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7 Stunning Dog Breeds That Look Like Wolves

Written by: Arlene Divina
Arlene Divina, one of the content writers at IHD, loves going on adventures with her adorable fur baby. She now creates informative content for pet parents. Read more
| Published on April 16, 2024

The mystique of the wild wolf captivates many dog lovers, leading them to seek out dog breeds that bear a strong resemblance to this iconic predator. These wolf-like breeds often display the physical characteristics of wolves, such as sharp, pointed ears, elongated snouts, piercing eyes, and bushy tails, along with the thick double coats that are typical of animals adapted to harsh, cold climates. The resemblance goes beyond aesthetics; many breeds also share behavioral traits with wolves, such as strong prey drives and pack-oriented social structures. This article explores seven stunning dog breeds that look like wolves, delving into their history, temperament, and the specific traits that make them resemble their wild counterparts. These breeds not only look like wolves but also often require experienced handling to channel their strong personalities and physical capabilities appropriately.

1. Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is one of the most well-known breeds that resemble wolves. With their striking multi-colored or blue eyes, dense fur coat, and pointed ears, Huskies capture the wild essence of the wolf. Originally bred by the Chukchi people in Siberia, these dogs were designed to pull sleds over long distances, a task that requires strength, endurance, and a high degree of cooperation among the pack—qualities that are also typical of wolves. Siberian Huskies have a friendly and gentle temperament but maintain a strong prey drive and an independent streak that can remind one of their wild relatives. Their ability to work in packs, striking appearance, and vocal nature (often characterized by howling rather than barking) further enhance their wolf-like demeanor.

2. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes are larger and even more powerful than Siberian Huskies, and they share many wolf-like features. They possess a thick, coarse coat, large build, and a tail that curls over their back. Malamutes were originally bred for hauling heavy freight as sled dogs and later as pack animals. The breed’s strength, independence, and resilience in harsh Arctic conditions are qualities that closely mirror those of wolves. Alaskan Malamutes have a dignified and loyal disposition but are known for their strong wills and occasional stubbornness, traits that require an owner who understands how to channel their pack-oriented instincts effectively.

3. Czechoslovakian Wolfdog

The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, or Czechoslovakian Vlcak, is a relatively new breed that literally originated from experiments crossing Carpathian wolves with German Shepherds in the 1950s. This breed combines the physical strength and stamina of a wolf with the temperament and trainability of a German Shepherd. They have a wolf-like appearance with their erect triangular ears, yellow to amber eyes, and robust physique. Their coat, which can range from gray to silver to white, and their keen, alert expressions further emphasize their lupine heritage. Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs are known for their exceptional loyalty, high energy levels, and active minds, requiring intensive training and socialization.

4. Swedish Vallhund

While not as similar in appearance to wolves as some other breeds on this list, Swedish Vallhunds do possess certain wolf-like characteristics, such as their sturdy body and alert expression. They are small to medium in size but are robust and energetic, with a history as farm dogs used for herding and guarding. Their intelligence and vigilance make them excellent watchdogs and companions.

5. Saarloos Wolfdog

The Saarloos Wolfdog, created by crossing a German Shepherd with a European wolf, is another breed that exhibits many wolf-like traits, both physically and behaviorally. They are large dogs with a wolf-like head and build, dense fur, and often maintain the wolf’s piercing gaze. Saarloos Wolfdogs are complex creatures, known for their reserved nature around strangers and strong pack instincts. They require a great deal of socialization and training from a very young age to ensure they develop a balanced temperament. Their striking appearance and challenging personality make them suitable only for very experienced dog owners.

6. Samoyed

Though not as directly wolf-like as some other breeds, Samoyeds possess a wild beauty with their fluffy white coats, smiling faces, and sturdy build. Originating from Siberia, where they were used for herding reindeer and pulling sleds, Samoyeds are friendly and gentle, often forming strong bonds with their families. Their thick, white coat requires regular grooming, and their sociable nature makes them poor choices for guard dogs but excellent companions.

7. Akita Inu

The Akita Inu, a national treasure in Japan, is a breed with a noble and imposing appearance that bears some resemblance to wolves, especially in their facial structure and stance. Originally used for hunting large game such as bears, Akitas are powerful, with dense coats that can come in colors similar to wolves, such as white, brindle, and pinto. Their aloof and dignified temperament can be likened to that of a wolf, showing fierce loyalty to their family while being reserved around strangers. Akitas are known for their strong will, intelligence, and protective nature, requiring an owner who can provide firm, consistent training and understanding of their complex character.


These seven breeds showcase the beauty and allure of wolf-like features in domestic dogs. While they share physical characteristics with wolves, their temperaments are suited to living alongside humans, provided they are given appropriate training, socialization, and care. Owners of these breeds often enjoy the challenge and reward of living with dogs that look like wolves but behave like loyal companions. However, prospective owners should thoroughly research and prepare for the demands of these breeds, as their strong personalities and physical needs require dedicated and informed handling.