By Josie February 28th, 2023

Are Bears and Dogs Related?

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Let's investigate further!

Though it might seem far-fetched, the truth is that bears and dogs evolved from similar ancestors.

Firstly, we'll take a closer look at the two species' respective evolution.

Evolution of the Bear

Bears have been inhabiting Earth for millions of years, evolving from a single common ancestor to the eight species that exist today.

While the wildlife habitats of bears are changing due to human influence, their impressive adaptability ensures their continued survival.

Evolution of the Dog

Ancient evidence has found that dogs were present with ancient humans in Europe about 14,000 to 6,400 years ago.

Today, over 68% of US households own a dog.

Both Species Are Mammals

By virtue of this we can see that bears and dogs are at the very least a little bit related.

Bears and dogs are both members of the taxonomic class Mammalia, making them both mammals.

Difference in Size

The bear stands at an average of 7 feet tall, while a dog’s size ranges from usually smaller than a foot to just over 2 feet at their largest.

Evolutionary Lineage

The two species split from each other millions of years ago.

However, both species possess similar skeletal features, and a closer biological analysis shows that bears are more closely related to dogs than cats

Shared Ancestor

Their common ancestor is the amphicyonidae – an ancient species of large mammals that lived roughly 45 million years ago.

Fascinatingly, this creature had traits of both canines and ursids!

Dogs That Resemble Bears

It is a large breed of dog that originates from Japan.

#1 Akita

The Alaskan Malamute is a large breed of dog originally bred for sledding in the Arctic region and is known for its thick fur coat, which helps to protect it from cold weather.

#2 Alaskan Malamute

The Chow Chow is a large breed of dog that originates from China.

#3 Chow Chow

These dogs are famous for being particularly protective over their owners and property.

#4 Eurasier

These dogs are famous for being particularly protective over their owners and property.

Behavior Similarities

Both animals demonstrate formidable strength, protect and defend their families, and hunt for food

Generally speaking, though, bears are more solitary creatures, while dogs are highly social animals.

Similarities in Their Diets

While certain species of bears are primarily plant-eaters or scavengers, they are all still predators at heart – and the same goes for domestic dogs and wolves.

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With continous breakthroughs within DNA-research, we’ll keep getting more answers about their shared lineage.