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11 Best Wolf Dog Breeds

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Aradhya loves sharing information about wildlife, animals and pets—especially dogs.

The Hierran Wolf Dog or Perro de Pastor Herreño

The Hierran Wolf Dog or Perro de Pastor Herreño

The Wolf Dog or Wolf-Hybrid Dogs

The wolf dog is created by cross-breeding a wolf and domestic dog; they are also known as wolfdogs or wolf-hybrid dogs. If you are looking for a strong, intelligent, and uncommon dog that looks like a wolf, then wolf dogs are a good choice.

These dogs are not recommended for everyone; they are even restricted or banned in many countries. If you live in an apartment or have a family with small kids and are not an experienced dog owner, then a wolf dog is not suggested. They need a lot of exercise and must burn many calories. They sometimes reveal an unpredictable nature, and they're not reliable with small pets and kids.

But if you are an experienced dog owner and looking for a stronger dog with higher levels of energy and stamina, then wolf dogs are a great choice. Read this article to help you decide which one would be the best fit for you.

  1. Saarloos Wolfhound
  2. Czechoslovakian Wolf Dog
  3. Utonagan (or Northern Inuit Dog)
  4. Hierran Wolf Dog
  5. Kunming Wolf Dog (or Chinese Wolf Dog)
  6. Lupo Italiano
  7. Galician Celtic Wolf Dog or Can de Paillero
  8. Shikoku Dog or Japanese Wolf Dog
  9. Tamaskan Dog
  10. Australian Dingo
  11. Wolamute (Alaskan Wolf Dog)
Saarloos Wolfhound or Saarloos Wolf Dog

Saarloos Wolfhound or Saarloos Wolf Dog

1. Saarloos Wolfhound

The Saarloos wolfhound dog breed was developed by the Dutch breeder Leendert Saarloos. He developed them by crossbreeding a male German Shepherd Dog with a female European wolf to get better working dogs. The Saarloos wolfhounds were first recognized by the Dutch Kennel Club in 1975.

The Saarloos wolfhounds are strong, energetic, and intelligent dogs that have wolf-like expressions, powerful necks, broad heads, and long legs. They have lots of stamina and need plenty of daily exercise.

Physical Traits

MaleFemale

Height

25 to 30 inches

23 to 28 inches

Weight

69 to 90 pounds

45 to 74 pounds

Life Span

10–12 years

10–12 years

Breed Information and Characteristics

  • Breeder: Dutch breeder Leender Saarloos
  • Native/originated from: Germany
  • Breed development and recognition:
    1935: First dog of this breed was developed
    1975: Was recognized by the Dutch Kennel Club
    1990s: In the late 1990s, they were recognized by most of the major kennel clubs
  • Category: Working dog
  • Characteristics and temperament: Strong, energetic, aloof, and active dogs with very high stamina and speed, high separation anxiety, and a high pack leader tendency
Czechoslovakian Wolf Dog

Czechoslovakian Wolf Dog

2. Czechoslovakian Wolf Dog

The Czechoslovakian wolf dog is a newly developed breed that was created by mixing German Shepherds and Carpathian wolves. This breed was developed to make a dog with the strength and stamina of a wolf with the temperament and intelligence of the German Shepherd.

Czechoslovakian wolf dogs look like a wolf with amber eyes; erect, triangle-shaped ears; and yellow- to silver-grey coats. In comparison to other wolf dogs, they are friendly and social. But they are aloof to strangers, and as such, it's really important to socialize the dog.

Physical Traits

MaleFemale

Height

26 to 28 inches

24 to 26 inches

Weight

54 to 60 pounds

44 to 54 pounds

Life Span

13–16 years

13–16 years

Breed Information and Characteristics

  • Breeder: Karel Hartl
  • Native/originated from: Czechoslovakia, Slovakia
  • Breed development and recognition: Development started in 1955 in Czechoslovakia, and the first dog of this breed was born on born on May 26, 1958.
  • Category: Herding
  • Characteristics and temperament: Lively, fearless, courageous, sociable, active, and quick dogs

3. Utonagan (or Northern Inuit Dog)

Utonagans were bred in England with the aim of producing a wolf-like dog. They are a mix of three dogs—the Alaskan Malamute, German Shepherd, and Siberian Husky. They got their breed name from a tale, where Utonagan translates to "spirit of the wolf," and they are also known as the Northern Inuit dog.

The multi-talented Utonagans are easily trainable and can be taught to do any number of tasks. They are the most friendly and playful dogs and tend to get along well with everyone. They are also fairly energetic, require significant exercise, and are not recommended for apartment dwellers. They do best in houses with high-fenced yards.

Physical Traits

MaleFemale

Height

23 to 28 inches

23 to 25 inches

Weight

65 to 90 pounds

55 to 80 pounds

Life Span

12–15 years

12–15 years

Breed Information and Characteristics

  • Breeder: Edwina Harrison
  • Native/originated from: United Kingdom
  • Breed development and recognition: 1980
  • Category: Working/companion
  • Characteristics and temperament: Gentle, loyal, companion, and friendly dogs
The Hierran Wolf Dog or Perro Lobo Herreño

The Hierran Wolf Dog or Perro Lobo Herreño

4. The Hierran Wolf Dog

The Hierran wolf dog is an ancient dog breed that has had a presence since the 15th century and is also known as "lobito" or "perro lobo." Though their breed history and development are not known, it is believed they have wolf-dog ancestry.

The Hierran wolf dog is a healthy and athletic dog with strong endurance that is a faithful dog to the owner but wary of strangers. They were best utilized in their native place, the Canary Islands in Spain, by local shepherds for herding jobs.

Physical Traits

MaleFemale

Height

Avg. 21.5 Inches

Avg. 22.6 inches

Weight

40 to 48.5 pounds

40 to 48.5 pounds

Life Span

12–14 years

12–14 years

Breed Information and Characteristics

  • Breeder: Naturally developed ancient dog
  • Native/originated from: Island of El Hierro, in the Canary Islands (Spain)
  • Breed development and recognition: Bred in the 15th century
  • Category: Working/shepherds
  • Characteristics and temperament: Robust, strongly built, loyal, very active, and alert dogs
Kunming Wolf Dog or Chinese Wolf Dog

Kunming Wolf Dog or Chinese Wolf Dog

5. Kunming Wolf Dog or Chinese Wolf Dog

The Kunming wolf dog, also commonly known as the Kunming dog or Chinese wolf dog, was developed in China. They were developed by mixing German Shepherds and wolf dogs. The aim of developing this breed was to develop a military assistant dog to perform a variety of tasks for the Chinese military. Initially, they were trained to work as fire dogs and rescue dogs, but nowadays, they are also used as family dogs.

Kunming Wolf Dog or Chinese Wolf Dog

Kunming Wolf Dog or Chinese Wolf Dog

Physical Traits

Height

25–27 inches

Weight

66–84 pounds

Life Span

12–14 years

Breed Information and Characteristics

  • Breeder: Developed by Chinese dog breeders on demand of the Chinese military
  • Native/originated from: China
  • Breed development and recognition: early 1950s; the Chinese Public Security Bureau officially recognized the Kunming Dog as a breed in 1988
  • Category: Working
  • Characteristics and temperament: Dogs that are strong, sturdy, extremely intelligent, self-assured, curious, and willing to learn
Lupo Italiano

Lupo Italiano

6. Lupo Italiano

The Italian wolf dog or Lupo Italiano is also known as the Italian wolf dog; these are large dogs created by crossing between a female Apennine wolf and a male German Shepherd.

The breed was developed by Dr. Mario Messi to create a true working dog with the strength and intelligence of a wolf that's also friendly with humans. They make excellent search and rescue dogs, and they are used by Italian police to sniff out drugs and explosives.

Physical Traits of Lupo Italiano

Physical Traits of Lupo Italiano

Physical Traits

MaleFemale

Height

24–28 inches

23–26 inches

Weight

70–90 pounds

70–90 pounds

Life Span

Up to 16 years

Up to 16 years

Breed Information and Characteristics

  • Breeder/developed by: Mario Messi
  • Native/originated from: Italy
  • Breed development and recognition: 1966
  • Category: Working
  • Characteristics and temperament: Sturdy body, strong abdomen, well-built, aloof, and shy dogs
Galician Celtic Wolf Dog or Can de Palleiro

Galician Celtic Wolf Dog or Can de Palleiro

7. Galician Celtic Wolf Dog or Can de Palleiro

Can de Palleiro dogs or Spanish wolf dogs are also known as Galician Shepherd Dogs, Galician Celtic wolf dogs, or Galician Palleiro dogs. They have the bloodline of native dogs of Galicia that were brought by the Galicians. They are medium-to-large, strong, naturally healthy, and intelligent dogs, but they are endangered and are at risk of extinction.

Physical Traits of Can de Palleiro

Physical Traits of Can de Palleiro

Physical Traits

MaleFemale

Height

24–28 inches

23–26 inches

Weight

66 to 83 pounds

55 to 73 pounds

Life Span

~11+ Years

~11+ Years

Breed Information and Characteristics

  • Breeder/developed by: Naturally developed
  • Native/originated from: Galicia (Spain)
  • Breed development and recognition: Recognized as a separate breed since 1897
  • Category: Working
  • Characteristics and temperament: Protective, loyal, strong, active, and intelligent dogs
Shikoku Dog or Japanese Wolf Dog

Shikoku Dog or Japanese Wolf Dog

8. Shikoku Dog or Japanese Wolf Dog

The Shikoku is an ancient hunting dog from Japan, developed from the Island of Shikoku from where they got their name. They were developed to hunt deer and bore and are also known as deer-hound in Japan or Japanese wolf dog.

Shikoku dogs are very active and athletic dogs that need a moderate amount of exercise. Also, they need a dominant owner; otherwise, they have a tendency to become dominant and aggressive. They are reserved with strangers and don’t welcome other pets.

Physical Traits

MaleFemale

Height

19.5 to 21 inches

17 to 19.5 inches

Weight

35 to 55 pounds

35 to 55 pounds

Life Span

10–12 years

10–12 years

Breed Information and Characteristics

  • Breeder/developed by: Primitive Japanese breed
  • Native/originated from: Island of Shikoku, Japan
  • Breed development and recognition: N/A
  • Category: Working/hunting companion
  • Characteristics and temperament: Alert, active, and sturdy dogs that are reserved and aloof
Tamaskan Dog

Tamaskan Dog

9. Tamaskan Dog

Tamaskans are a very new breed, bred to look like wolves, which are recognized by the American Kennel Club only in 2013. They are developed by breeding between Huskies, German Shepherds, and Czechoslovakian wolf dogs. Because they're so new, they're quite rare, with only 600 certified Tamaskans in the world.

They're very smart, easily trainable, and highly social dogs that are good with children and other pets. However, due to their wolf bloodline ancestry, they share some wolf-like instincts; for example, they need quite a bit of exercise and can turn destructive if they don't get enough physical stimulation. Also, they shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time.

 Tamaskan Dog

Tamaskan Dog

Physical Traits

MaleFemale

Height

25 to 33 inches

24 to 28 inches

Weight

55 to 85 pounds

65 to 95 pounds

Life Span

14–15 years

14–15 years

Breed Information and Characteristics

  • Breeder/developed by: N/A
  • Native/originated from: Finland
  • Breed development and recognition: November 2013
  • Category: Working
  • Characteristics and temperament: Strong, athletic, intelligent, obedient, agile, and friendly dogs
Australian Dingo

Australian Dingo

10. Australian Dingo

Australian Dingos are wild dogs from Australia; they are often described as a wolf in the form of a dog. Their origin is not clear, but many experts believe they are the primitive-type dogs bought to Australia from Asian countries, and then they possibly mixed with wolves and created the Dingos.

They live in packs in the wild and, depending on the hunt, they even eat dead animal meat. They are naturally healthy, athletic, and sturdy dogs, even though they are wild animals, but they are friendly animals and make good pets.

Physical Traits

Height

20 to 27 inches

Weight

28 to 46 pounds

Life Span

10–14 years

Breed Information and Characteristics

  • Breeder/developed by: Naturally developed
  • Native/originated from: Australia
  • Breed development and recognition: N/A
  • Category: Wild dog
  • Characteristics and temperament: Strong, athletic, intelligent dogs
Wolamute (Alaskan Wolf Dog)

Wolamute (Alaskan Wolf Dog)

11. Wolamute (Alaskan Wolf Dog)

The Wolamute is a wolf-hybrid dog developed by crossing between Alaskan Malamute and Timber wolf (also known as a gray wolf). This is an intelligent, powerful, sturdy dog that has a wolf-like appearance and physical traits.

They are a relatively new breed only available in the USA and Canada. But this breed is not recognized by any major kennel club, and this dog doesn't have any set breed standard.

Wolamute (Alaskan Wolf Dog)

Wolamute (Alaskan Wolf Dog)

Physical Traits

Height

26 to 33 inches

Weight

60 to 110 pounds

Life Span

N/A

Breed Information and Characteristics

  • Breeder/developed by: N/A
  • Native/originated from: America
  • Breed development and recognition: Not yet recognized by most of the major kennels
  • Category: Working
  • Characteristics and temperament: Strong, intelligent, obedient, agile, and devoted dogs

Wolf-Dog Hybrids: Are They Right for You?

There you have it—11 wolf-dog hybrid breeds that can make good pets for the right dog owner. Are wolf dogs a good fit for you? They certainly aren't for beginners, but they can be wonderful companions for experienced and loving dog owners!

© 2017 ARADHYA

Comments

ARADHYA (author) on January 06, 2018:

@LadySweets

You have all the rare dog breeds, I would love to know about, the Timber wolf and Border collie mix and Timber wolf with Red nose American pitbull terriers. Their characteristics / behavior and pictures.

LadySweets on January 05, 2018:

I have 11 wolf hybrids 10 Labrador,Timber Wolf,Red-Nose American Pittbull,Border Collie mixed puppies and their mom Lady Sweets who is Red-Nose American Pitbull,Border Collie and Timber Wolf mix

ARADHYA (author) on January 04, 2018:

Thanks Linda C.!

Most of these dogs are new breeds and less known.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 03, 2018:

Thank you very much for the education. I only knew three of the breeds in your list. I'm glad I learned about the rest.

ARADHYA (author) on January 03, 2018:

Definitely, They are excellent but yes they are not for all.

Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on January 03, 2018:

These dogs are super gorgeous!

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