We love our pets, but if you're thinking of getting a dog, stay clear of a specific kind.

Pets bring us comfort. They're snuggly, mostly predictable, and during the pandemic, they kept us a lot of company when we had to stay inside.

Most pet owners in Illinois have dogs, according to Pawlicy. Nearly half of Illinois residents are pet owners and 32.4% of those folks have dogs. 21% have cats.

But what kind of dog? Arguments over dog breeds are nothing new. Many of them, like pit bulls, are debated as some folks say they can be loving, nonproblematic animals, while opponents say that they are naturally inclined to violence.

There are tight laws in Illinois' wildlife code on owning exotic animals but there's one kind of pet that you cannot legally own in Illinois for a few reasons.


You cannot legally own a wolfdog in Illinois. The Wildest says that many states are split on this issue. By definition, wolfdog is a dog that has a pure wolf in it's family, no more than 4-5 generations back. Temperament aside, there is not an approved rabies vaccine for wolfdogs.

This puts wolfdog owners in an awkward spot: either lie to their vet about the dog's pedigree or sign a waiver that they understand the off-label vaccine may not provide full protection and can result in the dog being impounded if it bites someone.

Would A Wolfdog Be Safe To Own?

It's probably not a good idea. There is not a consistency to their temperament. Some can be loving and loyal and suddenly attack. Some may be aggressive their whole lives. Some could be a perfect pet from day one.

Dogs and wolves already share 99% of their DNA but that 1% makes a big difference. One thing that makes the whole situation trickier is that there is not genetic testing that can be done (or at least that's definitively reliable) to determine if the animal is a wolfdog.

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