Wolves have captured our imagination for thousands of years with their majestic beauty and mysterious demeanour. Whether they have appeared in fairy tales, or have been reimagined in art and film – they are an important character in our cultural imagination. It’s no wonder then, that we yearn for their rugged beauty with a pet dog that looks like a wolf.
Scientists have managed to trace exactly when dogs became man’s best friend. Yes, some 100,000 years ago, the domestic dogs we know and love evolved from the grey wolf – otherwise known as Canis Lupus.
It’s hard to imagine that the Pug or Chihuahua are distant relatives of these wild canines, but there are indeed some breeds that are still physically similar to the fearless and powerful wolf.
While it’s possible to find breeds that are closer to the real thing, they’re not recommended as pets. Some wolf hybrids can be problematic for a household, and risk behavioural problems as they grow older. Simply put, it isn’t fair to keep them as a regular pet.
Why not opt for one of these dog breeds that look like wolves? With their thick fur, captivating eyes and wolfish howls, these dog breeds look just like their legendary ancestors. But don’t be put off – they will also make great family pets and have the lovable demeanour of other domestic dogs.
This selection of wolf-like dog breeds are perfectly suited to active owners that love long walks and endless ball games – what’s not to love?
Have you ever seen a dog that looks like a wolf with blue eyes? They are none other than the gorgeous Siberian Husky. Originally employed as a sled-dog by the Chukchis of Siberia in the 19th century, they first arrived in Alaska in the early 20th century.
Of all the wolf-like dog breeds, the Husky is probably the easiest to recognise in the street. They have become much-loved companions, and are typically athletic dogs that were bred for speed. While they may prove challenging for first-time dog owners, they are very sociable and intelligent.
Huskies are typically quite vocal and love a good howl. They are medium-sized with a double-layered coat that comes in all sorts of markings and colours, and can weigh between 16-27 kg.
With its impressive stature, the Alaskan Malamute is a bit larger than the Siberian Husky, but is most recognisable for its curled, fluffy tail. They are typically much furrier than a wolf, and have a grey and white coat and brown markings around the head and tail. Reaching about 25 inches in height, they can weigh up to 35 kg as an adult.
Malamutes were traditionally used as a working sled dog by the Mahlemut Inuit tribe of Northern Alaska, and were bred to pull heavy loads. Their strength and stamina must be maintained with plenty of training and exercise, but they are very affectionate and make a wonderful pet.
As far as dog breeds go, there aren’t many that look as wolflike as the Tamaskan. You might be surprised to find out that they are one hundred per cent dog, and have been bred specifically to preserve their physical wolf appearance. Don’t be fooled by their lupine looks – these dogs are loyal, intelligent and very affectionate.
The Tamaskan appeared in the 1980s, after they were crossed with Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes and German Shepherds. They are, however, typically stronger and larger than the Husky, and can weigh between 24 and 39 kg.
Game of Thrones fans, listen up. Any lover of the HBO series will know that each of the Stark children was gifted a loyal Dire Wolf pup, and they were in fact portrayed by this particular breed.
The Northern Inuit looks almost exactly like a wolf, and despite their large and powerful demeanour, they are in fact very friendly and intelligent. With their striking appearance and lovable personality, they are quickly gaining popularity as a veritable household pet.
Translating to ‘spirit of the wolf’ in Chinook Indian, they are in fact a relatively new breed and were first developed in 1987.
German Shepherds are one of the most well-known dog breeds in the world, and despite their black and golden brown fur, their pointed ears and face are incredibly wolf-like.
These noble and proud dogs make wonderful pets, and have been used as working dogs throughout their history due to their height and strength. They can reach between 58-63cm in height, and typically they have a flat and course topcoat with a thick undercoat.
Curious to know about dogs that look like wolves but stay small? These dogs have the distinctive markings of a wolf, but are in fact much shorter and sturdier – with a body longer than it is tall.
It is believed that they are related to the Pembrokeshire Welsh Corgi, due to their stature of between 30-34cm. They are keen watchdogs, and have a waterproof coat similar to a wolf, along with the instantly recognisable pointed ears.
Are you thinking of getting a dog that looks like a wolf? With striking physical features that hark back to their wolf ancestry, these powerful breeds will make wonderful companions.
Hi, I’m Kiri. I am a writer and love what I do. But I couldn't do it without my dog by my side. I have always loved dogs and they have been the topic of a lot of my writing. It has become a passion of mine to share my knowledge and help people give their dogs the best life possible.