Wolves and dogs are extremely close when it comes to the genetic makeup of each animal. They look similar, they behave in similar ways, and they have the same amount of chromosomes.

While the animals are very similar, and share close to 99% of the same DNA, there are enough differences in their biology for science to give these animals two different labels.

Similar but Different

According to World Population Review, Wolves (Canis lupus) and Dogs (Canis lupus familiarise) do not normally mate. Unless a human is involved in creating a wolfdog hybrid, dogs and wolves almost always stick to their kind.

Some wolfdog hybrids are more than 90% dog and less than 10% wolf while others are closer to a 50-50 mix. Supposedly wolfdog hybrids aren't even considered a breed, due to how infrequent their births are.

Wolves and dogs mature at different rates. Wolves mature between 1 and 4 years, and your standard family dog usually will take less than 1 year to reach their sexual maturity.

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If you were interested in owning a wolfdog hybrid can you legally do so in Iowa? Some states completely ban people from owning this type of animal, some states have regulations, and others states leave this completely unregulated. What is the law in Iowa?

Is it Legal?

There is no federal law against owning a wolfdog and there are many states where it is completely banned. Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Rhode Island, and Wyoming have all made it illegal to own a wolfdog hybrid.

According to World Population Review, it is completely legal to own a wolfdog hybrid in the state of Iowa! If you're interested in owning one, it is still important to check your local county laws, as this could vary in each Iowa county, and you may need a permit, depending on where you live.

Do They Make Good Pets?

According to WolfPaws, wolfdogs generally do not make great pets. "They are part wild animal and once they reach adulthood, they can start to demonstrate their wild nature."

Close to 65% of wolfdogs end up in a rescue or are euthanized by the age of 3. Many owners feel overwhelmed, don't have enough space, and/or don't take the dedicated time to give their wolfdog pet.

Issues To Think About Before Owning a Wolfdog

You need more than a plot of land or a good dog park nearby to give them room to roam and run. Without proper space, these animals can get irritated, which can create behavior problems or even dangerous situations. Another potential issue is finding a vet who is comfortable with a wolfdog care. Not all vets are willing to treat wolfdog hybrids and it can be difficult to find the care the animal needs/deserves.


Wolfdogs also aren't necessarily looking to please their owners. A standard family dog normally finds its place in the family pack and is looking for praise. Most wolfdogs don't behave like this and are normally independent animals. This can make them hard to train.

The same goes for boarding. If you ever go on a vacation or a business trip and have to leave your pet for a few days, not all dog boarding kennels will allow wolfdog hybrids.

Finally, rabies vaccines become a big issue. "Few, if any, work to protect hybrids because they simply aren't made to work with those sets of combined genetics," according to World Population Review.

Other issues can come with owning a wolfdog such as; escape artists, socialization, prey instincts, etc.

Here we have another case of just because you legally can in Iowa doesn't mean you should. Even the greatest animal trainers in the world can struggle with the size, demands, and time it takes to train wolfdog hybrid. If you're someone who works a regular job and is gone from the house daily, safely owning a wolfdog hybrid can be extremely difficult.

Iowans Celebrate National 'Love Your Pet' Day

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

Weird Names Iowans Have Given to Their Pets

Iowans submitted strange and weird names they have given their real pets and these are some of the strangest. *The animals in these photos are not the owners real pets*

Gallery Credit: Gabe Glidden

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