10 Dogs That Look Like Lions aka Lion Dogs

Written by: Kristina Lalovic
What are dog breeds that look like lions the most? In this article, we have listed ten of the most lion-like dogs.

Dogs that look like lions tend to have big fluffy coats, expressive faces, and proud postures.

Some dogs naturally resemble lions and they come in a range of different sizes and personalities.

Whether you are interested in a super playful lion-like dog or a calm and independent large dog that looks like a lion, or small size dogs with lion-like fur that are great with children, there is a lion-like dog out there for you.

Are you ready to discover all dogs that look like lions?

Let’s take a look at 10 dog breeds that look like lions:

1. Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff is among the biggest dogs that look like lions on this list.

These working dogs can weigh up to 160 pounds, with females being lighter and smaller.

Tibetan Mastiff is never recommended for first time dog owners, nor for those who cannot physically handle walking this breed.

They are massive, powerful, and large which means that they need a gigantic living space if they are going to be indoors.

Plus, these big lion dogs need special nutrition, and feeding them will require serious feeding planning, which is why you should always consider the financial side of owning this breed.

Tibetan Mastiff fast fact: Tibetan Mastiffs are among the best guard dogs

2. Chow Chow

Chow Chow definitely resemble lions in their fullest glory. Chow Chow is one of the most famous Chinese lion dogs, who originated in China 3,000 years ago.

Chow Chow may look fluffy but this is not a breed to mess around. They are highly territorial and need an experienced dog owner who will provide enough exercise and training.

Chow Chows are highly protective dogs, which makes them not so friendly toward strangers and even other dogs.

These lion-looking dogs tend to droll a bit, but they are easy to groom although their coat is so ‘rich’ in texture.

Chow Chow also goes under the name of ‘Songshi Quan’ which means Puffy-lion dog! And we have to agree on this one!

Chow Chow fast fact: Chow Chow will have blue, purple, grayish, or black tongue and that is normal for this breed

3. Lowchen

Lowchen, or originally Löwchen is a breed of proud full mane and plumed tail, which is why they are named ‘little lions’.

This small lion-like dog comes with a big personality.

Originally bred to be companion dogs, Lowchens are huge people lovers, great for apartment living, and easy to move around as they have between 9 to 18 pounds.

In fact, this is one of the smallest and lightest dogs that look like lions. This mini lion will bark, so addressing this during training is a must.

As a compact dog that is easy to train, the Lowchen is recommended for first time dog owners.

Lowchen fast fact: Lowchen doesn’t tolerate being alone.

4. Leonberger

Leonberger is a big lion dog who is best known for his soft heart. This is a giant breed best suited for working activities, as they thrive when there is a job to be done.

As a powerful dog with up to 170 pounds of profuse fur and high energy levels, Leonberger is often part of mountain rescue dog teams.

As such they are huge lovers of the outdoors and enjoy water and snow.

Leonberger or ‘lion shepherd’ is recommended only for experienced dog owners who know how to work with big fluffy dogs that look like lions, or just big fluffy dogs that are powerful and above average.

Leonberger fast fact: Leonberger is a breed with great swimming capabilities and is at the top when it comes to cart pulling

5. Newfoundland

Newfoundland is a working dog with a strong love for the water and great affection toward children.

These big lion dogs are often called ‘nanny dogs’ due to their devotion, and gentle side. As such, Newfoundlands are continually among the best family dogs.

As a giant and powerful breed with a long and profuse coat that keeps them warm in harsh climates, Newfoundlands are a common choice for mountain rescue dogs, as they can spend hours in the snow searching for lost people in the mountains.

Thanks to their voluminous fur, Newfoundland definitely looks like the king of all canines.

Newfoundland fast fact: Most probably, Newfoundland was the inspiration for ‘Nana’, a famous dog from Peter Pan

6. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute with his amazing coat traits really reminds of lion.

This lion-like breed is very proud which is easy to see in its posture. These mountain dogs are huge lovers of harsh climates, and thanks to their double coats they can easily spend hours outside.

Even today, next to Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamute are used as sled dogs, although they are smaller in size.

In fact, the Alaskan Malamute is smaller than most dog breeds that look like lions.

Just like the majority of dog breeds from this list, the Alaskan Malamute isn’t recommended for first time dog owners. They are also big shedders, who will shed more during the shedding season.

Alaskan Malamute fast fact: This artic dog is often mistaken for Siberian Husky

7. Caucasian Shepherd

Caucasian Shepherd, also called Caucasian Ovcharka is a massive mountain dog and one of the big dogs that look like lions.

This breed is a great outdoor guard who isn’t afraid to fight different predators.

Caucasian Shepherds is so fearless mountain lion dogs that will attack a bear if needed, as a form of defense.

With 24 to 34 inches and 80 to 220 pounds, Caucasian Shepherd is one of the largest dogs that one can encounter.

They are not apartment dogs, and can mostly be found in rural areas guarding the flock.

Even today they will usually wear metal collars with nibs as protection against wolves, who are experienced hunters and go for the neck first.

All in all, owning this breed demands extra precaution, frequent grooming, and serious training.

Caucasian Shepherd fast fact: Today, this breed is the most popular in Russia

8. Pomeranian

Pomeranian is a small size dog that looks like a tiny lion due to its coat and fur-rich collar.

They may be small in size, but their personality matched the lion’s size. When well-groomed they will always have that proud stand and lion-like-shaped head.

Pomeranian or popularly called Pom is a great city dog who fits every apartment perfectly.

They are a great choice for novice owners who are affectionate toward other dogs and reserved when it comes to strangers.

Pomeranians will tolerate children as long as they are educated on how to behave around dogs, but they will hate being left alone, frequently, or for too long.

9. Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog is a miniature version of a rough Collie. Thanks to its straight hair and rich neck fur, this sensitive dog resembles a lion.

This is a sensitive breed that doesn’t do well on its own and thrives only when surrounded by people.

They are great with children and love being surrounded by other dogs.

Just like any other Collie-like dog, Shetland Sheepdog has a high playfulness level and strong exercise needs that should be met.

Otherwise, you will end up having a bored and eventually destructive lion-like dog.

10. Gaddi Kutta

Gaddi Kutta or Himalayan Sheepdog is a large dog that looks like a lion. This is a mastiff-type breed that originates in northern India to be a working and guard dog.

Even today they are mostly busy guarding livestock, mostly in India and Nepal.

With owners, and familiar people, Gaddi dogs will be friendly, but with strangers, they will keep their distance.

All in all, these dogs deserve to be compared to lions for their fearlessness and strength. In fact, they are said to be strong enough to repulse attacks from snow leopards.

Dogs That Look Like Lions – To Sum Up

Dogs that look like lions are no different than dogs that look like foxes or wolves, as they need to have an identical amount of care, affection, and training.

When it comes to getting a dog with specific traits make sure that that specific breed fits your lifestyle.

Compare different dog breeds, compare different dogs that look like lions, be honest about how much time you have for a dog, and then get a breed that seems like the best fit.

This is the only way to have a really great match.