11 Dogs that Look Like Wolves

Looking For a Wolf-Like Dog?

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 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.

That said, wolves are beautiful, powerful creatures. It's not surprising that many people fantasise about having one as a pet. If you long to run with the wolves, I'd suggest getting a dog that looks like a wolf instead. You can use this article to help decide which one would be the best fit for you.

1. Alaskan Malamute


Originally bred to haul heavy freight over long distances, the Alaskan Malamute is a big and powerful dog, weighing up to 45 Kg. Despite its strength, the breed is very friendly. Its friendliness and lack of barking make it a popular choice for pet owners. The Malamute is a very intelligent and loyal dog, but because it was bred to survive in harsh conditions, it is also incredibly resourceful and independent.

The Malamute may not be a great fit for families that have other pets, particularly small ones since the breed does have a fairly developed prey drive.

Physically, the dog has a two-inch-long, thick double coat and facial markings like a wolf. This breed comes in various colours like shades of gray and white, sable and white, black and red.

2. Siberian Husky


Siberian Huskies are known for their distinctive thickly furred double coat, erect triangle-shaped ears, and distinctive color markings. They are medium-sized dogs, weighing up to 27-28 kg. They have facial markings that are very similar to wolves. Their color comes in a variety of shades like black and white, red and white, brown, gray and white, silver, wolf-gray, sable and white, red-orange with black tips, and dark gray.

Huskies are a very loyal, intelligent, and sturdy working breed. They were originally bred by the Chukchi Tribe in Siberia to haul heavy loads.

They are a very energetic and active dog that shares many of the same behavioral and temperamental characteristics of their wolf ancestors. For instance, they typically howl rather than bark, are known for being escape artists, and feel a powerful need to belong to a "pack." As such, they often crave the companionship of other dogs and people.

Though the ASPCA lists them as good with children and as good family dogs, Huskies do have special exercise needs. They have a lot of energy and can turn destructive if they don't get enough exercise. Because of their tendency to escape, the ASPCA also recommends having a fence in your backyard.

3. Czechoslovakian Wolfdog


The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is a relatively new breed, a hybrid between German Shepherds and Carpathian wolves. The goal was to create a breed with the strength and stamina of a wolf with the temperament and intelligence of the German Shepherd.

The breed's build and hair very closely resemble that of wolves. It's distinguished by its amber eyes, and erect triangle-shaped ears. Its thick fur ranges in color from yellow- to silver-grey.

Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs are very social and develop strong bonds with their families. While good with other pets, you will need to watch them when encountering strange animals. As such, it's really important to socialize the dog.

4. Kugsha


Kugsha, or Amerindian Malamutes, are native to the United States and are wolf hybrids.

They are very strong, larger and longer than Siberian Huskies but not like Alaskam Malamute. They are born travellers. Their long legs and strong body make them well-suited to carrying heavy loads across long distance.

Because they're only recently domesticated, they are very independent with lots of spirit. While the Kugsha are very loyal and develop strong relationships with their owners, they are not a good dog for families with small children due to their predatory nature. Also, they need a lot of exercise and can get destructive if they do not get enough physical activity.

5. Samoyed


Samoyeds are Russian breed of dog they get their name from the Samoyedic peoples of Siberia. They are strong, well-built and broad-headed. They are very lively and good companions. One of their distinguishing characteristics is the "Sammy smile," which very noticeable because of the contrast between its white coat and black lips.

Samoyeds are calm, devoted, very friendly and pleasant dogs and love everyone. Their colours are, white and shades of white with long and thick fur. They were bred to hunt. They love hiking, tracking and keeping their owners warm by sleeping on top of them at night.

They are great family dogs and are very good with children and are very playful.

Unfortunately, Samoyeds have a number of congenital health problems including hip dysplasia, diabetes, and kidney disease.

6. Tamaskan


Tamaskans are a very new breed, recognized by the American Kennel Club only in 2013. They were bred to look like wolves, with a thick coat that comes in red-grey, wolf-grey, and black-grey. Because they're so new, they're quite rare with only 600 certified Tamaskans in the world. However, they are growing in popularity.

Tamaskans are good family dogs and particularly good with children. They're very smart, easily trainable and highly social, so they shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time. They also require quite a bit of exercise and can turn destructive if they don't get enough physical stimulation.

7. Canadian Eskimo Dog


Also known as Qimmiq, Canadian Husky, and Canadian Inuit Dogs, this breed is a working dog that used to pull sleds and hunt. They are large dogs, weighing up to 66 and 95 pounds (30 to 43 kilograms). The breed is currently endangered, with only 300 registered purebreds in 2008.

These dogs are smart, energetic, strong, tough, and very loyal. However, they are not great fits for families with other small dogs because they have fairly high prey drives. They also do best in cold weather and are prone to heat stroke.

They also require an enormous amount of exercise, often much more than the typical owner can give. So think carefully before getting one.

8. Northern Inuit Dog


The Northern Inuit dog is an unrecognized crossbred dog, developed in UK with the intent of creating a domesticated working dog that looks like a wolf. This dog originates from crosses between German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, and Inuit dogs. This dog has a medium build and its shape and coloring very much resembles that of a wolf.

The Northern Inuit Dog is not for an inexperienced owner. They're very smart, but also stubborn and difficult to train. They also tend toward having separation anxiety, but training at a young age can take care of that. They are also better fits for families with more than one dog.

9. Utonagan


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.

While not bred for any particular task, Utonagans are easily trainable and can be taught to do any number of tasks. They are very friendly and intelligent dogs and tend to get along well with people, including children. They are also fairly energetic and require significant exercise - at least a daily walk or job. That said, be careful about exercising them in the heat: this breed does best in colder weather.

They are not recommended for apartment dwellers and do best in houses with a high-fenced yard.

10. German Shepherd


The German Shepherd Dogs are one of world's most recognized and popular breeds. They are also known as Alsatians in Great Britain and parts of Europe. They are the second most popular breed in the United States and the fourth most popular in the UK.

They are bred especially for their intelligence and are ranked as the third most intelligent breed. Their intelligence makes German Shepherds excellent working dogs and they are often employed as police, guard, and search-and-rescue dogs.

They are very energetic, eager to learn, and very much need a job or task to perform. Otherwise they get bored and can become destructive. If not adequately socialized, they can become over-protective of their family. They are a bit aloof socially, but very loyal to their owners.

11. Saarloos Wolfdog


Dutch breeder Leendert Saarloos started cross-breeding a German Shepherd Dog male to a female European Wolf, to get better working dogs. The Saarloos Wolfhound is strong and energetic and has a powerful neck, broad head, and long legs. The Dutch Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1975.

It has wolf-like expressions, as well as a wolf-like head. This dog is not recommended for apartment life. It has lot of stamina and needs a lot of daily exercise. It’s a strong willed dog and need a very experienced owner capable of providing it the necessary exercise and discipline.

Other Dogs Like Wolf.

Characteristics of Dogs Bred to Look like Wolves

1. Alaskan Malamute
58-64 cm
34-39 Kg
Friendly, Loyal, Devoted
2. Canadian Eskimo Dog
50-70 cm
20-40 Kg
Friendly, Gentle, Playful
3. Czechoslovakian Wolf Dog
55-70 cm
20-36 Kg
Tolerant, Alert, Energetic
4. German Shepherd
55-65 cm
22-40 Kg
Alert, Courageous, Intelligent
5. Kugsha Dog
60-76 cm
25-40 Kg
Suspicious, Alert, Intelligent
6. Northern Inuit Dog
63-76 cm
36-50 Kg
Friendly, Dependable, Calm
7. Samoyed
46-60 cm
22-30 Kg
Friendly, Gentle, Devoted
8. Saarloos Wolfdog
60-75 cm
36-41 Kg
Aggressive, Lively, Energetic
9. Siberian Husky
51-60 cm
16-27 Kg
Friendly, Alert, Intelligent
10. Tamaskan
60-84 cm
25-40 Kg
Tolerant, Sociable, Intelligent
11. Utanogan
57-68 cm
25-41 Kg
Friendly, Patient, Intelligent

What Do You Think?

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© 2014 ARADHYA

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Sarid Kennel 3 days ago

German shepherds don't look anything like a wolf.

Kei 3 weeks ago

#4 is a picture of a Shikoku Inu aka Kochi-ken, Japanese breed of dog. or check

They were bred for hunting boar, deer and sometimes bears. They are stubborn to train, but potty train easily. Aloof with strangers and independant. They need a lot of exercise and socialisation.

srai01 profile image

srai01 6 weeks ago Author

Hi Graham,

I agree with you they look like Wolf and I had added them in video presentation. But NAID Dogs are still not accepted by many major clubs.

srai01 profile image

srai01 6 weeks ago Author

Hello Jeff,

I agree they were bred to look like dire wolf and at certain level that looks like Dire wolf.

Graham 6 weeks ago

You forgot one. Native American Indian Dogs.

Jeff 6 weeks ago

I apologize.....the American Alsatian was bred to look like the dire wolf. Sorry for the misinformation.

Jeff 6 weeks ago

Great article! Just a small side note.....after some reading/research on the Tamaskan, it appears it may have actually been breed to mimic the appearance of the actual dire wolf (not Game of Thrones....the actual extinct species). Since researchers can't agree on its appearance....i thought this slightly humorous. But it is beautiful nonetheless!

srai01 profile image

srai01 2 months ago Author

Hi Gail F,

Thanks! Yes i agree, Tamaskan are new breed .. they just became famous from movie "Game of thrones".

Its too short time for any dag to get recognized by AKC or any major kennel.

Gail F 2 months ago

Interesting article; loved the photos of the beautiful dogs and wolves. The Tamaskan is not, and to my knowledge, has never been, recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club).

Carla Ferrier 2 months ago

srai01 - there is information at and the breed standards are listed at under Native American Village Dog

pedantic biologist 4 months ago

You say genus but I think you mean taxa. Genus is a taxonomic rank above species - e.g. dogs and wolves both belong to the ~4-3.5 million year old genus Canis. Given the age of the lineage maybe you mean there is evidence that the species diverged 40 000 years ago?

A genus is also capitalized (in addition to italicization).

Aroosa Hermosa 4 months ago

I like wolves.

srai01 profile image

srai01 6 months ago Author

Hello Robert,

Thanks for your observation and information.

Though i visited again, the details for both of those breeds ..

Also i have an article where i collected details about Japani Shikoku dogs

_ I may be confused, but I think Shikoku dogs must have the little furry and curly tail and this dog (In Picture of Khugsa) looks like , has a blended tail.

Robert Baker 6 months ago

Good article but I caught one mistake. The dog you call a Kugsha is really a picture of a Shikoku a Japanese breed. I've seen that picture in many a dog magazine. It's from a Canadian kennel.

D jena 6 months ago

Where is the's the most popular dog on the planet...

Lillian Schaeffer 8 months ago

I really like the look of the Tamaskan. I think that breed looks the most like a wolf. Do you know on average how much they would cost?

Linda Robinson60 profile image

Linda Robinson60 10 months ago from Cicero, New York

You are very welcome. And thanks a million for responding. Take care. And enjoy your day.

srai01 profile image

srai01 10 months ago Author

Hello Linda, Thank you very much for your comment and appreciation.

Linda Robinson60 profile image

Linda Robinson60 10 months ago from Cicero, New York

Wow, what a tremendous read and fascinating hub, I really loved it, so well written and entertaining and helpful. So nice meeting you, you are an excellent writer. Look forward to reading all of your creative work. Linda

srai01 profile image

srai01 10 months ago Author

Alaskan Malamute are great, giant and most adorable dogs.

greeneyedblondie profile image

greeneyedblondie 10 months ago

Maybe one day I'll get an Alaskan Malamute, they're so beautiful!

srai01 profile image

srai01 13 months ago Author

Hello Desi786,

I don't think so.

srai01 profile image

srai01 13 months ago Author

Hello Carla,

Thanks for information, as i was really not aware about them.

From where I can get more details about them and some pictures?

Carla Ferrier profile image

Carla Ferrier 14 months ago

The only breed you forgot was the Native American Village Dog. They are also a wolf look alike that has been around since 2008 but is not well known. I think they are worth making the list too.

Desi786 14 months ago

I don't think these dog would be good to have at least in the United States. Not because of them personally, but because people will shoot them thinking they are a real wolf unfortunately.

srai01 profile image

srai01 14 months ago Author

Hi TenFeet2Hands,

I agree, these dogs are not well suitable for everyone.

But this article will be useful for them, who are interested to have a pet like wolf .Wish you happy time with your short coated Hounds :)

TenFeet2Hands profile image

TenFeet2Hands 14 months ago from Cambridge, MA

I love the GSD, and could live with any dog breed yet, I voted no 'I would not like to own one of these dogs' because I am too old to groom and my heart is solidly, and totally with short coated Hounds. :)

srai01 profile image

srai01 14 months ago Author

Hello Dragonfly,

You can check for Siberian Husky and German Shepherd and American Alsatian, they will be allowed.

You can explore more options from

dragonfly 14 months ago

Three of those breeds you can't legally own in Michigan because they are part wolf. But, I'd consider getting a tamaskan dog. They look so much like wolves. They're about the closest thing to a wolf you're allowed to have in Michigan.

srai01 profile image

srai01 15 months ago Author

Hi Jay,

German Shepherds are very common and suitable.

Siberian Husky and Alaskan malamute are only other available option from that list. Apart from these 3 it's very difficult to get any other.

Jay Amin 16 months ago

Hi are any of these suitable to be kept as.pets in India?

Moderate climate areas.

ActualHuskyOwner 19 months ago

I'm not sure where you gather your facts, but in NO circle is a husky recognized as a good watch dog. Please reference the Siberian Husky Club of America site below and read the first 3 paragraphs. The foremost experts in the breed are very clear about Siberian behavior. Do not get a husky if you want a watch dog!

srai01 profile image

srai01 19 months ago Author

Hi Connor: All dogs are friendly if well trained and educated and any dog can be aggressive.

So it depends, how we treat and teach them.

But still they are kept in different category. [We can't compare Pit bull / Rottweiler with pug and poodle].

Huskies are from working/sports category and very energetic dogs, though they are friendly but morerecognised as a good watch (working category) dog, for they are bred


Connor 20 months ago

You listed Huskies as good watch dogs? I don't think so, they are too friendly!

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