Wolf Like Dogs: 19+ Breeds To Adopt
Throughout the history of mankind, humans have bred dogs for the purpose of hunting, herding, and companionship. While most domestic dogs do not closely resemble their wolf ancestors, some breeds have retained more wolf-like physical traits. These Wolf Like Dogs fascinate many with their wild appearance, from their pointed ears to bushy tails.
There are a number of breeds that exhibit characteristics that are reminiscent of wolves, such as the Alaskan Malamute, the Siberian Husky, and the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, which are still considered to be faithful companions today.
This article will look at some of the key features that give dogs their wolf-like qualities and provides an overview of 19 canine breeds that could easily be mistaken for wild wolves at first glance. Read on to learn about these stunning Wolf-Like Dogs.
19 Dog Breeds That Look Like Wolves
The following are some dogs and breeds that have wolves-like appearances:
1. Alaskan Klee Kai
This breed was developed as a smaller version of the Alaskan Husky in the 1970s. It looks like a miniature Husky with its thick fur coat, upright ears, and spirited personality. But they only grow to about 13-15 inches tall and weigh 10-23 pounds.
2. Greenland Dog
As the name suggests, the Greenland Dog hails from Greenland. It was brought there over 9,000 years ago by the Paleo-Eskimos. This powerful, muscular breed has a thick white coat and serves as a sled dog. The Greenland Dog is very rare outside of Greenland.
The Kugsha originated from the Russian Far East region of Kamchatka. It was traditionally used for hunting bears and other large game. The Kugsha is a sturdy dog with a dense coat that comes in wolf-like colors. It has a strong prey drive and needs plenty of exercise.
4. Northern Inuit Dog
Originally, this breed was bred to resemble wolves in the United Kingdom. In the beginning, it bred Inuit dogs, Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, and German Shepherds. The Northern Inuit Dog has a broad head, prick ears, and a bushy tail. Its coat can be gray, sable, or white.
5. Saarloos Wolfdog
In the 1930s, a Dutch breeder crossed a German Shepherd with a wolf from Siberia. The result was the Saarloos Wolfdog. This breed has a long, muscular body with a wolf-like head and bushy tail. Its behavior is aloof like a wolf rather than eager to please a dog.
6. Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is arguably the dog breed that looks most like a wolf. Originally bred by Chukchi people in Siberia, the Husky was used to pull long distance sleds. Huskies have a very wolf-like appearance, with their thick coat, prick ears, and fox-like tail. They come in black, white, gray, red, and sable coats.
This rare breed was created in Finland in the 1980s and 1990s. It is believed that breeders crossed Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and German Shepherds to create wolves-looking dogs. The Tamaskan has a gray and white coat and a wolf-like head and gait. Although Tamaskans look wild, they are wonderful family dogs.
8. Finnish Lapphund
Hailing from Finland, the Lapphund was originally used to herd reindeer. It is a typical northern spitz breed, with its dense coat, curled tail, and alert, intelligent expression. The most common coat color is black with white and gray markings.
9. Norwegian Elkhound
The Norwegian Elkhound is an ancient spitz-type breed that originated in Norway. In the past, Vikings used it to hunt large game such as elk, bear, and moose. These medium-sized dogs have a gray and white coat, prick ears, and a tail that curls up and over the back.
The Samoyed takes its name from the Samoyedic peoples of Siberia. This breed worked alongside its owners, herding reindeer and even hunting bears. The white, fluffy coat of the Samoyed gives it a wolf-like appearance. Its mouth always appears to be smiling.
11. Swedish Vallhund
Sometimes called the “Viking Dog,” the Swedish Vallhund dates back to the 8th or 9th century in Sweden. While small, it retains a very wolf-like appearance with its fluffy gray and white coat, pricked ears, and curled tail. The breed almost went extinct until a Swedish count saved it in the early 1900s.
Asian Spitz Breeds
12. Akita Inu
The Akita Inu is a large, powerful breed from Japan. Known as a silent hunter, the Akita Inu has a bear-like head with erect ears and a bushy, curled tail. Its double-layer coat can be any color but is primarily red, brindle, white, or pinto. The Akita Inu is a courageous, devoted breed.
13. Shiba Inu
Originally bred to flush birds and small game, the Shiba Inu is the smallest breed of Japanese dogs. With its alert, triangular ears and red, black, and tan, or sesame-colored coat, it appears like a fox. The Shiba Inu is bold, alert, and energetic.
In South Korea, Jindo Island is the source of the Jindo. It is a medium-sized, spitz-type breed with a dense, white, red, black, or brindle coat. Historically, the Jindo was used as a hunting dog because of its bravery and loyalty. It is now the national dog of South Korea.
15. Czechoslovakian Wolfdog
In the 1950s, a Czech scientist bred Carpathian wolves with German Shepherds to create a new breed for border patrol. The result was the Czech Wolfdog. Athletic and robust, its wolf-like features are less pronounced than Northern breeds. Coat colors include gray, silver, and yellow-gray.
16. German Shepherd
The German Shepherd wasn’t bred to look like a wolf, but it still has lupine traits like its tan and black coat, muscular build, and erect ears. Police, military, and search and rescue teams use this breed as a working dog because of its intelligence. Despite this, German Shepherds make wonderful family pets as well.
17. Lupo Italiano
Also called the Italian Wolf Dog or Italian Lupo, this rare breed was likely created by crossing wolves with shepherd dogs in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Lupo Italiano is a large guard dog with a muscular build and a thick, all-weather coat that sheds little. Its color varies but tends to be gray with lighter and darker shading.
Wolfdog Hybrid Breeds
By crossing an Alaskan Malamute with a gray wolf, the Wolamute was developed as a sled dog. It has the endurance of a wolf and the friendliness of a Malamute.
A Wolamute has a very wild, wolf-like appearance in terms of its head, ears, coat, and tail. Since it is a hybrid, the breed is not recognized by many kennel clubs.
19. Wolf Shepherd
As the name suggests, a Wolf Shepherd is bred from a gray wolf and German Shepherd parentage. These hybrids tend to be gaining in popularity for their fierce, wild look as well as protective nature. But Wolves and Wolf Shepherds make challenging pets that require extensive training and space.
If you love wild canines like wolves, then one of these wolf-like dog breeds just might make the perfect pet for you. Just keep in mind that dogs with wolf ancestry need proper socialization, training, containment, and stimulation to thrive.
While they may look somewhat fierce, these breeds can become loyal, loving companions when properly cared for. Let their inner wolf shine through while keeping your dog content at home.
Do Wolfdogs Make Good Pets?
Wolfdogs are generally not recommended as pets as they tend to be shy and skittish with strangers. They need experienced owners familiar with wolf behaviors.
Do Wolf Dogs Bark Like Dogs?
No, wolf dogs rarely bark. They are more likely to howl, whine, or make other vocalizations resembling their wolf ancestors.
Do Wolfdogs Get Along With Other Pets?
Socialization is important, but they may still have issues getting along with other dogs and small pets due to high prey drives.