Is A Shih Tzu Really A Wolf?

We know that dogs evolved from wolves, but how much of the fierce apex predator really remains in our loveable fuzz balls?

Will Lockett
7 min readJun 29, 2020

--

Photo by Alvan Nee on Unsplash — Shih Tzus in a hammock

Today we have around 150 different species of dogs, from cute little Pugs, Pekingese and Shih Tzu through to the behemoths like the Great Dane, Chow Chow and St Bernard. But how did this colourful array of pooches evolve from the sleek Grey Wolf? And does that mean a Shih Tzu is still a wolf?

Let’s get a mind-bending fact out of the way first. Grey Wolves (Canis Lupis) and Domestic Dogs (Canis Familiaris) might have different names, but they are in fact the same species. If a dog and a wolf mate, they produce fertile offspring. These ‘Wolfdogs’ are truly terrifying to behold!

Yuki The WolfDog — As featured in Pocket Travel Guide — He is 87.5% Grey Wolf, 8.6% Siberian Husky & 3.9% German Shepherd

However, while dogs like Huskies and German Shepherds might be physically able to mate with a wolf, a lot of other dog breeds physically can’t. So, I doubt we will find any Pugwolf hybrids any time soon… That would have to be one very brave Pug!

Although dogs technically are wolves, their genetics are different enough to tell them apart. This is because other than the occasional…

--

--

Will Lockett

Independent journalist covering global politics, climate change and technology. Get articles early at www.planetearthandbeyond.co