What Dog Is Closest to a Wolf Genetically? Surprise Winner

What Dog Is Closest to a Wolf Genetically? Surprise Winner

For the past several years, researchers have been working to determine which breeds of dogs have the highest percentages of wolf in them.

There are some well-known dog breeds that are very similar to wolves such as German Shepherd, Siberian Husky, Akita, Alaskan Malamute, and Samoyed. But which one has the highest percentage of this gene?

A DNA research conducted in 1997 revealed that wolves and dogs split up more than 100,000 years ago. In other words, dogs literally preceded big civilizations, farming, and villages by tens of thousands of years.

When it comes to appearance, the Alaskan Malamute is the dog breed that is most similar to wolves.
Malamute similar to wolf
Photo by Monika Stawowy / Unsplash

But, believe it or not, the Malamute hasn't the most percentage of wolves gene.

Another study called 'Multiple and Ancient Origins of the Domestic Dog' examined the DNA of 85 distinct dog breeds.

Numerous breeds with ancient roots were discovered to contain more wolf DNA than others. Saluki, Siberian Husky, and Akita are some breeds close to the gene, but not the ones with the highest wolf DNA content.

What dog breed is genetically closest to a wolf?

The dog breed with the highest percentage of wolves is a small dog breed called Shih Tzu. Ironic, isn't it?

But how, you may think? Shi Tzu has a lengthy historical background, because is it actually the oldest breed that still exists in the present, having more than 1,000 years old.

shih tzu closest to wolf
Photo by Dieny Portinanni / Unsplash

This ancient breed inherited a large proportion of wolf DNA since they descended directly from the original dog breed with which they had coexisted for 97,000 years. Shi Tzu has been nurtured and bred to persist for up to 2,800 years.

Shih Tzu is a descendant of a domesticated Chinese wolf, sharing related traits.

Today, Shih Tzus are friendly, joyful, cheerful companion dogs that enjoy nothing more than to join their owners everywhere.

SUMMING UP: Which breed of dog has the highest percentage of wolf?

Surprisingly, the little eastern breeds of dogs have DNA that is most similar to that of wolves. Shih Tzus takes first place, followed by Saluki, Pekingese, then Tibetan Terriers.