Wolves are some of the most stunning creatures on earth. Their poise, stamina, and graceful movements make them a beautiful sight to behold. However, their unpredictability, stubbornness and “wild” instincts make them a dangerous pet to keep around children or other small animals. Fortunately, pet owners who are fascinated with wolves can enjoy the canine companionship of numerous dog breeds who appear like them, but are easier to train and are more adaptable. Here are some dogs who closely resemble the canis lupus, or the grey wolf.
Czech Wolfdog: The name says it all, and these German Shepherd/Carpathian wolf hybrids certain do look the part. The coat of this breed is almost identical to the wolf, except for their golden amber colored eyes and yellowish fur tint that can appear from time to time in this breed.
Alaskan Malamutes: The Alaskan Malamute is large, powerful creature rather distinct from the lithe hunters that we so often imagine wild wolves to be. Their bulky coats and size give these dogs a more “pet-like” look, and their friendly demeanors certainly make them easier dogs to train, though it is clear that wolf ancestry is in their blood.
Siberian Husky: Unsurprisingly, the classic Siberian Husky is a natural breed to add to this list. Coming from the cooler climates of the north, these Husky dogs have thick fur and similar markings to wolves. They also have similar energy, and are able to run long distances in harsh conditions like their canis lupus ancestors.
Kugsha: These dogs are also considered the Amerindian Malamutes, which are descendants of North American wolves. The strong dogs require plenty of exercise and training, and should not be left alone with small children since they tend towards a high prey drive.
Northern Inuit Dog: Though these dogs are an unrecognized crossbreed, from Inuit dogs, huskies, and shepherd mixes, the shade and texture of their fur bears a close resemblance to wolves. These dogs are sharp and stubborn, requiring a skilled trainer for peaceable cohabitation.
Samoyed: If mysterious white snow wolves would be your dream pet, the Samoyed is a great substitution. These Russian beauties originated in Siberia, and are highly active dogs able to hike through cold weather and snow. They are also very loyal pets that love sleeping next to their owners to help keep them warm indoors or when trekking through the woods.
Saarloos Wolfdog: First recognized by the Dutch Kennel club in 1975, these energetic dogs need regular rigorous exercise or they can be as difficult to handle as the wild wolves they resemble.
Tamaskan: These wooly grey dogs have very similar facial and physical structure to that of grey wolves. However, they are surprisingly good with children when well-trained and frequently exercised. This recent breed, only acknowledged by the AKC since 2013, makes a great family pet.
Utonagan: These dogs are also wonderful house pets as they are a blend of the German Shepherd, the Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky. They are intelligent, easy to train, and amiable with both people and other animals. These pups were originally bred for the purpose of looking exactly like the grey wolf, which they do!
Canadian Eskimo Dog: These heavy-coated pets thrive in colder temperatures, and were once bred as sled-dogs and hunting companions. They grow quite large (up to 95 pounds) and have the grey/black/white coloring so often found in wolves. Tragically this is an endangered breed, with only 300 of them registered as purebred Canadian Eskimo Dogs back in 2008.