Face of wolf with gleaming eyes.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Have you ever wondered which dog breeds are most closely related to wolves? Well, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll explore 10 fascinating breeds with a wild side. It’s no surprise that many of these are also on our list of low-maintenance breeds. So, buckle up for an exciting journey through the world of dogs that share a deep connection with their ancient ancestors – the wolves. Let’s dive in!

Afghan Hound

Afghan hound.

You might be surprised to learn that this elegant, long-haired breed has strong ties to wolves. In fact, Afghan Hounds are one of the most ancient dog breeds, dating back thousands of years. They were originally bred for hunting in the harsh terrain of Afghanistan. With their lean bodies and speed, the Afghan Hound’s unique appearance and incredible agility are a true testament to its wolfish ancestry.

Akita

Akita dog.

This large, powerful breed hails from Japan and has a rich history as a hunting dog. Akitas have a strong resemblance to their wolf ancestors, especially in their facial structure and muscular build. These loyal, intelligent dogs have a dignified air about them, and their thick double coat helps them withstand cold temperatures. Just like wolves, Akitas are known to be fiercely protective of their families – a trait that’s been passed down through generations.

Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute dog.

This striking breed is often mistaken for a Siberian Husky, but they’re actually quite different. Alaskan Malamutes are larger and more heavily built, with a strong connection to their wolf ancestors. These dogs were initially bred by the indigenous Mahlemut people of Alaska for pulling heavy sleds over long distances. Their incredible strength, endurance, and love for cold weather make them well-suited for such tasks. Malamutes have retained their wolf-like qualities, making them a great choice for those seeking a breed with wild roots.

Chow Chow

Chow Chow dog.

Chow Chows are one of the oldest dog breeds, originating from northern China. They have a history as hunting and guard dogs, and their thick double coat is perfect for withstanding harsh climates. Their distinct blue-black tongue is a unique feature that sets them apart from other breeds. With their strong build and protective nature, Chow Chows share a close connection to their wolf ancestors.

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso dog.

This small, long-haired breed hails from Tibet and was once used as a watchdog in monasteries. Despite their size, Lhasa Apsos have a surprising connection to wolves. Genetically, they are among the most ancient dog breeds, with a lineage that can be traced back thousands of years. Their keen sense of hearing and alertness make them excellent watchdogs, proving that sometimes, great things come in small packages!

Pekingese

Pekingese dog.

These tiny, regal dogs were once the prized companions of Chinese royalty. Despite their small stature, Pekingese share a surprising genetic link to wolves. They’re also known for their loyalty, courage, and independent nature – qualities they share with their wild ancestors. Who would have thought that these little dogs have such a fierce connection to the mighty wolf?

Saluki

The Saluki is one of the oldest known dog breeds. These elegant, long-legged dogs hail from the Middle East and were prized by ancient civilizations for their hunting prowess. Salukis are known for their incredible speed and endurance, making them excellent hunters in desert environments. With their deep-set eyes, slender bodies, and graceful gait, they’re a sight to behold. The Saluki’s ancient lineage and exceptional hunting abilities speak volumes about its connection to the wolf.

Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu dog standing in a tree.

The Shiba Inu is another breed with roots in Japan. These compact, agile dogs were originally bred for hunting small game in the rugged Japanese mountains. Shiba Inus have a strong resemblance to their wolf ancestors, particularly in their facial features and confident demeanor. Their spirited nature and intelligence make them both charming and challenging companions. Shiba Inus are living proof that a wild spirit can be found in the most unassuming packages.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu dog.

These small, fluffy dogs were once treasured by Chinese royalty, and their history can be traced back over 1,000 years. While they may not look like their wolf ancestors, recent genetic studies have revealed a closer connection than one might expect. Shih Tzus may be tiny, but they’ve got a big heart and a lineage that connects them to the mighty wolf.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky dog.

These stunning dogs are perhaps the most well-known breed with a wolfish appearance. Siberian Huskies were initially bred by the Chukchi people of Siberia for sledding and companionship. They’re known for their striking blue eyes, thick double coats, and incredible endurance. Their wolf-like features, boundless energy, and love for cold climates make them a top choice for those seeking a breed with a strong connection to the wild.

And there you have it! These ten fascinating dog breeds are living reminders of our beloved canine companions’ wild roots. From the elegant Afghan Hound to the striking Siberian Husky, each breed carries unique qualities that connect them to their wolf ancestors. So, the next time you’re out and about with your four-legged friend, take a moment to appreciate their wild heritage.

Written by Tom Cashman

I have grown up with pets for almost fifty years. My family has strong ties to the animal shelter community in Chicago. Currently I have two cats: an orange tabby named Zelda, and a gray mixed named Zander. Like all of my pets, they were adopted from a local animal shelter. Pet Zone represents my passion for sharing with the pet community.

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