May 16, 2024

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What Dog Is Closest To The Wolf?

What Dog Is Closest To The Wolf??

Have you ever wondered which domesticated dog breed is genetically closest to wolves? While dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still share many similarities with their wild ancestors. From physical features to behavioral traits, some dog breeds resemble wolves more than others. Join us as we dive into the world of wolf-like dogs and discover what dog breed comes closest to the mighty wolf!

Understanding the Wolf vs Dog Similarities and Differences

Wolves and dogs are both members of the same family, Canidae. However, there are some distinct differences between them. For example, wolves have not been domesticated like dogs but rather remain wild animals in their natural habitat.

In terms of physical features, wolves typically have a larger head and longer legs than most dog breeds. They also tend to be more muscular with thicker fur that comes in various shades of gray.

Behaviorally speaking, wolves exhibit pack mentality where each member has a specific role within their group. In contrast, while dogs also form social hierarchies when living among other canines or humans but do not rely as heavily on this structure for survival.

While these may seem like significant differences between the two species at first glance, it’s important to remember that they still share many similarities genetically and behaviorally. Both can communicate through vocalizations such as howls and barks, use body language to convey emotion or intention and possess keen senses such as hearing and smell which allow them to navigate their surroundings effectively.

Genetically Closest Dog Breeds to Wolves

When it comes to the closest dog breeds to wolves, genetics plays an essential role. Researchers have found that some dog breeds share more DNA with wolves than others based on their common ancestry.

One breed that stands out is the Siberian Husky. This breed is known for its wolf-like appearance and working abilities, making them popular in sled racing competitions.

Another breed that shares a vast genetic similarity with wolves is the Alaskan Malamute. They were originally bred for heavy workloads and are incredibly intelligent dogs.

The Akita is also genetically close to wolves due to their ancient Japanese lineage and hunting background. They are loyal protectors of their families while maintaining a strong independent nature.

Chow Chows may not look like typical wolf-like dogs at first glance, but they do share many similarities in terms of temperament and behavior due to having descended from northern spitz-type dogs.

The Shiba Inu has been dubbed as one of Japan’s national treasures when it comes to preserving ancient canine bloodlines; they possess a similar level of independence as wolves and require dedicated training from an early age.

These breeds’ closeness in genetic makeup to wild counterparts makes them unique pets requiring proper socialization when young – although this instills loyalty among owners who appreciate such traits!

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is one of the most popular breeds that comes to mind when talking about dogs closest to wolves. Originally bred as working dogs by the Chukchi people in northeastern Asia, these dogs are known for their strength, endurance and high-energy levels.

Siberian Huskies have a thick double coat which allows them to survive in extremely cold temperatures. They come in a variety of colors including black, white, gray and copper-red. Their eyes can be blue or brown, or even one of each color!

These beautiful creatures are highly intelligent but can also be stubborn at times! It’s essential that they receive proper training and socialization from an early age to ensure they develop into well-rounded pets.

One thing that sets Siberian Huskies apart from other dog breeds is their strong pack mentality. They thrive on companionship with both humans and other dogs alike and love nothing more than running free with others.

If you’re looking for a loyal companion who will keep up with your active lifestyle then the Siberian Husky may just be the perfect match for you!

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is a powerful and hardworking dog breed that originated in Alaska. These dogs were bred to haul heavy loads over long distances, making them excellent sled dogs.

One of the most distinctive features of the Alaskan Malamute is their thick, furry coat. This coat helps protect them from the harsh winter climate found in Alaska and other northern regions.

Despite their size and strength, Alaskan Malamutes are known for being friendly and sociable with humans. They make great family pets because they are loyal, affectionate, and love to play.

However, it’s important to note that these dogs have a strong prey drive due to their history as sled dogs. As such, they should be kept on a leash or within a fenced area when outside.

The Alaskan Malamute is an incredibly fascinating breed with a rich history rooted in survivalism and endurance. If you’re looking for an intelligent and hardworking companion who loves adventure as much as you do, then this breed may just be perfect for you!


The Akita is a Japanese breed of dog that is renowned for its loyalty and protective nature. Akitas are believed to have descended from the Matagi, which were hunting dogs used by the Ainu people on the island of Hokkaido.

Akitas are large, muscular dogs with thick fur coats that come in various colors, including white, black, brindle, and fawn. They have a broad head with erect ears and small eyes that give them an intense expression.

Despite their fierce appearance, Akitas are known for their calm and dignified temperament. However, they can be stubborn at times and require firm training from an early age.

Akitas make excellent guard dogs due to their natural protective instincts but need socialization to avoid becoming overly aggressive towards strangers. They also require daily exercise as they tend to gain weight easily if left unattended.

Akitas are loyal companions who make great family pets when trained correctly. If you’re looking for a faithful watchdog with an impressive history and personality traits similar to wolves than Akita may be just what you’re searching for!

Chow Chow

The Chow Chow is a breed that has been around for thousands of years and is known for its distinct appearance. These dogs have a thick, fluffy coat that comes in various colors, including red, black, blue, cinnamon and cream.

Chow Chows are known to be aloof and independent dogs. They can also be stubborn at times but make excellent companions once they bond with their owners. This breed requires early socialization and training to curb any aggressive tendencies that may arise due to their protective nature.

One unique feature of the Chow Chow is their blue-black tongue which sets them apart from other dog breeds. It’s still unclear why this particular trait exists in the breed as it doesn’t provide any specific advantage or disadvantage.

Due to their thick coats, grooming requirements for these dogs are high maintenance. Regular brushing and bathing are necessary to keep them looking healthy and prevent skin issues from developing under all that fur.

The Chow Chow is an interesting breed with a rich history. Their distinctive appearance combined with their loyal personalities makes them a popular choice among dog lovers worldwide.

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is a small to medium-sized dog breed that originated from Japan. They are known for their fox-like appearance, with pointy ears and a curly tail. Despite their cute looks, they have a bold and independent personality that makes them unique.

One of the most fascinating things about Shiba Inus is their loyalty to their owners. This breed tends to bond closely with one or two people in the household, becoming fiercely protective of them.

Shibas are also highly intelligent dogs, which means that they need plenty of mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. Without enough exercise and playtime, these dogs can become bored and destructive.

While Shibas can be difficult to train due to their stubborn nature, early training and socialization will help prevent unwanted behaviors like aggression towards other animals or humans.

If you’re looking for an independent yet loyal companion who will keep you on your toes, the Shiba Inu might just be the perfect match for you!


The Basenji breed is believed to have originated in Africa and was used by hunters to track and corner prey such as small mammals. They are known for their unique yodel-like bark, which sounds more like a human singing than a dog barking.

Basenjis are small dogs, weighing between 20-26 pounds on average. Their coats come in a variety of colors including black, red, brindle, and tri-color. One distinct physical feature of the Basenji is their curled tail that sits tightly against their back.

One interesting fact about the Basenji breed is that they are often referred to as “barkless” dogs because they don’t bark like other breeds do. Instead, they make various noises including yodeling or even screaming when excited or upset.

As with any breed of dog, early socialization and training is important for Basenjis. They can be stubborn at times but respond well to positive reinforcement methods.

The Basenji breed may not be the best fit for all families due to their high energy levels and tendency towards mischief if left alone too long. However, they make great companions for those who have an active lifestyle and enjoy spending time outdoors with their furry friend by their side.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are an adorable dog breed that originated in China. They were bred to be companion dogs and have a friendly, affectionate nature. Shih Tzus have a long, luxurious coat that requires regular grooming to keep it from becoming matted or tangled.

One interesting fact about the Shih Tzu is that they are one of the oldest dog breeds in existence! They date back to ancient times and were kept by Chinese royalty as lap dogs.

Despite their small size, Shih Tzus can be quite stubborn at times. This means that training them can take patience and persistence, but with consistent effort, they can learn many tricks and commands.

Another unique aspect of the Shih Tzu is their distinctive facial features. Their flat face and large eyes give them a cute appearance that has made them popular among dog lovers worldwide.

If you’re looking for an affectionate companion who will always brighten up your day with their playful antics, then a Shih Tzu might be just what you need!


Shar-Pei is a breed of dog that has been around for thousands of years. Originally from China, they were bred to be working dogs and have since become popular pets all over the world. One distinctive feature of Shar-Peis is their wrinkled skin, which was originally used as protection against predators.

Another unique characteristic of Shar-Peis is their blue-black tongue, which sets them apart from other dog breeds. Their coat can come in different colors such as red, black and cream with a harsh texture to it. Although they look tough on the outside because of their wrinkles and musculature but in reality, they are affectionate animals who love spending time with humans.

Despite their small size, Shar-Peis are known for being fearless protectors of their loved ones and can make good guard dogs if trained properly. However, due to their strong-willed nature , training may require more patience than some other dog breeds.

Shar-Pei’s unique appearance combined with its loyalty makes it one fascinating breed worth considering for pet lovers out there who want a furry friend that stands out from the pack!

Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound is one of the most elegant dog breeds that exist today. These dogs have a long and silky coat, with distinctive facial hair that gives them an almost regal appearance. They were originally bred in Afghanistan for hunting purposes, especially for chasing down gazelles and other prey.

Despite their majestic looks, Afghan Hounds are known to be quite independent and aloof. They are not as outgoing or social as some other dog breeds, but they make great companions for those who appreciate their calm demeanor.

These dogs require regular grooming to maintain their luxurious coat. Owners must brush them frequently to prevent matting and tangling, which can cause discomfort and skin irritation.

While Afghan Hounds may not be the best choice for first-time dog owners due to their independent nature, they can make wonderful pets for individuals or families who are patient enough to train them properly. With proper care and attention, these beautiful creatures will reward you with loyalty and affection that lasts a lifetime!

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is a small and adorable breed that originated from Tibet. They were initially bred as watchdogs for temples and homes of nobles. Despite their size, they have a big personality and are known to be independent and strong-willed.

One interesting fact about the Lhasa Apso is their long coat, which was originally grown to keep them warm in the high altitudes of Tibet. Their hair can grow up to seven inches long if left untrimmed! However, this also means that regular grooming is necessary to avoid matting.

Lhasa Apsos are loyal companions but tend to be wary around strangers. Early socialization is essential to prevent aggression towards unfamiliar people or animals. They also require consistent obedience training due to their stubborn nature.

The Lhasa Apso may not be genetically closest to wolves but still has an intriguing history and unique characteristics that make them stand out among other dog breeds.


The Samoyed breed is one of the oldest dog breeds that exist today. This breed originates from Siberia, where they were used for hunting and herding reindeer by the Samoyedic people.

Samoyeds are known for their thick, white fluffy fur which makes them look like little polar bears. They are also very friendly dogs and make great companions due to their gentle nature.

One thing to keep in mind if you’re considering getting a Samoyed is that they require daily exercise and grooming attention due to their thick coat. Without proper exercise or grooming, these dogs can become bored and destructive.

Additionally, Samoyeds are very social animals and thrive in environments where they have plenty of interaction with humans or other dogs. Therefore, it’s important to consider your lifestyle before bringing this beautiful breed into your home.

If you have an active lifestyle and enjoy spending time outdoors with your furry friend then a Samoyed could be a great addition to your family!

Tibetan Terrier

The Tibetan Terrier is a small dog breed that has been around for over 2,000 years. Despite its name, it is not actually a terrier but was given this name due to its size and scruffy appearance.

Originally bred in Tibet as companions and watchdogs for the monks, these dogs were highly valued by their owners because of their loyalty and intelligence. They are known for being playful and affectionate with their owners, making them great family pets.

One unique feature of the Tibetan Terrier is its long hair coat which can come in various colors such as black, white or brown. Maintaining their coat requires regular grooming sessions to prevent matting.

Despite their small size, they have high energy levels which require daily exercise through walks or playtime. However, they are adaptable to apartment living if given enough mental stimulation.

The Tibetan Terrier may not be genetically close to wolves like some other breeds on this list but still possesses many endearing qualities that make it a beloved pet among dog lovers everywhere.


The Pekingese is a small, compact dog breed that originated in China over 2,000 years ago. These dogs were considered to be royal pets and were adored by Chinese emperors. Despite their small size, Pekingese dogs have big personalities and are known for being loyal and affectionate companions.

One of the unique physical features of the Pekingese is its long, flowing coat which requires regular grooming to keep it looking healthy and shiny. Their wrinkled faces give them a distinct look that sets them apart from other breeds.

Pekingese dogs are typically not as active as some other breeds but they do require daily exercise to stay healthy. They also tend to be independent thinkers which can make training a bit more challenging than with other breeds.

Despite their independence, Pekingeses thrive on human attention and love nothing more than cuddling up with their owners on the couch or bed. They make excellent apartment dogs due to their small size and low exercise requirements.

If you’re looking for a loyal companion that will always be by your side through thick and thin, then the Pekingese may just be the perfect dog breed for you!


The Saluki is a breed of dog that has been around for thousands of years and originated in the Middle East. They were originally bred by nomadic tribes as hunting dogs, specifically for chasing down prey at high speeds.

Salukis are known for their slender build and impressive speed. They have long legs that allow them to cover ground quickly while maintaining agility and grace. Additionally, they have a smooth coat that comes in various colors such as cream, fawn, red, or black.

Despite their ancient origins and impressive capabilities as hunters, the Saluki is not commonly found outside of its native region today. This may be because it was historically considered a royal dog only owned by wealthy individuals who could afford to keep them.

However, those who do own this breed attest to their loyalty and intelligence. While they may not be the most popular choice for families with young children due to their sensitivity towards rough play or loud noises, they make excellent companions for those willing to provide consistent training and attention.

The Saluki’s unique history paired with its elegant appearance makes it an intriguing addition to any family looking for a loyal companion with natural hunting instincts.

Five Dog Breeds That Look Almost Like Wolves

Have you ever seen a dog that looks like a wolf? Here are five breeds that will definitely catch your eye.

The Saarloos Wolfhound is one of the most wolf-like dogs out there. Bred in the Netherlands, this breed was created by crossing German Shepherds with European wolves. They have long limbs and fur that ranges from light to dark shades of grey.

Next up is the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog (also known as Vlcak). This breed was created in Czechoslovakia during the 1950s by crossing German Shepherds with Carpathian Wolves. They have a thick, grey coat and look very similar to wolves.

If you’re looking for an ancient breed, take a look at Grey Norwegian Elkhounds. These dogs were used for hunting elk in Norway and have been around since Viking times. They come in various shades of grey and have distinctive curled tails.

Another Italian breed worth mentioning is the Lupo Italiano (Italian Wolfdog). While they may not be as well-known as other breeds on this list, they certainly stand out due to their unique appearance – they almost look like miniature wolves!

We can’t forget about Alaskan Malamutes! Although they are technically not closely related to wolves genetically speaking, their strong resemblance cannot be denied – especially when it comes to their fluffy fur coats.

Whether you’re looking for an exotic-looking companion or simply love admiring these majestic animals from afar, these breeds are sure to impress!

Physical Features of Wolf-like Dogs

Wolf-like dogs are often chosen by owners who love the majestic look of wolves, but want a domesticated pet. These breeds have striking physical features that make them resemble their wild ancestors.

One of the most noticeable physical features is their thick and dense fur. Wolf-like dogs have double coats that help keep them warm in cold weather. Their fur ranges from gray to white, black, or brown and can be short or long depending on the breed.

Their sharp eyes are another striking feature. They usually have almond-shaped eyes with colored irises which range from amber to brown shades that give them an intense gaze similar to wolves.

In addition, they have strong jaws and powerful teeth designed for hunting prey which makes it easier for these dogs to eat meat-based diets rather than kibble.

Another distinguishable trait is their pointed ears which stand upright resembling wolf ears providing excellent hearing ability. Some breeds like Saarloos Wolfhound may even have slightly curved ear tips further emphasizing their resemblance to wolves.

Wolf-like dog breeds tend to be larger than other breeds with muscular bodies giving an impression of strength and agility making them ideal as working dogs or companion animals for active families who enjoy outdoor activities together such as hiking or running.

Saarloos Wolfhound

The Saarloos Wolfhound is a dog breed that was developed in the Netherlands during the 1930s. It was created by Leendert Saarloos, who aimed to create a more wolf-like dog through crossbreeding German Shepherds and Eurasian Grey Wolves.

These dogs are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and agility. They have a muscular build with thick fur that ranges in color from light gray to dark brown.

Saarloos Wolfhounds require plenty of exercise and socialization as they can be wary of strangers. They thrive best when given tasks or jobs to do, making them suitable for active families or individuals.

Due to their genetic makeup, these dogs may have some wolf-like behaviors such as howling and being more independent than other breeds. However, proper training can help curb any unwanted behavior.

If you’re looking for a unique and intelligent companion with an impressive appearance reminiscent of wolves, the Saarloos Wolfhound may be worth considering.

Czechoslovakian Wolfdog/Vlcak

The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, also known as the Vlcak, is a breed that was created in 1955 by crossing German Shepherd dogs with Carpathian wolves. This unique combination of breeds resulted in a dog with wolf-like features and characteristics.

One of the main traits that sets this breed apart from others is their strong prey drive, which comes from their wolf ancestry. They are highly intelligent and require an experienced owner who can provide them with plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation.

Despite being a high-energy breed, they can also be very affectionate towards their owners once they have established trust. However, due to their natural instincts to hunt and roam, it is important to keep them on a leash when out in public areas.

While the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog may not be suitable for every household or lifestyle, they make excellent companions for those who understand their needs and are willing to put in the time and effort required for proper training and socialization.

Grey Norwegian Elkhound

The Grey Norwegian Elkhound, also known as the Norsk Elghund Grå, is a fascinating breed that closely resembles wolves in appearance. With its thick, double coat of fur and agile build. This dog has all the features necessary to survive in harsh environments.

Originating from Norway, these dogs have been an essential part of Scandinavian culture for centuries. They were initially bred for hunting elk and other large game animals which makes them skilled trackers with a keen sense of smell.

Their wolf-like appearance can be attributed to their strong muzzle and triangular ears that stand erect on their heads. The combination of these facial features gives them an uncanny resemblance to their wild counterparts.

Despite looking like fierce predators, Grey Norwegian Elkhounds are known for being affectionate and loyal companions. Their intelligence makes training relatively easy when compared to some other breeds. However, they still require consistent guidance due to their independent nature.

In addition to being excellent hunters and family pets. The Grey Norwegian Elkhound’s unique physical traits make it ideal for various activities. Such as search-and-rescue missions or even participating in dog sports like agility competitions. Their adaptability allows them not only to survive but thrive in diverse situations while keeping close ties with their human families.


Italian Wolfdog (Lupo Italiano)

The Italian Wolfdog, also known as the Lupo Italiano, is a rare breed that originated in Italy. These dogs are a result of crossbreeding between wolves and various dog breeds such as German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois.

Italian Wolfdogs have thick fur coats that come in shades of grey and brown with black markings. They have piercing blue or yellow eyes that give them an intense look. Their muscular build allows them to be agile runners, which helps them hunt prey efficiently.

These dogs are highly intelligent and require adequate socialization from an early age to avoid aggression towards strangers. They make loyal companions but need experienced owners who can handle their strong-willed personalities.

Due to their wolf-like appearance, many people mistake these dogs for wild animals which has resulted in some countries banning ownership of this breed altogether.

The Italian Wolfdog is a unique breed that requires specialized care due to its wolf-like traits. While they may not be suitable for everyone, those who do own them find them to be devoted companions worthy of the extra effort required for their upkeep.

Can Wolves Mate with Dogs?

Many people wonder if wolves and dogs can mate with each other. The answer is yes, they can! Wolves and dogs are both part of the Canidae family, which means they have similar genetic makeup. In fact, wild wolves have been known to breed with domesticated dogs in certain areas.

However, it’s important to note that while wolves and dogs can mate with each other, their offspring may not be as healthy or viable as purebred puppies. This is because there are differences in their chromosome numbers and genetic makeup that can cause complications during pregnancy or birth.

Additionally, breeding between wolves and dogs raises ethical concerns about the welfare of both species. It’s important for pet owners to understand the potential risks involved before considering such a crossbreeding attempt.

It’s also worth noting that many dog breeds already share DNA similarities with wolves without any interbreeding necessary. Some examples include Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Akitas, Shiba Inus, Chow Chows and Samoyeds – all of which possess wolf-like physical features and traits thanks to selective breeding over time.

Are German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies Part Wolf?

German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies are two of the most popular dog breeds in the world. Both breeds share certain physical characteristics with wolves, such as their pointed ears and almond-shaped eyes. This has led some people to speculate that these dogs may have wolf ancestry.

However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Although German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies were bred for their ability to work alongside humans. They have been selectively bred for generations to emphasize traits that make them great pets.

While it is possible that some individual dogs may have wolf DNA due to crossbreeding or hybridization events in the past. It is highly unlikely that either breed as a whole has any significant amount of wolf ancestry.

In fact, domestication has caused many changes in both behavior and physiology between modern-day dogs and their wild ancestors. Even among dog breeds with more recent ties to wolves like the Alaskan Malamute or Akita Inu. There are still noticeable differences between them and true wolves.

So while German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies may look similar to wolves at times, they are not part-wolf themselves.

Conclusion and Further Reading.

To sum up, dogs and wolves share some similarities in terms of their DNA and physical appearance. The truth is that most dog breeds have been selectively bred for specific traits over centuries. However, there are still a few breeds that bear a striking resemblance to their wolf ancestors.

If you’re looking for a dog that closely resembles the wolf, consider getting one of the breeds we listed above. These dogs may look wild and fierce but they make great pets with proper training and socialization.

If you want to learn more about dogs’ genetics and evolution from wolves or explore other interesting topics related to our furry friends. There are plenty of resources available online. From scientific articles to online forums dedicated to dog enthusiasts. There’s always something new to discover when it comes to man’s best friend!

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