog breeds themselveshave recent wolf ancestry (like German Shepherds - absolutely documented).Partly because scientists think dogs are multiphyletic, i.e. they probablyarose more than once from different subspecies of wolves. This would makean Alaskan malamute more related to a North American wolf than it would beto a German Shepherd (which probably derived from a European wolf). Wecan all have our opinions about which animals look wolfy butthis is just opinion. It does not hold up in court (at least so far).
Presently the answer to this question is no. There have been no geneticmarkers found to accurately do this test yet due to a lack of funding.
According to Dr. Robert K. Wayne there is about half a million dollarsand maybe a couple years needed to finish the work needed to do thistest. It has been on hold with no work being done on it now for manyyears.
One thing to keep in mind is that the wolf that all dogs descended fromwas the presently extinct southern type Eurasian wolf. This 40 lb. wolfvery much resembled the dingo. Dogs descended from these wolves that mandomesticated around 7 to 10 thousand years ago. This southern typeseparated from the northern wolf (the present day wolves) around 100,000years ago.
There has never been a domestication of northern type wolf. Some of theso called northern breeds are the result of secondary domestication. That is that they were crossed with northern type wolves and then breedback with dogs again, these are the only dogs that are directly relatedwith northern type wolves.
Just for a comparison, there is a genetic test to tell if an American Elkhas any European Red Deer (European elk) in it that has quite accuratelybeen used for over 5 years now. It is so accurate that they can tell youthe odds of getting a purebred elk from the breeding of a purebred elk toa particular elk that is part red deer. This test was developed for theelk farming that has become quite common now days to prevent unscrupulousbreeders from misleading people on the genetic background of stock theywere selling. This test costs around $50.
BTW in Europe they call moose, elk. So elk are considered a type of deerthere.
This test will be possible eventually.
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