If you're looking for a dog that reminds you of a cuddly teddy bear or a woolly, wild bear, you're in luck. Several dog breeds with thick coats and bulky builds that almost appear bear-like. Some of these dogs are incredibly large, but some small dog breeds bear a resemblance to bears. They range in personality types, coloring, markings, and activity levels.
Here are 10 dog breeds that resemble bears.
01 of 10
Often referred to as a "silent hunter," the Akita is a quiet yet temperamental dog that can often be difficult to train. It is the largest Japanese spitz breed and has a subtle bear-like quality with its thick coat and rounded ears. As a high-energy breed that also tends to be fiercely loyal, Akitas have long served as guard and hunting dogs and require vigorous daily exercise.
Height: 24 to 28 inches
Weight: 70 to 130 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Triangular head; curled tail; thick double coat in colors including black, fawn, and red
02 of 10
Named for the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain, the Great Pyrenees makes the list because it can be mistaken for a polar bear at first glance due to its lush white coat and huge build. Bred as herding dogs, their job was to defend flocks from predators, such as wolves and actual bears. These dogs are gentle giants and make for intelligent, family-friendly pets that serve as loyal and protective guardians.
Height: 25 to 32 inches
Weight: 85 to 100+ pounds
Physical Characteristics: Large and strong physique; lush weatherproof coat that's either all white or white with markings of gray, tan, reddish-brown, or badger
03 of 10
The chow chow is a breed hailing from ancient China. A thick mane (or ruff) makes these dogs appear particularly cute and cuddly (and bear-like), and they are also muscular and deep-chested with an overall furry coat. These dignified dogs can be both serious and aloof and are known to be particularly clean canines.
Height: 17 to 20 inches
Weight: 45 to 70 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Ruff around the head and shoulders; deep-set almond eyes; blue-black tongue; stiff-legged gait; coats can be rough or smooth in colors including red, black, blue, cinnamon, or cream
04 of 10
The Samoyed is a spitz breed that originated in the Siberian area of Russia. Strong and intelligent, these dogs were bred to pull sleds on polar expeditions. Today, they make affectionate and playful family pets that look a bit like small polar bears with their thick, white coats and equally fluffy tails.
Height: 19 to 24 inches
Weight: 35 to 65 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Alert expression; thick double coat; colors include white, cream, and biscuitContinue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Newfoundlands are very large dogs, but they are also gentle, patient, and trainable. Bred as working dogs for Canadian fishermen, Newfoundlands are often referred to as “nanny dogs” because of the way they watch over and protect children. Their huge heads with a relatively short snout and thick fur give them a distinct bear-like appearance.
Height: 26 to 28 inches
Weight: 100 to 150 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Flat, long, and coarse coat; colors include gray, brown, black, or black and white
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Affectionately dubbed the “people’s dog,” the Keeshond became the symbol of the Dutch Patriots Party in the 18th century as it fulfilled the role of both guard and companion on early Dutch vessels. The Keeshond resembles a teddy bear, with its extremely furry face and small, upright, slightly rounded ears. It's known to be an energetic, intelligent breed that's personable and easy to train.
Height: 17 to 18 inches
Weight: 35 to 45 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Upright ears; plush, abundant coat; plumed tail; spectacles (shadings and markings around the eyes)
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Named after the Kavkaz (Caucasus) mountains of Eastern Europe, the Caucasian shepherd's massive size almost rivals that of a small bear. Their thick coats and muscular build give these dogs quite a bear-like look. These fearless dogs were tasked as guardians of herds and homes in harsh conditions, and they remain loyal protectors today. While they're large and strong dogs, they're also loving and affectionate toward their families.
Height: 23 to 30 inches
Weight: 99 to 170 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Ranges from short to long coat; colors include fawn, gray and red with markings that can be white, piebald and/or brindle
08 of 10
Hailing from Germany, Leonbergers were originally bred as majestic companions fit for royalty. Given their impressive size and strength, Leonbergers were famously adept at pulling carts. But despite their huge stature and thick fur that gives them a bear-like appearance, these dogs are gentle and serene by nature. Still, they do make excellent watchdogs.
Height: 25 to 32 inches
Weight: 90 to 170 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Medium-long waterproof coat; lion-like mane around the neck and chest; bushy tail; triangular ears; black faceContinue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
A dog that's considered to be of both European and Asian descent (hence its name), the Eurasier is a confident and well-balanced dog that loves nothing more than being around its family. Although this dog is not the largest of the bear-like breeds, the Eurasier is yet another muscular canine with thick fur, especially around its head. It tends to make an excellent guard dog.
Height: 19 to 24 inches
Weight: 40 to 70 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Thick, medium-long coat in an array of colors; purple, pink, or spotted tongues; can have dark face masks or light "reverse" masks
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While they don't quite resemble actual bears, Pomeranians are pint-size pooches that have a definite teddy bear-like quality thanks to their rounded ears and puffy fur. They are confident and curious dogs. And they're consistently one of the most popular toy breeds, even though their ancestors were bred from much larger sled dogs.
Height: 6 to 7 inches
Weight: 3 to 7 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Fluffy and abundant double coat with frill extending over the chest and shoulders; can be found in up to two dozen colors (orange or red are most common); various patterns and markings