Have you ever done a double-take when you saw a dog that looked strikingly like a horse?
If so, you’re not alone.
A fascinating subset of the canine world is where certain breeds remarkably resemble our equine friends.
This article delves into this intriguing topic, exploring the unique characteristics and breeds that make some dogs look like horses.
What Makes a Dog Look Like a Horse?
What exactly do we mean when a dog looks like a horse? It’s all about certain physical characteristics that these dogs share with horses.
- Size and Body Structure: Many dog breeds resembling horses are large, often standing tall at the shoulder and possessing a robust body. Dogs that look like horses often have a long, slender body structure similar to a horse’s.
- Face Shape and Structure: Dogs that look like horses often have long, narrow faces, much like a horse. Their muzzle may be elongated, and their eyes are usually set apart.
- Coat and Tail: The coat and tail of these dogs can enhance their horse-like appearance. Some breeds have a short, sleek coat resembling a horse’s coat. Others have a long, flowing mane of hair that can remind one of a horse’s mane. The tail, too, can be long and flowing, similar to a horse’s tail.
- Movement Style: The way these dogs move can also make them seem horse-like. Many of these breeds have a graceful, prancing gait reminiscent of a horse’s trot or gallop.
- Role of Breed and Genetics: Selective breeding has enhanced these horse-like features in certain dog breeds over generations. Breeders, guided by breed standards, have selected traits like size, body proportion, coat type, and movement style to create breeds resembling horses.
25 Dogs That Look Like Horses
A fascinating array of dog breeds bear a striking resemblance to horses. Here, we delve into the 21 breeds that are known for their horse-like appearance:
1. Afghan Hound
Known for their elegance and grace, Afghan Hounds have tall and slender bodies, long silky hair, and a tail with a curl at the end, strikingly resembling a horse.
Often referred to as the “Arabian Greyhound,” Salukis have a slim, graceful physique reminiscent of a horse.
Their smooth, muscular bodies, deep-chested and long-legged build, and the way they carry their tail low like a horse contribute to their horse-like appearance.
The Borzoi, or Russian Wolfhound, is tall and slender with a narrow, elongated face similar to a horse’s. Their graceful, flowing gait is reminiscent of a horse’s trot.
4. Irish Wolfhound
The Irish Wolfhound is a large breed that resembles a horse in size and physical characteristics. They have a muscular body, long legs, and a long face. Their rough coat gives them a rustic look similar to some horse breeds.
5. Scottish Deerhound
The Scottish Deerhound is often compared to a rough-coated horse due to its size and build.
They have tall and slender bodies, deep chests, and long necks. Their wiry coat and the way they move with a long and easy stride further enhance their horse-like appearance.
6. Great Dane
Known as the “Apollo of Dogs,” Great Danes are among the largest breeds. Their towering height and muscular build often draw comparisons to horses. Their galloping run is also reminiscent of a horse’s gait.
Greyhounds are known for their speed and grace, much like a racehorse. They have a slim, muscular build, a deep chest, and a narrow, elongated head, all contributing to their horse-like appearance.
8. Bull Terrier
While not as large as some other breeds on this list, Bull Terriers have a distinctive, long, and oval-shaped face reminiscent of a horse’s face.
9. Chinese Crested Dog
The hairless variety of this breed, with tufts of hair on the head, tail, and ankles, can remind one of a miniature horse. Their slender body and prancing gait add to this impression.
Known for their distinctive black spots on a white coat, Dalmatians have strong, muscular bodies and high-set tails, giving them a horse-like appearance.
11. English Mastiff
This breed is massive, with males weighing up to 230 pounds. Their size and strength are reminiscent of a draft horse.
12. Saint Bernard
Known for their strength and power, Saint Bernards are large and muscular. Their broad and powerful build is similar to that of a horse.
Newfoundlands are large and powerful, known for their strength and swimming ability. Their size and muscular build give them a horse-like appearance.
This breed is known for its size and strength. They have a muscular build and a mane of hair around the neck, reminiscent of a horse’s mane.
15. Neapolitan Mastiff
This breed is large and powerful, with loose, wrinkled skin. Their size and strength are reminiscent of a horse.
16. Dogue de Bordeaux
This breed is powerful and muscular, with a large head and a strong build. Their size and strength are reminiscent of a horse.
17. Bernese Mountain Dog
This breed is large and powerful, known for its strength and agility. Their size and muscular build give them a horse-like appearance.
18. Italian Greyhound
This breed is like a miniature version of the Greyhound. They have a slim, muscular build, a deep chest, and a narrow, elongated head, all contributing to their horse-like appearance.
With their long bodies and short legs, Dachshunds can remind one of a miniature horse, especially when running with their ears flapping.
20. Shetland Sheepdog
This breed, known as the Sheltie, is often compared to a small Rough Collie. They have a long, rough coat and a mane of hair around the neck, reminiscent of a horse’s mane.
This breed is small, but their large, butterfly-like ears can remind one of a horse’s alert and expressive ears. Their prancing gait also adds to this impression.
22. Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is a large Italian breed known for its impressive muscle mass and strength. Its size and power can remind one of a horse, especially when it’s running at full speed.
23. Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan Mastiff is a massive breed, with males often weighing over 150 pounds. Their thick, dense coat and powerful build give them a horse-like appearance, especially when they move with their distinctive, powerful gait.
24. Caucasian Ovcharka
Also known as the Caucasian Shepherd Dog, this breed is large and powerful, known for its strength and protective nature. Their size and muscular build give them a horse-like appearance.
25. Central Asian Ovcharka
This breed, the Central Asian Shepherd Dog, a.k.a. Alabai, is one of the oldest and largest dog breeds.
They are known for their strength, endurance, and protective nature. Their size and power can remind one of a horse, especially when they’re running with their ears flapping.
Each of these breeds has unique characteristics that make them special. Whether it’s their size, body structure, coat, or movement style, these breeds all resemble horses in one way or another.
Comparing Horse-like Dogs and Horses
|Size||While some breeds like the Great Dane and Irish Wolfhound are large, they are still significantly smaller than horses.||Horses are much larger, with even a small horse standing taller than the largest dog.|
|Body Structure||These dogs have a long, slender body structure, similar to that of a horse.||Horses also have a long, slender body but are more muscular and robust.|
|Face Shape||Dogs that look like horses often have a long, narrow face, much like a horse.||Horses have a long, narrow face with a large, elongated muzzle.|
|Coat and Tail||Some breeds have a short, sleek coat resembling a horse’s coat. Others have a long, flowing mane of hair. The tail can be long and flowing, similar to a horse’s tail.||Horses have a short, sleek coat and a long, flowing mane and tail.|
|Movement Style||Many of these breeds have a graceful, prancing gait reminiscent of a horse’s trot or gallop.||Horses have a variety of gaits, including walk, trot, canter, and gallop.|
The similarities between these dog breeds and horses are largely due to selective breeding.
Over generations, breeders have selected traits like size, body proportion, coat type, and movement style to create breeds that resemble horses.
However, despite these similarities, it’s important to remember that dogs and horses are fundamentally different species with different needs and behaviors.
Owning a dog that looks like a horse can be a unique experience, but it doesn’t replace the experience of owning a horse.
Potential owners should consider factors like space, exercise needs, lifespan, and care requirements when deciding whether to get a horse-like dog or a horse.
In this exploration of the canine world, we’ve discovered that there are indeed dogs that bear a striking resemblance to horses.
From the towering Great Dane to the graceful Saluki, the muscular Irish Wolfhound to the slender Greyhound, each breed carries unique characteristics that echo the majestic horse.
We’ve also learned that these resemblances are not just about size.
While larger breeds like the English Mastiff and the Newfoundland certainly remind us of horses due to their stature, smaller breeds like the Dachshund and the Papillon share horse-like features, proving that size isn’t everything.
The world of dog breeds is as diverse as it is fascinating. Selective breeding over generations has led to breeds that resemble other animals, including horses.
However, it’s important to remember that despite their horse-like appearance, these dogs are still very much dogs with unique needs, behaviors, and characteristics.
In conclusion, whether you’re a dog lover, a horse lover, or both, there’s a dog breed out there that will capture your heart.
And who knows?
You might find your perfect companion in one of these horse-like dogs. After all, in the end, it’s not just about how a dog looks but the unconditional love and companionship they offer.
For more unique dog breeds, check out these articles:
- mop dogs
- Dogs That Look Like Pandas
- Dog breeds that look like tigers
- Dogs that look like fried chicken
- Dogs that look like coyotes
What is a dog that looks like a sheep?
The Old English Sheepdog is a breed that closely resembles a sheep. With its thick, shaggy coat and playful nature, this breed is often mistaken for a sheep at first glance.
What kind of dog looks like a goat?
The Bedlington Terrier is a dog breed that has a striking resemblance to a goat. Its curly coat arched back, and narrow, pointed face give it a goat-like appearance.
What dog looks like a little lamb?
The Bichon Frise is a small breed that often gets compared to a little lamb. Its fluffy white coat, round eyes, and playful demeanor make it look like a cuddly lamb.
- List of dog breeds. (2023, May 25). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dog_breeds
- American Kennel Club. (n.d.). American Kennel Club. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from https://www.akc.org/
- The Kennel Club. (2023). The Kennel Club. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/