After humans, dog breeds are so unique that there’s just a lot of variety in their appearance and personality.
If you go to a local pet store or a dog park, you might find yourself seeing large dog breeds, dogs with short coats, dogs with an athletic body, skinny dogs and more.
Arguably, the beautiful variation the canine world has can often make it difficult for a potential dog owner to choose the perfect family dog they so desire.
If you’re planning on buying a dog but not entirely sure which one, don’t worry, today we’re going to help save you time and narrow down your choices by highlighting 15 skinny dog breeds.
What type of dogs are tall and skinny?
Many people might think that tall skinny dogs exist due to underfeeding, bad eating habits, a decline in gut health, and an underlying illness. But, that’s not entirely true. The truth is a lot of these dogs are already born skinny; it’s something that they can’t help.
However, naturally skinny breeds have similar characteristics like being fast, agile, and great at hunting. Moreover, many skinny dog breeds are incredibly loyal dogs and love to shower their dog owners with affection.
What kind of dog is skinny?
Another question many people try to ask when it comes to skinny dog breeds: What exactly is a skinny dog?
To give you an idea, one typical example is an Italian greyhound. The Italian greyhound can grow up to 33-38cm/13-15 inches in height and weigh up to 3.6-5kg/8-11lbs.
These skinny dogs are known for their athletic capabilities, agile and affectionate nature. They also come in various colors from black, tan, sable, red fawn, slate grey, blue, red, yellow, chocolate, fawn, and more.
Now you have an idea of what to look for in a tall skinny dog, have a look at our top 15 tall skinniest dog breeds:
The Afghan Hound is a skinny dog that originates from the Western areas of Afghanistan. Then during the 19th century, these hunting hounds were sent to Europe by British soldiers coming from the Afghan Indian borders.
Their primary purpose was to guard, herd and hunt. Today the Afghan Hound is much more domesticated and serves as good pets within family homes.
They are incredibly loyal, independent, and affectionate dogs that can live up to 12-14 years. This dog breed is renowned for its long, silky coat, strong neck, large paws, and doughnut style tail. It also comes in a range of coat colors from black, cream, and red.
Nowadays, Whippets look like a smaller Greyhound but still part of the hound group. Previously they were fast hunting hounds chasing after rabbits and small game.
However, today this dog is known in competitions for its remarkable agility, lure coursing, rally, and obedience. Moreover, they’re the perfect family dog due to their friendly personality and unique nature.
Also, the Whippet has similar physical characteristics to a greyhound; they have long bony legs, a deep chest, tucked abdomen, a low whip tail, and a muscular narrow body.
In addition to this, they have a range of coat colors such as black, red, blue, brindle, white and fawn. On average, they have a lifespan of 12-15 years.
The Kanni breed resembles a similar appearance to a Greyhound and Whippet. This beautiful royal indigenous breed comes from South India, primarily from Tamil Nadu. Their name ‘Kanni’ indicates the black, tan, and sable coats. In Tamil, the name also means pure due to the loyalty the dog portrays.
Kanni tends to be a shy breed but is incredibly loyal to their family and can be protective most of the time. In addition to this, they’re also independent dogs but can be easy to train if required.
This dog tends to have little body fat due to its bony legs and lean muscles.
Many dog lovers adore the pharaoh hound due to its rich tan, red and golden coat. By its name, you’d think it’s an ancient Egyptian breed, but the truth is, this dog actually originates from Malta! This skinny dog breed was originally bred to hunt small game across difficult terrain.
They were great for hunting due to their high speeds and strong scent. Today though, they’re great friendly and affectionate dogs suited for many families. Sometimes though, they have a sense of aloofness and can be clumsy.
They’re also renowned for their leather nose, ears, eye rims, stunning amber eyes, and a white-tipped tail.
One of their most unique qualities is that they can blush, and you can see this by their nose becoming a deep rose color. These dog breeds can live up to 11-14 years on average.
Developed from sighthounds, the Saluki is a dog whose original purpose was to hunt based on their sight instead of scent.
Nomadic tribes would use them for hunting down animals across long distances and are closely related to the Afghan Hound. They’ve been known to hunt rabbits, goats, otters, foxes, raccoons, snakes, squirrels, and deer throughout their existence.
Typically this breed has a deep chest, long legs, narrow-body, arched loin, small waist, angular ears, and a long tail. This dog breed can be affectionate most of the time, but they’re very selective about who they choose to be loyal to.
However, Salukis still have many innate hunting traits; their fast speed can easily be set off by a squirrel, car, radio car, or anything else. These dogs can so run so fast, up to 30-35 miles an hour.
They also have a variety of coat colors coming in white, cream, gold, fawn, tan, and red.
The Ibizan Hound is part of the hound family renowned for their lean figure. Usually, you can find two types of hair in the Ibizan Hound: smooth and wire; smooth is the most popular.
As the name suggests, this Hound comes from Ibiza and hunted rabbits across Spain’s Balearic Islands. Today they serve as great family dogs as they’re playful and sometimes have silly tendencies. They also love to snuggle up with family members and can be suited to apartments if they get enough exercise.
Typically their figure is lean with bony legs; they also have an elongated head and erect ears. Moreover, they have a red colored leathered nose, rosy colored eye rims, lips, amber or caramel eyes that match their coat.
Their coat also comes in a range of colors such as white, fawn, red, and red & white.
Originating from West Africa is the Azawakh raised in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. This dog breed is incredibly tall. They also have a lean bone structure where you can easily see the muscles beneath their skin.
Generally, they have a deep chest, smooth contours across their body, and an aerodynamic head. They also have a short fine coat that can come in various color combinations such as sand, fawn, red, clear, brindled, parti-colour such as blue, black, and brown. Sometimes they also have a black mask and white markings on their leg, bib, and end of their tail.
These dogs tend to be gentle, and they love to shower affection towards their family members. Sometimes though, they can be aloof around strangers and love to utilize their sighthound instinct. This means when they see something moving like small animals or children running, they may easily take off.
The Vizsla is a breed that used to be serious hunters originating from Hungary that first came into existence 1000 years back. Their original purpose was to hunt and retrieve, but today they’re fantastic companions for active families.
However, they do require to live in a house with a large yard to expel their energy. This dog also falls into the medium sized category with a light build. Their athleticism is distinct by their muscular and lean build.
They also have three main types of coat colors: golden, red, and golden rust.
American English Coonhound
The American English Coonhound is often known as the English Coonhound, which originates from the United States. Their original purpose was to hunt foxes and raccoons. Typically they were renowned for their endurance, speed, and long ranges they could run.
Due to their high drive and energy, it takes a lot of patience to train them to be family dogs. Due to their instinct to hunt, it can be difficult for them to be a family pet.
They also have a deep chest, domed skull, low hung ears, dark brown eyes, an athletic frame, and a medium length coat. Their coat also comes in a range of colors such as Redtick, lemon & white, red & white, blue tick, and tri-colored. On average, they can grow up to 53-69cm/20-28 inches and weigh between 18-30kg/39-67lbs.
Braque du Bourbonnais
The Braque du Bourbonnais comes from France and is believed to have first existed in the early 1500s.
It’s a type of gun dog that originally was an ancient eye-catcher that would hunt many animals. Today this breed is renowned for its kind, affectious, and calm nature, perfect for families.
The Braque du Bourbonnais has a life expectancy of 10-12 years. This dog can also come in a coat in a brown ticked or fawn ticked coat color.
Nowadays, they’re fantastic family dogs as they’re a natural protector and love to shower family members with love. They’re also highly intelligent, alert, athletic, and loyal.
In addition to this, they have a short, sleek, and shiny coat that can come in solid colors such as black, blue, fawn, dark red, or rust markings. On average, this breed lives for around 10-12 years.
Often the Sloughi is given the nickname of the Arabian Greyhound and is primarily renowned for its speed and hunting skills. The breed comes from North Africa, and its initial purpose was to hunt game in the deserts.
They’re also renowned for their athletic body and dense coat. Their coat comes in black, brindle, fawn, and sandy.
The Borzoi originally came from Russia and was bred to hunt rabbits, wolves, foxes, and groups. It was also known as the Russian Wolfhound for its strong, graceful, and swift nature.
Sometimes it also can be a bit stubborn, but this can be removed if they have consistent training. Generally, they have a tall, lean body with a long narrow head and silky coat.
The Borzoi also has a range of coat colors from blue, fawn, black, tan, and silver.
Irish setters are gun dogs from Ireland who would typically hunt birds. These dogs have a social and affectionate nature making them perfect for families. Alongside this, they also have high energy levels and are excellent watchdogs.
Typically, they have a short and fin head, forelegs, mahogany, or rich red chestnut coat.
This large and lean dog breed came from South Africa and originally bred to guard dogs.
They typically have a large body, long and thin tail, fallen paws, and a brown coat. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is renowned for its mischievous, sensitive, strong, intelligent, and loyal personality.
In addition to this, they also love to play and are gentle with kids. On average, this breed can live up to 10-12 years.
Alex Wrigley is a professional writer and blogger who loves travel, technology and dogs. She is originally from the UK but currently lives in Nepal with her three dogs: two pugs and a golden retriever.