Phenotyping

Words Matter.

Sometimes Plan B is contacted to help rescue a wolf dog, only to discover once the rescue is in motion, the dog has been mislabeled and contains no wolf content.

To help educate the owners, animal control, shelters, and the public, Plan B conducted DNA tests on four dogs labeled as wolf dogs and one labeled a dog. As expected, the DNA tests indicated zero wolf content for the four and a mid-level content for the one everyone assumed was a dog. Of note, one of the dogs tested for zero wolf content was set to be euthanized by a local shelter because animal control had determined it was a wolf dog. The mislabeling of her was her death sentence. Thankfully this dog was saved and now lives happily with her new family.

Phenotyping is a skill, and some guidelines offer assistance when identifying if a dog is a wolf dog. The following are two resources that were recommended to Plan B:

National Lupine Association Phenotyping Pamphlet

Effective Wolfdog Phenotyping by Richard Vickers

Why is this important?

There are many states within the U.S. where wolf dogs are illegal. There are also areas where wolf dogs may be legal statewide, but in certain counties, they are not.

Below is a map for reference only and is not intended to be legal advice or considered as such. Anyone looking to start a rescue, adopt or foster a wolf dog should check with their local, county, and state laws before taking on such a responsibility.

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