Wolves are beautifully mysterious creatures that have been present in our history, literature, and artwork for centuries. Although they were never domesticated animals, their looks and temperament have intrigued animal-lovers forever. In recent history, the creation of a new type of pet has emerged—wolf dogs. Thanks to pop cultural phenomenon like Game of Thrones and Twilight, these breeds have quickly gained popularity. You won’t believe that these pups aren’t wolves!
Just wait until you see the dog that looks half-wolf, half-Corgi!
Northern Inuit Dog
Bred in the mid-1980s in the United Kingdom, these pups were intended to look just like a wolf but have the temperament of a dog. By combining German Shepherd, Malamute, and Siberian Husky they were able to achieve their desired look. However, the behavioral side of things didn’t go exactly as planned. Northern Inuits are fiercely loyal but not well suited for families with young children. Fun fact—Northern Inuit puppies have been used multiple times in the filming of Game Of Thrones. When the Starks run into a litter of wolf pups, they’re actually Northern Inuits!
Considered the most popular of all the wolf look-alike breeds out there, the Siberian Husky is increasingly popular amongst the Western world. Since their appearance on Game of Thrones, popularity has increased exponentially. Unfortunately, so has their rate of being abandoned. Shelters have been flooded with huskies over the past decade, some claiming a 700 percent increase in the number of abandoned pups each year. Huskies have a fickle demeanor, demanding a lot of training work, and attention, like any other wolf breed. Sadly, it appears a lot of families aren’t up to the challenge of raising these pups responsibly.
The next dog is the perfect pup for families.
Although Alaskan Malamute’s features are almost identical to wolves, their personalities couldn’t be further apart. They are actually big softies who love to snuggle with their family. They also prefer to “talk” over barking. Known for being soft-spoken, Malamute pups are quieter than most breeds and respond to vocal cues from their owners. When prompted, they will literally talk back. They also excel at agility training and outdoor winter sports like mushing and carting. They have tons of excess energy so they make for fun family pets that your kids can roam around in the snow with for years to come.
One of the only rare breeds in existence that is actually part wolf, the Saarloos Wolfdog was bred by Dutch Breeder Leendert Saarloos in 1935. Leendert was looking for a sturdy working dog so he mixed German Shepherds with European wolves. Unfortunately for him, Saarloos are way too wolf-like to do any labor. Their tendencies lie heavily within their wolf makeup rather than that of a dog. They’re stubborn and have free-roaming instincts. They also don’t make great house pets. Prone to outbursts of aggression and severe social anxiety, they don’t mix well with crowds or young children. But…they look cool!
First officially recognized as a breed in 2013, Tamaskans have quickly risen to popularity in North America thanks to their wolf-like appearance and great personality. They’re a mixture of Husky, German shepherd, and Czechoslovakian wolfdogs. Unlike a lot of their wolf-like cousins, Tamaskans are playful, curious, affectionate and make great companions. They are intended to look like Timberwolves and are slightly larger than an average German Shepherd. They are energetic and do well with agility training, obedience and have a strong endurance. Although they have a tough exterior they are truly dogs with a big bark and no bite.
The next pups make great companions.
Alaskan Noble Companion Dog
Considered a “breed in progress,” the Alaskan Noble Companion Dog is not formally recognized by breeding associations yet in America. Intended to resemble a black wolf, this breed has Siberian husky, German shepherd, and Alaskan malamute in it, but other traits have been added like Great Pyrenees, the border collie, the Labrador retriever, and the greyhound to create the most wolf-like pooch as possible. They make great companion dogs (it’s in their name!) and are fiercely loyal to their owners and family members. They, however, are aloof and sometimes on-edge around strangers and crowded situations. They are best left in the comforts of their own home to roam and play.
What do you get when you cross the appearances of a wolf and a Corgi? A Swedish Vallhund! Although the Swedish Vallhund is neither wolf or Corgi, it shares similar characteristics to both. Bred to be a cow herding pup, this breed dates back thousands of years and is said to possibly be a descendant of Viking’s dogs. Known for their loud bark, Vallhunds do not make great apartment or shared living space pets. However, their playful temperament and loyalty make them a perfect fit for families. They’re extremely energetic, intelligent, playful, loving and have an overall happy personality.
Another relatively new breed is the Utonagan. Bred in the United Kingdom in the 1980s, Utonagan literally translates to “spirit of the wolf.” Similar to their cousin breed, Tamaskans, they require tons of exercise and mental stimulation. They fit best with owners with flexible schedules that can show them constant care and attention. They resort to highly destructive behavior when left alone for extended periods of time due to severe separation anxiety. Despite their wild appearance, they are overall loving and loyal creatures. They are best suited for experienced dog owners but are still excellent with young children.
Canadian Eskimo dogs are an ancient breed that can be directly traced back to the Inuit people inhabiting Canada, Greenland, Siberia, and Alaska. Originally used for transportation, hunting, and protection against polar bears, these fiercely loyal pups still make great companions today. The breed hit its peak popularity in the 1920s (there were around 20,000 pups), but numbers quickly began declining by the 1960s thanks to the invention of the snowmobile. By 1970, there were only a staggering 200 dogs in existence. Still a breed in danger, activists are working to raise awareness and money to keep Canadian Eskimos in existence.
The next pups are super rare.
Kugshas are an extremely rare and elusive breed that there’s still much confusion about. Initially bred to be a high endurance dog that could withstand brutal Arctic conditions, Kugshas stand taller and stronger than Siberian Huskies. Their name has hidden meaning as a way to get around laws restricting the breeding of wolf-dogs in the United States. They are one of the few breeds still in existence with actual wolves in their genetic makeup. They are loyal to their owners but lack obedience skills and have a dominating nature. They do not coexist well with children and require extensive and diligent training routines.
A relatively new breed, the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog was bred in Czechoslovakia in 1955. A blend of German Shepherd and Carpathian wolves, these pooches were engineered for sinister reasons. They were intended to be used as attack dogs for the military special forces. They were later used for search and rescue missions across Europe and in the United States. Although mostly used as a military service dog, this breed would also fair well with families. They are easily trained and loyal to multiple members of a group (including children!) rather than just one individual. However, they are not good with other pets and strangers.
The next dog might just be one of the cutest breeds in existence!
This white wolf look-alike is actually just a big ball of friendly fluff! Known as the smiling Samoyed, this happy-go-lucky breed is as sweet as can be. In fact, it doesn’t have any wolf blood in its genetic makeup at all—making it a great, playful choice for families. They were actually bred over 3,000 years ago in Siberia, making them one of the only ancient breeds still in existence. They were first brought into popularity by English explorer, Robert Scott in 1889. Scott used Samoyeds to guide his sled journeys and found them to be faithful, loving and strong companions.
Extremely rare, most Greenland dogs have been imported from Greenland or passed down through generations of breeders. They are an ancient breed, originally used to pull sleds in Siberia thousands of years ago. They have a thick double coat and excellent stamina and strength. The breed does better in colder climates and needs copious amounts of exercise to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle. Considered sweeter than Huskies and Malamutes, Greenland dogs make great companions for a family. They are also soft-spoken and don’t bark too often, making them work well for a family with small children or particular neighbors.
You won’t want to miss the mini wolf look-alike next!
If you’re in the market for a mini wolf look-alike, a Pomsky is perfect for you! The cross between a Pomeranian and a Husky is an adorable addition to any family. Although their exterior is unbelievably cute, Pomskies are a very new breed and their temperaments can vary greatly. The negative characteristics of both Pomeranians and Huskies – aggression, needy, territorial – can make for a lethal combination when packaged together. Overall, they are playful, adorable creatures that are loyal and loving to their owners though. Plus who can resist their adorable little legs and their stunning blue eyes?
Originally bred for herding reindeer in their native Lapland, in way northern Finland, these lovable fluff balls are sweeter than most of their wolf-like cousins. Some of their ancestors date all the way back to 7,000 B.C. Although they still have a few of their herding instincts left over, these pooches are super friendly towards people and are gentle with children making them a great companion. But be warned, they have an extremely thick coat that is prone to shedding. If you can handle love and snuggles in exchange for a frequent vacuum schedule, then they were meant for you!
You might be distracted by Irish Wolfhounds’ sweet smiles but don’t forget to notice their enormous stature! The largest of all hounds, they weigh in at an average of 180 pounds and stand at two feet tall. Originating in Ireland, they were initially used as war dogs and hunting dogs. They’ve come along way since their ferocious roles and are now more like gentle giants that make great family pets. Known for their sloppy kisses and expressive faces, these lovable dogs are the perfect addition to any family with a large outdoor space. They need plenty of room to roam, not a teeny, tiny apartment.
A highly intelligent breed, Groenendaels are regularly used for military and police search and rescues in Belgium, Paris, New York, and New Jersey. They were also used as message carriers, Red Cross dogs and defense dogs in both World War I and II. Aside from their structured service roles, they are easy to train and lovable creatures perfect for a family. They require a ton of exercise and do not play well with other pets but if properly socialized as a puppy, they’ll make fun and caring companion. Plus, they have a beautiful dark black coat and striking features like a wolf.
Alaskan Klee Kai
A smaller descendant of the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Klee Kais differ from their Husky relatives in that they were bred from companionship rather than labor. That’s not where the differences end – they are also much smaller in stature and have a more skittish, shy personality than most Huskies. Their tiny appearance blended with their extreme loyalty (they absolutely adore “their people”), makes them a loving house pet. They are very loving and crave attention from their owners but cautious and wary around strangers and crowds. Alaskan Klee Kais are perfect for a homebody in need of a cuddly companion.
A cross between a wolf and a Shiba Inn, the Shikoku is considered to be more like a rugged Shiba than a ferocious wolf. They’re medium in stature and were originally bred as hunting dogs. They have sharp wolf-like senses that allow them to easily trap wild boar and deer. Although they’re mostly used for hunting in their native Japan, Shikokus are being domesticated across the rest of the world. Perfect for outdoor, active people, the breed is very energetic in the great outdoors but quiet and respectful in the home. As all working dogs though, they are independent, strong-willed and always on the hunt for new creatures to chase.
A favorite of the police and military for their incredible personalities, German Shepherds also appeal to the masses for their wolf-like appearance. Their long snout and dark eyes lend to the alluring appeal of a mystical wolf, but they are loyal and loving guard dogs perfect for family. Unlike most of their wolf-like cousins, German Shepherds have a thinner coat, allowing them to adapt to a variety of climates, warm or cold. Adopted into military and police forces due to their intelligence and eagerness to obey commands, they maintain that sense of respect in homes and with children as well.