Modern dogs can trace their genetics all the way back to the OG dog: the wolf. Although some dog breeds don’t look like they once ruled nature (yes, we’re talking about our little dog friends), almost all domestic dogs are descended from wolves. Today, the closest thing to having a real wolf as a pet is having a wolf dog. This rare dog breed is defined as any dog with both wolf and domestic dog in his recent genetic ancestry. Wolf dog breeds can come from a variety of parent combinations: a pure wolf and a pure domestic dog, a wolf dog and a pure wolf, a wolf dog and a pure dog, or two wolf dogs. These animals are beautiful, intelligent and full of love, but owning a exotic pet comes with a lot of responsibilities. In some states it is not even legal to own a wolfdog.
Luckily, it’s still possible to achieve the look of a wolfhound without the added hassle. For big dog lovers who want a pet with a wolfish appearance, there are plenty of furry friends that fit the bill. Many domestic dogs, including german shepherds, Siberian Huskiesand Alaskan Malamutes— Closely resemble their wild ancestors and make excellent pets. For more experienced dog owners, there are a few breeds with even closer ties to wolves that can be kept as pets. Read on to learn about the most popular wolf-like dog breeds.
1. German Shepherd
There are many different lines of german shepherds. Some are much more energetic than others, and they all need a job to do! The biggest difference is between the working line and the accompanying lines. Working line shepherds should be busy training, herding flocks, or doing some other type of activity. People looking for an active companion, on the other hand, will be delighted with the energy level of the pet range. Shepherds are affectionate, loyal, gentle and full of curiosity. While there may not be much of a wolf left in this pup’s DNA, his overall structure gives him a wolf-like appearance. They have long snouts, thick coats, and pointed ears, giving them a decidedly wolf-like face.
2. Alaskan Malamute
This cold weather dog breed has a beautiful fluffy coat and an adorable face. Their fur-filled tails are one of their defining characteristics. These strong and fearsome dogs can measure up to 25 inches and weigh up to 85 pounds. They are hard workers and have been used as sled dogs in the Arctic. They are very smart dog breed, but they can be a little stubborn and stubborn. Owners must be firm and consistent in their training, otherwise the Alaskan Malamute will decide that he is the leader of your pack.
3. Northern Inuit Dog
Made popular by HBO game of thrones, the Northern Inuit Dog looks roughly like a wolf. These domestic dogs have many facial features similar to their wolf ancestors. They are smart, friendly, and love to be paired up with runners or hikers due to their high energy levels. According to Northern Inuit Society, these dogs were said to have been bred by the Inuit by mating domestic dogs and wolves, with the aim of making family dogs that could also work hard. They came to the UK in the 1980s, where breeders took the dogs and bred them with Siberian Huskies, Malamutes and German Shepherds to create the perfect pup that looked like a wolf but could live with a family. Nowadays, interbreeding with wolves no longer exists and only the different lineages of Northern Inuit are mixed. Although their appearance remains that of a wolf, the personality of the Inuit of the North is completely domestic.
4. Siberian Husky
We love huskies for their independent attitudes and silly behaviors. At this point, no one has internet access who hasn’t seen these adorable floofs do something ridiculous. However, they have been bred for much more than viral internet videos. Huskies are working dogs who consistently win sled dog races and were made famous by Balto’s famous serum run for Nome. The breed, which originated in Siberia, has a thick double coat that keeps them dry and warm in harsh conditions. They are usually found in black and white, gray or tan. They can be very stubborn and need consistency in their training, and even though they don’t bark, they let out a lot of howls, chirps and ah-woos!
5. Czechoslovak Vlcak
It’s no surprise that the Czechoslovakian vlcak (CSV), also known as the Czechoslovakian wolfdog, makes it onto this list. (It’s really all in the name!) According to the American Kennel Club, these puppies were bred to patrol the border in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s. Not only do they have high drive and excellent stamina, but they also have an elite sense of smell, sight and hearing . Today, CSV is used for search and rescue work, obedience and agility training, herding, tracking, and other sports. They have a lot of energy and a strong will, so they always need to have a job. They look a lot like wolves and although they are domesticated, they are not the best dog breed for new owners.
sammies are the ultimate happy doggos. Their mouths naturally turn upwards to keep them from drooling on your lap! These double-coated floofs love the cold and melt into the snow. Come shedding season, you’ll think you’ve got your own coat with their huge coat, but it’s worth it for the breed’s affectionate and fun personality. Samoyeds have a mischievous side and will always make you laugh.
7. Canadian Eskimo Dog
According to Canadian Kennel Club, the Canadian Eskimo Dog was bred to pull heavy loads over long distances, much like the Siberian Husky. The breed was declared extinct in 1963 when there was only one registered stud at the club. However, breeders have worked hard to find and establish a new breeding program. Although they have made progress, there are only about 300 or fewer Canadian Eskimo Dogs left. These wolf-like puppies have thick fur with an undercoat to keep them warm in harsh conditions. There are many differences between male and female dogs, and males sometimes have manes on their shoulders and necks.
The Utonagan is a mix of two different dog breeds including the German Shepherd, Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute. The intention was to create a breed of wolfdog that looked like a wolf, without the wild DNA. The original puppies were bred by Edwina Harrison and were called wolfhounds. In 2007, Utonagan Breed Clubs were formed to improve health and information sharing across the breed. However, they have yet to be recognized by the UK Kennel Club, and the newly bred “British Utonagan” has numerous health issues. Although this breed has gorgeous gray wolf-like fur, potential owners should do some research before getting one.
9. Saar Wolfdog
These puppies are the closest dog owners come to owning a wolf. According Royal Canin, they are the mixture of a wolf and a domestic dog. Dutch breeder Leendert Saarloos took a male German Shepherd and crossed him with a female wolf to create this special breed. Since they are so closely related to wolves, they love being outdoors and need property to run and play on. Saarloos do not do well in apartments or condos. They are also not the dog of the new owners. They are true to themselves but like to do their own thing, carefully avoiding strangers.
According to Tamaskan Dog Registry, this breed began in the early 1980s as a combination of many different Arctic breeds including the Alaskan Malamute, Alaskan Husky, Labrador Husky, German Shepherd, Canadian Eskimo Dog, and Siberian Husky. The resulting dog was then mixed with breeds like the German Shepherd, Siberian Husky, and Alaskan Malamute. The registry was officially established in 2006. Tamaskans are independent and intelligent, and although they have a stubborn streak, they should respond well to consistent training.
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