11 Dogs That Look Like Lions (w/ Pictures)

Are you wondering if there’s a dog that looks like a lion? Don’t worry; you’re about to get the needed information.

Dogs come in different varieties which can be distinguished according to their sizes, looks, and temperaments.

There exist the cuddly little cuties that would make you crave to own a pup if you don’t already.

Then there is the ugly and fierce-looking type that can scare people off.

Evolution and the effect of cross-breeding have made most of these creatures look less like they are one species.

Oh well, humans have appreciated their differences so far and acted upon their preferences in acquiring these canines as pets. After all, they all exist for a reason.

This article will enlist some of these beautiful dogs that look like lions. For some of the lion-looking dogs on this list, their resemblance is as if they are a descendant of the lion.

Perhaps, you will find your next pup on this list. Explore!

Top-11 Adorable Dogs That Look Like Lions

1. Lowchen

Lowchen Dog Lying Down Looking Aside
  • Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
  • Weight: 9.9 to 18 pounds
  • Height: 11 to 14 inches
  • Features: Wavy long-haired, black or brown colored nose, small-sized.
  • Country of Origin: France

The lowchen is a distinct small-sized breed dog that has been in existence for more than 500 years, and is not easily mistaken for other dog breeds.

It is also called the little lion dog because of its long wavy hair covering almost every part of its front session.

This canine is popularly owned by the affluent and the crème de la crème as companion or pet dogs.

It is believed that the Lowchen is of the same descendant as the Bichon Frise due to their obvious resemblance.

However, the breed’s popularity was almost cut short during the first world war but for the intervention of Madame Bennert, it escaped extinction.

This small pup has short legs, short head with a quite broad skull. Its nose is black, eyes round with a pendant-shaped ear.

Lowchen is known to be intelligent and easygoing but can be quite defiant if not suitably put in check to respect its owners.

Without proper attitude training, this dog will willingly challenge other dogs around notwithstanding their bigger sizes. 

Most of these dog breeds tend to dig and bark a lot even when they aren’t so much of a super active dog.

They fit so well with apartment living and do not need more than daily walks as exercise routines. Frequent brushing of their coat is required to prevent tangling. 

Furthermore, this dog’s popularity has given it recognition not only by the American Kennel Club but also by American Canine Association, National Kennel Club, etc.

Fun Fact: This popular and beautiful little lion, Lowchen, appeared in so many paintings and engravements to symbolize courage.

2. Chow Chow

Close Up of Chow Chow Dog Standing on Grass
  • Lifespan: 11 to 13 years
  • Weight: 35 to 90 pounds
  • Height: 11 to 22 inches
  • Features: Natural sagging eyes, triangular ears, wrinkled body, squeezed face, black/blue tongue.
  • Country of Origin: Northern China

Chow Chow dog breed is a China-raised dog whose diet is strictly based on grains as they possess a high potential of being overweight.

Chow Chowis is a dog breed that looks similar to a lion in terms of appearance with quite a lot of coarse fur surrounding its face.

They’re an aggressive strong medium-sized breed that may require early training and socialization to get along with other dogs and pets.

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Originally bred for guarding and hunting, they can bark excessively when trying to raise an alarm if not controlled. 

Their intelligent but stubborn nature makes training quite difficult. This implies that they may need an experienced owner and trainer.

If properly trained, they can do well as good and obedient pets.

Their thick and coat hair makes them require a high grooming need.

Regular brushing of their coat is necessary to keep away dead hairs and keep them looking neat.

Fun Fact: Chow Chow dog breed puppies have pink tongues but the color changes to bluish-black as they become adults.

3. Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff Standing on Snow
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Weight: 75 to 161 pounds
  • Height: 24 to 30 inches
  • Features: Weighty coat, smooth hairs, large sized
  • Country of Origin: Tibet, East Asian

Tibetan Mastiff appears to be one dog that looks cuddly but it can be very hostile especially to strangers.

The breed’s history is yet to be known but the people from Tibet believe it habits the soul of religious members that are dead.

The perfectly shaped face and layers and layers of hairs surrounding it make them look so much like the king of the jungle.

As aggressive as they can be, they make a good companion with family and with children, although their large size makes them more suitable for adults. 

Tibetan Mastiffs make a stubborn breed with a mind of their own. Experienced owners may do well with them by training and socialization.

Grooming this pup needs to be done regularly as they have enough hairs that could tangle and make them look quite unkempt.

This breed is susceptible to health challenges like ear infection, allergies, hip, and elbow dysplasia.

However, they tend to live longer compared to most other breeds and have gained recognition by the AKC as of 2007.

Unlike most breeds that have intervals of six months, this canine maintains one heat cycle annually.

Fun Fact: The Tabitan Mastif dog bred for herding and guarding is said to not be a true Mastiff. It got its “Mastiff” tag from Europeans that came into the Tibet region.

As claimed, most Mastiffs are giant dogs, hence, the Tibetan Mastiff seems to fit into their category.

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4. Pomeranian

Pomeranian Dog Lying on the Bridge Facing Camera
  • Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
  • Weight: 3 to 7 pounds
  • Height: 7 to 12 inches
  • Features: Small size, dense and double-layered coat
  • Country of Origin: Pomerania

Their history dates back to the mid-1700s and got an American Kennel Club recognition in 1900 after its first breed registration in the year 1898.

Since then, Pomeranians made their way into being amongst the most popular dog breeds in the US.

Royal families and other prominent people in society have been interested in owning little Pom-Pom, including Queen Victoria and Wolfgang Mozart.

Their fur around the neck makes them comparable to most wild animals like lions, bears, and even foxes.

However, they make great pets with their friendly and lovable behavior.

These pocket-sized dogs tend to bark a lot on noticing any changes in their environment.

Pom-Pom as they are nicknamed enjoy being the center of attention and are easy to train. They can be a handful at times if not properly trained.

Although a small-sized breed, they can live for up to 16 years if properly handled with healthy diets, suitable exercise, and proper grooming.

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5. Newfoundland

Furry Newfoundland Standing Aside On Grass
  • Lifespan: 8 to 10 years
  • Weight: 121 to 176 pounds
  • Height: 26 to 28 inches
  • Features: Dense coat, large size, drooping lips, sturdy legs
  • Country of Origin: Dominion of Newfoundland

Newfoundland is a large size working dog breed with thick hair and a stony face, making it a lion look-alike dog.

Its extremely big bones and coat that is water-resistant give it the strength to survive ocean waves.

History had it that the Newfoundland dog breed is popular for its ability to rescue people from different dangerous situations including drowning.

This made its painting in stones and bronze portray a symbol of courage.

Newfoundland possesses a peaceful, friendly, and obedient nature, which makes it a suitable family dog.

They socialize pretty well but can be very protective of family and can easily trap whosoever is perceived as a threat.

However, they can drool, dig and bark a lot but that isn’t much of a problem for a next to perfect dog breed.

Digging and barking can be controlled as they are an effect of boredom.

Grooming this breed is necessary to keep their thick coat neat.

Although they require not much exercise, it is important to take your Newfie pup on daily walks and allow it an opportunity to go swimming regularly.

Newfies are prone to certain genetic diseases and should be given daily means in appropriate proportions to avoid excess weight.

The American Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club recognizes the black, brown, and white/black variant of this canine amongst the other color variant which are quite rare to find.

6. Leonberger

Close up Portrait of Leonberger Dog Looking Forward
  • Lifespan: 8 to 9 years
  • Weight: 90 to 150 pounds
  • Height: 26 to 31 inches
  • Features: Double layered coat, muscular body type, almond eyes
  • Country of Origin: Germany 

Leonberger is a large-sized dog nicknamed the gentle lion or gentle giant. This isn’t surprising as they are among the strongest dog breeds in the world.

Leo is a gentle, intelligent, sweet companion dog with a nice self-composure around strangers and passerby. It does more of barking rather than attacking to bite. 

A first glance at this lion-looking dog breed can be intimidating due to their size, but they are a lover of children and very submissive as household pets.

Although, a generally healthy breed, they are prone to hip dysplasia which affects many large-sized dogs.

They possess a dense coat that may require regular grooming and their love for swimming makes it ideal to go through ear cleaning on a regular basis.

They dedicate their 8 to 9 years of existence to keeping their territory safe with their sound sense of judgment on deciphering intruders.

Leo makes a good family dog even with how unsafe it can be to have such large-sized guard dogs around your kids.

Fun Fact: Leonberger’s excellent swimming skill is a result of its webbed feet, which is considered an abnormality from birth in many creatures.

7. Caucasian Shepherd

Caucasian Shepherd Standing on Snow Looking Aside
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
  • Weight: 100 to 110 pounds
  • Height: 25 to 30 inches
  • Features: Large size, dense coat
  • Country of Origin: Caucasus

The Caucasian dog breed possesses the amount of fur that adds them to the category of dogs that look like lions.

They may seem soft and lovely at first sight, but in all sincerity, only an experienced owner and trainer can do well with this mountain shepherd, to get the best out of them.

Caucasian Shepherds are fierce as they were originally bred to chase away huge predators like bears and wolves that threaten livestock.

As fierce as they may seem, they are not so energized and are prone to obesity, hence, should be given a proper diet to avoid weight issues.

They may be hard to train but the need to train them can not be overstated.

They require early socialization as they can be hostile not only to strangers but also to other dogs and pets. 

A female caucasian shepherd is known to birth once a year.

Also, this breed is known to shed quite a lot but its layered coat and hairs help to protect it when the weather gets cold.

Their coat requires regular brushing to control the shedding level and keep dead hairs out. 

Taking care of your Caucasian Shepherd is important. The fierce nature of this old giant breed can be controlled, turning them into gentle and lovable breeds.

8. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever Standing Tall by the Beach
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
  • Weight: 55 to 75 pounds
  • Height: 20 to 24 inches
  • Features: Medium size, water-resistant curly coat
  • Country of Origin: Scotland, UK

The Golden Retriever dog breed possesses some visual resemblance to the lion, although with looks that shows how gentle it is.

However, they don’t possess the similarities of obvious long flowing hairs around the head region like most dogs mentioned on the list.

They have enough coat hairs anyway, and come in golden colors similar to that of a lion as well.

They are good family companions, loving, and gentle to a fault.

Golden Retrievers seem not to have the ability to bark as much as a lot of other breeds that bark as an alarm. This makes them unsuitable to count on as guard dogs.

Originally bred in Scotland around the 19th century, this breed has been known to originate from Russian tracker dog lineage that has undergone extinction.

They were allowed to be signed up into the Kennel Club at around 1903 with the name “Flat Coat Golden” but later got the recognition to be called the “Golden Retriever” in 1911.

Golden retriever breeds are known to experience certain genetic diseases like obesity and hip dysplasia.

Care and proper examination should be done when acquiring a puppy of this breed.

Their diet must be paid attention to as well to keep their health in check.

Fun Fact: The popularity of the Golden Retriever was known to have escalated in the United States of America when President Ford acquired one that was given the name “Liberty”.

9. Gaddi Kutta

Gaddi Kutta Dog Breed Standing on Grass
Image Source
  • Lifespan: 10 to 11 years
  • Weight: 76 to 99 pounds
  • Height: 20 to 31 inches
  • Features: Soft curly tail, chroma colored eyes, dense coat, long legs
  • Country of Origin: India

Similar to the lion due to its long flowing hairs on the neck and often mistaken for the most expensive Tibetan Mastiff breed, is the large and hostile Gaddi Kutta dog breed.

This breed is known to be intelligent and dedicated to guarding its territory. It is often referred to as a black sheepdog.

Their hostile nature makes it quite difficult to train and this may need the intervention of experienced owners or trainers.

They are used to herd sheep, goats, and they perform so well at this task without being told exactly what to do.

Their extra-thick coat help to keep them warm; however, they require regular brushing with a bristled brush to help manage their excess shedding.

Gaddi kutta is a high-energy dog that may need a spacious backyard to perform high-energy exercises.

They are also known to suffer from little to no severe health issues.

Fun Fact: The Gaddi Kutta dog breed is often called the Indian Panther Hound.

10. Bangar Mastiff

Bangar Mastiff Dog Standing on Snow
  • Lifespan: 9 to 12 years
  • Weight: 77 to 99 pounds
  • Height: 20 to 31 inches
  • Features: Curled hairy tail, long legs, large sized
  • Country of Origin: Tehri Garhwal, India

Bangar Mastiff is one large-sized mastiff dog breed often referred to as Bangara Bastiff. This breed has a mane resemblance to the lion.

Originally bred by W.V Soman, they have continued to exist showing off their friendly and courageous attitude. 

This mastiff breed was originally used to herd livestock and does so well in this role with its large size and fearless nature.

Although suitable as a family dog, its size makes it less appropriate for kids. 

This breed, like so many other dog breeds on this list, requires adequate care, grooming, training, and socialization to keep up with a healthy lifestyle.

11. Shar Pei

Shar Pei Puppy Sitting on Grass Looking Forward
  • Lifespan: 11 to 12 years
  • Weight: 35 to 64 pounds
  • Height: 17 to 20 inches
  • Features: Wrinkled coat, butterfly-like nose
  • Country of Origin: Southern China

The Shar Pei is surprisingly a dog breed that exists in all colors excluding white.

They have an origin traced back to China and possess physical appearances similar to the lion but with a lot of wrinkles.

There is no detailed information about the origin of this breed, but they’ve been around for quite a while and were threatened by extinction around the 20th century. 

The Shar Pei is known for its wrinkles, although a different version with fewer wrinkles exists in Hong Kong.

They are devoted and affectionate family dogs but may deviate from knowing their position in the home at times. Shar Pei does not act friendly around strangers. 

This breed is prone to quite a lot of health issues ranging from eye problems, skin infections, to hip and elbow dysplasia.

It is vital that you check through with the breeder before acquiring this breed. 

Fun Fact: The Shar Pei dog breed is also known as the “Chinese fighting dog,” and has the recognition of the Chinese Kennel Union.

Final Thoughts

It’s amazing how most canines can have certain similarities to other wild animals like foxes, bears, and the popular king of the jungle.

However, the physical appearances of these dogs that look like lions, do not make them wild animals, and thus, should be given the same treatment as other dog breeds that exist.

The appearance of these lion-looking dogs can be classified as an added spice to the varieties that exist in the dog kingdom.

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Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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