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16 Dog Breeds That Look Like Wolves


No matter what breed or mix your dog is, they're related to wolves. In fact, the two canines share 99% of their DNA and belong to the same species (the wolf's scientific name is Canis lupus and the dog's is Canis lupus familiaris). This is because both modern dogs and wolves descended from an extinct wolf species. So whether you have a Chihuahua or Great Dane, a Poodle or Bulldog, they're related to wolves. That being said, some dogs are more closely related to wolves than others and those breeds will have a more wolf-like look. Read on to find out the physical differences between the two species and 16 dog breeds that look like wolves.

Physical Differences Between Dogs And Wolves

Although dogs and wolves share nearly all of their DNA, they do have some differences. Scientists estimate that this genetic divergence occurred between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago. A 1% difference in DNA may seem like a trivial amount, but it makes for significant behavioral and physical variations. Here are some physical differences between the two:

  • Despite having the same number of teeth as dogs, wolves have bigger and stronger jaws (and bigger teeth). This is most likely because they need to hunt, bite and break through tougher things like bones and hide. Dogs, on the other hand, evolved as scavengers of human goods.
  • Wolves also have larger, less-round skulls and longer muzzles.
  • Wolves have smaller eyes than dogs, always have perky ears and shorter, straight tails.
  • Wolves have narrower chests and hips, longer legs and ankles, and larger paws with two extra large front toes. Much of this is for endurance in the wilderness (such as running long distances at high speeds) and stealth when hunting.
  • Wolf eyes are always a yellow or amber shade, while dog eyes range in color from blue to brown.
  • Wolves only have gray, brown, black or white coats for camouflage while dogs have a wide array of coat colors.

Although there are many physical differences between wolves and dogs, several breeds do still look like wolves. Here are 15 dogs that look like wolves:

1. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute dog breed

2. American White Shepherd

American White Shepherd dog breed

3. Belgian Sheepdog

Belgian Sheepdog dog breed

4. Berger Blanc Suisse (White Swiss Shepherd)

Berger Blanc Suisse White Swiss Shepherd dog breed

5. Canadian Eskimo Dog

Canadian Eskimo Dog breed

6. Czechoslovakian Vlcak (Czechoslovak Wolfdog)

Czechoslovakian Vlcak Czechoslovak Wolfdog dog breed

7. Dutch Shepherd Dog

Dutch Shepherd Dog breed

8. German Shepherd

German Shepherd dog breed

9. Northern Inuit Dog

Northern Inuit Dog breed

10. Norwegian Elkhound

Norwegian Elkhound dog breed

11. Saarloos Wolfdog

Saarloos Wolfdog dog breed

12. Samoyed

Samoyed dog breed

13. Shiloh Shepherd Dog

Shiloh Shepherd Dog breed puppy

14. Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky

15. Swedish Vallhund

Swedish Vallhund dog breed

16. Tamaskan Dog

Tamaskan Dog breed

 

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