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There are so many canine breeds that sometimes it is easy to draw similarities to other breeds, both dogs and other species of animals. For example, there are some breeds of dogs that suspiciously resemble lions, for their fur, for their morphology…, but, ¿why this resemblance? ¿Is that perhaps there are races that come from lions? ¿Or is it just a coincidence that they look so much like these wild cats? The answer is that no, in fact, a lion is genetically closer to a cat than to a dog. Therefore, any resemblance between them is not due to a kinship relationship, but to other factors. The same happens with breeds that resemble a bear, whose resemblance is due to purely physical characteristics.
The dog breeds that are often compared to a lion share a number of characteristics. One of the most decisive is their fur, since in practically all of them there is a long fur around the head, like the mane of a lion. Regarding size, there are different sizes depending on the breed, although logically the larger the dog, the more similarity can be drawn with respect to a lion.. ¿You want to know more? Keep reading and discover in AnimalWised at dog breeds that look like lions.You may also be interested in: 20 dogs that look like bears Index
- Tibetan mastiff
- Chow chow
- Löwchen or little lion dog
- Shih Tzu
- Yorkshire terrier
- Caucasian Shepherd
1. Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan Mastiff or Tibetan Mastiff  is one of the most popular dogs for its incredible appearance. Depending on the length of its hair, it resembles a bear to a lion, although it is more common to find it with a abundant mane that surrounds the entire head, just like the king of the jungle. Precisely because of their popularity, in China the price of these dogs has risen to 2 million euros, something totally exorbitant. At AnimalWised we always encourage adoption, which is why we strongly discourage favoring the buying and selling of animals. It is important to remember that they are not a toy, you have to be responsible and adopt them thinking that we will be able to cover all your needs, not only in their beauty..
That said, and outside of fashions, the Tibetan Mastiff is much more than a popular breed, it is a dog with a long history that has been serving as a shepherd dog for the nomadic populations of the Himalayas for centuries. It gets its name from its exemplary role as guard dog in Tibetan monasteries. The race is so old that it is already mentioned by the great philosopher Aristotle in 384 BC..
The Tibetan Mastiff is a very large dog, being considered a giant breed and can reach about 90 kilograms of weight in the first year of age. This, added to their abundant mane, especially long on the head, makes them really look like domestic lions, as one of the most typical colors is camel or beige, very similar to that of lions..
2. Chow chow
At first glance, the resemblance that a chow chow has to a lion is appreciable. It is a stout dog, with a bulky and wide body, with a coat so similar to that of a wild lion that it can even make us doubt whether they are related. But no, as we have already indicated, there is no parental relationship between the dog and the lion..
In addition to the coat, the chow chow has other characteristics that could resemble those of a lion, such as its small rounded ears and its short, flat snout. Another of the curiosities of this breed, and that has nothing to do with its resemblance to the lion, is its incredible blue colored tongue.
Another dog that looks like a lion is the keeshond, ¡and it is not even less !, since it is fruit of crosses between the chow chow, the elkhound and the samoyed. Therefore, the result is a dog that looks like a silver chow chow with somewhat more pointed ears. It is a medium-sized dog with a long and dense coat, which stands out for having it even longer in the face area, this being the main reason why it resembles the lion.
The breed, from Holland and whose origin dates back to the 18th century, has been a companion dog since its inception, being popularly known as "the people's dog ". It stands out for having a cheerful and always alert character.
4. Löwchen or little lion dog
This is a canine breed that suffers a serious decline, for this reason there are fewer and fewer specimens that can be found. However, it is believed that their origins are ancient, since paintings from the 16th century have been found in which very similar dogs appear, although it is not clear if they are of the löwchen breed or if they are of another similar breed with a characteristic cut of hair to be like a little lion, the official nickname of the breed.
Although its place of origin is unknown, currently where this dog is most appreciated is in Europe, specifically in Belgium, France, Germany and Austria, where they have been bred since the 19th century. The breed has been recognized by practically all official bodies, including the International Cynological Federation (FCI) .
Of course, the little lion dog could not be missing from this list for obvious reasons: the haircut that characterizes the breed so much. Although we can see it with the entire long cloak, the most common is to find it with the lion cut, which consists of shortening the entire body's mantle except that of the head, the tip of the tail and the feet. So if you are looking for dogs that look like little lions, ¡here you have one!
Although the Pomeranian is very small, especially compared to a lion, there are similar traits between them. For example, in Pomeranians, a longer coat of hair also appears in the area of the face, which surrounds it, giving it the image of a miniature lion and being the smallest breed that we have mentioned in this article. Therefore, here we have another of the dogs that look like small lions.
However, there are differences between them that betray the Pomeranians, as there are no lions with pointed ears and snouts, distinctive features of the Pomeranian breed. These restless puppies may look like a lion, but their nervous and playful nature sets them apart from these wild cats..
6. Shih tzu
¿Did you know that "shih tzu " translates to "lion dog " in Chinese? In fact, it is also known by the name of "little oriental lion " due to its physical characteristics, which can be related to those of a lion but in a very small size..
The shih tzu is a canine breed native to the Tibet region, where it worked as a guardian dog for houses and families, who cared for it with care and dedication. The fact that it looks like a lion is not a mere coincidence, since this feature was enhanced with well-controlled crosses, since if they looked like small lions they could guard the places with the fierceness and fortune that guardian lions bring in Chinese culture..
The Leonberger comes from the German country, being originally from the homonymous German city of Leonberg. It is a mollusk breed that arises from crosses between dogs of the San Bernardo breed or the dog of the Pyrenees mountains. For this reason, it is a large dog, with a long brown coat, which makes it another of the dogs that look like lions. In fact, the most frequent color of its fur is the so-called fawn.
Not only in appearance it resembles lions, because despite its enormous size, it is very agile. He moves with ease at high speed, which is surprising in such a huge dog.
8. Yorkshire terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier can also look like a little miniature lion, especially when a characteristic peeling is performed in which the hair is trimmed from the body, but not from the head, leaving it much longer and more prominent.
Its temperament is also leonine, as it is a small dog with a fairly strong character. So much so, that it tends to be a dominant dog when it meets other dogs, as well as possessive and territorial, something very typical in lions. Therefore, if you are looking for dogs that look like small lions both for their physique and their character, the Yorkshire is one of them..
9. Caucasian Shepherd
When viewing a specimen of the Caucasian Shepherd, either in person or in photos or videos, it is easy to find the similarities to lions. They are giant breed dogs, with an imposing size, reaching almost 80 centimeters high. Of course, although their robust appearance, their fur and their size may resemble that of a wild beast such as a lion, in character they do not resemble at all. This is because the Caucasian Shepherd is considered one of the calmest, kindest, and most loving dog breeds out there. Of course, they share with the lions their courage and bravery, facing everything without fearing practically anything.
Sharing a family with the Spitz, like the aforementioned Pomeranian, the Eurasier can also look like a lion. This is due to its fur, quite dense and especially long and bushy around its head, with a tail also covered with long fur and very expressive brown eyes.
The eurasier is a dog that is born from the cross between the chow chow and the wolfpitz, which is why it has similarities with both dogs. Thus, this dog that looks like a lion stands out not only for its beauty, but also for its balanced, affectionate and sociable character..