10 Dog Breeds That Look Like Lions

By Anaëlle Laurent. July 8, 2020
10 Dog Breeds That Look Like Lions

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Dogs are not only great companion pets but are also adorable! Some dogs even look like other animals. For example, the Bouvier des Flandres is one of many dog breeds that look like a bear. If you're a fan of lions and wish to adopt a dog that looks like a lion, you've come to the right place.

In this AnimalWised article we are going to give you our list of top 10 dog breeds that look like lions. We'll talk about each breed and include a photo so that you can see the resemblance for yourself!

You may also be interested in: Cat Breeds That Look Like Lions

1. Tibetan mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is one of the most popular dogs for its majestic appearance. Depending on how long its hair is, it resembles a bear or a lion. The price for these dogs in China has risen to 2 million euros due to their popularity. Here at AnimalWised we always encourage you to adopt! There are many dogs to choose from at an adoption centre. They are all very kind, loyal and loving. This way we don't contribute to the sale and purchase of animals. Let's be mindful that these are animals with needs and not just a cute pet for us to have.

This breed has a long history as a sheepdog for farmers in the Himalayas. However, nowadays it's an extremely popular companion dog. These dogs are very large, in fact, they're considered a giant breed as they can weigh 90 kg (198 lbs) by their first year of age. Their long fur also helps them resemble a lion. Common coat colors include light brown or beige, very similar to that of a lion.

10 Dog Breeds That Look Like Lions - 1. Tibetan mastiff

2. Chow Chow

At first glance, the resemblance between a Chow Chow and a lion is easily seen. Chow chows are corpulent dogs, with a bulky and wide body and a coat that is very similar to that of a wild lion.

In addition to their fur, 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 interesting fact of this breed, and that has nothing to do with its resemblance to the lion, is its incredible blue tongue.

10 Dog Breeds That Look Like Lions - 2. Chow Chow

3. Keeshond

Another dog that looks like a lion is the Keeshond. It's no surprise as they are the result of crossing the Chow Chow, the elkhound and the Samoyed. Therefore, the result is a dog that looks like a slightly chipped eared silver Chow Chow. The Keeshond is a medium-sized dog with a long and dense coat, which stands out for having even longer hair around their face. This is one of the many reasons they resemble a lion.

This breed originated in the Netherlands back in the 18th century and has been a companion dog since them. In fact, it was called "the people's dog". They stand out for being very cheerful and always alert.

10 Dog Breeds That Look Like Lions - 3. Keeshond

4. Löwchen or little lion dog

This dog breed seems to be declining when it comes to popularity and are among the rarest dog breeds. However, their origin is believed to go back to the 16th century when very similar dogs appeared in different sources. This breed as been officially recognised by the FCI.

The Löwchen breed (or little lion dog) had to land our top 10 list for obvious reasons. The most important one is their characteristic lion-like haircut which consists of shortening their mantle on their entire body, except for their head. Therefore, if you're looking for a small-sized lion-like dog, this is the one for you!

10 Dog Breeds That Look Like Lions - 4. Löwchen or little lion dog

5. Pomeranian

Although the pomeranian is very small in size, especially compared to that of a lion, there are similar features among them. For example, Pomeranians have a longer coat of hair around their face, making them look like a miniature version of a lion.

However, there are also differences between them as there are no lions with ears and pointed snouts. These are distinctive features of the Pomeranian breed. Although these restless puppies may look like a lion, their edgy and playful nature sets them quite apart from those wild felines.

10 Dog Breeds That Look Like Lions - 5. Pomeranian

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 dog breed originally from the Tibet region, where it worked as a watchdog for houses and families. These families would also care for them and welcome them into their family. The fact that they look like a lion is not a mere coincidence, since this trait was enhanced with well-controlled breed crossing.

10 Dog Breeds That Look Like Lions - 6. Shih tzu

7. Leonberger

The Leonberger comes from the Germany. In fact, they got their name from the German city Leonberger. They are a giant breed that was developed by crossing the San Bernardo breed with a Newfoundland, and then a couple of other breeds. They are, therefore, very large dogs with a thick brown coat. This makes these dogs look similar to lions, especially the specimen that have a more fawn coloration.

In their case, they resemble a lion, not only for their coat but also due to their giant size. Interestingly enough, these dogs move with great speed, despite their large size.

10 Dog Breeds That Look Like Lions - 7. Leonberger

8. Yorkshire terrier

The Yorkshire terrier can also look like a miniature lion, especially when their characteristic fur is trimmed with the exception of their head.

Its temperament is also leonine, as it is a small dog with a fairly strong character. So much so that they are used to being a dominant dog when meeting other dogs. They are also possessive and territorial, something very typical when it comes to lions. For all these reasons, Yorkshire terriers make a great option if you're looking to adopt a small lion-like dog.

10 Dog Breeds That Look Like Lions - 8. Yorkshire terrier

9. Caucasian Shepherd

Caucasian Shepards have an indisputable similarity to lions. Not only are these dogs tall and large in size, but their fur also resembles that of a lion. However, when it comes to a Caucasian Shepard's appearance, they are not alike at all.

This is because this dog breed is one of the calmest, kindest and most loving dog breeds that exist. They can be brave and courageous, however they are usually very calm animals.

10 Dog Breeds That Look Like Lions - 9. Caucasian Shepherd

10. Eurasier

Sharing family with the Spitz, like the aforementioned Pomeranian, the Eurasier can also look like a lion. This is due to their dense coat and its length around the head of these dogs. These dogs also have long fur on their tail and expressive brown eyes.

The Eurasier dog was developed by crossing different breeds, such as the Chow Chow and the Wolfpitz. This is why it's so similar to both of these dogs. This lion-like dog not only stands out for their beauty, but also for its balanced, loving and sociable character.

10 Dog Breeds That Look Like Lions - 10. Eurasier

If you want to read similar articles to 10 Dog Breeds That Look Like Lions, we recommend you visit our Comparisons category.

  1. International Cynological Federation (FCI) (2015). Tibet Bulldog . Available at:
  2. International Cynological Federation (FCI) (2004). Little lion dog . Available at:
  • American Kennel Club. Leonberger.
  • Junehall, Petra Breed Standard: Leonberger , page 5. 08-tryck, 2005.
  • The Löwchen Club UK (2004).

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