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11 Dogs That Look Like Wild Animals


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

Samoyeds look somewhat similar to white wolves when the two are compared side by side.

Samoyeds look somewhat similar to white wolves when the two are compared side by side.

A popular trend with dog owners is to find dogs that look like other animals, specifically wild animals. While some dog breeds naturally resemble other animals (the Tibetan Mastiff, for example, which has the mane of a lion), others must be groomed or dyed. As with any dog, these dog breeds each have their own characteristics and should be studied carefully before any purchase or animal adoption. An animal cannot be judged exclusively by its fur coat!

Read on to find out which specific breeds resemble lions, leopards, tigers, pandas, raccoons, and wolves.

11 Dog Breeds and Their Wild Animal Counterparts

  1. Dogs That Look Like Lions: Tibetan Mastiff
  2. Dogs That Look Like Leopards: Louisiana Catahoula Leopard and Peruvian Inca Orchid Dogs
  3. Dogs That Look Like Tigers: Tiger Dog
  4. Dogs That Look Like Pandas: Dog Panda
  5. Dogs That Look Like Bears: Bush Dogs
  6. Dogs That Look Like Sheep: Bedlington Terrier
  7. Dogs That Look Like Monkeys: Silver Wolf Sable Keeshond/Pomeranian
  8. Dogs That Look Like Wolves: Alaskan Malamute and Samoyed
  9. Dogs That Look Like Racoons: Tanuki
  10. Dogs That Look Like Foxes: Dhole
  11. Dogs That Look Like Hyenas: African Wild Dog

1. Dogs That Look Like Lions: Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan mastiffs are native to Tibet, where they are known as "Do-Khyi". They can be spotted in the northern part of Nepal, India, and Bhutan. In Nepal, they are known as "Bhote Kukur". Bhote means "outsiders to Nepal that represent Tibet" and kukur means "dog".

These giant Himalayan mountain dogs have strong, broad heads and sturdy bone structure, long bodies, and heavy trunks. Their size and long coats give them the look of lion. They are fearless but loyal and protective to their family. But be careful: Tibetan Mastiffs are stubborn and won't always obey.

Breed Characteristics

  • Origin: Tibet
  • Height: 61 -72 cm.
  • Weight: 48 - 82 kg.
  • Coat and Colour: Long, double coats in a wide variety of colours, including solid black, black and tan, and various shades of red.
  • Temperament: Strong-willed, protective, aloof, tenacious, stubborn, and intelligent.
  • Category: Working.
  • Lifespan: 10 - 14 years.
Tibetan Mastiff VS Lion

Tibetan Mastiff VS Lion

Tibetan Mastiff vs Lion

Tibetan Mastiff vs Lion

Leopard vs  Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog

Leopard vs Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog

2: Dogs That Look Like Leopards: Louisiana Catahoula Leopard

Louisiana Catahoula Leopard dogs are very intelligent. The name "Catahoula" is actually taken from an Indian word meaning "clear water". These dogs have strong muscles and deep chests, blue eyes, and coloured patches on their fur. These coloured patches and eyes give them the appearance of a leopard. American and Canadian farmers developed this breed by combining native American dogs, Spanish Mastiffs, and Greyhounds as hunting and guard dogs.

These athletic dogs need a fair amount of running. They are very intelligent and active and become destructive if they don't get enough exercise. In general, Catahoula are gentle and loving with children but not with other pets. They may become aggressive with unfamiliar dogs so this breed is not recommended for homes where there is already a dog or for an owner who has never owned a dog. They are good dogs, however, with masters who are steady and firm.

Breed Characteristics

  • Origin: Louisiana
  • Height: 51 - 61 cm.
  • Weight: 16 - 36 kg.
  • Colour: Striking, short to medium-length fur that may be spotted, brindled, patched or solid.
  • Temperament: Loyal, independent, protective, and territorial.
  • Category: Sporting, hunting, and herding.
  • Availability: North America, France, and Europe.
  • Lifespan: 10 - 13 years
Leopard Vs Peruvian Inca Orchid Dog

Leopard Vs Peruvian Inca Orchid Dog

This Dog Also Looks Like Leopard: Peruvian Inca Orchid Dog

The Peruvian Hairless Dog is another breed of dog that look like leopards, The Peruvian Inca Orchid has dark, round eyes that tend to squint in the sunlight due to over sensitivity, The ears have some wisps of hair. It can have some hair on top of the head. You can find pups that have hair and are hairless in the same litter.


3. Dogs That Look Like Tigers: Tiger Dog

Tiger dogs are not naturally occurring. They are Golden Retrievers that are painted or dyed to look like tigers. The trend to paint dogs began in China and has since spread to the West. Dogs painted to look like tigers and panda bears are now received positively in dog shows, but many think it’s not a good practice to paint animals and shouldn’t be encouraged.

Panda vs Dog Panda

Panda vs Dog Panda

4. Dogs That Look like Pandas: Dog Panda

Like the so-called tiger dog, dog pandas are also painted. White Chow Chow dogs are dyed with black paint. During a dog show in China, these dogs were the main attraction. It soon became popular in the U.S. to paint poodles to look like other animals.

International organizations have spoken out against this practice, expressing concern over the toxicity of the dye that is used.


5. Dogs That Look Like Bears: Bush Dog

Bush dogs, also called savannah or vinegar dogs, are very different from other breeds. Native to the Amazon basin, they are darkest when they are puppies. Adult Bush dogs have long, soft brownish-tan fur with highlights.

Spotting a Bush dog in the wild is difficult as they are very shy. They are top-notch swimmers and can even dive underwater. The unique combination of a shy nature and extraordinary swimming talent makes them very special.

Breed Characteristics

  • Origin: Central and North America
  • Height: 55 - 75 cm.
  • Weight: 6 - 9 kg.
  • Coat and Colour: Long, brown, and tan fur with lighter reddish tinges on the head, neck, and back.
  • Temperament: Wild.
  • Category: Endangered, wild dogs.
  • Lifespan: 6 - 8 years.

6. Dogs That Look Like Sheep: Bedlington Terrier

The Bedlington Terrier is small and appears to be innocent and quiet, but this breed is actually good at fighting and hunting. They are energetic dogs, good athletes, and swimmers. They love water, are very friendly, and are good with children and other pets. Bedlington Terriers have a tendency to be barkers and need to be trained not to bark irrationally.

Breed Characteristics

  • Origin: Northumberland, England
  • Height: 15 - 17.5 inches.
  • Weight: 17 - 23 pounds (7.7 - 10.4 kg).
  • Coat and Colour: Curly with blue, liver, or tan colours.
  • Temperament: Loyal, playful and very friendly.
  • Category: Sporting.
  • Lifespan: 12 - 14 years.

7. Dogs That Look Like Monkeys: Silver Wolf Sable Keeshond/Pomeranian

Keeshonds and Wolf Sable Pomeranians are small, toy-sized dogs. Their undercoats are grey and their outer coats are a deep shade of gray and longer around the chest and neck. Their dark, shaded, furry faces resemble Indian Langur monkeys.

These playful dogs are Intelligent and friendly but have "small dog syndrome" and are barkers. They not considered good with children and are not good watchdogs.

Breed Characteristics

  • Origin: Germany and Poland
  • Height: 7 - 12 inches.
  • Weight: 31 - 40 lbs (Adult)
  • Coat and Colour: Long, thick, double coat with sable colours.
  • Temperament: Intelligent, eager to learn, but barky.
  • Category: AKC Toy.
  • Lifespan: 11 - 15 Years

8a. Dogs That Look Like Wolves: Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute descended from the Arctic wolf. They are big, powerful sled dogs and are quite friendly. A Malamute rarely barks, has a strong build, and has great stamina. Malamutes are exceptionally intelligent and loyal. As snow dogs, Malamutes cannot tolerate warm weather. They need daily exercise and regular outings and are not fit for apartment life.

Breed Characteristics

  • Origin: Alaskan/Nordic region
  • Height: 23 - 25 inches.
  • Weight: 32 - 43 kg.
  • Coat and Colour: Long, thick, double coat with facial markings like a wolf.
  • Temperament: Very friendly, loyal, and calm.
  • Category: Working.
  • Lifespan: 12 - 15 years.

Dogs Like Wolves

8B. Dogs Like White Wolves: Samoyed

Samoyeds are a Russian breed that get their name from the Samoyedic people of Siberia. They are strong, well-built, and broad-headed. They are very lively and good companions.

They are known for the "Sammy smile" they make with their petite, curved mouths. Samoyeds are calm, devoted, very friendly, and pleasant dogs. They were bred to hunt and they love hiking, tracking, and keeping their owners warm by sleeping on top of them at night.

Breed Characteristics

  • Origin: Northwestern Siberia
  • Height: 46 - 60 cm.
  • Weight: 22 - 30 kg.
  • Coat and Colour: White and shades of white with long, thick fur.
  • Temperament: Friendly, gentle, and devoted.
  • Category: Working.
  • Lifespan: 11 - 14 years.

9. Dogs That Look Like Raccoons: Tanuki

The tanuki is a member of the canid family but is not a true dog. Because of their resemblance to raccoons, they are known as raccoon dogs. They are native to Asia and they live in pairs or small groups. Male Tanukis are helpful fathers, bringing food to their pregnant mates and helping to raise the young.

In China and Finland, raccoon dogs are killed for their fur, which is widely faked as the fur of other species. Raccoon dogs feed on insects, rodents, amphibians, birds, fish, reptiles, mollusks, and carrion. Apart from their extensive fur and resemblance to raccoons, they have another quality that makes them so unique: they do not bark, but rather growl.

10. Dogs That Look like Foxes: Dhole

The dhole is a wild Indian dog, also known as a red dog or fox dog. Their physical structure is similar to an Australian Border Collie. Dholes can kill prey up to 10 times their own size and run very fast.

African wild dogs can run up to 37 miles per hour and dholes can run 34 miles per hour. Dholes are classed as endangered by the IUCN. This dog is very social and lives in large clans, which occasionally split up into small packs to hunt.

Breed Characteristics

  • Origin: Southeast Asia and India
  • Height: 17 - 21 inches.
  • Weight: 12 - 18 kg.
  • Coat and Colour: Short, thick, and dense red fur.
  • Temperament: Social wild dogs.
  • Category: Wild dogs.
  • Lifespan: 8 - 10 years.

11. Dogs That Look Like Hyenas: African Wild Dog

African wild dogs are the largest of the African dogs and are very dangerous. These wild dogs live and hunt in large packs and are known for their excellent hunting skills. They can run up to 37 miles per hour. Their jaws and muzzles are similar to a hyena's, but hyenas are much stronger than African wild dogs.

Breed Characteristics:

  • Origin: African Savannas
  • Height: Up to 30 inches at the shoulder.
  • Weight: 55 - 70 pounds.
  • Coat and Colour: Dark brown, black, and yellow patched fur.
  • Temperament: Wild, highly intelligent, and social.
  • Category: Wild.
  • Lifespan: 10 - 12 years.

Top 10 Dogs Like Animals

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 ARADHYA


Yulanda on May 04, 2020:

OMG! I love raccoons but when I found out they were aggressive, yeah, I sort of backed off from liking them.

ARADHYA (author) on October 12, 2017:


Thanks for correcting the weight.

But deff they belong to Toygroup.

Maru on October 12, 2017:

Keeshonds are not toydogs. They are usually around 15-18kg in weight so the 1-3kg is bullshit. I have a really big keeshonds which is at 21kg atm.

Zack on January 18, 2017:


Ervin on September 27, 2016:

Wild dog like animal with dog feet but raccoon head and hair thick has very large teeth probably 2 1/2 feet tall. What is this? In Florida wild forest eats hard corn . It is not scared of me and very deep growl . I've worked as a logger for 30 years never seen nothing like it.

JulesVerne on August 19, 2016:

An interesting article, but I feel the need to point out that keeshonds are actually medium-sized dogs, not toys. They generally weigh around 30-40 lbs and certainly do not suffer from "small dog syndrome," although they do bark a lot.

ARADHYA (author) on May 30, 2016:

Thanks Norlawrence!

norlawrence on May 15, 2016:

Great Hub. Very informative. The pictures were great.

Awesome Animals on December 21, 2015:

How do these dogs look so much like wild animals?! It's so awesome!

ARADHYA (author) on July 07, 2014:

Dr. Mark,

This is an interesting article;

But I was more specific for "mean dog-dog aggression" and "aggression to other pets".

I think you couldbe the only right person to write on that, I do not have any such experience and like many others, I also like to know, hope soon we can see an article from you :) ..


Dr Mark from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 07, 2014:

I always recommend an eye ointment be applied before the dog is dyed, just for that reason. Some of the dyes (like kool-aid, the powder drink) are really mild. They do not last as long, but are easier on the dog´s skin too.

On the friendly issue, did you mean aggression? Here is a link:


If you mean dog-dog aggression, though, I do not have an article. I am training a Pitbull on the beach every morning for the last two months and he has that problem. It is really difficult to deal with, and for some dogs impossible. I have seen recommendations to get rid of a second dog if there are constant dog-dog aggression issues. If you have any new ideas write it up, I am sure you will get some traffic if it is original.

Good luck.

ARADHYA (author) on July 07, 2014:

Hello Eiddwen,


I am fond of dogs and have experience of 9 dogs even by profession I am an IT professional. I appreciate your great effort on HP, 283 wonderful articles.

ARADHYA (author) on July 07, 2014:

Hello Dr. Mark,

Thanks! it's great to have a compliment from you.

About dying to the pet, I think it's all depends how much care and precaution we are taking. Because for dog panda, dying their eyes ...?

Do you have any article how to make our pets friendly with other dogs and pets? I searched in your hubs but, couldn't see .. ?

Eiddwen from Wales on July 07, 2014:

Thank you for sharing this great hub. I am a sucker for anything to do with animals and this gem was original , interesting and a great read . Looking forward now to so many more by you.


Dr Mark from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 07, 2014:

Hi Santosh thanks for another interesting article.

I had a Maltese years ago, and, although I never dyed him like a wild animal, we used to dye his topknot. He was free advertising for my clinic, and certainly did not seem to mind the blue hair since everyone wanted to look at him, pet him, and give him lots of attention.

I bet those silly tiger and panda dogs like it too.

Voted up and interesting.

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