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.
11 Dogs That Look Like Wolves
- Alaskan Malamute
- Siberian Husky
- Czechoslovakian Wolfdog
- Canadian Eskimo Dog
- Northern Inuit Dog
- German Shepherd
- Saarloos Wolfdog
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 Huskiy
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.