Panda Dogs: 10 Dogs That Look Like Pandas

In a recent panda dog trend that has taken Japan, China, and the world by storm, people dye their fuzzy dogs white and black patterns to resemble the giant panda bear.

At first, looking at the pictures, you might wonder if it’s a new hybrid born by crossbreeding the panda with a dog or if it’s photoshopped.

However, these panda dogs are groomed cute dogs that look like pandas.

Although the giant panda looks peaceful, easygoing, and has been known to be friendly to humans, keep in mind that they are still wild animals and are built to be aggressive.

Dog Painted to Look Like Panda with a Panda Side by Side
A dog groomed and painted to resemble the panda (left) and an actual panda bear (right)

If you’re curious and looking for a dog that looks like a panda, we’ve compiled ten adorable breeds for you.

Let’s get on with it already.

10 Dogs That Look Like Pandas

1. Tibetan Mastiff

  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Weight: 75 to 150 pounds
  • Height: 24 to 30 inches
  • Features: Large size, smooth hair, weighty coat, with chocolate, black, brown, gray, yellow, gold colors
  • Origin: Tibet
Portrait of Tibetan Mastiff

Looking back at Asia’s controversial panda dog trend, the Tibetan Mastiff can easily be groomed and painted to resemble the panda bear.

The Tibetan mastiff comes in colors similar to the typical bear and can be fierce since they were initially bred to fight off tigers, bears, and wolves.

They are very defensive and are capable of handling trespassers on their own — a trait that makes them excellent guard dogs.

Tibetan mastiffs are very good with children if properly bred and socialized despite this aggressive nature.

Like pandas, they are warm, fuzzy and give excellent bear hugs. They can, however, be sensitive to human moods and get upset when yelled at.

Fun Fact: The Tibetan Mastiff price at $10,000 makes it one of the most expensive dog breeds globally.

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2. Chow Chow

  • Lifespan: 11 to 13 years
  • Weight: 35 to 90 pounds
  • Height: 11 to 22 inches
  • Features: Black/blue tongue, fuzzy fur, curled tail, broad skull, round pointed ears, squeezed face
  • Origin: China
Chow Chow Dog Breed

It might interest you to know that the Chow Chow dog breed is the dog that was predominant in the “panda dog” trend in China and Japan.

Because of its fuzzy appearance and unmistakable resemblance to the panda bear, it is the choice dog breed.

It has thicker fur around its neck, giving it a mane-like look. The coat of the Chow Chow can take on many exciting colors.

This dog breed looks squishy, like a teddy and panda bear.

Furthermore, they have square faces and thick furs almost identical to the panda bear.

Little wonder this dog breed is a favorite among panda lovers.

Fun Fact: Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud owned a Chow Chow named Jofi. The dog was allowed to attend Freud’s sessions, helping him psychoanalyze his patients.

3. Labradors

  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
  • Weight: 65 to 70 pounds
  • Height: 22 to 25 inches
  • Features: Black, yellow, and brown double coat, big soulful brown eyes, broad head, drop ears
  • Origin: Newfoundland
Close Up of a Labrador

Labradors are both cuddly and essentially lazy unless they have a reason to be active.

They have been the most popular breed in the United States for over twenty years!

They are intelligent breeds with the ability to learn fast and quickly adapt to any environment.

Much like pandas, Labradors are friendly and can also be very lazy. They are very dedicated to their human counterparts and love their company.

With the amount of love they are willing to offer, having a Labrador Retriever is like having a small panda bear.

Fun Fact: Labs were bred as hunting companions and were historically used as fishermen’s helpers, bringing in nets, pulling ropes, and retrieving fish.

4. Bichon Frise

  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Weight: 12 to 18 pounds
  • Height: 9 to 12 inches
  • Features: Curly white fur, bicolor
  • Origin: France, Spain
Bichon Frise Dog Groomed to Look Like a Panda

You can almost mistake a Bichon Frise for a panda cub with its white fur.

The Bichon Frise has cute dark eyes very similar to pandas, and all you have to do is put a dash of black paint here and there, and you have a brand new panda cub.

Generally, this breed is known to be very playful and affectionate. They do well with children, and they’re not unnecessarily fierce.

It enjoys the game of ‘catch.’ This is a benefit because Bichon Frises are easy to train, and this game is easy to learn.

This way, you can exercise your dog and have some fun yourself.

Fun Fact: Sailors were fond of this dog breed and, as such, carried them on their ships.

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5. French Bulldogs

  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
  • Weight: 16 to 28 pounds
  • Height: 11 to 13 inches
  • Features: Naturally standing ‘bat ears,’ short and flat coat
  • Origin: France, England.
Black and White French Bulldog Sitting on Ground

Playful, affectionate, and easygoing are qualities you’ll find in a panda, and you can also find these same qualities in a French Bulldog.

For many years, they’ve been popular among the wealthy and are naturally good with children.

These dogs are so dedicated and loving, so clingy that leaving them on their own can cause them to panic.

It is essential to be consistent with their training, as they don’t drop habits quickly.  

If you’re a panda lover, then a French Bulldog is a good choice. Though they may not have the fur, they’ve got the heart.

Fun Fact: French Bulldogs have short snouts, which give them breathing problems and make flying very problematic.

6. Caucasian Shepherd

  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
  • Weight: 99 to 170 pounds
  • Height: 23 to 30 inches
  • Features: Pretty large with lots of hair, can have 3 to 4 colors on its coat
  • Origin: Russia, Georgia, Armenia
Caucasian Shepherd Puppy Lying on White Background

If you add a bit of dye here and there on a Caucasian Shepherd’s fur, you might mistake it for a panda at first glance. 

They have similar fur and texture, and although they are not as big as pandas, they are considerably larger than most dogs.

It has a history as a watchdog, and it gets very hostile when it senses a threat, especially against its family.

They can be very arrogant and defensive with strangers.

This intelligent breed is suitable for first-time dog owners as it adapts quickly.

It tolerates being left alone and can survive in harsh weather conditions.

Fun Fact: The Caucasian Shepherd got its name from the Caucasus Mountains.

7. Samoyed

  • Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
  • Weight: 35 to 66 pounds
  • Height: 18 to 22 inches
  • Features: Beautiful white fur, grey or cream highlights, black eyes, black nose, pointy ears, fluffy tails
  • Origin: Western Siberia, Northwest Russia
Two White Samoyed Puppies

Like pandas, Samoyeds look aesthetically pleasing. They have lots of furs and are friendly, hospitable animals.

They make good family dogs and work better in groups.

They are wonderful with children, and although they are friendly, they can be very protective of their families.

Because of their inborn nature to work in packs, they require companionship, and if left alone for too long, they can get very destructive as a way of expressing their sadness.

They have many nicknames and a peculiar smile known as the ‘Sammy smile,’ similar to a human smile.

Are you a hugger? Then this breed is for you! Samoyeds show affection by snuggling up to their human friends.

Fun Fact: Queen Alexandra of Denmark had an array of Samoyeds in the royal kennel.

8. Keeshond

  • Lifespan: 13 to 15 years
  • Weight: 35 to 45 pounds
  • Height: 16 to 18 inches
  • Features: Cream, gray, and black fluffy coat, Pointy ear stands upright, fluffy tail
  • Origin: Germany, Netherlands
Keeshond Standing on Tree Branch

This beautiful breed loves human company. It is perfect as a home dog and loves to join the family in their activities.

While they are lively and good with people, they don’t enjoy being alone for hours, making them bark continuously.

It is very playful and friendly to everyone, even strangers. They are friendly to other dogs and kids and are very easy to train.

They don’t need a lot of exercise, so it’s a good choice for new dog owners.

Though a Keeshond is perfect as a watchdog, it’s not a good guard dog.

It knows to bark loudly when it notices someone approaching but readily accepts anyone its owner brings.

Fun Fact: The plural form of Keeshond is Keeshonden.

9. Newfoundland Dog

  • Lifespan: 8 to 10 years
  • Weight: 99 to 150 pounds
  • Height: 25 to 29 inches
  • Features: Thick double coat, webbed feet, pebble eyes
  • Origin: Canada
Newfoundland Dog Standing on Grass

The Newfoundland Dog breed is perfect for people who live around large bodies of water.

Your dog would love it there as they enjoy being in the water, and in the event of an accident, your dog can get to the rescue.

Newfoundlands love a good adventure, so if you’re the outdoor type, you’d have a good companion if you own this breed.

However, it would be best to keep in mind that it has a heavy coat and requires regular brushing.

Fun Fact: The Newfoundland dog is an excellent swimmer known for saving lives and water rescue.

10. Maltese Poodle

  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Weight: 5 to 20 pounds
  • Height: 8 to 14 inches
  • Features: Long curly fur, soulful eyes
  • Origin: Malta
Portrait of Maltese Poodle Mix

The Maltese Poodle is a crossbreed dog with features from Maltese and Poodles.

They have eyes and noses that are very similar to pandas, and if you get a bit of dye on them in the right places, they’ll look like little panda cubs.

They adapt quickly and are friendly to people, even to strangers.

Maltipoos serve as good watchdogs, and they know to raise the alarm when they see anyone approaching.

Despite their small size, they are very active. They are, however, too delicate to live outdoors.

They should be in the care of older children who can take care of them better and handle them carefully.

Fun Fact: The Maltipoo is among the most popular hybrids from crossing a Maltese and Miniature or Toy Poodle.


Are dogs and pandas related?

Due to the high genomic resemblance between dogs and pandas, there have been many scientific investigations over the years.

They have all proven that dogs and pandas are not related in any way.

What is a panda dog breed?

The trendy panda dog is not a panda at all; neither is it a breed of dog or a hybrid.

However, these dogs are the fluffy Chow Chow or Tibetan dog breeds, which originate from Asia, and have been groomed and dyed to resemble the panda bear merely.


Although there are many dogs that look like pandas, there’s no known panda dog breed or hybrid.

This latest dog trend that has caused a “panda-monium” in Asia simply took the world by storm.

Now, we want one as a pooch companion.

PetHelpful: Panda Dog: A New Hybrid Species or a Cruel Joke?

HuffPost: Panda Dogs Are Dogs That Look Like Pandas
ABC News: Genome study finds pandas similar to dogs

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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