Wolf Dog Breeds and 12 Dogs That Resemble Wolves

Wolf dog breeds are a popular type of hybrid dog because of how beautiful they look. People often gravitate toward wolf dogs and wolf-like dogs simply because of their appearances. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about owning a wolf hybrid, which is why buying one should not be taken lightly. Like any dogs, wolf dogs are a huge commitment, so it’s about much more than just how cool they look.

What are Wolf Dog Breeds?

Wolf dog breeds are any dogs that have wolf in their genetic makeup. Therefore, any dog breed that’s mixed with a wolf can be considered a wolf dog. The reason they are sometimes bred together is because they have a similar history and their behavioral and physical traits are often similar as well.

Over centuries, dogs evolved from wolves and became more domesticated. Dogs and wolves are interfertile animals, which means they can breed with each other to create offspring. While it’s rare for this to happen in the wild, people have chosen to breed them together in hopes of creating a cool hybrid pet.

Many people mistake common dog breeds like Huskies and Malamutes for wolf dogs, but they do not have any wolf in them. They are just special breeds that were bred specifically to look like wolves. Therefore, they are often much better in a home environment than an actual wolf dog would be.

Problems with Wolf Dog Breeds

While the appearance of a wolf dog hybrid is cool to look at, anyone who has had one in their home knows that they are more difficult to care for than most traditional dog breeds. People often have false information about wolf dogs too.

For example, many people think that a dog breed mixed with a wolf will create a better guard dog. However, wolves actually have a shy personality, so they might get scared more easily and their actions will be more unpredictable. There is also a myth that wolf dogs live longer than traditional dog breeds. This is also false because the average wolf only lives 12 to 14 years at most.

Unfortunately, it’s actually illegal to own wolf dogs in some areas, especially without a proper license. Even if you live somewhere where you won’t get in trouble, landlords can still turn dogs away due to their wolf DNA.

If you really have your heart set on a wolf dog, you also need to be extremely careful where you buy them from. Breeders who are only in it for the money will often lie about a dog being part wolf. You could end up paying thousands of dollars for a “fake” wolf dog if you’re not careful.

A reputable breeder will be able to give you lots of specific information about the dogs and they’ll even be able to show you where the puppies were bred. A scammer will make up plenty of excuses when you ask detailed questions like that.

General Facts About Wolf Dog Breeds

Every wolf dog will be slightly different, but since they’re all mixed with a wolf, there are some things you should expect. First of all, they will likely shed a lot more than an average dog. So, you must be prepared to brush them almost daily. Also, they will likely howl and bark a lot, especially if they experience separation anxiety.

Wolf dogs are typically very large dogs, so they need plenty of space to roam around. They also have very high energy levels, so they need a significant amount of exercise each day. If their exercise requirements are neglected, they could get bored and act destructive as a result. It’s also important to socialize them with dogs and humans early on as a puppy to avoid aggressive behaviors as they grow up. They are one of the most difficult types of dogs to have, so they are not a good choice for beginners.

List of Dogs That Resemble Wolves

As cool as wolf dogs are, they’re not for everyone. If you want a dog that looks like a wolf, you should consider all the factors before settling on a dog with wolf DNA. Luckily, there are plenty of dog breeds that resemble wolves, and not all of them are a wolf hybrid. So, if you’re looking for a wolf-like dog, here are some dog breeds that closely resemble wolves.

#1 – Saarloos Wolfdog


As the name implies, the Saarloos Wolfdog is actually a wolf dog breed. They were created back in 1935 by breeding a German Shepherd with a Eurasian Wolf. They were initially bred to be good working dogs, but their personality resembles a wolf more than a German Shepherd. Therefore, they are too cautious and stubborn to be a police dog. They’re not the best family companion because they need excessive amounts of training, socialization, and exercise to be content in a household environment.

#2 – Northern Inuit Dog


The Northern Inuit Dog is not bred with wolves at all, but it was made to be an extremely wolf-like dog. They were bred in the 1980s, using a mixture of Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, and German Shepherd traits. The breed became more popular recently after playing the “dire wolves” in Game of Thrones. Despite their close resemblance to wolves, they can actually make great companions. They have very little patience for young children, which is true for most dog breeds, so they prefer a family of only adults and older children. Like similar breeds, they need plenty of training and socialization at an early age or else they could develop severe separation anxiety.

#3 – Czechoslovakian Wolfdog

Czechoslovakian Wolfdog

This is another wolf dog breed that is bred with a German Shepherd and a Carpathian Wolf. They were bred in 1955 as attack dogs in Czechoslovakia. They’re brave, active, and loyal just like an attack dog should be, but they have no desire to attack like they were expected to. Today, they are still used for some working roles and sometimes they’re even kept as pets. However, they need high levels of training and exercise to be well-behaved in a family household. Like most wolf dog breeds, the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog cannot be legally owned in certain areas.

#4 – Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is a popular dog breed that looks like a wolf, but doesn’t actually have any wolf in its genetics. They were initially bred as a sled dog, and they are still considered strong working dogs in the present day. They are noticeably different than wolves because their coats are usually extra soft and fluffy. They can be excellent family members if trained properly, but they’re extremely stubborn and smart. They need their humans to have plenty of patience and consistency with training, so it’s important to never give up on them. Since they were built to pull sleds, they need daily exercise, usually consisting of intense workouts such as running or hiking.

#5 –  Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky

Like the Alaskan Malamute, Huskies are also wolf-like dogs that have no wolf in them at all. They are another sled dog breed that is known for often having bright blue eyes. They have a similar personality to the Alaskan Malamute, so they need lots of exercise and training to behave properly. Many people choose them simply for their beautiful appearance without realizing how difficult they are to care for.

Related: What Is the Best Dog Food for Huskies? 2020 Guide And Reviews

#6 – Swedish Vallhund


The Swedish Vallhund might look like a wolf mixed with a Corgi, but they’re actually their own dog breed with no wolf in them. They are probably the smallest wolf-like dog breed out there, with unnaturally short legs. Like the Welsh Corgi, Swedish Vallhunds are herding dogs. They were specifically bred to herd cows. They are great family dogs because they’re very playful and loyal. Despite being so small, they still need plenty of exercise to keep them entertained though.

#7 – Tamaskan

Tamaskans are mixed with a Siberian Husky, German Shepherd, and sometimes even a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog. Therefore, they do have a small amount of wolf in them. They are a newer breed that was first recognized in 2013. They can be a great companion, but they need a lot of work just like the other wolf dogs do. Like most large breeds, they need plenty of training, socialization, and attention to be content. They are known for their habit of chasing wild animals such as rabbits and squirrels.

#8 – Utonagan


The Utonagan is very similar to the Northern Inuit Dog because they are also bred using German Shepherds, Alaskan Malamutes, and Siberian Huskies. They were bred as another attempt to look as close to a wolf as possible. The main difference in their appearance is that the Utonagan is slightly fluffier than the Northern Inuit, but the two breeds are often discussed as the same breed. Their personality is very similar to a Tamaskan because they also love to run around and chase animals. However, Utonagans have been known to have more health problems than other dogs, so regular vet visits are crucial.

#9 – Canadian Eskimo


The Canadian Eskimo, also commonly referred to as an Inuit Dog, was bred as an arctic working dog. They are an older breed that is running the risk of extinction. They are loyal, smart, and brave, just like any working dog should be. They can work well in a home environment, but they need to exercise or work hard daily or else they could develop destructive behaviors.

#10 – Alaskan Noble Companion Dog


The Alaskan Noble Companion Dog is a special breed that was bred to look like a black wolf dog, but they don’t actually have any wolf in them. They’re mixed with a Siberian Husky, German Shepherd, and Alaskan Malamute. They can be distinguished by their beautiful black coloring and a small white spot on their chest. They’re a fairly new hybrid, so not a lot is known about them in terms of care requirements. However, they’re said to be extremely cautious around strangers and active with a tendency to roam.

#11 – Kugsha

image from barkingroyalty.com

The Kugsha is also referred to as the Amerindian Malamute sometimes. They are an ancient wolf hybrid, and they are considered very rare today. They were bred as a sled dog, used to deliver shipments during snowy weather. They should not be kept as pets because their personality is more wolf-like than dog-like. Therefore, they are stubborn and need extremely large amounts of space to be content.

#12 – Shikoku


The Shikoku is a Japanese breed that is related to Akitas and Shiba Inus. They have a similar personality to a Shiba, but their coat is usually much darker, which is what makes them look so wolf-like. They are a very friendly breed, so they are good for families that are willing to give them plenty of attention. In the past, they were often used to hunt boars, so they still need high amounts of exercise due to those instincts.

If you want a dog that resembles a wolf, any of the above breeds are great examples whether they have wolf DNA or not. Of course, all these dogs are beautiful, but it’s important to consider more than just their looks. Before bringing a new dog into your family, make sure you always do as much research as possible in order to make sure the decision is best for both you and your new dog.

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