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Dogs have been kept as pets for as long as we can remember. Not only are they very loyal but also very handy to have around. From fetching your paper to giving you company when you feel lonely, dogs truly do make the best of friends.
However, not all dogs are adorable and cute little creatures. Some strike a serious resemblance with one of the most feared animals on planet earth, the lion.
In this article, we have discussed 10 breeds of dogs that look like lions. These dogs are also, at times, referred to as “lion dogs.”
The dog breed that tops our list of lion dogs is the golden retriever. These dogs are thought to have a strong resemblance to lions, owing to their large sizes and clipped fur coats. They are predominantly found in Scotland but are also bred globally.
Golden retrievers are very outdoorsy in terms of activity and general behavior. They are exceptionally good swimmers, perfect companions for the blind and deaf as guide dogs, and the perfect security dog because of their height and appearance.
Male golden retrievers weigh around 29 to 34 kilos, whereas females weigh almost 25-29 kilos. Height wise, males grow up to 56 to 61 cm in length while female retrievers can grow up to 51 to 56 cm.
The Chow chow is another breed of dog that bears a striking resemblance to the king of the jungle. In fact, their resemblance is so uncanny that they are often called “Songshi Quan” in their area of origin, which is northern China. The name means “puffy lion dog” in their native language.
These dogs are bred in areas of Mongolia and northern China, with a few also bred in the Siberian areas of Asia. Male chow chows generally weigh 20 to 25 kg and measure 46 to 56 cm in height. The females, on the other hand, weigh almost the same but grow to shorter lengths when compared to their male counterparts. The average lifespan for a chow cow is 9 to 12 years.
The Leonberger dog breed is known for its distinct large size and appearance that is very similar to that of a lion. The name Leonberger comes from the place where these dogs were first bred, i.e., Leonberg in Germany. They are a very popular dog breed in Europe and have the tendency to intimidate people with the way that they look.
They have a deep bark, which further adds to their fear factor. This deep bark also means that they make for really good guard dogs. Leonbergers are particularly bred and trained to look after livestock, houses, and farms.
Physically speaking, they are a quite large breed and can grow to heights as tall as 65 to 75 cm for females and 71 to 80 cm for males. Weight-wise, females can weigh as much as 45 to 61 kilos, whereas males weigh between 58 to 72 kilos.
Among all the various dog breeds known to humankind, the Tibetan mastiff dog is probably the one that is most similar to a lion. Its uncanny resemblance to the world’s most feared predator makes it a highly sought after dog breed in regions like Africa and Europe.
These dogs can weigh as much as 45-73 kg if they are male and about 34-54 kg if they are female mastiffs. When it comes to height, males grow as tall as 66-76 cm, whereas females are around 61-71 cm in length.
Other than their appearance, their highly developed swimming skills, intelligence, loyalty, and courage make them very popular among farmers, cattle herders, and people seeking a pet that can guard their homes. Tibetan mastiffs can live for up to 10-12 years.
Newfoundland dogs are large-sized dogs with thick and voluminous fur manes, which come in a range of different colors such as brown, orange, black, and white. These dogs are named after the area they originate from, Newfoundland and Labrador, a province in Canada.
Dogs of this breed not only resemble lions appearance wise but also nature wise. These dogs are calm, collected, and very quick. They make for perfect companion dogs because of their size and strong build. They are capable of swimming quickly against strong waves, pulling nets for fishermen and carrying wood pieces.
Male dogs of this breed generally weigh about 60-70 kg while the females weigh about 45-55 kg. Height wise, males grow up to t 69-74 cm, while females grow to about 63-69 cm. On average, a Newfoundland dog can live for 8 to 10 years.
Alaskan Malamutes often make their way onto lists of dogs that look like lions because of their thick fur coats and similar coat colors. Even though they are not as large as the other dogs on this list, their fur coats compensate for their slightly smaller size.
Female dogs of this breed are almost 58 cm tall and weigh 34 kg, whereas males can grow to a height of 64 cm and weigh around 39 kg.
With its beautiful mane (fur), strong, stern face, and a proud stance, the Shar-Pei dog is widely loved and wanted for the fact that it looks strikingly similar to a male lion. These dogs sport short fur coats and blue-black tongues and weigh around 25-29 kg in the case of the males or 18-25 kg in the case of the females.
When it comes to their heights, the females are only a bit shorter than the males, who themselves grow to be about 46-56 cm tall.
They feature a range of coats color-wise, including blues, blacks, cream coats, red fawn, orange, browns, etc. Shar-Peis can live for as long as 9-11 years.
The dogs of this breed have long fur coats and broad muzzles, giving them features that strongly resemble those of lions. Indigenous mastiffs are thought to have originated from different areas in Asia, predominantly Laddakh, which is a region in the Himalayas. Because of their origins, they are sometimes also referred to as Himalayan guard dogs.
These dogs are very aggressive around strangers but equally calm and friendly when around family and known people. Their tendency to fight ferociously and fearlessly makes then the perfect guard dogs. They are quite easily identified by their build, which includes a height of 74-95 cm for males and 71-80 cm for females.
As far as weight is concerned, males typically weigh around 55-80 kg, while the females weigh about 45-65 kg. Indigenous mastiffs can live for as long as 9-11 years.
The Bangar Mastiff is predominately found in its areas of origin, which are rural regions of India, such as a town called Tehri Garhwal. These dogs are often also referred to by their regional names like Bangara mastiff. This breed was first bred by an Indian military officer named W.V.Soman, who interbred the Bhotiya dog breed with other dog breeds.
They were initially bred with the intention of protecting livestock, families, and children. Once they became popular, they also started to protect villagers from wild animals and began serving as guard dogs to the town’s people.
This breed is known for being loyal, aggressive, and active. Males of this breed can weigh about 40-45 kg, and females weigh almost 35-40 kg. Lengthwise, they can grow as tall as 56-79 cm in the case of male Bangar mastiffs, whereas the females can grow to about 51-70 cm. The lifespan of a healthy and active Bangar mastiff is approximately 9-12 years.
Last but not least, we have the Nepali mountain dog. These dogs, when groomed in the right way, are able to sport such a glorious, orange-colored mane, that it would be really difficult to tell them apart from actual male lions.
Dogs of this breed are ancestors of the Tibetan dog breed and are found in the same areas, which are Nepal and some regions of India, Pakistan, as well as Bhutan. These dogs make excellent pets because of their intelligence, strong builds, and active lifestyles.
They weigh around 38-60 kg if they are males or 32 to 50 kilos if they are female Nepali mountain dogs. When it comes to their growth, male Nepali mountain dogs measure almost 65-75 cm, whereas the female dogs of the same breed measure about 60-70 cm. A healthy Nepali mountain dog has an average lifespan of 10-12 years.
These were 10 big dog breeds that bear a striking resemblance to lions. It’s not just the looks; the dogs on this list also resemble lions in their nature and builds. A lot of them, because of their intimidating builds and fierce, but loyal and loving natures, make for perfect guard dogs.