10 Lion Like Dogs – Dogs That Look Like Lions

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 03/14/21 •  11 min read
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With an abundance of fur, tan colors and round faces, there are many dog breeds out there that look like lions. Perhaps even their attitude and personality remind you of these bold and brave animals! Let’s take a look at 10 dogs that look like lions.

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1. Chow Chow

The first dog on our list is perhaps the most common one that we hear being called a lion. That is the Chow Chow. This huge pup definitely looks like a wild lion with its massive amounts of fur and tan colors. This big canine is just what you need to lighten the mood in your house. They can be playful and affectionate towards their human. While they make look like teddy bears, they do not like to be hugged or fused over. Perhaps this means the Chow Chow is not the best dog to have around very young children.

Did you know that this pooch has a blue tongue? This is one of their most distinctive features. The Chinese believe that they licked the colors of the sky. Remember that socialization will be very important for the Chow Chow. In particular, introduce them to new people and dogs from a young age. They will grow suspicious of them if they are not used to greeting new humans and furry friends.

You will also have to brush the Chow Chow a couple of times during the week so they can continue to look like a lion

2. Tibetan Mastiff

If you have ever seen a Tibetan Mastiff before, you will know how big they are. This is exactly why we think this pup is a distant relative of the lion! Of course, this furry friend is simply from Tibet and it has been around for several centuries. This big canine was used as a guard dog and they would look after livestock.  In today’s world, they are still used as guard dogs. But they can also make a rewarding companion for the right owner.

The Tibetan Mastiff is known for being a loving and gentle giant. They have always worked with humans and this means they love being around their owners. Indeed, they are protective of their family and this what makes them a modern guard dog. Be aware that Tibetan Mastiffs can be quite independent. For example, they can be stubborn and this means they require a strong leader of the pack. But they are quiet and do not get into a lot of trouble around the home.  They will require a fence in the back yard to prevent them from escaping if they see something worth chasing. Socialization is key for this protective breed and they have to be used to welcoming people and other dogs into the home. Otherwise, they will perceive them as a threat.

3. Alaskan Malamute

The coat of the Alaskan Malamute reminds us of a male lion. They also have a confident stature too. This is a powerful and big breed that requires a strong leader for the pack. This may not be the best pup for your first canine. The Alaskan Malamute is actually one of the oldest dog breeds there is and they continue to be popular today despite being stubborn and independent.

The Alaskan Malamute requires grooming to ensure they look their best. They do shed a lot and this is something to be aware of. They have a lot of energy and this means that they are fun to be around. But it also means that they require a lot of exercise to be happy and non-destructive. They love spending time with their humans and they do not cope well with being left on their own for long periods of time. Malamutes tend to suffer from separation anxiety. If you have a yard, make sure that it has a high and secure fence. This breed is notorious for being an escape artist. They love to dig and they can easily dig underneath a fence to escape. They also have a high prey drive and this means they may go after small animals. This includes anything from birds and squirrels to cats.

4. Gaddi Kutta

Next is the Gaddi Kutta. This mastiff-type pup is big and fearless, just like the male lions you see in the wild protecting their pack. They are originally from Northern India and they can be known as an Indian Leopard Hound. In fact, they are often mistaken for Tibetan Mastiffs. While they may all look similar, they have different characteristics.

The Gaddi Kutta is known as being easy to train. They are intelligent and love to learn new tricks and commands. But they still require an authoritative owner since they can be strong and they need direction. In addition, socialization with other canines will be necessary so they can make new furry friends. This breed has long and heavy fur, which enabled them to stay warm in the Himalayas. This fur will shed and this is something that you should be aware of. You will have to be consistent with brushing so that their hair does not mat. If you live somewhere that has hot temperatures, it is best to wait until the cooler parts of the day for walks.

5. Leonberger

Another lion pooch is the Leonberger. This is a big dog, which remind us of a lion, as well as having a lot of fur. The reason why this pup is so huge is because it is a mix with the Saint Bernard, Great Pyrenees and Newfie, which are all big canines. This dog is from Germany and has a lot of energy. This means that you have got to be prepared to give them the exercise they need. In addition, they are intelligent and this can make them great at obedience competitions.

The Leonberger is a gentle giant with their owner. But their size means they are not the best pooch to have around young children. However, they are able to get along with cats and horses when they are introduced slowly. While the Leonberger likes to explore, they like to spend a lot of time with their family. They are not a dog that will happily spend time alone. They may good guard dogs and they have a deep bark to warn of any dangers. Do not forget that their fluffy coat means they do shed twice a year.

6. Newfoundland

Next up on our list of lion dogs is the Newfoundland. Again, the size of this pooch and the amounts of fur they have make them look like a wild animal. But you will be pleased to know that this dog is famous for being docile and gentle in the house. Where are they from? The big clue is in the name. This canine is a working dog and this means they are used to having a purpose and need physical exercise. For example, they were used for hauling wood and even have the capabilities to work in water. They are strong swimmers and love to please their owners.

The Newfoundland is a good dog to have around children. They have a sweet and gentle nature. They are also protective and this means your children will be safe with this pooch. But they do weigh around 100 pounds so caution should be exercised.

Their size means that training is a priority to ensure they follow commands and behave in the house and around distractions

7. Pomeranian

We had to include the Pomeranian on our list of dogs that look like lions. Why? Because they definitely have the attitude and bold personality of a lion! What’s more, they have an abundance of fur and are fluffy like lions. This small pooch has actually descended from large sled dogs. This means they have similar characteristics. For example, they are curious and do enjoy exercise.

As the smallest member of the Spitz family, this canine can be feisty and mischievous. But they are also intelligent and they can respond well to training when there is something in it for them. This furry friend is a dog who thinks they are bigger than they actually are. This can make barking a problem, as well as being aggressive towards other dogs. Therefore, they will have to be socialized so that they can play and interact nicely with other pooches. Due to this behavior, they can be used as watch dogs. It is important to remember that this dog cannot cope well in the heat. This is due to the abundance of fur they have. This means that they should be kept indoors during the hot times of the day and walked when the sun is down. In addition, it is best not to leave them in the yard unattended. This is because they can be prey for coyotes and large birds.

8. Lowchen

You may not have heard about a Lowchen before but this furry friend is actually called the ‘little lion dog’. This pooch has their fur cut just like a lion with a big mane and fluffy tail. However, they do make good companions and since they are intelligent, they can be winners in obedience and agility dog competitions. Regular brushing is required so their coat does not become tangled or matted.

The Lowchen has a playful side and this means they love nothing more than playing with their family. This can be anything from fetch to roughhousing. They are able to get along with other animals in the household. One thing’s for sure, this pooch is not an outdoor dog. They thrive inside with their humans. They can even make good watch dogs and are known to bark if they see something that is alarming. Around two 30-minute walks is the minimum recommendation for the Lowchen. But this canine does love to explore new places when you have the time.

9. Pekingese

Definitely smaller than a lion is the Pekingese. This four-legged friend still has a confident personality and the tan colors mean they are still similar to this wild animal. This breed has been around for many centuries and it has long been enjoyed as a companion. In addition, their beautiful coat means they are popular at dog shows. This pooch has a long history in China and is now a family dog across the world. Make sure that you take care of your Pekingese and their coat. For example, they need daily brushing for a flowing coat.

The Pekingese is a smart canine and if they do not get their way, they can be stubborn. This does mean that training might be more difficult than some other breeds and you will have to have some patience. Avoid any negative or harsh training methods. This canine may become defensive and will not response well to it. In addition, while this fluffy friend loves their humans, they can be ware of strangers that are in their home. Socialization from an early age will be beneficial. For example, they may not be good with small children who are going to grab them or pull their hair.

10. Himalayan Sheepdog

The Himalayan Sheepdog is another breed that has a large size that resembles a lion. They have a lot of fur too, which is brown, black and tan colors. This big canine originated in Nepal and India and it has long been used for guarding stock and being a general guard dog for property. In this way, they do enjoy being outdoors and this means they will benefit from a yard that is enclosed. This should be a large size since they like to explore and are active.

Just because the Himalayan Sheepdog is a protector, this does not mean they are not affectionate. In fact, they love their humans and they enjoy spending time indoors getting attention. Just make sure that you socialize your Himalayan Sheepdog from an early age. This is going to make sure that they know how to interact with other canines and welcome strangers into the home when they are visitors. A strong owner will be necessary for training and that has experience with larger dog breeds.

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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