Top 10 Dogs That Look Like Bears

Dogs That Look Like Bears
Photo by Peg Lemkuil

Dogs are said to be the domesticated descendant of the wolf, but they are some dogs that look like bears, and some look like wolves.

They are many dog breeds in the world today. They vary in size, shape, and color. This variety appeals to a lot of people.

Some people are interested in owning unique-looking pets, especially ones that look like wild animals.

Some look like wolves, e.g., Siberian Huskies, some like a fox, for example, Shiba Inus, and some breeds look like bears.

In this article, we will look at some dog breeds with a striking resemblance to bears. These dogs vary in personality, coloring, markings, and activity levels.

Keep reading as we walk into the canine world in our exploration of dogs that look like bears.

1. Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Named after the Kavkaz (Caucasus) mountains of Eastern Europe, this breed was used as a shepherd to protect livestock from wildlife, hence the moniker Caucasian shepherd.

In recent times, they have been used by the Russian military to guard prisoners. This dog breed is also known as the Ovcharka Dog or Russian Bear.

The Caucasian shepherd has a height of 23 to 30 inches, weighs 99 -170 pounds, and has a lifespan of 10-12 years.

This powerful and imposing breed is also one of the dogs that look like bears. The dog has rounded ears, a large head like a bear, and an enormous size that almost rivals that of a small bear.

Their muscular build and thick luscious coats keep them from freezing to death in their environment.

Their luscious coats can sometimes be long or short and range in color from gray, fawn, and red, with markings that can be piebald, white, or brindle.

They don’t just look massive; they are also alert, fearless, and loyal. They also have a calm temperament, which makes them loving and affectionate toward their families.

Nevertheless, they are, first and foremost, guard dogs. Its reaction should it feel something is trying to harm its family is like a bear’s.

2. Tibetan Mastiff

Also, we have the Tibetan Mastiff on the list of dogs that look like bears. Contrary to its name, Tibetan Mastiffs are not Mastiffs.

They were named this by Europeans who ventured into Tibet, and Mastiff was a title used for most big dogs in the West at that time.

Tibetan mastiffs are ancient gigantic powerful mountain dogs whose traditional purpose was to protect livestock from wolves and bears in the Himalayan Mountains.

They are huge, have a height of 60-85cm, weigh 70-150 pounds, and have a lifespan of 10-12 years. Their bear likeness in size and strength plays a huge role in setting them against these predators.

They are regarded as trendy dogs in Asia and some parts of Europe. In China, they are a trending fashion and status symbol.

A golden-hued Tibetan Mastiff could closely resemble a blonde spirit bear, a type of brown bear known for its lighter-colored coat.

Nevertheless, their coat, which is usually thick, comes in shades of orange, solid black, black and dark brown.

They are Intelligent, proud, reserved, obedient, and cuddly but can be stubborn too. Notwithstanding, they are committed to their loved ones and make wonderful pets.

3. Newfoundland Dog

The Newfoundland breed hails from Newfoundland in Canada. This is also among the dogs that look like bears because of their short snout and face.

Newfoundland dog breed has gorgeous, enormous brown eyes, which gives it an uncanny resemblance to a bear. 

These dog breeds were initially used as a working breeds for fishing boats and docks. They were used for pulling nets for fishermen and hauling wood from the forest, so they are naturally strong and sturdy.

These dogs are also excellent swimmers, like grizzly bears, partly due to their webbed feet. They can be found on rescue teams, ready to leap into the water to save a life or two.

The Newfoundland dog breed is a huge dog. They gain a height of 26- 28 inches and weigh 100 to 150 pounds, with a lifespan of 9-10 years. They can grow larger than the most miniature bear (Malayan sun bears).

Depending on the coat color, one can easily mistake a Newfoundland dog lumbering around the yard for a small brown bear or spectacled bear. They have a flat, long, coarse coat that comes in various colors like gray, brown, black, or white.

Contrary to their giant and robust nature, these dogs can be very gentle in an adorable manner. Little wonder, then, that they are often referred to as gentle giants in the canine world.

They are also often called “nanny dogs” because they watch over and protect children, making them a great addition to the family.

4. Akita Dog

Considered one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, the Akita is said to have originated in Japan over 3000 years ago.

It was used to guard royalty and as a working dog in the mountains. Today, dog has become popular and incorporated into the family as a pet.

When talking about dogs that look like bears, the Akita is one. They have a triangular head incorporating a round face, curled tail, thick hair, and pointed ears that gives them a bear-like resemblance.

Their coat, usually thick and durable, comes in different colors, including black, fawn, and red. Their coat also gives them extra insulation and needs to be well maintained. As puppies, they look so cute and identical to a teddy bear.

This dog breed has a height of 24 to 28 inches, usually weighs from 70 to 130 pounds, and has a life expectancy of 10-13 years.

They are quiet, brave, and loyal. Their quiet nature is why they are often called “silent hunters.” Their loyal attributes make them reserved with strangers.

They can bark and go into protection mode when faced with a stranger, although they have unwavering respect for their loved ones.

5. Eurasier Dog

The Eurasier dog is a member of the Spitz family from Germany. This dog breed has a unique European and Asian heritage, evidenced in its name- Eurasier.

This dog breed has a height of 19 to 24 inches, weighs 40-70 pounds,  and has a lifespan of 12 – 15 years.

Their mixed heritage gives them a   noble appearance, a mix between a cuddly teddy bear and a real-life bear.

This dog breed has a thick medium-long coat that comes in darker to warmer colors, and their coat length varies a bit from dog to dog.

As puppies, the Eurasier is among the dogs that look like bears. As an adult, they are still bear-like but only from the neck up because then.

They have short fur length around the neck, thus shortening the mane out as they develop. Eurasier dog breed is intelligent and has a calm temperament.

They are affectionate but get quite suspicious of strangers. Nevertheless, they make excellent family pets and bond well with family members.

6. Chow Chow Dog

The Chow Chow dog is native to the Siberian region of Asia, near the arid steppes of northern China and Mongolia. In Chinese, they are known as “Tang Quan” or “dog of the Tang Empire.”

The dog has a lifespan of 8 – 12 years. They weigh 45 -70 pounds and have a height of 17-20 inches.

The Chow Chow dogs look like bears in every stage of their life. As puppies, they look like a teddy bears, and the bear-likeness remains even with full-grown adult Chow Chow dogs.

This breed was used as work dogs, where they performed the function of hauling, hunting, and guarding. In Pre 1800s, these dogs were relatively unknown to the Western world until Queen Victoria in the late 1800s introduced this breed.

They have wrinkly round faces, small ears, strong, muscular bodies and legs, and a covering of long thick fur around the head and shoulders.

The presence of this thick fur accounts for why it is known in its native country as the Songshi Quan, which translates as “puffy-lion dog.” Their coats can be rough or smooth in black, blue, cinnamon, cream, or red.

They also have deep-set almond eyes and walk with a stiff-legged gait due to the lack of angulation in the rear legs.

One other unique characteristic of this bear-like dog is the color of its tongue which is blue. Okay, there is a legend here about the blue tongue!

Ancient Chinese legend believes this unique coloring is because Chow Chow dogs were once allowed to lick up all the blue fragments of the sky after it fell when the stars were set into place.

Okay, that is an exciting tale right there, but the fact is that they have a high level of pigment in their tongue.

Despite their cuddly bear-like looks, these dogs can be aloof and reserved. They have an independent spirit and get suspicious of strangers quickly. Nevertheless, they make great pets. They are loyal, playful, peaceful, and calm.

7. Leonberger Dog

Just as the name implies, the Leonberger is native to the city of Leonberg in Germany. The dog was born from cross-breeding Newfoundland, St Bernard, and the Great Pyrenees.

It has the qualities of the breeds from which they were derived. Little wonder then that this is just one of the dogs that look like bears. This dog breed has a height of 25-32 inches, weighs 90-170 pounds, and has a lifespan of 9-12 years.

The Leonberger is an elegant dog that looks muscular and intimidating. Size and strength are on its side, which makes it brilliant at hauling carts and acting as a guard dog.

Their enormous size, thick fur (usually medium-long waterproof coat that tends to be brown), bushy tail, triangular ears, and black face give them a bear-like look.

Perfect for an owner who likes an active lifestyle, the Leonberger will be happy to accompany you hiking, swimming, backpacking, and whatever else you fancy.

Leonbergers are Loyal, mischievous, and affectionate. They are also calm and peaceful, contrasting sharply with their enormous size. They make great pets, too, because of their loving and friendly disposition.

8. Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog

The Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog breed is named after their habitat, the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain.

Shepherds initially used them for herding and protecting their flocks from predators, such as wolves and actual bears.

The Great Pyrenees is among the dogs that look like bears because of their large physique, lush white coat, and a small face with dark eyes and lips.

As a puppy, they look like cute polar bear cubs. Adults retain attributes of polar bears, like their large physique and rich white coat. Their coat is weatherproof and comes in markings of gray, tan, reddish-brown, or badger.

The dog has a height of 25 to 32 inches and weighs 85- 100+ pounds. The dog is not just large but also strong. In fact, it is probably the most powerful of all dog breeds.

Also considered a gentle giant, this dog breed is affectionate, gentle, protective, and safe around kids. They make a perfect companion to a human with an outdoor lifestyle.

9. Maremma Sheepdog

The Maremma Sheepdog is also among the dogs that look like bears. Maremma Sheepdog is also referred to as Maremmano or Abruzzese Sheepdog.

As the name suggests, this dog breed was initially bred in Italy to act as guardians to livestock against wolves. Even today, they are still known to continue their role as guard dogs in the Abruzzo region of Italy.

Like the Great Pyrenees breed, Maremma sheepdogs are also huge, grand, and affectionate, with bear-like heads and black noses.

They are also white, with dense double coats. Their coloring here might not be entirely-bearlike, as they are invariably white (or off-white), but when their fur piles up during the winter months, they can start to look like albino bears.

These dogs are hardworking, brave, and confident. They are great flock guardians, and their loyalty and gentle nature make them good family pets.

10. The Alaskan Malamute Dog

The Alaskan malamute derived its name from the Mahlemiut, Inuit people who resided in Northwestern Alaska. The dog was developed as a sled dog.

They worked in packs to haul heavy loads at low speeds over long distances. This gave them strength and resilience in tandem with their build.

The Alaskan malamute dog also looks like a bear. They are fluffy with a dense, weatherproof coat, have erect ears, huge paws, cuddly cheeks, almond-shaped brown eyes, and a strong bone structure. 

The Alaskan malamute stands 23-25 inches, weighs 75- 85 pounds, and can live for 10-12 years. Their coat, which is a double coat, tends to be darker, with blends of white and black.

It comes in shades of gray and white, sable and white, black and white, seal and white, red and white, or solid white.

Despite its massive, intimidating size and appearance, the Alaskan malamute is affectionate, loyal, and gentle. They are playful, friendly, and great with kids, making them an excellent family addition.

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