How often does mating between wolves and dogs happen in Germany?
In Germany, there was one confirmed case of hybridisation between a female wolf and a domestic dog in Saxony (near Neustadt/Spree) in 2003 and one in Thuringia (near Ohrdruf) in 2017. In 2019, the female wolf in Ohrdruf (Thuringia) mated with her son that was born in 2017, so that she gave birth to hybrid pups once more (first backcross generation). There was an additional case of hybridisation between a female wolf and a male dog in the Czech Republic near the German border (Schluckenauer Zipfel) in 2016. In all cases, removal of the hybrids from the wild was decreed.
Wolves in Germany are genetically monitored on a routine basis. Much more than 3,000 putative wolf samples yearly are genetically analysed in a stepwise process at the national reference centre for wolf and lynx genetics at the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt, Research Station Gelnhausen. First, each samples is tested regarding the quantity of available DNA. When there is enough DNA available for genetic analysis, a section of the mitochondrial control region is analysed, which allows for identification of the maternal lineage. This procedure makes it possible to identify the species even from samples with little DNA and gives information regarding assignment to populations (identification of haplotypes). However, it is not suitable to identify the degree of hybridisation. The following step aims at detecting the individual genetic fingerprint from microsatellite analysis of the nuclear DNA. The DNA profile allows for kinship analysis (identification of the pack where the individual originated from, when the pack has been identified before, assignment of offspring) as well as identification of hybridisation events. The latter is additionally checked through so called SNP analyses, which have been developed for identifying hybridisation up to the third generation (= second backcross generation).
Against this background, it is unlikely that further, undetected cases of hybridisation have taken place in Germany.