Definitions

Coydog

Coydog

[kahy-dawg, -dog]

A coydog is the hybrid offspring of a male coyote (Canis latrans) and a female dog (Canis lupus familiaris). Together they are genetically capable of producing fertile young. The dogote, a similar hybrid, is the result of breeding a male domestic dog with a female coyote. Where the cross-breeding of animals is concerned, the father's species gives the first part of the offspring's name.

History

Coydogs were once believed to be present in large numbers in Pennsylvania, due to coyotes being in decline and domestic dogs being available as mates. Most were probably naturally occurring red or blond coyotes or were feral dogs. If interbreeding between the species was common, the coyote population would be expected to acquire more dog-like traits with each successive generation. Coyotes have also been crossed with Australian dingoes.

Rarity

Dogotes are fairly rare in the wild, in part because female coyotes are fertile for only about 60 days out of the year. Wild coydogs and dogotes can cause problems for humans, as they allegedly have the infamous cunning of coyotes but lack their natural fear of humans.

Breeding habits

Coyotes also breed with wolves, resulting in coywolves. Coyote/red wolf hybrids have also been found. Some zoologists do not consider the American red wolf to be a true species since it can hybridize with both the gray wolf and the coyote. The argument that it is a gray wolf/coyote hybrid prevents conservation efforts.

See also

External links

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