Intelligent, strong but obedient, these gorgeous wolf-dog breeds will be happy to become part of the family. Find out more about their personalities and what it takes to be their owner.
Wolves are majestic creatures that never cease to fascinate us. Perhaps because we've always had them in our homes, wrapped in the myth and mystery of our bedtime stories, art and film, we want wolf-dog breeds physically in our lives too. After all, they are the wild alter-ego of a pet pooch - powerful and fearless.
The good news is that you don't need to be Little Red Riding Hood to have a wolf in your home, with these gorgeous wolf-dog breeds. There are many dogs that look like wolves, with long pointed muzzles, thick fur and bushy tails. And the good news is that they make great family pets. They're quite energetic and love long walks and playing games with their owners.
Dog breeds that look like wolves
1. Siberian Husky
The striking looks of Siberian Huskies have made them one of the most recognisable canines out there. Their stunning eyes, compact bodies and upright ears remind us of their wolf ancestors, but their playful and friendly personality helps them make fast friends with anyone.
Siberian Huskies are athletic, full of energy and love to have a job to do. That's no surprise considering they used to be reliable sleigh dogs. So before taking a Husky home, make sure you have a solid plan for daily exercise, fun games and brain-teasing challenges to keep them occupied.
2. Alaskan Malamute
Another strong-headed dog that looks like a wolf, the Alaskan Malamute is just as handsome as the Husky. Bigger and slightly fluffier, Alaskans will also know their way around a sled. But if you don't have one, they will be happy to spend their energy doing plenty of running, hiking and exploring all the world has to offer. Their double coat might seem an unstoppable fur machine, but these wolf dogs are such friendly and joyful pets that you will quickly forgive them for the extra house work.
Their muscular build makes them very strong. After all, Alaskan Malamutes were bred to pull heavy weights for long distances. Keep this in mind when you walk them on a leash or they will end up pulling you along instead of the other way around.
3. German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a natural hero. Intelligent and loyal, German Shepherds love to be on a mission. From search-and-rescue jobs to guide and assistance tasks, no challenge is too big for their many talents.
This ever-popular dog looks like a wolf, but behaves like the best canine friend you'll ever have. Their protective nature will match up well with families and they're great dogs for older children. As long as there is plenty of action around, they will be the exuberant canine reminding you just why you love dogs so much. But if there isn't much for them to do, they will easily turn to mischief, so make sure you've always got games and challenges for them to do.
4. Swedish Vallhund
This dog looks like a wolf but sports the size of a Corgi. With a great personality to match their dual looks, you will get the best of both worlds. The Swedish Vallhund's herding background makes them an intelligent dog that's always on the lookout, announcing guests well before they even have a chance to reach for the doorbell. They are also lively and playful wolf dogs, looking for hugs wherever they can get them.
They are high-energy dogs constantly running around and barking up a storm, which is why you need to be an active owner to thoroughly enjoy their charm. But many Swedish Vallhund owners will tell you there is plenty of fun to be had with this dog. They are game masters and veritable canine comics that will put their playful side on full display whenever you need a smile on your face.
The Sammie should be the standard for white fluffiness in wolf dogs. Their beautiful thick double coat requires extra grooming but it's so worth it. Samoyed dogs will love everyone, from family to random strangers.
Although this disqualifies them for guard dog jobs, they are quite vocal in showing their love and very affectionate, which makes them great family pets. They are the intelligent type with a mind of their own and might start to re-arrange the backyard if left alone too much.
If you decide to bring home a baby Samoyed, make sure you start training with a firm but gentle hand, have a good grooming brush handy and solid fencing in place. But most of all, be prepared for that famous 'Sammie smile' to melt your heart every day.
If you love wolves, there are many dog breeds with similar looks but much better suited personalities for a lifetime spent around people and other pets. Explore even more fun and loving dog breeds with our dog breed library, or use our dog breed selector to find the perfect dog for you.