Customizable wolf armor is great, but what about new breeds? Minecraft's latest preview adds more doggo variants

Screenshot of the new wolf variants in Minecraft 1.21.
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios | X)

What you need to know

  • The upcoming Minecraft 1.21 update is surprisingly great for pet owners, adding new wolf-focused features for the first time in years.
  • In the latest pre-release Minecraft Preview and Minecraft: Java Edition snapshot, Mojang Studios has added seven brand-new wolf variants to the game.
  • Each wolf breed is visually distinct, and naturally spawns in different biomes.
  • This joins the new, more durable and more customizable wolf armor tested in previous previews and snapshots.

Minecraft is slow to evolve versus other games-as-a-service, but the next major content update arriving later this year is bringing a lot of exciting new features and additions. One surprising area of focus for Mojang Studios has been our wolf best friends in Minecraft, and matters are about to get a lot more interesting. That's right — the white wolf is no longer alone in the Overworld.

Announced via, the upcoming Minecraft 1.21 content update is now going to introduce seven new variants of wolves into the popular survival-crafting game. Players will be able to discover and tame a total of eight different wolf breeds, with each spawning in different parts of the Overworld and boasting a visually distinct coat.

It's something players have been requesting for a very long time, and it's finally here. Now, you can have a herd of unique dogs loyally following you on your Minecraft adventures. The original white wolf is still here (now under a new name), too. Here are the eight new wolf variants coming to Minecraft:

  • The Pale Wolf, which now spawns in the Taiga biome in packs of around four wolves and is the wolf we all know and love
  • The Woods Wolf, the new most common wolf variant that spawns in the Forest biome, and dons a brown, tan, and white coat
  • The Ashen Wolf, a blueish-grey wolf (it looks like the typicaly wolf you'd imagine in the real world) that spawns in Snowy Taiga biomes
  • The Black Wolf, a beautifully dark wolf that spawns in small packs in Old Growth Taiga biomes
  • The Chestnut Wolf, an all-brown wolf that spawns in small packs in Old Growth Spruce Taiga biomes
  • The Rusty Wolf, an orange-and-brown wolf that spawns in small packs in Sparse Jungle biomes
  • The Spotted Wolf, an orange, black, and white spotted wolf that spawns in large packs in Savannah Plateau biomes
  • The Striped Wolf, a tan-and-black striped wolf that spawns in large packs in Wooded Badlands biomes
  • The Snowy Wolf, a rare pure white wolf that spawns alone in Grove biomes

It's awesome to see brand-new doggos in Minecraft, but most players will have to wait until the Minecraft 1.21 update drops later this year. If you're interested in adding these new wolves to your herd right now, this feature is available for testing in the latest Minecraft: Java Edition snapshot and Minecraft Preview build. Apart from the visual changes, these new wolves should be functionally identical to how wolves worked before.

This feature goes hand-in-hand with the last new Minecraft 1.21 feature Mojang Studios began testing. Wolf armor was already in testing for the future update, but is now far more durable and protective than previous versions, and it can be dyed just like leather armor for some added wolfy color. You can read more in our article on the new Minecraft wolf armor changes.

In other news, one of the best Xbox games now has full cross-platform mod support for all players in Minecraft: Bedrock Edition, although the feature isn't perfect yet.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.