Wolf Dog Breeds
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Whether it’s the unique appearance that gets you or their independent spirit, there is no denying the appeal of wolf dog breeds

Wolf dog breeds are dog breeds that have wolf ancestry and retain some of the characteristics of wolves. From the popular Husky and German Shepherd breeds to the lesser-known Alaskan Malamute, there are plenty of wolf dogs around us that we may not have expected.

However, before you bring home one of these pups, it’s important to understand what to expect. Let’s explore the top wolf dog breeds that you need to know.

27. Alaskan Malamute

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The Alaskan Malamute ticks all the right boxes if you are looking for a large wolf dog that is a softie at heart. With a luxurious double coat, pointy ears, and almond-shaped eyes, the Alaskan Malamute looks like a large wolf.

Alaskan Malamutes are social, affectionate, and playful. These pups are great if you want a family dog that gets on well with kids and other pets. However, they do require quite a bit of grooming.

26. Utonagan

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Wolf dog breeds may look intimidating but some like the Utonagan are actually quite charming. This rare breed has a distinctive wolf-like appearance with the characteristic pointy ears and heavy double coat.

Utonagans are social and affectionate pups that are often used as therapy dogs. If you want an easy-going and sweet-natured wolf dog this may be the perfect breed for you. These pups require plenty of exercise and will not do well in small spaces.

25. Tamaskan

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Tamaskans are a wolf dog breed originally from Finland. This hardy breed has a long life span and can live up to 15 years.

Tamaskans make great family pets due to their social nature. However, these pups can be prone to separation anxiety and should not be left alone for long periods. With their mild temperament, these dogs get along with other pets and children so they make great family pets.

24. Saarloos Wolfdog

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The Saarloos Wolfdog is a hybrid of the popular German Shepherd breed and the Eurasian Grey Wolf. This breed is not just wolf-like in appearance but also retains the independent spirit of its wolf ancestors.

While Saarloos wolf dogs are intelligent dogs that respond well to training, this may not be the best pup for a first-time owner. This breed requires firm handling and plenty of socialization to stave off aggressive tendencies.

23. Czechoslovakian Wolfdog

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If you want an adventurous furry friend, the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog will not disappoint. This energetic wolf dog breed is suited to an active lifestyle and does well in large spaces.

Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs are very independent and lively but they are also quite loyal. These pups have their origins in the Czech Republic and are banned in some states where wolf hybrids are not allowed. Check your local laws before you adopt one of these lively pups.

22. Shikoku

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The Shikoku is a free-spirited wolf dog breed with origins in Japan. This energetic and reserved breed has the characteristic pointy ears, almond-shaped eyes, and heavy double coat of wolf dogs.

While the Shikoku is an intelligent breed that can be trained, these independent pups are not ideal for first-time pet parents. This breed requires firm handling and consistent training to keep them well behaved. Shikokus have a strong prey instinct and will not do well with other pets.

21. Samoyed

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The striking Samoyed is a playful and affectionate wolf breed. It is covered in white fur and has a characteristic grinning face to go with its mischievous personality.

This breed is very social and will make a great fur buddy if you want a companion to spend lots of time with. The luxurious coat of these pooches will require plenty of grooming. Samoyeds are also pretty active and will require plenty of daily exercise.

20. Shiba Inu

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Shiba Inus are a small to medium-sized wolf dog breed. These dogs are energetic, agile, and confident making them the ideal fur buddy if you have an active lifestyle.

Shibas are charming and playful, but they do have a stubborn streak that makes them hard to train. However, these wolf dogs are very adaptable and will do well in most environments provided that they get plenty of exercise.

19. Lhasa Apso

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The adorable Lhasa Apso may be a small breed but these spirited dogs retain the independence of their wolf ancestors. Lhasa Apsos have a distinct regal appearance and a fierce nature that makes them great watchdogs.

This breed, despite its luxurious long coat, is hypoallergenic meaning its perfect if you have dog allergies or simply want a low-shedding pooch. Lhasa Apsos are territorial and will not do well with children or other pets.

18. Basenji

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Basenjis are agile, independent, and free-spirited wolf dogs. These pups may be small in size but they are high energy dogs that are suited to an active environment. This wolf dog breed is hypoallergenic so it’s ideal if you want a pooch that does not shed.

Known for their quiet nature, the Basenjis will not pose a noise nuisance to you or your neighbors. However, these dogs are very independent and can be hard to train especially for first-time pet parents.

17. Kunming wolfdog

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Kunming wolf dogs are a Chinese wolf dog breed that resembles the German Shepherd breed. These wolf dogs are high energy working dogs that need plenty of exercise to stave off aggressive tendencies.

Kunming wolf dogs were bred in China as guard dogs. These pups are alert, fearless, and very independent. Like most wolf dog breeds, Kunmings are not lap dogs and they require plenty of space. They also need a strong leader to keep them well behaved.

16. Lapponian Herder

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The graceful and agile Lapponian Herder is a wolf dog breed with origins in Finland. These high-spirited dogs were bred as herding dogs. Being a herding breed, Lapponians will not do well with other pets or small children.

Lapponian herders have a beautiful double coat that requires regular grooming. Since these pups are working dogs they will require plenty of physical stimulation. If you have an active lifestyle, this breed will make a great companion.

15. Seppala Siberian Sleddog

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The striking appearance of the Seppala Siberian Sleddog is reminiscent of its wolf ancestors. This wolf dog breed has piercing blue eyes, pointed ears, and a heavy double coat. Despite their intimidating appearance, these pups make loyal companions.

Seppala Sled dogs have lots of energy to expend so they need regular physical activity. If you live in an apartment, this is probably not the pooch for you. These dogs need a strong alpha to keep them in check.

14. Kugsha (Amerindian Malamute)

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The Kugsha is one of the wolfdog breeds that look very similar to wild wolves. These dogs resemble the popular Husky breed although they are slightly bigger than Huskies.

This breed is known for its high intelligence and high-spirited nature. Kugshas may be easy to train but without a strong leader, they can be a handful especially if you are a new pet parent. These pups need plenty of socialization early on and can be prone to separation anxiety.

13. American Shepherd Tundra Dog

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This rare breed with origins in the USA is a hybrid of the German Shepherd and the North American wolf. This wolf dog breed is mild-tempered and makes a playful and affectionate companion.

The American Shepherd Tundra wolf dog has the characteristic double coat of wolf dogs and will require frequent grooming. Since these pups are calm and affectionate, they make great family pets provided they have enough space and get lots of physical activity.

12. Shiloh Shepherd

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The Shiloh Shepherd is a wolf dog breed that resulted from crossing the German Shepherd and Alaskan Malamute. These dogs are slightly larger than German Shepherds and can weigh up to 130 pounds.

This breed is ideal if you want a family pet. Mild tempered, social, affectionate, and obedient, the Shiloh Shepherd may look like a wolf but its personality is gentle and calm. These pups do require plenty of exercise so they are better suited to active lifestyles.

11. Saluki

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Agile and graceful, the Saluki is a wolf dog breed that is suited for hunting and guarding. This fearless breed is fast, confident, and fearless.

Just like their wolf ancestors, Salukis are skilled hunters. These pups make great guard dogs but will not do well with other pets or children. Salukis must always be on a leash in public and kept in a fenced yard because these skilled hunters will chase after pretty much anything.

10. Greenland Dog

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Most wolf dog breeds are exceptional hunters due to the strong prey instincts and the Greenland dog is no exception. This breed is better suited to colder climates and an active lifestyle.

Greenland dogs are high energy dogs that need plenty of exercise to expend their energy. If you do not exercise this pooch it can develop destructive behaviors. These pups also require lots of grooming to keep the heavy double coat healthy.

9. Australian Shepherd

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Australian Shepherds are a wolf dog breed that makes for ideal family pets. These affectionate and social dogs are great with children and other pets.

The Australian Shepherd is a playful and calm breed that is easy to train. This makes it a good fit if you are a new pet parent. You will need to make sure that they get plenty of daily exercise to keep them healthy and well behaved.

8. Afghan Hound

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The Afghan Hound may not be wolf-like in appearance but this spirited independent breed has the personality of a wolf dog. Regal in appearance and bearing, Afghans are truly unique.

Afghans have a distinct long silky coat that will require regular grooming. These pooches can be quite difficult to train due to their independent nature. Afghans need a strong leader and may not be the best choice if you are a first-time pet parent.

7. East Siberian Laika

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Fearless, agile, and energetic, the East Siberian Laika is the ultimate hunting wolf dog. This breed has strong prey instincts and will not do well as a family pet or lap dog.

East Siberian Laikas are intelligent and spirited working dogs that need plenty of exercise to expend their boundless energy. These dogs also require plenty of socialization and consistent training to keep them well behaved.

6. Chow Chow

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Chow Chows are a Chinese wolf dog breed that is known for its unique appearance and wild nature. This breed is very territorial and has aggressive tendencies.  

The Chow Chow has a heavy coat that lends it the appearance of a bear. Due to its aggressive nature, this wolf dog breed may not be the best match if you have small children or other pets. Chow Chows need a strong leader to keep them in check and can be a handful without proper training.

5. Pomsky

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These fluffy fur-babies look like mini wolves. Pomskies are adorable with a feisty outgoing personality that has made them one of the most popular dog breeds. However, this breed has a stubborn streak that can make training difficult.

The Pomsky is a hybrid of the Siberian Husky and Pomeranian breeds. These pups do well even in small spaces but they do require plenty of socialization and training early on.

4. Akita

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The Akita is a wolf dog breed with origins in Japan. This large breed surprisingly does not require a ton of physical activity and will do well even in apartments.

Akitas are a large protective breed that make good guard dogs. Like many other wolf dog breeds, Akitas do not do well with other pets and they need a strong leader. These pups are large and can be difficult to control especially for first-time owners.

3. German Shepherd

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Loyal, affectionate, and obedient, German Shepherds are the ultimate choice of a family dog. This wolf dog breed is obedient, easy to train, and very loyal.

The German Shepherd has the signature wolf-like double coat and pointy ears. However, in terms of temperament, these calm pups are nothing like wolves. This breed does well with children and other pets and is one of the most recommended breeds for first-time pet parents.

2. Siberian Husky

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Siberian Huskies are an energetic wolf dog breed that was bred as working dogs. The thick double coat, pointy ears, and almond-shaped eyes lend this breed a very wolf-like appearance.

Huskies, just like wolves, tend to be howlers. These dogs have strong prey instincts and can chase and even hurt smaller animals if not socialized and trained properly. While this breed is very popular, not everyone can handle this high energy pups. Huskies require a strong alpha.

1. Northern Inuit Dog

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Northern Inuit Dogs are so wolf-like in appearance that they were actually cast as wolves in the popular Game of Thrones series. This breed may look like a wolf but it has a calm and easy-going temperament that makes it a great family dog.

Northern Inuits are affectionate and obedient pups that get on well with children and other pets. These pups seldom bark which is a plus if you want a calm and quiet companion.

Related Questions

Do Wolf Dogs Make Good Pets? Yes, wolf dogs make good pets but they need to be managed and trained properly. Since they have high prey instincts wolf dogs are not ideal for families with small children or other pets. Wolf dogs are pack animals that need a strong leader to keep them well-behaved. 

What Type Of Dog Can Kill A Wolf? The Kangal is a fearless breed that can kill a wolf. Kangals are one of the strongest dog breeds in the world and this coupled with their fierce temperament makes them quite dangerous. Kangals have origins in Turkey as a guardian breed that arguably has the strongest bite of all dog breeds.

Are Wolf Dogs Smart? Wolf dogs are very smart and intelligent dogs. The independent nature of wolf dogs means that although they are smart, they can be hard to train. Wolf dogs need a strong leader or alpha because they have natural pack instincts that if left unchecked can make them hard to control.

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