8 Canine Breeds Closest To Wolves Genetically

Canine come in numerous colours and breeds. And typically, it’s straightforward to overlook that irrespective of their form and dimension, they’re all descendants of wolves.

And despite the fact that canines have been domesticated from over 15,000 years in the past, do you know that there are nonetheless trendy canine breeds closest to wolves genetically?

On this article, we’ll listing down a number of the canine breeds which might be genetically closest to their ancestors. Some you would possibly now, however some would possibly actually shock you!

The Domestication of Wolves

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Whereas canine breeds just like the Pug or Shih Tzu don’t look the half, their lineages present that every one canines are descendants of an extinct and prehistoric wolf species.

Though the when and the place these prehistoric wolves had been domesticated remains to be a thriller, a research means that our canines at present had been domesticated wolves from over 15,000 years in the past from two populations – one in Asia and one in Europe.

And whereas wolves remained wild and steered away from people, canines have reworked and have become man’s greatest good friend.

Not solely this, however canines additionally differ from wolves in kind and construct, with canines being smaller, stockier, having shorter muzzles and smaller tooth.

Nevertheless, irrespective of how completely different they’re in look and habits, a research by Robert Okay. Wayne recommend that the 2 species share 99.8% of the identical DNA.

8 Canine Breeds Closest To Wolves Genetically

Whereas any wolf-life bodily attribute is lengthy gone in some breeds, their genetic make-up stays much like that of a wolf. With out additional ado, listed below are eight canine breeds closest to wolves genetically.

1. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu Is One Of The Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves Genetically
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Despite the fact that they’re small and look nothing like wolves, the Shih Tzu is without doubt one of the canine breeds closest to wolves genetically. As a matter of reality, Shih Tzus share extra DNA with wolves than most different breed, apart from Huskies and Malamutes.

The breed’s identify means “Little Lion” in Chinese language and they’re recognized for his or her cute faces, giant and spherical eyes and floppy ears. Moreover, Shih Tzus had been well-loved and revered by Chinese language royalty and had been bred to spend their days inside royal palaces.

2. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute In The Snow
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You simply have to take one take a look at an Alaskan Malamute to know that they’re one of many canine breeds closest to wolves – genetically and bodily.

Because of the in depth crossover of the Alaskan Malamute‘s genetic make-up with wolves, it’s no surprise that the 2 look a lot alike.

Thankfully, the breed isn’t unfriendly like its ancestors. As a matter of reality, Malamutes are social and pleasant, which makes them fashionable household companions.

Moreover, the Alaskan Malamute originated from Siberia. They’re immensely robust canines that had been bred to drag heavy sleds and hunt Arctic mammals.

3. Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky Dog Breed Closest To Wolves
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One other sledding canine from Siberia that’s carefully associated to wolves is the Siberian Husky. Amongst all of the canine breeds closest to wolves, this breed can also be the one that’s all the time confused with Siberian wolves.

And the putting resemblance with wolves is as a result of a part of their lineage could be traced again to the Taimyr wolves, which additionally lived in Siberia.

The Siberian Husky, regardless of not being as large because the Malamute, has nice endurance and was bred to drag sleds.

As well as, they’re a captivating canine breed as a result of other than their bodily look, additionally they howl and work in packs, identical to their ancestors. Nevertheless, not like wolves, they’re very pleasant and delicate in direction of people, and are due to this fact not excellent guard canines.

4. Shiba Inu

Beautiul Shiba Inu Dog Standing In The Forest
Anastasiia Cherniavskaia / Shutterstock.com

The Japanese breed, Shiba Inu, can also be among the many canine breeds carefully associated to their wolf ancestors.

Based on researchers at Japan’s Graduate College for Superior Research, the Shiba Inu shares as a lot as 5.5% DNA with Japanese wolves.

And whereas they don’t fairly resemble their ancestors due to their resemblance to foxes, they’re really one of many canine breeds closest to wolves genetically.

This good-natured and affectionate breed which was as soon as used as a searching canine, is now the preferred household companion in Japan.

5. Pekingese

Pekingese On A Green Grass
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The Pekingese is one other lap canine, just like the Shih Tzu, that appears nothing like a wolf however is without doubt one of the canine breeds closest to wolves, genetically. Whereas their bodily attributes say in any other case, their genetic make-up hasn’t drastically deviated from their ancestors.

Moreover, the ruling courses of historic China favored and beloved the breed as a companion canine. And the identify “Pekingese” really refers back to the metropolis of Peking (which is the alternate romanization of “Beijing”).

6. Saluki

Three Saluki Dogs Sitting In The Forest
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Whereas they’re giant, the Saluki is a slender and fewer slimmer canine breed that appears nothing like a wolf. Nevertheless, they’re one of many canine breeds closest to wolves relating to their genetic make-up.

The breed originated from the Center East. And they’re swift and agile, making them superb searching canines.

Moreover, they’re among the many oldest canine breeds in existence and infrequently appeared in medieval and historic artwork. And they’re recognized to nonetheless have a really shut relation to their ancestor’s DNA.

7. Afghan Hound

Beautiful Fully Coated Afghan Hound Standing On A Blue Lake Background
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The attention-catching and regal Afghan Hound, which is a relative of the Saluki, is one other hound that has shut genetic relations to wolves.

So, whereas Afghan Hounds don’t resemble wolves and don’t behave like one, the breed’s lineage traces again to the wolf, with little or no genetic divergence, identical to the Pekingese. And this makes the Afghan Hound one of many canine breeds closest to wolves genetically.

8. Chow Chow

Two Chow Chow Dogs At The Park
Natalia Fesiun / Shutterstock.com

The Chow Chow is an historic canine breed originating from China. They’re believed to be a “basal breed”, that are canine breeds that had an enormous affect within the evolution and improvement of contemporary canines.

And due to this, the breed is among the many Asian canine breeds closest to wolves genetically.

Moreover, Chow chows even have a temperament that’s carefully associated to wolves. They’re aloof, could be extraordinarily protecting of their household and are assertive.


All canine breeds, as we all know them, are domesticated wolves. And it’s fascinating to see the variations and similarities of contemporary canine breeds with their ancestors over time.

However one factor’s for certain, we’re glad that the domestication of wolves gave us furry buddies to share our properties and lives with!

Did your furry good friend make our listing of canine breeds which might be genetically near wolves? Tell us under.

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