Are you ready to delve into the world where domestic pooches meet the glorious wilderness? Well, look no further. In this post, you’ll discover the captivating world of wolf dog breeds. The wolf-like aspects of these precious pups create a combination that will keep you enthralled.
Don’t let their large and in-charge appearance fool you – these breeds are just as adorable as any other breed. Including unique mixed breeds like the Akita German Shepherd mix, there are a ton of breeds out there that share the wolf lineage.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get straight into 25 different wolf dog breeds that you’ll just adore.
- 1 25 Wolf Dog Breeds
- 1.1 1. Akita
- 1.2 2. Alaskan Klee Kai
- 1.3 3. American Alsatian
- 1.4 4. Alaskan Malamute
- 1.5 5. Canadian Eskimo Dog
- 1.6 6. Australian Dingo
- 1.7 7. Galician Celtic Wolf Dog
- 1.8 8. Finnish Lapphund
- 1.9 9. German Shepherd-Husky Mix
- 1.10 10. Hierran Wolf Dog
- 1.11 11. Czechoslovakian Wolf Dog
- 1.12 12. Kunming Wolf Dog
- 1.13 13. Lupo Italiano
- 1.14 14. Greenland Dog
- 1.15 15. Native American Indian Dog
- 1.16 16. Saarloos Wolf Dog
- 1.17 17. Northern Inuit Dog (Utonagan)
- 1.18 18. Siberian Husky
- 1.19 19. Norwegian Elkhound
- 1.20 20. Shikoku Dog
- 1.21 21. Swedish Vallhund
- 1.22 22. Samoyed
- 1.23 23. Tamaskan Dog
- 1.24 24. Wolamute
- 1.25 25. Yakutian Laika
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions About Wolf Dog Breeds
- 3 Wolf Dog Breeds | Wrapped Up
25 Wolf Dog Breeds
Before diving into the different wolf dog breeds, you might wonder – what are wolf dogs? Genetically speaking, a wolf dog is any breed that has recent ancestry of a domestic dog and a wild wolf.
Wolves usually stay in their packs in the wild, so the existence of wolf-dog breeds in itself is a result of human intervention. Wolf dogs share traits and features of their wolf descendants, like their thick fur, long snout, pointed ears, and the loving nature of a domesticated canine.
Now, here are 25 different wolf dog breeds you can admire today.
This Japanese beauty is known for its loyalty and gorgeous golden coat. These dogs love a long walk or jog, so you’ll get along just peachy if you’re a fitness lover.
Akitas were originally bred as guard dogs and hunters in Japan. Nowadays, they enjoy a regular home life and are super adaptable, so they’re a great choice for your average dog owner. Let’s not forget the fact they are just so adorable.
Akitas can grow anywhere from 24 – 28 inches (60.9 – 71 cm) tall at shoulder height. Akitas weigh between 50.7 – 86 pounds (23 – 39 kg).
Photo by Mikhail Vasilyev on Unsplash
2. Alaskan Klee Kai
If you’re looking for a mini version of a wolf dog like the Alaskan Malamute or a Husky, look no further than the Alaskan Klee Kai. The breed originated in Alaska in the 1970s. While this breed doesn’t have a large stature, it combines the ease of caring for a smaller dog with the look and temperament of classic wolf dogs.
These small dogs are agile, energetic, and their curiosity knows no bounds. They are undoubtedly great companions to have. Their distinctive features, like their thick, long coat, pointy ears, and curled tail, give them that wolf-like appearance.
Standard Klee Kai’s grow up to 17 inches (43.1 cm) tall and weigh up to around 25 pounds (11.3 kg) fully grown.
3. American Alsatian
The American Alsatian comes from California, dates back to the 1980s, and ranks high in its intimidating appearance. This rare breed is one of the closest look-alikes to the ancient and now-extinct Dire wolf (you know, from Game of Thrones).
Don’t let their appearance fool you – they are friendly, loyal, and loveable gentle giants. They are also incredibly calm and intelligent, making them easy to train and great family dogs.
American Alsatians typically reach a height of 22 – 26 inches (55.8 – 66 cm) and weigh between 49 – 88 pounds (18.6 – 39.9 kgs).
4. Alaskan Malamute
Let’s get back to the big dogs, shall we? The Alaskan Malamute came from Alaska and was bred for its strength, endurance, and incredible ability to pull heavy sleds. The Malamute is certainly at the top of the list for one of the best wolf dogs out there (and one of the biggest).
It’s pretty apparent why they are considered wolf dogs – just look at them. These canines are friendly and hardworking. They are also quite independent, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t take you as their loving companion.
Let’s get one thing straight. The Alaskan Malamute is a big dog. They can reach a height of 24 – 26 inches (61 – 66 cm) and weigh up to 85 pounds (38.5 kg).
Photo by photo nic on Unsplash
5. Canadian Eskimo Dog
The Canadian Eskimo dog comes from Canada and dates back around 4,000 years. They were initially prized for their hunting and sledding abilities, specifically in the cold, arctic conditions.
These dogs clearly resemble wolves, with that distinct double coat and muscular build. They are the best of both worlds, having both wolf and dog-like qualities. Their loyalty is unmatched, and they are relatively adaptable to their environments. Don’t let their intimidating appearance fool you – they are loveable and friendly enough for the whole family.
Canadian Eskimo dogs grow around 23 – 28 inches (58.4 – 71 cm) tall and weigh between 66 – 88 pounds (30 – 40 kg), so they certainly fit the bill of gentle giants.
6. Australian Dingo
This next one may come as a surprise. This Australian Dingo is 4,000 years old, making it one of the world’s oldest breeds on the list, alongside the Canadian Eskimo. In terms of its ancestry, it is descended from the Indian wolf.
The Australian Dingo is recognizable by its yellow coat, pointed ears, and bushy tail. Their coat isn’t as thick and long as other wolf breeds since they’re native to the hot Australian climate. The Dingo inherits its independent personality from its wolf ancestors but maintains a level of trainability. This pooch is undoubtedly a fun choice for an experienced dog owner.
Like other breeds, their size varies, with a typical Dingo standing between 20 – 27 inches (50.8 – 68.6 cm) tall and reaching a weight between 28 – 46 pounds (12.7 – 20.8 kgs).
Photo by Craig Manners on Unsplash
7. Galician Celtic Wolf Dog
The Galician Celtic Wolf Dog is a traditional shepherd dog originating in the Galicia region of Spain. It is still used for herding cattle and sheep, but unfortunately is slowly decreasing in population.
They resemble wolves in their strong and athletic build and demeanor, with gorgeous coats in various colors. These canines are intelligent and loyal, like most wolf dogs, and are perfect for experienced dog owners, given the proper socialization and living environment.
Their size can range between 26 – 30 inches (66 – 76.2 cm) tall and weigh between 55 and 88 pounds (25 – 40 kg).)
8. Finnish Lapphund
Originating from Finland, this four-legged beauty is a part of the smaller wolf dog variety. Indigenous Sami people bred them as herding dogs, but they have quickly gained traction as terrific family pets.
These pooches sport the dense double coat, pointy ears, and charming faces that would melt any dog owner. Their friendly and affectionate nature, as well as their quick and agile build, make them perfect additions to the family. Plus, they are medium-sized and slightly easier to care for.
Finnish Lapphunds fall within a general height range of around 18 – 20 inches (45.7 – 50.8 cm) tall and weigh between 26 – 53 pounds (11.8 – 24 kg).
Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash
9. German Shepherd-Husky Mix
This stunning wolf dog hybrid has some of the best traits from each parent breed. It has the Shep’s loyal and intelligent spirit and the Husky’s friendly and energetic nature (and let’s not forget those brilliant blue eyes). These dogs are often associated with guard dogs and the military but make excellent family companions.
These doggos can grow to around 20 – 25 inches (50.8 – 63.5 cm) tall and weigh in the 45 – 88 pound (20.4 – 40 kg) range, making them pretty big.
10. Hierran Wolf Dog
The Hierran Wolf Dog has probably come up on your radar once or twice on your wolf dog research journey. This wondrous breed comes from El Hierro island in the Canary Islands and dates back to the 15th century (Wowza).
Traditionally, these canines were used as herding dogs, and to this day, they are still popular among farmers and used as working dogs. Aesthetically speaking, their thick coats and face shape are reminiscent of wolves but much leaner in their build. They possess a strong sense of loyalty and fun and are very active, so exercise in a large yard is a must.
When fully grown, these medium-sized dogs can stand at a height of 20 – 22 inches (50.8 – 55.8 cm) at the shoulder and weigh around 36 – 48.5 pounds (16.3 – 22 kg).
11. Czechoslovakian Wolf Dog
This wolf breed, also called the Vlcak, is another relatively new breed. They originated in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s and originally served as border patrol dogs. Vlcak dogs showcase a wonderful blend between a German Shepherd and a Carpathian Wolf.
They have a solid and muscular build, dense coats, and other characteristically wolf-like features. They also have the intelligence and trainable nature of the German Shepherd, making them great working dogs. They are also incredibly protective and energetic, requiring a lot of training and socialization.
Fully-grown Vlcak dogs reach around 24 – 26 inches (61 – 66 cm) tall and weigh anywhere between 44 – 54 pounds (20 – 25 kg) – but they can grow bigger in some cases.
Photo by Honza Reznik on Unsplash
12. Kunming Wolf Dog
Next up on the list is the Kunming Wolf Dog, sometimes called the Chinese Wolf Dog. These pups were initially bred as military dogs in 1950s China but are now primarily used as police and search-and-rescue dogs due to their incredible tracking abilities.
They certainly appear intimidating with their structured faces, pointed ears, and athletic build, but don’t let that fool you. This wolf dog breed is actually quite friendly and approachable and will definitely be an excellent guard dog for your family. Though, they are best for experienced dog owners.
On average, this breed grows to be between 25 – 27 inches (63.6 –68.6 cm) tall and weighs around 66 – 84 pounds (30 – 38 kg).
13. Lupo Italiano
Lupo Italiano, meaning the Italian Wolf, refers to this fantastic breed that finds its beginning in 1960s Italy. Their appearance is largely reminiscent of the German Shepherd (one of the parent breeds), but it also shares aspects of the Apennine wolf.
They retain their distinctive wolf-like traits, with a thick coat, muscular build, and agility, while exhibiting the temperament for companionship from the German Shepherd. They have a strong sense of smell and the capability to hunt, so they are commonly used as hunting partners. Don’t worry; they are still highly affectionate and loving companions for experienced owners.
They grow between 23 – 28 inches (58.4 – 71 cm) tall and weigh between 70 – 90 pounds (31.7 – 40.8 kg).
14. Greenland Dog
The Greenland Dog is a beautiful wolf dog breed that originated about 1,000 years ago in Greenland, hence the name – do you see a pattern here? They were mainly bred to live and thrive in arctic conditions, so they aren’t the best choice for warmer climates.
Their thick double coats and ear shape are reminiscent of their wolf ancestors, not to mention their powerful build. They are very athletic dogs, so they need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to release that pent-up energy. Greenlands get slightly excited during playtime, so it’s best to be stern in their socialization and training.
They typically reach a height of 22 – 25 inches (55.8 – 63.6 cm) tall and can grow quite heavy at 66 pounds (30 kg) for females and 70.5 pounds (32 kg) for males.
Photo by Visit Greenland on Unsplash
15. Native American Indian Dog
Next up on the list of incredible, wolf-like beauties is the Native American Indian Dog. As their name suggests, they were initially bred by Native Americans in North America and were known for their hunting prowess and devotion to their owners.
They maintain their instincts and wolf-like traits, including their agility and natural aptitude for tracking through natural terrain for long periods. It’s no secret that this dog also resembles wild wolves, with their pointy ears and long, thick fur.
This one is one of the biggest of all big wolf dog breeds. They can grow to a staggering 55 – 120 pounds (25 – 54.5 kg) heavy and between 23 – 34 inches (58.4 – 86.3 cm) tall.
16. Saarloos Wolf Dog
This pooch is one of the newer members of the group, originating in either Germany or the Netherlands in the 1970s. This beauty is a cross between a German Shepherd and a Carpathian Wolf, a subspecies of the Eurasian Grey.
Saarloos Wolf Dogs are highly intelligent and trainable but inherit their instincts from wolves, so they aren’t the best choice for newbie dog owners. They also might look on the rougher side, but they typically aren’t aggressive dogs.
Regarding their size, they can grow to an impressive 23 – 30 inches (58.4 – 76.2 cm) tall and weigh up to 90 pounds (40 kg).
17. Northern Inuit Dog (Utonagan)
The Northern Inuit is another of the newer breeds, originating in the United Kingdom in the 1980s. They are a unique blend of a German Shepherd, Husky, and Malamutes.
Northern Iniot is used interchangeably with the Utonagan dog. These hounds are striking in appearance, sharing the likeness of wolves, so much so that they have been used in several films and television shows.
They are very intelligent and trainable and are prevalent in all sorts of fields in the present day. You can find them used anywhere, from law enforcement to therapy dogs. Their adaptable and loyal nature makes them perfect family dogs, too (even with children).
They can grow between 23 – 28 inches (58.4 – 71 cm) tall and weigh between 55 – 90 pounds (25 – 40.8 kg).
Fun fact: Did you know that Northern Inuits were used as Direwolves on the HBO show, Game of Thrones?
Photo by David McCumskay on Unsplash
18. Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is a family favorite for countless people worldwide. You’ve undoubtedly heard about them. They are known for their brilliant blue eyes and stunning coats. These excellent hounds come from Siberia, Russia, and were initially bred for sled-pulling and transporting goods across snowy terrain.
They are athletic, fast, and agile and possess their wolf counterparts’ natural endurance capabilities. They are intelligent and active and need plenty of space and walks. Nowadays, they are the perfect addition to any family and are incredibly friendly (and loud, let’s be honest).
A full-grown Husky can weigh between 35 – 60 pounds (15.9 – 27.2 kg) and height between 20 – 24 inches (50.8 – 61 cm).
19. Norwegian Elkhound
If you’re a fan of wolf dogs but don’t want the fuss of caring for a large dog, then the Norwegian Elkhound may be for you. They are on the smaller to medium side. These beauties originate from Norway, where they were bred to hunt moose (yes, really).
Nowadays, they keep themselves busy with no more than playing and probably barking. Yep, these pooches are known to be quite vocal. Though, they are pretty intelligent and loveable, too. Norwegian Elkhounds have a distinct silver coat and the basic features of other wolf dogs; the only difference is how much smaller they are.
Norwegian Elkhounds usually stand between 18 – 22 inches (45.7 – 55.8 cm) tall at the shoulder and weigh around 50 – 60 pounds (22.6 – 27.2 kg).
Photo by Christopher Ryan on Unsplash
20. Shikoku Dog
The Shikoku Dog, also known as the Japanese Wolf Dog, is a native breed from 18th century Japan. These gorgeous canines were primarily bred for hunting small game and boars but are currently popular in guarding livestock or participating in competitions.
While they are wolf dogs, they are often described as resembling bears slightly, with their thick coats and slightly broader faces. Though, they have their wolf ancestors’ strong stature and powerful jaw.
Shikokus are pretty intelligent and trainable and also quite independent. However, they are known to be quite unruly and stubborn, so it’s essential to have a firm grip on adequately training them.
In terms of size, Shikoku Dogs are medium-sized and stand between 17 – 21 inches (43.1 – 53.3 cm) tall, and weigh around 35 to 55 pounds (15.8 to 25 kg).
21. Swedish Vallhund
The Swedish Vallhund, sometimes called the “Viking Dog,” is a wolf dog from Sweden about 1,200 years ago and brings a lot of cuteness in a fun little package. These dogs have a history of working alongside farmers and herding cattle.
Besides clearly resembling wolves, Swedish Vallhunds are an intelligent and versatile breed and have the usual sense of loyalty that you’d expect from wolf dog breeds. They are strong, confident, alert, and active – so they would benefit from a lot of exercise to let off some steam.
Swedish Vallhunds are definitely on the small to medium side, typically standing between 11 – 13 inches (27.9 – 33 cm) tall and weighing between 22 – 35 pounds (10 – 15.8 kg).
The Samoyed is a delightful and fluffy breed hailing from Serbia, Russia. They were initially bred for their capabilities for hunting and herding in the Arctic. They are still used for herding and hunting in some cases, but for the most part, they are well-beloved family pets.
These wolf-like dogs thrive in cold climates but are adaptable. They have a friendly and gentle personality, not to mention the classic loyalty and devotion to their families. They are highly intelligent and trainable – but probably best suited for experienced dog owners.
They typically stand between 19 – 23.5 inches (48.3 – 59.7 cm) tall at the shoulder and weigh between 50 and 65 pounds (22.6 – 29.5 kg).
Photo by Alex Russell-Saw on Unsplash
23. Tamaskan Dog
The Tamaskan Dog is another one of the newer breeds, having only been recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2013. They were developed in the 1980s in Finland by combining domestic Huskies and German Shepherds with Czechoslovakian wolf dogs.
They are also among the most rare types of wolf dogs out there. They share aspects of wolf temperament and aesthetics, like their independent nature, and are easily agitated, so they need a good amount of physical and mental stimulation. Don’t fret – they are still highly trainable and intelligent, so experienced owners will appreciate them most.
They generally have a height between 24 – 33 inches (61 – 83.8 cm) and weigh between 55 – 95 pounds (25 and 43 kg).
The Wolamute, sometimes called the Alaskan Wolf Dog, is a splendid mix of an Alaskan Malamute and a Timber wolf, or Gray wolf. It originated in the United States in the 1960s, making it a newer breed.
They are a great combination of wolf-like stamina, strength, and domestic trainability, making them great hunting companions. These hounds are quick and alert and have the characteristic thick fur and facial structure of a wolf. While Wolamutes are certainly friendly and make good companions, they are also quite energetic and hard to look after if you’re a newbie.
They are on the larger side of the wolf dog breeds, coming in at a height between 26 – 33 inches (66 – 83.8 cm) and weighing between 60 – 110 pounds (27.2 – 49.9 kg).
25. Yakutian Laika
The Yakutian Laika is a remarkable breed hailing from the Yakutia region in Russia. They were primarily used for sled pulling and hunting in the Arctic. Today, they are still incredibly versatile as working dogs or simple at-home pets.
Of course, they have that classic wolf-like look, but they are much more. Like their wolf counterparts, they are hardworking dogs with good endurance and physical strength. They also have very adaptable temperaments, so they work well among families in many different environments.
Yakutian Laikas are medium to large dogs, standing between 21 – 23 inches (53.3 – 58.4 cm) tall and weighing between 40 – 55 pounds (18 – 25 kg).
Photo by Vladislav Kosoborod on Unsplash
Frequently Asked Questions About Wolf Dog Breeds
After looking at all of those breeds, it’s understandable that you have a few questions. Here are some frequently asked questions about wolf dogs that will hopefully put your mind at ease.
Which Dog is Closest to a Wolf?
In terms of both looks and genetics, there are two front-runners – the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Malamute. Both breeds belong to the Nordic spitz breed group of dogs, which are known to share the most DNA with wolves.
How Long Do Wolf Dogs Live?
Since the array of wolf dog breeds is so vast, the lifespan for each can vary, so remember that this doesn’t apply to all of them. Depending on genetics and which species are mixed, wolf dogs can live anywhere between 12 to 19 years old.
What is the Largest Wolf-Like Dog?
Wolf dogs can grow exceptionally large; that’s a fact. Of those explored in this list, there is a clear winner. The Native American Indian Dog weighs between 55 – 120 pounds (25 – 54.5 kg) and can generally reach around 23 – 34 inches tall (58.4 – 86.3 cm).
Wolf Dog Breeds | Wrapped Up
So, there you have it – the wonderful world of wolf dog breeds. With their striking and prominent appearance, these breeds have been and always will be a sight to behold.
Wolf dogs like these require a more experienced owner and have unique requirements for caring for them, so ensure you are prepared – owning a wolf dog is a full-time job.
And if you want to see more doggos of the large variety, check out these fluffy big dog breeds that will undoubtedly capture your attention.