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11 Wild Animals That Look Like Dogs

I like to share information about wildlife, animals, and pets—dogs in particular.

Dogs (Canis familiaris) are the descendants of wolves and are classified as a subspecies of the grey wolf (Canis lupus). Recent genetic studies, however, have shown that dogs descended from an extinct genus that diverged from modern-day grey wolves about 40,000 years ago. So some animals we consider to be a breed of dogs are actually creatures of a different species.

The animals that look like a dog

The animals that look like a dog

11 Wild Animals That Look Like Dogs

In this article, learn about 11 animals that look like dogs, and many of them are considered a separate breed of dogs, but in reality they are wild animals and different species.

  • African Wild Dog
  • Albino Tanuki (Raccoon Dog)
  • Dhole (Asiatic Wild Dog)
  • Australian Dingo
  • Bush Dog
  • Coyote
  • Fox
  • Jackal
  • The Short-Eared Dog
  • Tanuki (Raccoon Dog)
  • Wolf
African Wild Dog

African Wild Dog

1. African Wild Dog

African wild dogs are medium-sized canines from Sub-Saharan Africa, also known as cape wild dogs, African hunting dogs, bat-ear dogs, African painted dogs, and painted wolves. They are social animals and tend to live in a pack. African wild dogs are solidly built and extremely athletic; they're intelligent hunters that can run at a speed of up to 41 mph for 10 to 60 minutes at a time. When pack-hunting, a male dog makes the first attack by grabbing a prey animal by the nose. The pack then joins in, usually killing their prey in under five minutes.

African Wild Dog vs Dog

African Wild Dog vs Dog

African Wild DogDog

Origin

Sub-Saharan Africa

Their origins are unknown

Height

24 to 30 inches

6 to 34 Inches

Weight

40 to 79 lbs

4 Pounds (1.8 Kg) to 314 pounds (142 kg)

Coat and Color

Red, black, white, brown and yellow

Multiple color and Coats

Life Expectancy

10 to 12 years

7 to 21 Years

Albino Tanuki

Albino Tanuki

2. Albino Tanuki

The Albino Tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog "Nyctereutes viverrinus"), is a species of cane endemic to the Central Alps area of Japan. Basically, this is a rare variety of mainland raccoon dogs that have white coat and red eyes. The origin of this mutation is not available, and history of this mutant gene is not known.

Albino Tanuki vs. Dog (Indian Spitz)

Albino Tanuki vs. Dog (Indian Spitz)

Albino TanukiDog

Area of Origin

Japan

Their origins are unknown

Height

18 to 24 inches

6 to 34 Inches

Weight

9 to 22lbs during summer, up to 22 lbs during winter

4 Pounds (1.8 Kg) to 314 pounds (142 kg)

Coat and Color

Brown, tan to silver, gray, and black

Multiple color and Coats

Life Expectancy

3 to 8 years

7 to 21 Years

Dhole (Asiatic Wild Dog)

Dhole (Asiatic Wild Dog)

3. Dhole (Asiatic Wild Dog)

The Dhole is also known as Indian wild dog, red dog or red fox dog. This dog is not a canid from the family of “Canis familiaris.” It’s a canid of “Cuon alpinus.” It is native to Central, South, and Southeast Asia. Dholes are excellent hunters and skilled swimmers that can kill a prey up to 10 times their own size. They have high running speed of about 34 miles per hour. Dhole dogs are highly social animals and live in packs of between 8-12 members.

Dhole  vs Dog (Akita Inu)

Dhole vs Dog (Akita Inu)

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Dhole (Asiatic Wild Dog)Dog

Origin

South and Southeast Asia, India

Their origins are unknown

Height

17 to 21 Inches

6 to 34 Inches

Weight

12 to18 Kg

4 Pounds (1.8 Kg) to 314 pounds (142 kg)

Coat and Color

Short, thick and densed coat of red colour.

Multiple color and Coats

Life Expectancy

8 to 10 yrs

7 to 21 Years

Australian Dingo

Australian Dingo

4. Australian Dingo

Australian dingos have been described as a wolf in the form of a dog. Dingos are native to Australia, but their origin is not clear, many experts believe they began as a mix between wolves and primitive domestic dogs brought to Australia from Asian countries. In the wild, they live in packs and feed on both scavenged meat and live prey. They are naturally very healthy, athletic, and sturdy. Despite being wild animals, they are friendly when domesticated and are sometimes kept as pets.

Australian Dingo Vs Dog (Indian Pariah Dog)

Australian Dingo Vs Dog (Indian Pariah Dog)

Australian DingoDog

Origin

Australia

Their origins are unknown

Height

Appx. 23 inches

6 to 34 Inches

Weight

29 to 44 lbs

4 Pounds (1.8 Kg) to 314 pounds (142 kg)

Coat and Color

Short, thick and densed coat of red colour.

Multiple color and Coats

Life Expectancy

15 to 20 years

7 to 21 Years

Bush Dog

Bush Dog

5. Bush Dog

Bush dogs are small, rare, wild canines that aren't particularly well-known. Their origin is unclear, but they are now present in Panama and other parts of Central America, east of the Andes in South America, and as far south as central Bolivia, Paraguay, and southern Brazil. Bush dogs are very unique-looking—they have short legs, a short bushy tail, a rounded muzzle, erect ears, and a squat body. Like dholes, these dogs have been observed marking their territory on tree trunks while in a "handstand" position.

Bush Dog vs. Dog (Chihuahua)

Bush Dog vs. Dog (Chihuahua)

Amazon Short-Eared DogDog

Area of Origin

Central and South America

Their origins are unknown

Height

8 to12 inches

6 to 34 Inches

Weight

11 to18 lbs

4 Pounds (1.8 Kg) to 314 pounds (142 kg)

Coat and Color

Reddish-brown

Multiple color and Coats

Life Expectancy

Unknown

7 to 21 Years

Coyote

Coyote

6. Coyote

The coyote is a species of canine native to North America, which is a close relative of the wolf. The coyote is slightly smaller than eastern wolf and red wolf, much larger than foxes. Coyotes are about as big as medium-size dogs and same ecological niche as the golden jackal does in Eurasia.

Coyote vs. Dog (Wolf Dog)

Coyote vs. Dog (Wolf Dog)

CoyoteDog

Area of Origin

Eastern Panama (across the Panama Canal from their home range)

Their origins are unknown

Height

32 to 37 inches (81 to 94 centimeters)

6 to 34 Inches

Weight

6.8 to 21 kg

4 Pounds (1.8 Kg) to 314 pounds (142 kg)

Coat and Color

Grayish-brown to yellowish-brown fur on top and whitish fur on its underparts

Multiple color and Coats

Life Expectancy

13 to 15 years

7 to 21 Years

Fox

Fox

7. Fox

Foxes are omnivorous mammals belonging to several genera of the Canidae family. Because of their close genetic similarity, dogs and foxes share many physical traits, but foxes are smaller than a medium-sized dog, with a long snout and a bushy tail. The domesticated dogs are reliable pets and companions, but foxes are not reliable as pets.

Fox vs. Dog (Finnish Spitz)

Fox vs. Dog (Finnish Spitz)

FoxDog

Area of Origin

Their origins are unknown

Their origins are unknown

Height

Fennec fox: 20 cm, Arctic fox: 25 to 30 cm, Red fox: 35 to 50 cm

6 to 34 Inches

Weight

Fennec fox: 0.68 to 1.6 kg, Arctic fox: 3.2 to 9.4 kg

4 Pounds (1.8 Kg) to 314 pounds (142 kg)

Coat and Color

Red, Red-black, White, Silver, Gray and rare Black

Multiple color and Coats

Life Expectancy

3 to 4 years

7 to 21 Years

Jackal

Jackal

8. Jackal

Jackals are medium-sized omnivorous mammals from Canidae family, of the subtribe Canina that are close relatives of coyotes, foxes, and wolves, and dogs. The first animal of this species was identified in the year 1601. The history of their origin is not clear, but their presence is found in the history of Turkish çakal, Persian shaqāl, of Indo-Aryan origin; akin to Sanskrit sṛgāla jackal.

Jacal vs Dog (Wolf Dog)

Jacal vs Dog (Wolf Dog)

WolfDog

Area of Origin

Their origins are unknown

Their origins are unknown

Height

27 to 33 Inch (69-84 cm)

6 to 34 Inches

Weight

15 to 35 pounds

4 Pounds (1.8 Kg) to 314 pounds (142 kg)

Coat and Color

A mixture of yellow, brown, and gold

Multiple color and Coats

Life Expectancy

14 to 16 years

7 to 21 Years

The Short-Eared Dog

The Short-Eared Dog

9. Short-Eared Dog

Amazon short-eared dogs (also known as short-eared Zorros and small-eared dogs) are a lesser-known, relatively rare breed native to the Amazon rainforest in South America. Their social structure, mating habits, and lifespan are similar to those of domestic dogs. They were first studied in 1984 in Panama by German biologist Sigi Weisel and a Panamanian local from Embera–Wounaan group.

The Short-Eared Dog vs. Dog

The Short-Eared Dog vs. Dog

Amazon Short-Eared DogDog

Origin

Amazon rainforest, South America

Their origins are unknown

Height

12 to 14 inches

6 to 34 Inches

Weight

20 to 22 lbs

4 Pounds (1.8 Kg) to 314 pounds (142 kg)

Coat and Color

Silver, gray

Multiple color and Coats

Life Expectancy

Unknown

7 to 21 Years

Tanuki (Raccoon Dog)

Tanuki (Raccoon Dog)

10. Tanuki (or Raccoon Dog)

Tanuki, or raccoon dogs, look like North American raccoons. Tanuki are thought to have evolved independently. While most raccoon dogs are wild, a woman in England named June Lincoln adopted a four-month-old raccoon dog pup that turned out to be a perfect family pet. An interview with June in the Daily Mail quoted her as saying “he is a dog, but his [closest] relative is a type of fox, so stealing is in his nature... while he is generally well behaved, it has been impossible to teach him not to steal."

Tanuki (Raccoon Dog) vs Dog (Pomeranian)

Tanuki (Raccoon Dog) vs Dog (Pomeranian)

Tanuki (Raccoon Dog)Dog

Area of Origin

Japan

Their origins are unknown

Height

18 to 24 inches

6 to 34 Inches

Weight

9 to 22lbs during summer, up to 22 lbs during winter

4 Pounds (1.8 Kg) to 314 pounds (142 kg)

Coat and Color

Brown, tan to silver, gray, and black

Multiple color and Coats

Life Expectancy

3 to 8 years

7 to 21 Years

Wolf

Wolf

11. Wolf

Wolves are members of the canine family, which also includes dogs, foxes, and Jackals, and ancestor for modern dogs. The dogs descend from an extinct genus that diverged from modern-day grey wolves about 40,000 years ago. Because of their close genetic similarity, dogs and wolves share many physical traits. Wolves, however, are stronger with higher levels of energy and stamina. Wolf instincts and temperament differ quite dramatically as well. Wolves are stubborn, erratic, difficult to train, and a danger to children and other small animals. These qualities make them a poor choice to keep as a guard dog or household pet.

Wolf vs Dog (czechoslovakian wolfdog)

Wolf vs Dog (czechoslovakian wolfdog)

WolfDog

Area of Origin

Their origins are unknown

Their origins are unknown

Height

80 to 85 cm

6 to 34 Inches

Weight

23 to 80 kg

4 Pounds (1.8 Kg) to 314 pounds (142 kg)

Coat and Color

Gray, white, black, tan, etc.

Multiple color and Coats

Life Expectancy

14 to 16 years

7 to 21 Years

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 ARADHYA

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