8 Dogs That Look Like Wild Animals



In our world, there’s an astonishing array of dog breeds, each possessing its own distinct characteristics. Many breeds are so distinctly different that it’s hard to believe they’re all of the same species.

Despite these differences, all dogs can trace their lineage to wolves, meaning some breeds retain wolf-like characteristics.

Beyond wolves, numerous breeds strikingly resemble other wild creatures like hyenas, leopards, and even bears. Today, we dive into a list of dog breeds resembling these majestic wild animals.

These 8 Dog Breeds Resemble Wild Animals

two tibetan mastiff dogs

Tibetan Mastiff

An indigenous breed from the Tibet region, the Tibetan Mastiffs are stunning creatures often found in northern Nepal, India, and Bhutan. Also known as “Do-Khyi” in Tibetan or “Bhote Kukur” in Nepalese, they are characterized by their broad heads, robust bone structure, long bodies, and substantial trunks.

Their abundant, shaggy coats and imposing size lend them an uncanny resemblance to lions. Known for their fearlessness, Tibetan Mastiffs remain deeply loyal and protective of their families.

Despite their strong-willed nature, they make magnificent companions if given patient and consistent training.

Louisiana Catahoula Leopard

Renowned for their intelligence, the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dogs are distinctive canines with a name derived from a Native American word meaning “clear water.”

Their striking features include long, muscular legs, deep chests, hypnotic blue eyes, and uniquely patterned fur that resembles a leopard’s coat. Initially bred as guard dogs and hunters, they were developed by North American farmers who blended breeds like Native American dogs, Spanish Mastiffs, and Greyhounds.

These agile dogs thrive on exercise and mental stimulation; otherwise, they may resort to destructive behavior. They are generally gentle and loving towards children but can be aggressive toward other animals.

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute, often mistaken for a Husky, is a breed with deep roots in sledding and polar bear hunting. Their robust build and playful nature seem to contradict their formidable size.

They are incredibly endearing, easily trainable, and always full of energy. However, potential owners must be prepared for the task of managing their substantial shedding due to their thick double coats, requiring frequent grooming.

While you could theoretically trim their fur to resemble something akin to a Cavapoo haircut, it’s crucial to note that this is generally not recommended. Alaskan Malamutes have been naturally adapted to cold weather, and their coats provide necessary insulation against harsh climates. Additionally, their undercoat serves as a cooling mechanism during the warmer months.

Hence, excessive trimming could interfere with their ability to regulate their body temperature and might expose their skin to harmful UV rays, potentially causing discomfort or even health issues. Therefore, it’s best to leave their coats natural and focus on regular brushing to manage shedding and prevent matting.

Wolf like dog howling with moon background

Belgian Tervuren

Bearing a striking resemblance to wolves, the Belgian Tervuren, often called Tervs, were initially bred for herding livestock and are celebrated for their strong work ethic.

Their reputation for intelligence, hard work, and confidence has led to their current roles in military and police K9 units. These dogs are a medium-size breed but can grow up to 66 cm in height and weigh as much as 35 kg.

Despite their high energy and sometimes stubborn temperament, they also make affectionate family pets.

Bush Dog

Bush Dogs, native to the Amazon basin, have an intriguing hyena-like appearance. They sport a soft, long, brown coat that gets lighter as they mature, with red highlights sprinkled throughout.

They are agile swimmers and elusive by nature, making them difficult to spot in the wild. Unfortunately, their elusive nature has not protected them from the threat of extinction, and they are currently considered a threatened species.


Also known as raccoon dogs, Tanukis are not technically dogs but members of the Canid family. They bear an intriguing resemblance to both dogs and raccoons.

Tanukis, native to Asia, often live in small groups or pairs, with the males actively rearing their offspring.

Unfortunately, their attractive fur has led to significant hunting pressure in regions like China and Finland.

African Wild Dog

African Wild Dogs are among the most formidable canine species found in Africa. They are excellent pack hunters and can reach impressive speeds during the chase.

Their unique black, yellow, and dark brown fur tricolor pattern lends them a hyena-like appearance. African Wild Dogs are not domesticated and live in packs in the wild.

Great Dane

The towering Great Dane, also known as the German Mastiff, exhibits a stature reminiscent of a small horse. These powerful dogs were initially bred for hunting large game like bears and deer, showcasing strength, elegance, and commanding presence.

Despite their intimidating size, Great Danes are often called “gentle giants” due to their friendly and gentle nature. They are patient with kids and get along well with other animals when properly socialized.

Final Thoughts

The breathtaking diversity among dog breeds continually astounds us. These eight dog breeds stand out from the crowd with their uncanny resemblances to wild animals.

Whether the call of the wild speaks to you or you simply admire the beauty of these breeds, one thing is clear – these captivating canines, with their remarkable likenesses to their wild cousins, will always have a special place in our hearts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Dog Breed Is The Most Similar To a Wolf In Appearance?

The Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky are breeds that closely resemble wolves due to their size, coat color, and facial structure. Both breeds exhibit physical traits similar to those of their wild counterparts, creating a striking wolf-like appearance.

Are These Wild-Looking Breeds Typically More Challenging To Train Than Other Dogs?

Training difficulty can vary among these breeds. While dogs like the Alaskan Malamute and Belgian Tervuren are intelligent and trainable. They can also be quite independent and require consistent training. Breeds like the Tibetan Mastiff may be more challenging due to their stubborn nature.

Are These Wild-Looking Breeds Good For First-Time Dog Owners?

Some wild-looking breeds can challenge first-time owners due to their unique needs and temperaments. For example, the Tibetan Mastiff’s stubborn nature and the Catahoula Leopard Dog’s high activity level may require experienced handling. Potential owners should thoroughly research each breed to ensure a good fit.

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