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14 Big Dogs That Look Like Bears: Canine Cubs!

Every dog has a unique personality and appearance, but some big dogs have that undeniable resemblance to bears.

These dogs come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, from small to large and everything in between.

But let’s be honest, most of the canine cubs are rather large, attributed to the fact that it’s just difficult to be a cute, white 5-pound Pomeranian and look menacing at the same time.

While many are way off when it comes to size, habitat, or any personality trait really, they’re cute mini bears you can easily keep as a pet.

Keep in mind that owning any of these dog breeds is associated with dietary requirements, exercise needs, and a need for mental stimulation.

All bear look-alikes need to be socialized and have different traits.

Some ancient dog breeds actually have more in common with bears than you might think though.

1. Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff chewing on a stick on the left side compared to a similar-looking black bear on the right side.

The Tibetan Mastiff is a big dog breed that looks like a bear. This Mastiff has thick fur covering the body, with long flowing hair on the tail and ears.

The appearance of this breed can be likened to the American black bear or the Gobi bear from Mongolia which dwells in sand dunes or grasslands.

The coat coloration for these dogs can be black and partly tan like some bears.

2. Newfoundland

Newfoundland dog featured next to a large black bear with a similar head shape and coat.

Newfoundlands are large dogs that can also resemble a black bear.

This breed is known for a calm and gentle disposition as well as the massive size, which can reach up to 200 pounds.

Of course, many individuals are smaller and there’s a health risk for the joints when the dog is nothing more than overweight so beware of that.

Newfoundlands are commonly used in water rescue because of their strong swimming instinct and natural abilities. They have thick fur on the chest, legs, tail base, and head.

3. Chow Chow

Black Chow Chow puppy next to a black Asian bear.

The Chow Chow is a thick-boned dog breed that can resemble the Asian black bear.

These dogs typically have a black or very light brown color and have thick fur around their neck.

They also have a distinctive broad muzzle with heavy bones which gives this dog breed an appearance similar to those of ursine species.

Sadly, poor breeding practices contribute to the Chow Chow potentially having respiratory issues or skin issues due to the excess skin folds.

While this breed served many purposes in ancient Asia, it’s most commonly seen as a pet nowadays, albeit not the best beginner dog breed.

4. Caucasian Shepherd

The Caucasian Shepherd is a large livestock guardian dog. Interested in this big boy as a pet? Well, you should know that they can be pretty territorial and independent.

This large dog breed may look like a bear and while they might not be able to take on a bear in a one-on-one, there have been reports of them attacking invading wolves.

5. Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees running in snow in comparison to the head of a Polar bear with the long snout and white coat.

The Great Pyrenees can look like a bear because of their thick neck, heavy body, and shaggy coat.

They have a dense double coat that can keep them warm even in extremely cold conditions.

This gentle giant is typically known for being an excellent family dog and livestock guardian.

6. Maremma Sheepdog

Short-coated Maremma Sheepdog in the snow featured next to a bear cub standing up.

The Maremma Sheepdog is relatively unknown and often mistaken for a Great Pyrenees or even White Swiss Shepherd.

These dogs err more on the side of an athletic build for a dog of this size.

This is partly thanks due to their function as livestock guardians while still being able to live through harsh winters.

7. Leonberger

Leonberger is a large breed of dog with bear-like features. They have a white chest and stomach, black patches on their back and legs, and brown ears.

Despite the Leonberger’s appearance, they need vigorous exercise and have a high-maintenance coat.

They may look like cuddly teddy bears on the outside, but they have a personality that is more akin to an actual grizzly.

8. Eurasier

Menacing Grizzly bear next to a fierce-looking Eurasier waiting in the grass.

Well, the Eurasier may not look as powerful as that Grizzly bear (and they certainly aren’t) but it sure makes for a fierce look, doesn’t it?

The Eurasier is a relatively new breed of dog. It was first achieved in the 1970s by crossing a Spitz with a Chow Chow and Samoyed to produce dogs that were similar in appearance to small bears.

The result is one of the most interesting breeds around today.

C’mon, I had to smuggle in a smaller fella.

9. Bouvier Des Flandres

Bouvier des Flandres pup resembles a teddy bear.
Photo by Bridgemont Photography on Shutterstock

This dog looks like the big teddy bear version of a Poodle with their somewhat curly coat.

The Bouvier des Flandres was originally used for general farm work (herding sheep, pulling carts, driving cattle) and while many resources refer to them as being used as police or guard dogs, it’s a relatively rare occurrence.

10. Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard with three puppies.
Photo by tobkatrina on Depositphotos

Okay, the Saint Bernard doesn’t exactly resemble the typical Grizzly or even Black Bear.

But still, with their stocky legs and massive neck, St. Bernards can look as intimidating as a bear.

They’re often used for rescue missions in hazardous conditions like snowy mountains.

11. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute in the snow pouncing like a fierce bear.
Photo by COLOMBO NICOLA on Shutterstock

The Alaskan Malamute may resemble the wolf more than a bear, but still, you could call them big teddy bears.

That’s in contrast to their personality which certainly can be family-friendly if bred and socialized properly, but they’re still quite the independent and intelligent dog breed.

12. Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu with very soft coat like a little bear.
Photo by B.Stefanov on Shutterstock

The Shiba Inu looks like a small bear you just want to cuddle due to their cute coat.

Shiba Inu and bears are both hunters.

They have an uncanny ability to sniff out prey, whether it’s a delicious steak or a terrified elk.

Their sense of smell is so strong that they can even detect the presence of food buried deep beneath the ground.

A Shiba Inu may not be as large or powerful as a bear, but their hunting skills are definitely impressive!

13. Samoyed

Samoyed with similar coat and ears like a Polar bear cub.

Samoyed pups have the same cute coat, the same stubby ears, and similarly shaped eyes like the Polar bear.

As the Polar bear cub grows up, similarity fades a bit as the two diverge when it comes to weight.

Samoyeds are still super cute fluffballs though.

14. Pomeranian

Pomeranian looking like a very small Polar bear.
Photo by YamabikaY on Shutterstock

The Pomeranian is a small dog breed and you could call them Polar bear cub light.

They have all the Polar bear features without the desire or ability to crush you with their paw.

With their shaggy coats and little round teddy-bear faces, you can’t help but compare them to adorable bear cubs!

Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.

About Danielle

Equipped with 5+ years of expertise as a Rottweiler owner, I partner with licensed veterinarians and trainers to share research-backed and actionable advice for you and your furry friend.