Which Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves: 15 Popular Breeds

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Many people believe that wolves are the first domesticated animal, but some experts theorize that dogs may have also descended from wolves. The two animals are remarkably similar in many ways, which may lead to both of them being descendants of the same ancestor. However, there are key differences between wolves and different dog breeds. There are known dog breeds today, some of which are much smaller than others and some even come with unique physical features like hairless skin or pointed ears. Some breeds of dogs descended from wolves, but the differences between them are minor. In this article, we will examine which dog breeds are closest to wolves. Several factors go into determining the closeness of a breed to a wolf-type dog, including appearance and temperament

15 Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

It is a well-known fact that all dogs descended from wolves, and it is also true that there are breeds of dogs more wolf-like than others. The following list ranks the 15 dog breeds closest to wolves below.

Siberian Husky

Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

It is clear that Siberian huskies have a lot in common with wolves. Both these animals have a high prey drive, have excellent climbing and leaping abilities, and are strong swimmers. This is because they can easily adapt to the climate. They are pack hunters with the capability for sprint speed, endurance, and agility. They also have dense fur that can insulate against icy temperatures. Siberian Huskies, like wolves, are pack animals. They love to run and will be relentless when chasing after prey.

Border Collie

Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

Small in size but big in personality, Border Collies are one of the most popular breeds of dogs. They are intelligent and highly trainable making them an ideal choice for families with children, farmers, and ranchers. Border Collies are closest to wolves and both are intelligent, active animals that need to be exercised frequently. They’re both able to learn quickly which is why they’re used for competitive sheep herding events. When not being trained or herding livestock, these animals make wonderful companions for people who live in rural areas or who simply enjoy the outdoors.

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German Shepherd

Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

German shepherds are a breed of dog that has been bred to look more like wolves rather than other breeds. They were originally bred as herding dogs by the German aristocracy in the 1800s and were even known as “wolf dogs” because their wolf-like qualities made them ideal for herding sheep. In fact, these dogs are closer genetically to wolves than other breeds. They share over 98% of the same DNA as wolves. This makes them one of the most intelligent animals, as well as one of the most loyal companions.

Labrador Retriever

Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

The Labrador retriever, the most popular dog breed in Canada, is arguably one of the closest to wolves. It is believed that over time, domestication has reduced the claws and teeth of dogs to make them less efficient hunters, while there are no reports of any reduction in these features in the Labrador retriever. The Labrador retriever is a working dog, and as such, they are very loyal to their owners. They are also very intelligent. They are good with children, and they are good with other animals.

Czechoslovakian Wolfdog

Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is very similar to wolves because it is a cross between the German Shepherd Dog and the Carpathian Wolf. These hybrids are often referred to as wolfdogs. The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog has inherited traits from both of its parents. The size, coat type, color patterns, behavior, and diet are all things that are common among these dogs.

Alaskan Malamutes

Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

There are many dog breeds that resemble the wolf such as the Alaskan Malamute. These dogs have a thick coat to keep them warm in colder climates and their tails are often used as an additional limb for balance when they walk on snow. Alaskan Malamutes also have a similar appearance to wolves with their pointy ears and distinctive markings on their façade.

Utonagan/Northern Inuit Dog

Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

The Utonagan is a rare breed of dog that can be found in the cold climate of Canada. The Northern Inuit Dog is very similar to wolves, but it does not have the same coat as a wolf because it has short fur instead. The Utonagan uses their tails as a method of balance and they can also use their tails as a weapon to defend themselves. This dog is also known as the Utonagan Inuit Dog.

The Greenland Dog

Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

The Greenland Dog is said to be the dog breed closest to wolves. In fact, some people think that they may have been bred from a wild wolf in the early eighteen hundreds. With this type of pedigree, it is no wonder that they exhibit many wolf-like features. For instance, this dog is very intelligent and active. They are also highly pack-oriented and very protective of their family and territory.

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Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

Tamaskan is a breed that is based on an ancient strain of wolves, and they possess both the physical and temperamental qualities of wolves. Tamaskans are crossbreed dog that is supposedly closer to wolves than any other breed. They have sleek and shaggy coats, and they even howl like wolves.


Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

The Samoyed, a dog breed with shaggy, snow-white fur and a plumed tail, has been known to be wolf-like in appearance and behavior. These dogs were bred by the Samoyede people of what is now Russia and Scandinavia and they were used for herding reindeer. The similarities don’t end there; they are also energetic, intelligent, and family-oriented like wolves.

Saarloos Wolfdog

Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

Saarloos wolfdog is the newest species in the dog family. The Saarloos wolfdog is bred to be as close to a wolf as possible without being one. They are much bigger than an average-sized dog, weighing in at 120 pounds. They are much more intelligent than your typical dog, and they have the facial features of a wolf. Their paws are digitigrade, meaning they walk on their toes instead of their paws like other breeds of dogs.

Canadian Eskimo Dog

Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

The Canadian Eskimo Dog is the only breed of dog that shares a gene pool with wolves. This one-of-a-kind canine is often called “the little wolf” by those who live in the Arctic, as it has many physical and behavioral similarities to its wild cousin. The Canadian Eskimo Dog’s DNA is estimated to be 90 percent wolf and 10 percent dog.

Shih Tzu

Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

Shih Tzu’s are often mistaken for being a toy breed, but they are actually more closely related to wolves than most dogs. They are the closest breed to wolves in the canine family because their ancestors were from wolves. The Shih Tzu is the last of the Chinese breeds to have survived on their own, due to being so close to wolves. They are very active dogs that require lots of exercises every day.

Shiba Inu

Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

Shiba Inus are one of the most popular dog breeds in Japan. They are so popular because they have a similar appearance to wolves. They have long hair, pointed ears, and a slender body that is very close to that of a wolf. The Shiba Inu also has a very keen sense of hearing, sight, and smell.

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Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

Akitas are part of the primitive dog family, which is why their coat color, hair type, and structure are similar to the wild wolf. Researchers found that they are 30% more wolf-like than other dog breeds at a genetic level. Like wolves, Akitas need to roam and hunt to keep them mentally and physically healthy, but they do not need companionship for this.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes some dog breeds closest to wolves?

The domestication of the wolf into a domesticated dog has been an ongoing process for over 10,000 years, as wolves were bred with the earliest domestic dog breeds. Some dog breeds have more wolf genes than others, this is due to their ancestors being domesticated wolves. Wolves are the ancestors of most modern-day dogs, whether they are domesticated or not.

Which dog breed has the most wolf DNA?

When it comes to genetics, some dog breeds are closest to wolves than others. In a recent study, scientists found that the most popular breed in the United States with the most wolf DNA is a dog named a Siberian Husky. The Siberian Husky was shown to have up to 80% wolf DNA. This is significantly higher than the average dog which only has about 12-20% wolf DNA.

Can you have a pet wolf?

This is a question which many people have been asking their veterinarian. In general, you cannot have a pet wolf. In most cases, wolves are only legal as pets if they were raised from birth by humans and exhibit behaviors that are appropriate for a domesticated animal. There are some exceptions to this rule – but they’re very limited – and the legality of owning a wolf varies by state or province.

Can you raise a wolf-like dog?

It is often asked, but the answer is no. Wolves are not domesticated animals and require much more time, patience, and understanding to successfully domesticate. Wolves are wild animals that are natural hunters with an instinct to survive, which means that if you want to keep them as pets then you have to be able to accommodate their needs.

Can wolves mate with dogs?

The answer is usually no. Wolves and dogs are both found in packs where they perform different functions. Dogs, which used to be wolves themselves, were domesticated by humans and evolved into their modern form. Wolves are wild animals that come together for mating purposes (usually) once or twice a year.


Many people are torn about what dog breeds closest to wolves. Though some breeds look more like wolves, behavior is really what determines wolf-likeness. For example, Siberian huskies are one of the closest breeds to wolves in looks and behavior. Their coat is thick like a wolf’s fur, they can howl like wolves, and they even bark like them too. There are many dog breeds that are close to wolves in ancestry. Many of these breeds share similar physical attributes, such as fur type and position within the family.

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