Sheriff looks into wolf-dog, dangerous dog ordinance

ICSOA recent local case involving a wolf-dog hybrid animal caught the attention of Inyo Sheriff Bill Lutze. He has focused on the possibility of a new ordinance.

An incident in Lone Pine drew attention to the possibility of a wolf-dog which attacked another dog. State law says that first generation wolf-dog hybrids are regulated and permitted through the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Second generation hybrids are permitted, but cities and counties have the right to set up their own regulations. Sheriff Lutze said the case in Lone Pine involved checking the DNA of the animal. Reports of possible wolf-dogs in Independence were unfounded, according to the Sheriff.

As a result, Sheriff Lutze and others are looking into other counties’ “Vicious Dog” ordinances. State code does include a “Potentially Dangerous and Vicious Dogs” law. That statute defines dangerous and vicious dogs and says any dog, when unprovoked, on two separate occasions within a prior 36-month period is defined as potentially dangerous.

The process laid out in state law gives authority to the animal control officer or law enforcement officer to take action with problem animals and, if necessary, take the issue through the court process.

Sheriff Lutze will check out other cities and counties local laws for potentially proposing an ordinance here. Sheriff Lutze said in addition to wolf-dogs, some cities have banned pit bulls.

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34 Responses to Sheriff looks into wolf-dog, dangerous dog ordinance

  1. Ken Warner January 16, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

    Dogs are not wolves.

    Dogs and wolves had a common ancestor somewhere from 11,000 to 34,000 years ago, but aren’t as closely related as previously thought, new research says.
    A team of United States scientists have found the genetic overlap observed between some modern dogs and wolves resulted from interbreeding after dogs were domesticated, but was not due to a direct hereditary line originated from one group of wolves.

  2. Trouble January 12, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    I heard a wolf came to California in 2011 for the first time since the early 1920’s. Anybody know if it’s still here?

    • Steve January 13, 2014 at 9:56 am #

      That wolf’s range is on the Cali/Oregon border. It travels back and forth between the two states.

  3. sugar magnolia January 12, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    I lived next to two wolf/dogs briefly…they were not dogs. They didn’t exhibit dog behavior. They acted like wolves. They moved differently then dogs, they more slunk around. no barking at all, only howling sometimes. They avoided contact with humans. They were gigantic too with fairly long thick coats.

    At the time I had small children and these ‘dogs’ were in a yard with a low fence. If they had been kept any longer, I would probably have asked the neighbors to move them. I don’t know that wolf dogs are any greater risk in general, but any ‘dog’ not acclimated to humans is a risk.

    Don’t confuse the wolf/dog discussion with a dog discussion. they are very different animals.

  4. Waxlips January 12, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    Pits, Rottweilers, doberman pinschers, German shepherds and all of those other so-called dangerous breeds have all gotten bad wraps because of humans. Macho dog and macho man is a bad mix. Idiot dog owners that allow their dogs to bark all night and all day, it’s not the dogs fault it’s the human fault. Dogs are dime a dozen, there’s no reason to have a piece of doo dog.
    If you’re not a breeder you should have your dog fixed.

  5. cl January 9, 2014 at 11:14 pm #

    My dog regularly plays with a wolf hybrid but that dog was brought up with training and love. Can we get a law in mono county that 20 something year old dudes can’t own pits? It’s an epidemic

    • Trouble January 11, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

      I heard Mammoths Sheriff can make anything sit and stay.

      • Desert Tortoise January 11, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

        Even you? Lets test that.

  6. Wayne Deja January 9, 2014 at 8:59 am #

    ….IMO,this one is a tough call…..I think I might know this dog…..VERY big,but always has been friendly with me.Years ago,in Oregon,I had a dog off-leash attack my cock-a-poo on a fishing trip,and if it happened again,I would be much more prepared to defend my dog I have now with “lethal force”,which,being a big dog-lover, would be very hard to do.It’s hard to separate which types of dogs are the “bad dogs” and prone to biting… cocker spaniol once bit someone..I have no fear of entering a dog pen with a pit-bull now at a job I have to give her a weekly milk-bone..if a dog bites,it seems more the owner than the dog to blame….and if the dog is leashed on property and not roaming a neighborhood.It just doesn’t seem right for Law -makers or “authorities” to be telling people what kind dogs they can have…if a dog does a bad thing,then they can step in,but not before…but then,another arguement,people should not be allowed to profit and sell wolf-dog hybrids in the first place….wolves belong in the wild….not breeding with dogs for anyone to make a profit on…….tough call……

    • Holly January 9, 2014 at 11:21 am #

      I own 2 wolf dogs and I also am an educator for this breed. There are not bad dogs.’s bad owners. I respect all breeds but am actually more cautious with little ankle biters but you never see them listed on the BSL. Education is the key.

      • Desert Tortoise January 9, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

        Agreed. When walking my dog it is the psycho-chihuahuas that give us more trouble than the larger breeds. The wolf dog depicted in the video is a beautiful creature.

  7. Trouble January 9, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    Inyo County has one of the best Animal Shelters in the state, if not the best. I think the lady running our shelter is more knowledgable and much more qualified to speak on this matter. I like Sheriff Lutze , but I don’t like the idea of new laws that will do nothing but give the Sheriff and police more power to lock up dogs they deem vicious.

  8. Big Rick OBrien January 8, 2014 at 9:22 pm #


  9. Mongo The Idiot January 8, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    Mongo’s DOG never leaves his side to run amuck or do anything “unprovoked”.
    Recently a dog attacked Mongo’s leashed dog when he and Mongo were on a “health” walk.
    Mongo sends a special thanks to the lady who pulled over to tell Mongo he was overreacting while he was kicking the pee-whang out of the big nasty loose dog.

    • Deseert Tortoise January 9, 2014 at 8:19 am #

      I hear you Mongo. I carry a big three battery Maglite for exactly such encounters. “My daughter” is always in a harness and leash under my direct control, but some neighbors are not so concerned about the safety of their dogs or apparently socializing them.

      • Mongo The Idiot January 9, 2014 at 10:24 am #

        Good for you DT!
        Also, watch out for people who put their animals in harms way by letting them run amuck.
        It’s not the animals fault.
        Try YouTube, there are some pretty good attack dog videos that can give you an idea of what you are up against.

        • Desert Tortoise January 9, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

          I used to work as a bouncer at a major sports and concert venue. I have seen a police dog in action on a guy four of our bouncers and two cops could not subdue. This one bit right into the guys cookies and shook his head. I still wince thinking about it :0

          • Mongo The Idiot January 10, 2014 at 10:35 am #

            Yep, Its that first bite that can send you into shock.
            You got to be ready for it.

  10. Ashley January 8, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    I agree. Don’t punish all dogs and down owners over one bad apple. BSL’s don’t ever really benefit any one.

    • Ken Warner January 8, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

      Do you have a fool proof way of telling which dog is going to bite someone?

      Have you ever been bitten by a big dog? It hurts. And one bite can ruin a limb for the rest of your life. And you want to give people an opportunity to own a potentially dangerous dog? Why?

      • Deseert Tortoise January 9, 2014 at 8:17 am #

        So what exactly is a “dangerous dog” Ken? You cannot with any degree of honesty claim that one or more specific breeds are always and forever dangerous. Any breed of dog can bite. Any breed of dog can produce a gentle soul that just wants hugs. The solution to dangerous dogs is training, both for the dog but more importantly for the owner. Important too is punishment for those who abuse dogs or use them in fighting contests (lock the spectators up too, they are as much a part of the problem as the people raising dogs for these fights).

        i roll my eyes when I see the breeds some insurance companies and homeowners associations place in the “dangerous dog” category, breeds such as beagles and husky’s and even australian shepherds. A neighbor living in a community for prefab homes and mobile homes is being told to remove her husky because the HOA considers it a “dangerous breed”. It will lick you to death. People are over reacting and have no sense of proportion.

        • Benett Kessler January 9, 2014 at 9:03 am #

          Also, state law describes behavior in the dangerous dog code, not breeds.

        • Ken Warner January 9, 2014 at 11:58 am #

          DT: you always want accuracy in posts. Yet you imply that I said “breed”. Read my post again. I said DOG. You need to be more accurate in your posts.

          But a Wolf/Dog hybrid is not a dog. It is a wolf that has some canine DNA. And why would anyone want an animal like that? To impress other people with their — something?

          And punishment of the owner or dog after it bites someone does the victim little good. Oh, I’m sorry — here’s your face back…. You all are defending something that sounds really noble and generous — before something bad happens. And then after something bad happens — what? What will you do? Explain to the victim how he/she should give “hugs’ to your dog?

          You are living in a fairy tale world where dogs talk and act rational. Maybe you should teach your dog to drive.

          How many times have you been walking a trail and 2 or 3 dogs — off the leash — charge you while the owner just smiles and says, “…it/they won’t hurt you — it/they just wants to play…”. Should I start walking armed to defend myself against nice dogs who just want to play? I’m not buying your Pollyanna fantasy world.

          Dogs — and Wolf/Dog hybrids bite people. Stupid people defend that behavior.

          Each day, about 1,000 U.S. citizens require emergency care treatment for dog bite injury.1 The following studies examine injury occurrence and the dog breeds most likely to bite.

          In the 8-year period from 2005 to 2012, pit bulls killed 151 Americans and accounted for 60% of the total recorded deaths (251). Combined, pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for 73% of these deaths.

          Looks like breed specific behavior to me. But just keep on living in your fantasy world where everything is fine. Just look at your “Dogs Playing Poker” poster and get a good laugh. It will all be alright.

          • Desert Tortoise January 9, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

            I have been bitten too Ken. Waiting on the quarantine period for the dog was the source of the greatest difficulty for me. The bite healed fine but for weeks afterwards I was checking to see if the dog had croaked or not, worried sick I should get the rabies series (which I understand is now injected into the arm rather than your stomach-chime in if anyone knows for sure).

            A dog is just a domesticated wolf. Even today wolf pups taken at birth and raised by humans can be domesticated. It has been done so many times in experiments. If you want to understand the process study how Russian scientists succeeded in domesticating the silver fox from a wild animal to one that seeks out human company and affection, and in the process there were unexpected changes such as spotted or marbled coats, floppy ears, tails that curl over their backs and barking, none of which are present in their genetically identical wild cousins.

            Btw, you can buy a domesticated fox from Russia. They are cute as all get out but expensive.

            I have seen wolf hybrids, one in particular was about 200 lbs with a head larger than mine, in this case at a get together at a Harley dealership of all places. This animal was chill. Very friendly. Looked like my daughter only four times as large. Similar temperament too. Like I and others say, it’s the dog, not the breed. I don’t see the danger in a wolf hybrid or even a domesticated wolf if the owner raises the creature right and socializes it properly.

          • TBone January 11, 2014 at 11:45 am #

            “But a Wolf/Dog hybrid is not a dog.” WRONG.

            Wolves and dogs are the same species. Dogs are domesticated wolves.

            “And why would anyone want an animal like that?”

            Because they are magnificent creatures.

            “Dogs — and Wolf/Dog hybrids bite people.”

            Yes, they both may bite people, as you just said. So why distinguish by breed?

          • Ken Warner January 11, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

            Right, dogs don’t bite people — owners do. Grow up!


            Yes, wolf hybrids can be trained like other dogs, however once they grow tired of the “game” they may stop listening. This is the difference between a wild animal and a domesticated one. Wolves re-establish their dominance whenever they greet other wolves. Wolf Hybrids will often display this behavior with human beings and it can be quite dangerous when dealing with a 100 lb animal who is jumping, biting and attempting to show that he is boss. Wolf Hybrids often have issues with housebreaking. Scent marking is a huge part of their natural instinct. Never attempt to take an item away from a wolf hybrid as they can be extremely possessive and will put up a fight for items they believe to be theirs.

            Of course wolves are beautiful and strong, but when you breed a wild animal with the domesticated dog, you’re not going to get the best of both worlds. On the contrary, you’re going to end up with an animal who has an extremely high prey drive but lacks the fear of humans which wild wolves naturally have, but which the modern dog has lost through evolution and domestication. They will consider any small moving thing to be prey, meaning a dog, cat or even a small child. They are extremely unpredictable and have been known to attack and sometimes kill humans. Because they *look* like wolves, it is wolves that gets blamed for these incidents, when it is actually hybrids that are often responsible.

            As you can probably gather, wolf hybrids don’t make good pets. In fact, they aren’t really pets at all. While some of them may have traits of the dogs we consider to be “man’s best friend”, we can’t forget that they are actually wild animals and need to be treated as such. There are wolf sanctuaries where experts spend their days interacting and caring for these creatures. The sad fact is, these hybrids really shouldn’t exist in the first place. The individuals who breed these animals are only out to make money and perpetuate the idea that breeding a more “wild” dog is a good plan, when in fact – it is not.

          • Ken Warner January 11, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

            Use this URL:


          • Bob Loblaw January 11, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

            These statistics are cute, but the problem won’t go away with the dog breeds. The biggest problem with pit bulls and similar breeds is the losers who flock to them. They don’t know how to train or deal with dogs properly, and frequently foster aggressive behavior from their dogs (compensating for something?). A disproportionately large amount of these dogs are owned by nimrods.

          • Pedro January 12, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

            Own any breed or cross you want as long as I can kill it if it’s on my property unleashed. Why would anyone want a wolf cross unless they had a full time dogsled team or lived backcountry 90% of the time? Most people can’t even take care of potted plants or fully domesticated animals, let alone wild ones.

          • Joker January 13, 2014 at 9:57 am #

            Pedro- People always want to have things that others don’t or they think it’s cool or a status symbol. Unfortunate for the animals of the world.

  11. Desert Tortoise January 8, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    Breed specific bans should not ever be permitted. Maximize opportunities for dog owners to participate in the SPCA Canine Good Citizen program, which is as much about training the dog owner as it is training the dog.

    • BobK January 8, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

      I have to agree(and it’s not easy) with DT. It is not the breed of dog that causes trouble and attacks. It is the lack of training and abusive tendencies of the people that own these animals. There are many people out there that have no business having any animals. I don’t know anything about Wolf/Dog and Coyote/Dog cross-breeding, so I’ll stay out of that one.

      • Deseert Tortoise January 9, 2014 at 8:27 am #

        I have a sweet female husky and on occasion I am asked if she is a wolf, or on a couple of other occasions heard bystanders say to one another in a low voice “look, a wolf”. . “My daughter” is on the small side for a husky. A real wolf is about three times her size. It is that level of unfamiliarity that we are dealing with. I would hate to have to prove to some knucklehead cop that my dog is not a wolf hybrid to be seized because of some ill considered county ordinance and the aforementioned lack of familiarity with these breeds.

    • sugar magnolia January 12, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

      How is your comment relevant? Wolves are not a breed of dog.


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