Dog Closest to Wolf Genetically – (With Pictures)

Dogs were domesticated around 15,000 years ago, and the dogs are the descendants of gray wolves. There are many dogs closest to wolves genetically, but in appearance, and they don’t resemble a lot to wolves.

The aim of domesticating dogs, descendants of wolves, was to introduce a canine species that could become human companions. 

Dogs and wolves, being more like wolves than others in the Canid family, can interbreed though it’s a rare occurrence. In this blog, let’s discover what dog breeds are purebred and which are closest to wolves genetically.

7 Breeds of the Dog Closest To Wolves Genetically

Siberian Husky

A Siberian husky can easily confuse anyone whether it is a wolf or a dog breed. But the reality is that the Siberian huskies are the oldest dog, not wolves. 

This breed came from Siberia, Russia, and a study claims that this dog breed carries some genetic information of an ancient breed of Siberian wolf.

This dog breed is one of the oldest dog breeds, that were used as sled dogs, and are well adapted to the extremely low temperature of Siberia. 

Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan wolves have wolf-like appearance and are closely related to the gray wolf genetically. It is a heavy-coated Arctic dog breed known for its strength and endurance. 

Originally from Alaska, these breeds, similar to wolves, were used historically as sled dogs for transporting heavy loads over long distances and as hunting dogs.

With  thick double coats and a muscular build, these dogs are well-suited for harsh weather conditions.

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu, a small to medium-sized breed that hails from Japan’s mountains, carries hints of its wolf ancestors.

This dog breed is known for its distinct fox-like appearance, they have a compact, muscular body and a thick double coat that comes in various colors such as red, sesame, black and tan, and cream. 

Shiba Inus are known for being highly energetic, and independent nature. They are intelligent and remain loyal to their owners.


Studies showed that this Japanese dog breed is genetically closest to the ancient wolves, and known for its loyalty.

These dogs are large and sturdy, with a well-built frame and a thick double coat that provides protection to their bodies in cold weather

Akitas are intelligent and independent, making them excellent guard dogs and companions.

Chow Chow 

According to the researchers, this is the first dog breed that came out after the domestication of dogs. 

The Chow Chow is a medium-sized dog with a broad head, straight back, and curled tail. Despite its aloof and independent nature, it is deeply loyal and protective towards its family.

Shih Tzu

This dog breed has a high level of wolf genes and is found in Tibet. Originating from China, these dogs were bred to be companions and were highly favored by Chinese royalty. 

Shih Tzus are characterized by their round, expressive eyes and flat faces. Despite their small size, they have a sturdy build and a confident personality.

They make excellent family pets and are known for their loving and loyal nature.

Tibetan Terrier

The Tibetan Terrier is a small to medium-sized breed of dog known for its unique appearance and delightful personality.

Native to Tibet, this ancient breed was initially bred and raised by Tibetan monks as loyal companions and reliable herders.

This dog breed is known for its long, shaggy double coats, which protect them from harsh weather conditions in the Himalayas.

These dogs are intelligent, affectionate, and playful, making them excellent family pets.


The Pekingese is a small breed known for its distinctive appearance and regal demeanor. Living in China over 2,000 years ago, it was bred to be a companion to Chinese royalty. 

Pekingese dogs have a long, flowing double coat that requires regular grooming. They have a flattened face, prominent eyes, and a mane-like ruff around the neck.

Despite their small size, the Pekingese are known for their courage and loyalty, making them excellent companions.


This dog breed is slightly close to the wolves and is native to Siberia. This breed is known for its stunning white fur and friendly demeanor, the Samoyed is a popular choice for families.

Samoyeds are medium to large-sized dogs that are found in Siberia. This dog breed was historically used by the Samoyede people for blankets and as sledding dogs.

German Shepeherd. 

German shepherds are 99% closest to the ancient wolves, genetically. They have strong and muscular, deep-chested bodies with a thick double coats, much like their wild wolf relatives. 

Their intelligence, loyalty, and protective instincts are also reminiscent of wolves.


Dogs are descendants of ancient wolves. The dog was domesticated around 40,000 to 50,000 years ago.  And this is why the dog is closest to the wolf.

But some studies showed that still they carry the wolf’s genes, and resemble the wolves looking wise. For example, Akita, and huskies easily confuse anyone due to their strong wolfish appearance.

Additionally, German shepherds are 99% close to wolves genetically. However, dogs are great companions of humans and are safe to keep in the household environment than wolves.  Check out the video below to discover more.

Determining the dog breed closest to a wolf requires examining genetic proximity, where breeds like Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, and Shiba Inus stand out. These dogs, descendants of ancient wolves, possess a genetic makeup resembling their wild ancestors.

While Shih Tzus and Chow Chows share some physical traits, breeds such as Afghan Hounds or sled dogs like Siberian Huskies maintain a closer genetic relationship. 

Over thousands of years, the domestication process has resulted in various breeds showcasing similarities in appearance and temperament, illustrating the intricate connection between these loyal companions and their wolf-like origins.

Frequently Asked Question

Which dog breed is closest to the wolf?

In appearance, the Alaskan malamute is closest to the wolves. 

What two breeds make a wolf dog?

A wolf dog is a hybrid of the domestic dog if it mates with a gray wolf (Canis lupus), an eastern wolf (Canis lycaon), a red wolf (Canis rufus), or an Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis).

Are Huskies closer to wolves?

Huskies have a striking resemblance with wolves, but they are not genetically closer the wolves as compared to other dog breeds.

How close is a German Shepherd to a wolf?

The German shepherd is 99% genetically closest to the wolves. 

Which dog breed is farthest from the wolf?

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is farthest from the wolf behaviorally, and characteristically. 

Are Chihuahuas closest to wolves?

Yes, chihuahuas are closest to wolves genetically.

Are German shepherds part wolf?

Yes, they are genetically the closest dog breeds of wolves.

Olivia Kepner