Several dog breeds have a striking resemblance to small bears. This includes the Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Caucasian Shepherd, Chow Chow, Eurasier, Great Pyrenees, Keeshond, Leonberger, Newfoundland, Pomeranian, Samoyed, and the Tibetan Mastiff. Some look like bear cubs as puppies, and others retain the bear-like look into adulthood.
Although dogs and bears are not directly related, anyone observing them casually will likely notice a bear-like appearance with some breeds.
Specifically, there is a similarity in the mouth and jaws and even the structure of the body.
Dog Breeds that Look Like Bears
Akita Dog History
The Akita Inu Dog originated in Northern Japan at the beginning of the 17th century.
Their story begins with a breeding competition whose goal was to breed a specific type of hunting dog. The Akita was the result.
At one point in time, only the Emperor’s family and court nobles could own these dogs. They are known for being very loyal and make great watchdogs.
Throughout its history, there were several times when the entire breed came close to extinction.
After World War II American soldiers brought Akita dogs back to the United States. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the Akita dog breed in 1972.
Akita Dog Temperament
Moderately active, energetic, loving, and loyal to family but suspicious of people it does not know.
They thrive on human interaction and are known to be profoundly loyal, courageous, and dignified.
Akita Dog Size
Height between 24 and 28 inches
Weight between 70 to 130 pounds
Akita Dog Colors
They can have a large variety of markings with masks in many different colors.
- Red Fawn
- White (pure)
Is an Akita Dog Hypoallergenic?
No, the Akita is not hypoallergenic.
Akita Dog Lifespan
On average an Akita dog will live between 10 and 13 years.
Akita Dog Price
Expect to pay $1000 or more for an Akita purebred puppy.
Alaskan Malamute Dog
Alaskan Malamute Dog History
The Alaskan Malamute is believed to trace its ancestry back to wolf-dogs domesticated by Paleolithic hunters who first migrated into Alaska and North America approximately 4000 years ago.
The name of the breed is derived from the Inuit tribe called the Mahlemiut who lived in northwestern Alaska at the Kotzebue Sound.
The Alaskan Malamute was bred to pull heavy loads at great distances, but at low speeds.
Alaskan Malamute Dog Temperament
Playful, affectionate, devoted, loyal, and sometimes strong-willed.
Alaskan Malamute Dog Size
Large (Height: 23” at shoulder (f), 25” at shoulder (m), Weight: 75 lbs (f), 85 lbs. (m))
Alaskan Malamute Dog Colors
- Black & White
- Gray & White
- Sable & White
- Seal & White
- Red & White
- Various shades
Is an Alaskan Malamute Dog Hypoallergenic?
Alaskan Malamute Dog Lifespan
10 to 14 years.
Alaskan Malamute Dog Price
$975 average (puppy)
Bouvier des Flandres Dog
Bouvier des Flandres Dog History
This dog (that some say looks like a black bear) was bred to be a working farm dog. This includes herding animals, being a guard dog, and many other farm activities.
Originating in the ‘Flanders’ region of Belgium, the Bouvier des Flanders was used as a service dog in World War I.
They are friendly dogs with curly coats and sometimes they are confused with wild animals because of their look. It is unusual to see a Bouvier des Flanders as a family pet in the United States.
Bouvier des Flandres Dog colors
- Black & Brown
- Salt & Pepper shades
These are large dogs!
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Caucasian Shepherd Dog History
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog has a long history during which it “…was introduced to the bloodlines of many of today’s world breeds…” (American Kennel Club).
For example, the Mastiffs from Asia and Balkan sheepdogs are two such breeds that resulted from other breeds being blended with this animal.
Throughout much of their history, Caucasian Shepherds have been used as guard dogs and for protection from predators for flocks, herds, and human dwellings.
References to this dog, or at least a dog from which this animal is derived, date back as far as the 1st century B.C. to the army of the Armenian Tsar Tigran II.
Caucasian Shepherd Dog Temperament
Devoted, kind, and endearing to family, but fearless, fierce, and bold to threats.
Caucasian Shepherd Dog Size
Large (23” – 30”, 99 lbs. – 170 lbs.)
Caucasian Shepherd Dog Colors
Is a Caucasian Shepherd Dog Hypoallergenic?
Caucasian Shepherd Dog Lifespan
10 – 12 years
Caucasian Shepherd Dog Price:
$1500 – $2000 average (puppy)
Chow Chow Dog
Chow Chow Dog History
Possibly the oldest breed in the world, depictions of the Chow Chow Dog have been found on artifacts from China dating as far back as 206 B.C (the Han Dynasty).
Some say the Chow Chow looks like a Grizzly Bear. Early on, they mostly served as companions to the various nobles of China. They have also served in a variety of roles like hunting, hauling, and guarding.
There is also a possibility that their ancestors served as food for the Northern Chinese.
Although they were in exhibits at the London Zoon in the 1820’s they didn’t really become popular until Queen Victoria acquired one. They were not shown in the Americas until sometime in the 1890s.
Chow Chow Dog Temperament
Noble, Serious, Intelligent, and sometimes stubborn.
Chow Chow Dog Size
Medium (Height: 18” – 20” (f), 19” – 22” (m), Weight: 44 – 55 lbs. (f), 57 – 70 lbs. (m))
Chow Chow Dog Colors
Is a Chow Chow Dog Hypoallergenic?
Chow Chow Dog Lifespan
Eight to 12 years.
Chow Chow Dog Price
$2250 average (puppy)
Eurasier Dog History
A recent addition to the list of dog breeds, the Eurasier is the result of a careful breeding process performed by Julius Wipfel.
Wipfel, a resident of Germany at the time, wanted a dog to succeed his black, Spitz-type animal.
This led him to breed the first litter of puppies called “Wolf-Chows” by crossing a Wolfspitz and a Chow Chow.
In 1972, he crossed in a Samoyed to add its friendly nature. The result was the Eurasier Dog, so-named because of its Asian and European background.
Eurasier Dog Temperament
Calm, even-tempered, confident, gentle, intelligent, and well-oriented towards family life.
Eurasier Dog Size
Medium (Height: 19”- 24”, Weight: 40 – 70 lbs.)
Eurasier Dog Colors
Is a Eurasier Dog Hypoallergenic?
Eurasier Dog Lifespan
12 to 16 years.
Eurasier Dog Price
$2000 – $2500 average (puppy)
Great Pyrenees Dog
Great Pyrenees Dog History
An ancient breed, Great Pyrenees dog fossils have been found that date as far back as the Bronze Age ( 1800 – 1000 B.C.).
They were bred to serve as herding dogs for peasant shepherds in the Pyrenees Mountains, which separates Spain from France.
They were tasked with watching flocks of sheep and protecting them from predators such as wolves, bears, and rustlers.
Great Pyrenees mountain dogs were known for showing legendary courage and for possessing great patience.
The Great Pyrenees joined the court of King Louis XIV as the Royal Dog of France in the 17th Century. That post involved guarding the king’s chateaux.
Great Pyrenees Dog Temperament
Intelligent, mellow, and patient.
Great Pyrenees Dog Size
These Gentle Giants are big dogs! (Height: 25” – 29” (f), 27” – 32 “ (m), Weight: 85 – 120 lbs., 100 – 130 lbs.)
Great Pyrenees Dog Colors
Is a Great Pyrenees Dog Hypoallergenic?
Great Pyrenees Dog Lifespan
10 to 12 years.
Great Pyrenees Dog Price
$550 average (puppy)
Keeshond Dog History:
The Keeshond Dog (plural: Keeshonden) has its origin as a companion animal and guard dog that served on Dutch vessels.
These boats navigated the man-made waterways that existed in what is called the Low Countries of northwestern Europe (Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium).
Referred to as “the people’s dog,” the Keeshond became the symbol of the Dutch Patriots Party in the 18th century when it stood in opposition to the House of Orange, a royal establishment.
There is some confusion about the origin of the name of the Keeshond.
For example, according to Purina, “It is said that the breed was named for the Dutch Patriots Party leader Kees de Gyselaer, who owned a dog named Kees” (Purina).
The American Kennel Club isn’t quite as sure. According to them, it could refer to the name of a patriotic mascot animal or the nicknames of two different leaders (all of whom were named/nicknamed “Kees”).
Keeshond Dog Temperament
Lively, outgoing, and friendly.
Keeshond Dog Size
Medium (Height: 17” (f), 18” (m), Weight: 35 lbs., (f), 40 lbs. (m))
Keeshond Dog Colors
Black, gray, and cream mixed together.
Is a Keeshond Dog Hypoallergenic?
Keeshond Dog Lifespan
12 – 15 years.
Keeshond Dog Price
$1500 average (puppy)
Leonberger Dog History
The Leonberger Dog originates from the breeding work of a 19-century politician and entrepreneur located in Leonberg, Germany named Heinrich Essig.
Essig used Newfoundlands and Saint Bernards, and other large breeds, in his breeding effort. He wanted to produce a dog fit for European royalty.
It was a smashing success and he found numerous noble clients including Tsar Alexander II, Napoleon III, and the Prince of Wales.
There were also non-noble people of remarkable accomplishment that have own this dog such as Richard Wagner, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Giuseppe Garibaldi.
They have been employed at the “common” level on farms, waterfronts, and pastures, and other mundane areas to this day.
Leonberger Dog Temperament
Calm, playful, friendly, and stable.
Leonberger Dog Size
Large/Giant (Height: 25 ½” – 29 ½” (f), 28” – 31 ½” (m), Weight: 90 – 140 lbs., 110 – 170 lbs.)
Leonberger Dog Colors
- Black Mask
Is a Leonberger Dog Hypoallergenic?
Leonberger Dog Lifespan
Eight to ten years.
Leonberger Dog Price
$2400 average (puppy)
Maremma Sheepdog History
Originating in Italy, the Maremma Sheepdog gets its name from being livestock guardians. This is a large size working dog and was often utilized to protect humans as well.
It was first brought to the United States in the 1970s. People notice that the Maremma’s head resembles a bear. This is a giant dog breed much like the Great Pyrenees dog.
Maremma Sheepdog Colors
- Slight shades of ivory, lemon, and orange
Newfoundland Dog History
The Newfoundlands are excellent working dogs that long-served on ships for Canadian fishermen and who are specialized in water rescues.
They are strong enough to save a full-grown man from drowning. Their rescue prowess is legendary.
The Newfoundland dog has also have done their share of hauling of fishing nets and similar tasks.
Today there are few Newfoundland dogs that actively work as seagoing deckhands, but they are still well-employed as water-rescue animals all over the world.
Newfoundland Dog Temperament:
Patient, watchful, sweet, devoted.
Newfoundland Dog Size
Giant dog! (Height: 26” (f), 28” (m), Weight: 100 – 120 lbs. (f), 130 – 150 lbs.)
Newfoundland Dog Colors
- Black and white
Is a Newfoundland Dog Hypoallergenic?
Newfoundland Dog Lifespan
Nine to 10 years.
Newfoundland Dog Price
$1200 average (puppy)
Pomeranian Dog History
The Pomeranian is related to some of the Spitz-type sledding dogs of the North and Arctic. They are probably best known as dogs that have fluffy white coats.
The Pomeranian was originally bred centuries ago. Of the Spitz breeds, the Pomeranian is the smallest.
They started to enjoy great popularity after Queen Victoria brought a number of the breed back to Britain after a trip to Florence, Italy.
Queen Victoria became a breeder of the dog and successfully reduced the size of the animal from approximately 30 pounds to its present size of only three to seven pounds.
Pomeranian Dog Temperament
Bold, cocky, lively, animated, and inquisitive.
Pomeranian Dog Size
Small (Height: 6” – 7”, Weight: 3 – 7 lbs.)
Pomeranian Dog Colors
- Many different colors and combinations.
Is a Pomeranian Dog Hypoallergenic?
Pomeranian Dog Lifespan
12 – 16 years.
Pomeranian Dog Price
$1200 average (puppy)
Samoyed Dog History
The Samoyed (also called “Sammie”) can trace its ancestry back to the Samoyedic (or Samodeic) people.
The Samoyedic people migrated from Asia to Siberia around one thousand years ago or so. They bred dogs, such as the Sammie, to survive and perform arduous tasks in some of the coldest locations on Earth.
The severe weather they endured together helped form tight bonds of companionship between the people and their dogs.
In addition to sledding across Siberia with substantial loads, Samoyed dogs also served as hunters and watchdogs.
At first, the Samoyede hunted reindeer and used Samoyed dogs to assist them. Later, as their culture evolved, they started herding reindeer instead of hunting them.
When this happened, the Samoyed dogs also changed and started assisting in protecting and moving the herds.
The dog was introduced in the West in the late 18th century by Arctic explorers on their return to England.
People who know these dogs often claim they look like a polar bear because of their fluffy coats.
Samoyed Dog Temperament
Devoted, adaptable, gentle, and kind. They make an excellent choice for families with children.
Samoyed Dog Size
Medium (Height: 19” – 21” (f), 21” – 23 ½” (m), Weight: 35 – 50 lbs. (f), 45 – 65 lbs. (m))
Samoyed Dog Colors
- White & Biscuit
Is a Samoyed Dog Hypoallergenic?
Samoyed Dog Lifespan
12 to 14 years
Samoyed Dog Price
$1850 average (puppy)
Tibetan Mastiff Dog
Tibetan Mastiff Dog History
The origins of the Tibetan Mastiff are largely unknown. Due to the fact that Tibet is so isolated, it makes the history of the Tibetan Mastiff shrouded in mystery.
For millennia they have guarded the Himalayas. There is also evidence that suggests that some travelers to that mountain nation were given these giant dogs as gifts.
These animals are believed to have been used to create the Mastiff breeds of Europe and the Middle East.
Mastiff breeds, in general, are thought to trace their ancestry back to this dog.
Tibetan Mastiff Dog Temperament
Intelligent, Independent, Strong-willed, and Reserved.
Tibetan Mastiff Dog Size
Giant (Height: at least 24” (f), at least 26” (m), Weight: 70 – 120 lbs, (f), 90 – 150 lbs. (m)
Tibetan Mastiff Dog Colors
- Black and tan
- Blue gray
- Blue gray and tan
- Brown and tan
- Red-gold-sable with white markings.
Is a Tibetan Mastiff Dog Hypoallergenic?
No. Since most dogs have a fur coat they are not hypoallergenic although some are better for allergy sufferers than others.
Tibetan Mastiff Dog Lifespan
10 to 12 years.
Tibetan Mastiff Dog Price
$2500 average (puppy)
What are Teddy Bear Dog Breeds?
What is a Teddy Bear Dog? There are several dog breeds that are sometimes referred to as Teddy Bear dogs.
No, we are not saying these dogs look like bears but instead they look cute like Teddy Bears.
These dogs usually have fluffy fur and curly hair. Combine that with their small size gives them the distinctive living teddy bear look and appeal.
- Bichon Frise
These dogs are known to have a great personality but that can include lots of barking.
This is a toy dog class breed and gets its name from the Italian city, Bologna.
Hybrid, mixed breed dog that is the combination of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise.
Another hybrid dog combining the Pekingese and Poodle breeds.
Westiepoo puppies ‘bear’ an uncanny resemblance to a stuffed animal. They are super cute!
What are Karelian Bear Dogs?
Karelian Bear Dogs are from Finland and while they probably won’t get confused with a real bear they are known for being used to hunt bears in the wild.
They are a very unique breed and known for being fearless, intelligent dogs that are highly prized in Finland.
Names for Dogs that Look Like a Bear
Every dog needs a great name and especially so if your dog looks like a bear! Here are ten popular names for dogs that look like a bear.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a dog that looks like a bear! It is actually pretty cool in my opinion!
All of the bear-like dog breeds listed above are excellent choices and can make great family pets.