Which Breeds of Dogs Are Closest to the Wolf?

Updated March 23, 2017

Dogs are known as man's best friend and they have been beloved pets of humans throughout history. People enjoy dogs for their loyalty, playfulness and protection. Dogs and wolves share similar genetic make-up, and certain breeds of dogs are considered more closely related to wolves. Several types of dog breeds are genetically similar to wolves.

Geographic Origins

Scientists performed DNA analysis on various domesticated dogs in order to identify the breeds which have the fewest genetic differences to wolves. After much research and analysis, the ancient dog breeds that have been identified by scientists come from various geographic regions. The breeds originate from Siberia, Japan, Africa, Tibet, Alaska and China. Breeds such as the Akita, Chow Chow, Afghan Hound and Siberian Husky have origins in these various geographic areas.

Shar Pei and Chow Chow

Originating from the Guangdong province of southern China, the Shar Pei dog has a very similar genetic composition to wolves. Shar Pei dogs were used to guard families, hunt birds for food and were also exploited by royal families as fighting dogs. Chow chow dogs are also very genetically similar to wolves and have origins in China. They have distinctive blue-black tongues and a very coarse double coat. They are very protective of the home and owner.

Akita and Shiba

Japanese breeds of dog such as the Akita and the Shiba also have very few genetic differences with wolves. Akitas are known for their intelligence, loyalty, large size and protectiveness of their owner. Keep them very busy since they are prone to boredom and can be destructive if they don't have enough activities to do. Shibas are one of the few ancient breeds of dog still in existence. They are small in stature and have various colours. They are also very independent and intelligent dogs

Other Dog Breeds

The Afghan Hound, Pekinese, Shih Tzu, Tibetan Terrier and Siberian Husky all have strikingly similar genetic commonalities with wolves. These breeds of dogs are highly protective and have many of the same personality traits as their ancient wolf ancestors. Consider one of these breeds of dog, if you are looking for a companion that has the most similarities to wolves! They can be amiable pets and additions to your family

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About the Author

Based in Las Vegas, Jody Wilber has been freelance writing since 2004. Her articles have appeared in "Christianity Today," "The Upper Room" and "The Review Journal." She is formally a high-school English and journalism teacher. She graduated from California Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and went on to achieve her Master in Education from Sierra Nevada College.