Dogs are man’s best friends, but the bear’s magnificence has fascinated humans for centuries. Many cultures use bears as symbols, or as favorite mascots. Bears inspire both legend and myth. The bear is a mammal of the family Ursidae, classified as caniforms, which means “doglike carnivorans.” While no dog should have his hair cut to look like a bear, some dog breeds have a natural bear-like resemblance. Let’s meet five dogs who look like bears right here:
First, I’ll mention a similarity with bears that goes beyond appearance: water prowess! Bears are remarkably powerful and speedy swimmers. They’re also proficient hunters in water. We Newfoundlands were born to swim — our paws are even partially webbed. The Polar Bear has rather webbed feet, too, although most bears don’t. But unlike bears, we Newfoundlands will take a plunge to rescue humans! In fact, we were developed on Newfoundland to work with fishermen. We’re celebrated for our love of children, patience and huge hearts. I’ll stay humble, however, about our size. The common Black Bear generally weighs about 240 pounds and a Grizzly may weigh some 500 pounds. That makes me the lightweight at a mere 130 or so pounds.
Note my elegance and majesty. Perhaps you’ve put me on this list of dogs who look like bears because my lush white, weather-resistant coat reminds you of a Polar Bear? Consider a few other similarities we canines have with the ursidae (bear): we’re both meat-lovers, so we have sharp, meat-eating teeth. Secondly, many dog breeds (such as me) have long noses similar to a bear’s snout. As for my history, I was bred to work with mountain shepherds, guarding my flocks on the Pyrenees slopes from wolves and (wait for it…) bears!
Since I only weigh 20 to 30 pounds, I’m clearly less bear-like than my cousins above. But despite my small size, I’m a working dog, not a lapdog. I was bred for herding in the Carpathian Basin. Because pastures were small, my job involved driving livestock to fields for food. I also protected farms and warned my family of possible intruders. So now, knowing my history, if you believe I make this list of dogs who look like bears because of my strength and courage, I’ll accept the praise. If you’re viewing me as a teddy bear (although I admit I’m cute), I’ll take the compliment under advisement.
While we’re often deemed lion or cat like, we also resemble bears. But before we highlight similarities, I’d like to mention a few differences. First, bears don’t readily work with humans. In fact, bears are mainly solitary. Secondly, bears live a long time … maybe 30 years. We don’t. Lastly, bears aren’t as smart as dogs. We Chows are an ancient breed, developed in China as versatile working dogs. We hunted, guarded, herded and pulled supplies for our people. I suppose I make the grade for dogs who look like bears if you’re focusing on strength and power. We’re also renowned for our blue-black tongues. Did you know that Polar Bears have dark tongues, too?
We Poms are extremely enthusiastic small dogs, bred down from bigger Spitz breeds in the Pomerania region. While we weigh only about 5 pounds, we’re nonetheless bold, agile and poised. I have a profuse outer coat, which might remind you of a fluffy bear. A true athlete, I rock the sport world of agility, rally and freestyle dance. I also jump and climb. Perhaps that’s why I’m on this list of dogs who looks like bears — those bears do climb rather well, even up trees. I may not climb trees, but I truly can climb out of most exercise pens!
Tell us: Do you have dogs who look like bears? What breeds or mixes of breeds are they?
Thumbnail: Photography by Waldemar Dabrowski / Shutterstock.
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