48 Wolf-Like Dogs That Are Actually Just Big Floofs
Some time ago, Bored Panda published an article about a woman who brought her rescue dog to the vet for a regular checkup. Upon entering the office and seeing the dog, the vet dropped whatever he was holding in his hands. It turned out that what the woman thought to be a really big dog was, in fact, a wolf dog. “But what is a wolfdog?” you may ask. The name itself sounds like it came from a fantasy tale. To be honest, they do look like some mystic creatures.
It is common knowledge that dogs and wolves come from the same family and are very closely related. And while big dogs and wolves generally look a lot like each other, there are some wolf-like dogs that are very difficult to distinguish from real wolves. Most dog breeds that look like wolves are hybrids, meaning they are part dog, part wolf. The closer the wolf part is on their family line (for example, one of the parents was a wolf, as opposed to a great aunt a couple of generations in the past), the more the pup will look like a wolf too. This type of crossbreeding is mostly done for scientific purposes, though sometimes it can very well occur naturally.
If you are wondering which dogs look like wolves, check out Northern Inuit dogs. Remember the dire wolves from Game of Thrones? Yep, that’s the one. Others include the Swedish Vallhund, Belgian Tervuren, and more. Even more common Alaskan malamutes and Siberian huskies are considered wolf dogs.
Wolf dogs are regarded as pets even though they come with extra responsibility for their owners due to their sheer size and also because they have more acute prey instincts. But if you are thinking of acquiring a pet wolf, this might not be the best idea. Don’t forget that wolves are wild animals and, as such, need to live in nature. If you happen to have rescued a wolf (congrats!) and, for certain reasons, it can’t return to its natural habitat, consider handing the animal over to a sanctuary or other professionals who are equipped to handle wild animals.
Check out the photos of dogs that look like wolves that we collected for this article, and if you happen to know another gorgeous creature from this family, share their pics in the comments.
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Loki The Wolfdog - Breakin' Hearts Since 2012
To talk a bit more about wolfdogs, meaning dogs that were born from a domestic dog and a wolf, Bored Panda reached out to Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, which was created in June 2011 in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada. As the Sanctuary introduces itself on its website, its purpose is “to drive public awareness and education surrounding wolfdogs and wolves in the wild.”
We talked with Alyx, the operations manager at the Sanctuary and she agreed that wolfdogs are not for everyone. Actually, she really wanted to stress it as she saw so many people get mesmerized by the dogs’ appearance just to give them up after not being able to handle them which led to the dogs being euthanized.
A Bad Dog Owner Dumped This Wolf-Dog At A Kill Shelter When He Got Too Big And Too Much To Handle. Luckily A Sanctuary Took Him Instead And Saved His Life!
His DNA testing came back as 87.5 % Gray Wolf, 8.6 % Siberian Husky, and 3.9 % German Shepherd.
Alyx described some of the challenges that wolfdog owners usually face that they didn’t expect because they didn’t do their research, “A wolfdog's challenges can be much more intense depending on how much wolf is present. That said, all wolfdogs tend to have a tendency to be more shy and timid and less human-oriented. They can be master escape artists, aloof, destructive indoors, and intense resource guarders just to list a few of their challenges.”
Even though these are some of the main issues that an owner may have to deal with, “There are many more to list though and each wolfdog has their own individual needs and set of challenges. With more wolf content in a wolfdog, these behaviours are generally much more intense and extreme.”
That is why Alyx doesn’t recommend a wolfdog for a pet, “Wolfdogs require very specific homes. They are not suited for most people. While there are certain people out there that have done their research and have a true understanding of wolfdogs and are therefore able to provide them with great homes, the majority of people that end up with a wolfdog are not able to adequately care for them.” Which, as mentioned, ends up with the animal being euthanized because there aren’t a lot of places where the wolfdog can go after an owner gets tired of it.
This Is The Photo That Made Me Say “I’m Gonna Drive 800 Miles To Rescue That Special Needs Pupper”
Looking Into The Distance
Sasha (The Czech Wolfdog) Loves Beach Zoomies
In Alyx's opinion, regular dog owners should stick to dogs that don’t have wolf content in their DNA at all, “Wolfdogs are extremely complicated animals. Even wolfdogs with a fairly small amount of wolf content can be very challenging to own, especially for someone that does not understand their behaviour.”
If you really really want a wolfodg and believe you can take care of it, the Sanctuary worker suggests Wolfdog Awareness as a resource to look for information, “There you can read through many blog posts that deep dive into the challenging behaviours an owner may (and will likely) face when it comes to wolfdog ownership.”
My Wolfdog Boy, Faelen, Giving Cuddles To My Mom
The Majestic Wolfdog
His Winter Coat Is Coming And He Is Getting More And More Beautiful
Black Wolf Hybrid
All of that being said, not all dogs that look like wolves have wolf content in their DNA. Of course, all dogs derived from wolves but as Alyx explained to us, “All domestic dog breeds like Huskies for example, are domestic dogs and do not have wolf content in them. Wolfdogs are the result of recent wolf heritage. Domestic dogs may have descended from wolves but this was thousands of years ago.”
As mentioned in the introduction, there are dog breeds that look like wolves but are just dogs and if you want a wolf-looking dog, you still have to do your research, “Though domestic dogs may just have a wolfy appearance and would likely be a better fit than a wolfdog, they can still be quite challenging. Northern breeds like a Husky or Malamute may be a good place to start, however, these can be very challenging breeds! You need to do thorough research on them before getting them.”
Getting to know a breed is extremely important because every dog breed has a different temperament, different care requirements, different tendencies for medical issues and training abilities, so you have to consider what would fit in your lifestyle. For those reasons Alyx strongly suggests not to choose a dog solely on their appearance.
Sometimes Lucian Just Lies On Me And Looks At Me Like This. Fills My Heart Up Even On The (All Too Common) Bad Days
Enjoy The Ride!
My Wife's Wolfhound Puppy Is Eating My Wolfdog
ah yes the majestic predator, hunter of elk alongside the most dangerous animal on the planet, the human. 30000 years later ^this^
Do you find dogs that resemble wolves beautiful or do they scare you more than causes fascination? Have you ever owned one? What would you suggest to people who would like a wolfdog or just a dog that bears the resemblance without the actual wolf genes? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Here's One Of Our Rescues, Yuki
Thorkan And His Beautiful Mom Phoebee! He Was Only A Few Weeks Old, My Baby, I Love This Picture!
Rub My Damn Belly!
Here’s Some More Of Yuki The Wolf Dog Hybrid
His DNA testing came back as 87.5 % Gray Wolf, 8.6 % Siberian Husky, and 3.9 % German Shepherd. Currently at the shy wolf Sanctuary, he was taken to a high kill shelter at first when he was too much to handle, but was rescued and is now at the sanctuary and loving it.
A Wolf-Dog Hybrid
Never Stop Outdoor Life!
Is There Anything Cuter Than A Wolfdog Wanting Belly Rubs?
My Puppy Looks Like A Small Wolf!
Them Eyes Though. Almost 5 Months Old
Hello Pack! Some Memories Of 2021
I Made Stupid And Weird Sounds To Get This Photo. Otherwise He Wouldn't Look At Me
Our Super Scary Guard Dog... She's Alaskan Malamute With A Big Smile
My Dad And My Alaskan Malamute Gideon. He Loves When My Dad Visits The House
Through The Thick And Thicker
This Big Girl Was Accepting Treats By Hand. 80% Concentration Wolfdog. From Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, Alberta, CA
I live near here. I thought some of these photos looked familiar.
New Pups On The Ride Home
Friend Met This Spectacular Wolf!
That wolf is so beautiful but... my husky is a quarter the size and having her stand on me like that is painful... i hope your friend's lap recovers
From March Till October
Is it still a glowup if they were absolutely adorable to begin with, and then turned into majestic floofs?
Adult Mars And... Baby Mars!
Nymeria Got To Meet A New Friend Yesterday!
This May Be The Single Greatest Picture Of Tibbi Ever Taken
I Think We Need A Bigger Bed
This Is Eli. 6yo Male Siberian Husky. Should Be Picking Him Up From The Shelter On Saturday!
A Nice Sunrise Over The Sainte Victoire
We started the hike at 4am in the night alone in the world with our dogs, paradise!
Nox Enjoyed Our Halloween Leftovers. Looks Like A Pumpkin Exploded Now
Crow, 8 Year Old
Koda, The 11 Week Old Wolf-Look-Alike Breed Northern Inuit Dog
Meet Max, 50% Husky, 50% Wolf, 85 Lbs, And As Gentle As Can Be
A Good Weekend To All!
My Alaskan Malamute Puppy Chinook In His Cedar House
Happy Tongue Out Tuesday From Nymeria!
5 Minutes Into "Brush Me And Chill" And She Gives You This Look
She’s posing. Don’t I look gorgeous now? Come on say it
Sharing Is Caring
Here’s To Spooky Season & Colder Weather Starting, Giving Our Babes Gorgeous Coats
Czechoslovakian Wolfdog (Almost Made Me Jump Out Of My Skin)
Note: this post originally had 127 images. It’s been shortened to the top 48 images based on user votes.
Gorgeous pups. However, I wish people wouldn't promote the 'wolf-dog' thing. Firstly, most of these are huskies, malamutes, inuit dogs etc. and even if they look a bit wolfy, they are dogs. Secondly, deliberately crossing dogs and wolves is not a good idea, and will rarely produce something that is suitable as a pet. Kudos to the people running a sanctuary for existing wolf-dogs to live happily, but please let's not encourage the breeding of more.
I think the largest issue with wolfdogs is that no matter how or what you feed them it will cause complications for the dog. Wolves are used to eating a lot of raw meat maybe once a week or something like that, while the dogs that are used for breeding are used to 2 meals a day. This causes the mixed dog to have a lot of issues with when to eat, how much and what kind of food. Since it's not good for most dogs to eat just raw meat and it's not good for wolves to eat dogfood. So you get a dog that'll get sick (no matter if it's by throwing up or in long term) no matter what it eats. There's also a lot of psychological issues that causes problems, not for the owner but for the dog. Wolfdogs are just as much animal cruelty as pugs
A Czech here. One of our national dog breeds is a wolfdog. A crossbred between carpathian gray wolf and german shepherd. It originated in 1955 and there were breeded dog and captived wolf males and females. Their offsprings were then breeded together. A "father" of the strain was wery experienced ethologist, ethusiast of dogs and training. In fact, this man is stil alive, he is 98yo now. And his wolfdogs are friendly, working dogs, with strong sexual dimorphism and independent (inherited from wolf).
Czech wolfdogs are indeed lovely creatures, but they are much more dog than wolf. It's worth noting their history. As you say they were created in 1955 by breeding dogs and wolves, but they were not intended as pets, they were bred for use by the border patrol. Now Communist border officials were not known for their people skills and I guess the wolf-dogs were intended to match this. But even in that context, the first generation proved too difficult to work with. So they were bred with full dogs, and over several generations of careful breeding both within the wolf-dogs and with fresh dogs, they produced the friendly working dogs that are now recognised as a dog breed.
Yes, because tame isn’t the same as domesticated, even in a hybrid animal. You’re lucky if you get a wolf dog that inherited the tamer, gentler genes, but there’s a risk their offspring may inherit the wilder, more aggressive genes. Better—-and safer, especially when you take the size, and sharpness of teeth, of a wolf dog into consideration—-to stick with domesticated animals for companionship.
You may be right. For good or bad, any dog-wolf mix is illegal to breed as a pet where I live. It’s not really because they can be dangerous, even if there have been some bad incidents, it’s more about the animals own quality of life really. We take the whole “wild animals should to live as such, in nature” thing pretty seriously. The idea is kind of to avoid wolf mixes having to live in apartments in cities because people buy them when they should know better. Very specific needs a wolfdog has, regarding food and need for exercise, stimuli and training, and most people can’t meet them. But not everybody understands that they can’t. Therefore - illegal.
To be able to get a dog to breed with an endangered species is highly suspect. People lie all the time
Reading some of these dogs have more than 80% wolf genes makes me doubt they are dogs. I wish people would stop that kind of cross-breeding, it's nothing but cruel and causes too many problems for the animals. Besides you never know what kind of character the pups will have. Just irresponsible.
#19's first picture sums up the reason people get wolf-dogs. It's an ego boost. Wolf dogs require a lot of work. They will never be true wolves, nor true dogs. A lot of them wind up in shelters and killed because they're not completely like dogs. People think they can "own a wolf" and they wind up realizing they're not like other dogs. It's irresponsible and dumb. I wish people would stop praising this. For those that can truly care for these animals, props to you. Thank you for caring for them properly.