As someone who’s spent the majority of his time caring for non-domestic animals, I definitely have a fascination with wild dogs and wolves.
For those who love the Wolf, 175-pound apex predators aren’t the best choice for life in suburban areas.
Although wolves aren’t dangerous animals, they are far too smart and shrewd, independent, and predatory to be considered suitable pets for the average pet lover.
While we all have the possibility of having a direwolf with whom we have a spiritual connection, many people will opt for a domestic dog that resembles an animal.
However, there are some that look like wolves, but without posing a risk and difficulties that a pet wolf could.
The Wolf-Dog Connection
I’m assuming that you clicked this link because you’re looking to have a dog similar to the Wolf and don’t need the biology of canines, evolution, or taxonomy. It’s nevertheless crucial to remember that wolves and dogs are closely related species that have common ancestral roots.
For a long period, domestic pets ( Canis familiaris) were thought to be the direct cousins of grey the Wolf ( Canis lupus). However, the reality is that recent research has confused the waters somewhat and suggests that your dog may be a relative of gray wolves since they originated directly from a long-gone ancestral ancestor of the living wolves.
However, regardless of the specific genetic phylogeny of the species that is the case, wolves and dogs are closely related creatures and share a lot of resemblances.
In many ways, dogs resemble wolf pups due to their youthful facial features and a love of playing and vocal styles.
Domestic dogs have some of the genetics which made them wolves at first. However, many of the traits that resemble wolves are ” switched off.” This implies two things:
1.) The wolves and dogs can mix and create fertile hybrids of Wolf and dog.
2.) A few of these traits resembling Wolf could become “re-activated” through selective breeding initiatives, making them look like their wolf-like predecessors. It doesn’t mean they are “wolves,” it’s just making them appear like the Wolf.
Before we begin exploring wolf-like breeds, check out this picture of a real wolf. It will aid in calibrating your eyes.
Also Read: 12 Scariest Dog Breeds and pictures
Eight of the Most Wolf-Like Breeds
The eight breeds listed below look like wolves in different degrees. Certain is the result of hybridization between dogs and wolves, but others are just dogs that have been selectively bred to look like animals like wolves.
Kughshas also referred to as Amerindian malamutes – are a mixed breed with a mysterious history.
Their origins differ between sources, and they do not appear to be particularly credible. They look like big huskies and show the same drive, enthusiasm for running, and endurance that huskies have, but as with many other wolf hybrids, they possess strong independence and personalities.
A few reports (although lacking in the form of documentation or citations) that the breed’s name was conceived as a means of getting out of laws prohibiting hybrid wolves.
2. Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is a beloved and beautiful breed that is perfect for homes that are able for a heavy-shedding high-energy dog who likes to run, play and explore.
Accordingly, they are great for runners, active families,and bikers (that’s Lance-Armstrong-style bikers, not Jax-Teller-style bikers).
3. Alaskan Malamute
While not as well-known as the husky but it is still a popular breed. Alaskan malamute is recognizable; however, it is an old breed of dog that you might meet from time to time. Beautiful, fluffy, and larger than the malamute, the husky was also created as a sled-pulling breed (and go-to for hunting polar bears among other things).
Malamutes are beautiful, adorable, and extremely trainable. They are compared to other breeds on this list. Like huskies, they also have great energy levels, fun personalities, and the capability to blanket your entire house with a thick layer of fur.
4. German Shepherds
German shepherds sport an evocative wolf-like appearance. However, certain breeds are clearly more wolf-like than others.
For instance, German shepherds with long hair appear more like wolves. Larger, more bulky ones also portray a more wolf-like appearance than the smaller, slim ones.
German shepherds may be dressed in wolf-like hues with lots of white, gray, and black. This helps in enhancing the relationship. Both German shepherds and (less often) wild wolves sometimes sport the jet black color of their coats, which is very cool.
As with many other breeds listed on the list, German shepherds can shed, yet they’re affectionate, loyal, brilliant, protective, and therefore, it’s easy to see why they’re so popular.
5. Saarloos Wolfdog
The Saarloos Wolfdog line was first created in the 1930s by Dutch breeder, Leendert Saarloos around 1930. Although they were developed by crossing European Wolf breeds together with German shepherds, they’ve been acknowledged as a distinct breed by Federation Cynologique Internationale (the world’s most respected international registry of dogs) as an individual breed since 1981.
The breed closest in relation to domestic dogs and, most likely, the most wolf-like dog breed in the world. Saarloos Wolfdogs do not just have an appearance reminiscent of wolves, but also the facial expressions of their owners are thought to be very similar to animals like wolves.
The dogs are said to be smart and loving; however, they are, like many other wolf-hybrids, and aren’t particularly attracted to pleasing their fur parent.
6. Utonagan / Northern Inuit Dog
It is believed that The Utonagan and Northern Inuit Dog are names used to refer to a variety of breeds of domestic dogs created to look like the wolves. There’s not much incredible information on these breeds, and a number of sources conflict with each other. In addition, the term “Utonagan” means “Northern Inuit.”
But it is believed that this large White Dog breed seems to have been developed by mixing malamute, husky, along with German breeds of a shepherd. The breed was reportedly born in the 1980s and therefore isn’t very common. But, those familiar with this breed say they are like a husky in regards to temperament and personality.
Fun Fact dire wolves of HBO’s series Game of Thrones are Northern Inuit dogs.
Tamaskans can be a different breed which was believed to be created by crossing malamutes with huskies along with several other breeds of sled dogs. They could also have some wolves in their family trees. Tamaskans aren’t recognized as a breed by the main breed registry organizations. However, there are many breed clubs across the globe that are dedicated to these dogs.
Tamaskans are very like Huskies regarding behavior and ability. They are believed to make great pets for families who can cope with high-energy dogs. Tamaskans and some wild wolves are found in black and grey forms.
Also Read: 8 Large Russian Dog Breeds
8. Czechoslovakian Wolfdog
Another wolf hybrid is acknowledged as a wolf-hybrid by Federation Cynologique Internationale; Czechoslovakian Wolf dogs were first created to serve to be used by the Czech military. They’ve also been used to aid in search-and-rescue, tracking, and herding in later years.
Since this breed was purposefully developed as a part of the research, its history is more well-documented than other wolf hybrids and mixed breeds.
Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs are believed to be able to train; however, they do not border collie breeds, and they need a dedicated owner who will spend lots of time with their pet.
Also Read: Native Japanese Dog Breeds
A Few Words of Caution
While there aren’t any laws against people owning malamutes or huskies, certain breeds listed are subject to bans as well as special rules. This is particularly true for breeds and hybrids, which are direct descendants of the Wolf.
Different areas implement these regulations and rules in different ways. However, municipalities with a hard-ass policy might not just penalize you for having a wolf-hybrid. They may also be able to confiscate or even kill your pet as well. So, it’s always best to research the legal regulations in your local area before adding a wolf-like dog to your household.
It’s also essential to recognize that many of these wolf-like breeds can be difficult to control. Because they are large in size and you’ll have to cough the money for bigger-than-average dog beds and crates to be able to.
Many of them have incredibly high exercise demands. They also find that they can easily become bored (and consequently damaging).
The malamutes and huskies – two of the most suitable breeds for pets outlined above – can be a thorn in the side, with many owners dissatisfied with their quiet manner of conduct. They’re beautiful pets for those who are aware of their temperament, but they aren’t easy to train and tend to be incredibly stubborn.
Therefore, make sure you research before purchasing the wolf-like breed. You don’t want to take the hassle and cost of introducing one to your household, only to discover that they make you mad.
Remember: know, whatever you think you like about the look of wolves, you’re likely to not appreciate their character in the least. If wolves could be good friends, they wouldn’t have ever developed dogs. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot have a dog who appears to be a lot like the Wolf.
Each of these breeds mentioned above will be able to meet your needs. Just make sure you select the breed with individuality and temperament that’s compatible with your personal.
Did you have the pleasure of having owned a dog with wolf characteristics? Tell us about the breed (particularly when you had one of the rarer breeds) as well as your experiences as a whole. We’d love to hear your thoughts about them.