Dogs and wolves are closely related that share many physical and behavioral traits. it’s believed that all modern dog breeds are inherited from wolves.
As per history, dog domestication started thousands of years long back when early humans began to select wolves for hunting, and companionship but now these domesticated wolves evolved into the dogs that we know and love today.
In this article, we’ll explore What Dog Breeds Are Closest to Wolves and their traits, and how they make great pets.
What Makes a Dog Breed Closest to Wolves?
If we consider dog breeds, some breeds are closely related to wild ancestors like the wolf. Many factors tell how dog breeds are close to the wolf. including their physical appearance, and temperament.
- Physical Appearance is One of the easiest factors that tell us how a dog breeds closeness to wolves.
- These Wolf-like dog breeds generally have a similar appearance to wolves such as pointed ears, sharp features, and thick fur.
- Usually, these are larger than other dog breeds, with a muscular build and a distinctive gait.
- Another important factor that determines a dog breed’s closeness to wolves is its temperament.
- Wolf-like dog breeds are often more independent and intelligent than other breeds, with a strong prey drive and a tendency to be unkind to strangers.
- They require a confident and experienced owner who can provide them with plenty of exercise, training, and socialization.
What Dog Breeds Closest to Wolves
|Color||Black & White, Gray & White, Red & White, Brown & White and Black Tan & White|
|Life Span||12-14 Years|
|Popularity Ranking||As per AKC, 21st Rank|
- Siberian Huskies are one of the most popular breeds that look like wolves.
- These breeds are medium-sized and have thick fur which helps to survive in a cold climate.
- Huskies have sharp blue eyes and erect ears. They are an intelligent and independent breed that can be trained with patience and consistency.
- Siberian Huskies have a strong prey drive and need plenty of exercises to prevent destructive behavior.
|Color||Gray & White, Black & White, Red & White, Silver & White, Blue & White and Sable & White|
|Life Span||10-14 Years|
|Popularity Ranking||As per AKC, 67th Rank|
- Alaskan Malamutes are another popular breed that looks like a wolf.
- Alaskan Malamutes are bigger than Siberian Huskies and have a thick coat than Siberian Huskies which is better for heavy colder climates.
- Alaskan Malamutes are known for their wolf-like howl and their affectionate nature towards their owners.
- They are intelligent and strong-willed dogs that require consistent training and socialization.
- Like Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes have a high prey drive and need plenty of exercises.
|Color||Black, Gray, Black & Tan, Black & Silver and Black & Red|
|Life Span||7-10 Years|
|Popularity Ranking||As per AKC, 4th Rank|
German Shepherds are popular breeds and are closely related to German Shepherds are big, strong dogs and they are used in military or police departments due to their intelligence and loyalty. They are also called great guard dogs.
|Color||Black & Tan, Cream, Red, and Red Sesame|
|Life Span||13-16 Years|
|Popularity Ranking||As per AKC, 43rd Rank|
- Shiba Inus originated in Japan and these are small to medium-sized dog breeds.
- Comes to appearance this looks like Fox, but they also share many traits with wolves.
- They have a strong prey drive and need plenty of exercises to prevent destructive behavior.
- Shiba Inus are known for their loyalty to their owners and can make great family pets for those who have the time and patience to train them properly.
|Color||Yellow, Black, Gray, and Black & Silver and Tan|
|Life Span||12-16 Years|
- Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is a crossbreed, inherited from German Shepherd and a Carpathian wolf, and also this breed is used in the military.
- Czechoslovakian Wolfdog was specifically bred to resemble a wolf.
- Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs are intelligent and loyal dogs that require an experienced owner who can provide plenty of exercises and mental stimulation.
- These dogs are not recommended for first-time dog owners because they have a high-level excitement and might be challenging to train them.
|Color||Black, Gray, Red&white, and Black & Silver|
|Life Span||10-12 Years|
- The Saarloos Wolfdog is another breed that was specifically bred to resemble a wolf.
- They were created by crossing German Shepherds with wolves, and they are known for their wolf-like appearance and temperament.
- Saarloos Wolfdogs are intelligent and independent dogs that require consistent training and socialization.
- They have a strong prey drive, and high excitement and need plenty of exercise to prevent destructive behavior.
- Saarloos Wolfdogs are not recommended for first-time owners, as it can be challenging to train them.
Canadian Eskimo Dog
|Color||Black, Gray, white, Red&white, and Black & Silver|
|Life Span||10-14 Years|
- This Dog is related to the Arctic wolf, they are medium to large-sized dog and has thick fur which helps them in a cold climate.
- Canadian Eskimo Dogs are intelligent and loyal dogs that require plenty of exercises and mental stimulation.
- They have high-level excitement so they are not recommended for families with small children.
|Color||Black & Silver, Black, Gray, Red&white|
|Life Span||13-15 Years|
Even this dog is also related to the wolf which is a medium to a large-sized dog and was developed in the 1980s in Finland.
- Wolf-like dog breeds require plenty of exercises to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.
- These dogs want to have spacious environments where they can run and play. They enjoy activities such as hiking and swimming.
- These dog breeds can be difficult to train because they are independent and highly excited dogs.
- Owners should have patient and consistent to provide plenty of positive reinforcement and socialization.
- Wolf-like dog breeds have thick fur that requires regular brushing and grooming.
- They shed heavily, especially during the spring and fall, and require regular baths to keep their coats clean.
Common Health Problems
- Generally, wolf-like dog breeds are healthy, there are a few health issues that are common in these breeds: Hip Dysplasia, Eye Problems, Allergies, Thyroid Disorders, and Bloat.
- These can be avoided by following proper vet check-ups and vaccinations. Click here for FREE telehealth check-ups and affordable vaccinations.
- The wolf-like dog needs lots of exercise and mental stimulation, hence these breeds are not suitable for people who are unable to spend time and attention on them.
- They also have a strong prey drive and may not be suitable for families with small children or other pets.
- Wolf-like dog breeds are not suitable for people who live in apartments or small houses because they want more spacious places to run and play.
- So they are better suited for people who live in rural or suburban areas with spacious places.
These dogs can be expensive because they need high-quality foods, regular veterinary care, and grooming supplies.
What are some physical characteristics of wolves that are shared by certain dog breeds?
Some physical characteristics shared by wolves and certain dog breeds include pointed ears, a thick and dense coat, a bushy tail, and a lean and muscular build.
What are some behavioral traits that are shared by wolves and certain dog breeds?
Some behavioral traits shared by wolves and certain dog breeds include a strong prey drive, a high level of energy and stamina, an independent nature, and a strong pack mentality.
What are some of the top dog breeds that are closest to wolves?
Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, German Shepherd, Shiba Inu, Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, Saarloos Wolfdog, Canadian Eskimo, and Tamaskan dog.
Are domesticated dogs really that similar to wolves?
Yes, Domestic dogs have some similar physical and behavioral traits to wolves.
Can I own a dog breed that is closely related to wolves?
Yes, but make sure you have prior experience raising big dogs and should have spacious places for these kinds of dogs.