13 Wolfy Dogs That Look Like Huskies (But Aren’t)

October 13, 2022 / Dog Breeds / By: Melanie Evans

An Akita Inu in the Siberian Snow

Many canine breed experts agree that it is likely that most domestic dogs are descended from wolves at some point in their lineage. However, some pups till closely resemble the more ferocious creature, including the familiar husky.

The husky is, according to the American Kennel Club, the 14th most popular breed among US families, and for good reason. With its clear, piercing eyes, thick uniquely marked coat, and usually perhaps unexpectedly friendly temperament if you are willing to put in the work when it comes to their considerable exercise needs, and the expense for their food (they eat a lot) huskies do make great family fur kids. 

If it is their wolf like appearance that appeals to you, then a husky is not your only choice. There are a number of other wolfy husky type dogs that you can consider. Here is a closer look at thirteen of them. 

13 Dog Breeds That Look Like Huskies

1. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute dog in the snow like huskies

If you think some huskies are big dogs, wait until you see the Alaskan Malamute. Back home in the cold wilds of Alaska these dogs pull the heaviest of sleds, as their size and strength makes them suited to very hard, very cold work.

As a house pet a malamute can become an excellent family dog, and a wonderful guard dog. Or they can become a destructive whirlwind of energy. The key is in the way they are trained. Malamutes are pack animals, just like wolves. If their pet parents can establish themselves as 'pack leader' early on things will go well.

In terms of appearance the Alaskan Malamute is tall - 26 inches on average - and heavy - 65-100lbs - and their coat is thick and coarse. They do not have a 'mask' that is as prominent as a husky's, but their resemblance to huskies, and wolves, in many other ways is undeniable. 

2. Samoyed

A white Samoyed dog in the park during autumn.

A Samoyed is a ball of fluff - a larger ball of fluff - that is a breed that many people are familiar with, in terms of looks at least. Usually, ice white in color their coats are luxurious and silky, and they have sharp facial features that are very expressive. In terms of size the average Samoyed is not a small pup - on average between 19 and 21 inches tall and weighing around 45-60 pounds.

Unlike many other breeds who look like huskies the Samoyed - who can trace his lineage back to Siberia and has a distinctive, chirpy bark- does not require a lot of walking or exercise. A once daily walk is usually enough to satisfy them, and they are otherwise quite happy to hang out at home with their families. If you want a larger 'wolf dog' in the city the Samoyed is an excellent choice. 

3. Akita Inu

A cute Akita Inu puppy playing in the grass

The Akita Inu, more often referred to simply as an Akita, is a Japanese 'cousin' of sorts to the husky, but one that is heavier, and fluffier, and not as energetic. Bred as hunting dogs in ancient times the majestic Akita Inu had all but died out by the 1930s, but a concerted effort repopulated the line in their native Japan, and they are becoming increasingly popular in the West as well.

An Akita often surprises its pet parents with its intelligence and cunning and needs frequent mental stimulation to be happy (and not destructive) Their cute exterior is a good representation of their mellow personality though, and they can, when properly trained, make excellent family dogs.

4. American Eskimo

American Eskimo white dog in the snow

The American Eskimo resembles a husky but is more like a Samoyed. Interestingly they are bred in two sizes, toy and standard, just like a poodle, a pup they also resemble to a certain extent.

A toy example of the breed stands just 9-12 inches in height and weighs around 6-10 pounds. Their larger standard cousins can reach up to 20 inches in height and weigh around 25-40 pounds.

No matter how large or small they are American Eskimo dogs are known for their friendly nature, their thick fluffy coat, and their fondness for human company. Although they do need a good daily walk the American Eskimo is also quite happy to curl up by the fire for the day. The one thing an American Eskimo craves however is a lot of attention, so these are not pups who will do well being left alone a lot. 

5. Keeshond

The fluffy, goth looking black, white, and gray Keeshond is a very distinctive 'take' on a husky, but unlike the emo they look like this is a pup that does not like to be alone at all, and they thrive best as a member of a lively family in which someone is almost always home. They are active pups though and will need plenty of walks and playtime to keep them happy too.

Their slightly squared faces - with the unique spectacle markings that look for all the world like designer glasses - and halo like ruffs may make a Keeshond look like they are rather delicate, but that is not really the case. The breed was originally created in Holland to work on the barge network, and over time has become something of a symbol of the nation's industriousness in general and is known there as the 'nation's dog'. 

6. Finnish Spitz

A cute Spitz Finlandais

The Finnish Spitz closely resembles a husky, but it also has a very foxlike look, especially in terms of its red and blonde coloring. Highly intelligent, and very open to obedience training, these pups once hunted the woods across the Netherlands, but have open, friendly natures that make them a great choice as a family pet.

The one thing a Finnish Spitz is very talkative, as is the case for many huskies. They seem to always have a tale to tell, and while you might not always quite understand what they are 'saying' they are certainly very entertaining to listen to! 

7. Swedish Vallhund

A cute mini dog that looks like a Husky

Looking for small dogs like huskies? Although they are actually no relation to either breed a Swedish Vallhund looks a lot like what might be the result of crossing husky with a corgi! They have the same sturdy body and little, short legs as a corgi, but the facial features and regal bearing of the much larger dog.

In terms of temperament a Swedish Vallhund was bred as a herding dog, and that behavior can result in in 'herding' anyone in its family - including kids, cats, and other dogs. Although this mini husky type dog can be bossy at times the Vallhund is also very loving and protective as well as whip smart. 

8. Icelandic Sheepdog

A cute Icelandic Sheepdog that looks like a husky

The Icelandic Sheepdog or Berger Islandais is a relative of the Finnish Spitz, but in addition to their fox like features they share many visual traits with huskies and with other herding dogs like border collies.

Like many herding dogs they are very intelligent and can be trained to do all kinds of things. An Icelandic Sheepdog is also a very active pup and will benefit from being a part of a family that likes to be outdoors and take lots of walks. 

9. Alaskan Klee Kai

The diminutive Alaskan Klee Kai looks a lot like a husky that was shrunk down to a smaller size in magic academy experiment, and while that is not the case they are indeed descended from both Siberian and Alaskan Huskies.

In fact, the Alaskan Klee Kai is the result of a breeder's desire to create an Alaskan husky dog that was a little smaller - most average 12-17 inches in height and weigh around 10 to 15 pounds - and a calmer, home focused pup.

While Klee Kais love their family and are very protective of them, they do tend to shy away from strangers - both human and canine - and may take a little more time to socialize than other breeds. 

10. Saarloos Wolfdog

Resembling a wolf - Saarloos wolfdog young female laying outdoors.

It is fair to say that the Saarloos Wolfdog lives up to its name in that of all the husky like breeds it is one of those that most closely resembles its wolf ancestors, with its gray and black coloring, shorter coat, and thinner face.

It is not as wild and fierce as a wolf though and fits in well in a family environment, as it is both loyal and playful. A Saarloos Wolfdog still loves to be outside though and will benefit from longer walks and even time spent out hiking with his family. The one thing they can be however is quite stubborn, so they benefit from formal training to help them understand that behaving is the right thing to do. 

11. Tamaskan

A beautiful wolf like dog - a grey Tamaskan dog in the snow pulling a sleigh

The Tamaskan is a large husky like breed that resembles both a husky and an Alaskan malamute. A relatively 'new breed' - they were not recognized by the American Kennel Club until 2013 - the Tamaskan is a lively pup who has a habit of being both very talkative and more than a little mischievous.

The Tamaskan can make a good family pet as long as, like the Malamute, they are properly trained. This smart dog also benefits from a lot of mental stimulation and frequent exercise, as without it, they may become destructive out of sheer boredom. 

12. Utonagan

The Utonagan is another relatively new breed of pup that combines the looks, smarts, and many of the behavioral traits of Siberian huskies, malamutes, and German Shepherd.

Usually large - more Malamute sized than husky sized, reaching up to 28 inches in height and 100 pounds in weight - the Utonagan makes an excellent family dog, provided he gets exercise and attention. They love to be outside and run but are smart enough that they can be easily trained to stick with their human 'pack' when out on an adventure. 

13. Labrador Husky

Mixed-breed between Siberian Husky and Labrador Retriever

While their name suggests they might be a direct cross of two of the country's most popular dog breeds - the husky and the perennially popular Labrador, the fact is the name comes from the fact that they look like they might be, but in fact are not.

This large breed dog has Canadian roots and has been a common choice as a working dog there for many years. They are only just gaining popularity in the United States, but given that they are smart, loving and easily trained big dogs - who are also very beautiful - that popularity is likely to grow! 


Melanie Evans

Melanie Evans is a professional freelance writer based in Scranton, PA, who, enjoys sharing her lifelong knowledge about dogs. When not working, Melanie enjoys playing a wide variety of sports, traveling and hanging out with her energetic boxer dog Bruce.

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