15 Long-Legged Dog Breeds with Big Hearts

dogs with long legs

Wouldn’t it be weird to see a Dachshund with long legs? Or a basset hound? These dogs have reasons for being shorties, but there are dogs with long legs that have their reasons for having supermodel legs, too.

It’s a body part that can even be in the anatomy of a small dog like a corgi or a border terrier. Dogs with long legs are generally built to run and at times, over long distances.

For instance, you wouldn’t take a bulldog or a pug for a 5-mile run, but you might take a greyhound for a marathon jog. So let’s get into these fantastic breeds and see why they have legs like Heidi Klum. 

Dogs with Long Legs

Dogs with Long Legs

Dogs that are selectively bred to handle certain jobs have given humans a jumpstart on whatever they’re breeding for. With hunting dogs, digging in tunnels for small prey is perfect for the Jack Russell terrier, while hunting for gazelles is made for the Afghan hound. 

Dogs like small terriers and Dachshunds are called “Earthdogs,” and they were developed to be small and flexible. (You won’t see a hunter going down a rabbit hole.) With short legs, powerful jaws, and huge paws, they know how to flush out Bugs Bunny if necessary.

Conversely, hunting dogs with long legs can chase down wild boar or deer quicker than you can say “Bambi.” Many have insane stamina and endurance and can run at high speeds.

Some dogs with long legs are diggers, too, but they do it without burrowing or burying themselves in the tunnel. Their feet point forward and when they dig, the dirt is thrown between their back legs. They can also look for bigger underground prey like badgers or foxes.

These leggy dogs can be all-purpose animals as well like a great dane that hunts wild boars can also guard country estates and farms and herd livestock. 

All dogs are talented, but it’s time to get into the breeds that make Lebron James look short. 

Large Long-Legged Dogs

Step into the world of large, long-legged dogs, where height meets grace, and each stride tells a story of elegance.

Irish Wolfhound

long legged dogs breeds
Height30”-32” 
Lifespan6-8 yrs.
GroupHound
PersonalityCourageous, even-tempered, loving

Large, powerful, and a dog that needs lots of exercise (to the tune of at least an hour daily), the Irish wolfhound was named for what it hunted, not its breed. At 105-120 pounds, this is no lap dog; however, they are huge teddy bears when it comes to being companion animals. 

This breed, which looks a bit unkempt, which makes them cute, was used by the Gaels to protect livestock from wolves in Ireland. Although they have a calm temperament, they are the largest of the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) breeds. They probably wouldn’t do well in a city apartment unless you’re a consistent hiker or runner.

They don’t like to be left alone without their people, so they do best with someone who’s home a lot. Having another dog as a sidekick would be a huge bonus for them. These dogs with long legs just want to be with you, so whatever you’re doing, expect them to be right there with you.    

Great Dane

long legged dog breed
Height28”-32”
Lifespan7-10 yrs.
GroupWorking
PersonalityProtective, friendly, dependable

I dog sit for a Great Dane and wish I had a picture of us since her legs almost come up to my hips. She’s a gorgeous dog with long legs, a stately stature, and a playful attitude. She doesn’t rush anywhere and is calm and loyal

These gentle giants can weigh up to 175 lbs. and Hazel has knocked me over before by just leaning into me for a “love tap.” They have a deep bark and drool so much you need to wear a towel on your belt loop.

Great Danes are wonderful with kids but always supervise them simply due to their size and inability to understand their own strengths. They’re surprisingly fast and were developed in Germany to hunt wild boar. Interesting fact: Scooby-Doo is a great dane! 

Scottish Deerhound

dog breeds with long legs
Height28”-32”
Lifespan8-11 yrs.
GroupHound
PersonalityLoyal, gentle, talented

Scruffy McScrufferson is a bit disheveled-looking but true to his canine-ness, he’s a beautiful dog. The “Royal Dog of Scotland,” with its bushy beard and eyebrows, looks like a Scottish gentleman. Their rough coats protected them from inclement weather in Scotland.    

They’re not very vocal, so don’t count on having a top watchdog with this breed. Bred to stalk the giant wild red deer, they’re coursing hounds, which means they hunt by sight rather than scent. They’re lightning-fast and enjoy mechanical luring competitions (as well as those with live rabbits, but I didn’t want to get graphic).

Both an ancient (Middle Ages) and rare breed, the Scottish deerhound almost went extinct when the gun was invented. They were looked upon as treasures, and at one time, only royalty could own them. They’re special like that. 

Borzoi

long leg dogs
Height26”-28”+
Lifespan9-14 yrs.
GroupHound
PersonalityCalm, graceful, loyal

This breed moves with such grace that they should be wearing a crown. Once known as the Russian wolfhound, this courser sighthound was developed by Russian aristocracy in the 17th century. With immense strength and stamina, they hunted wolves in packs of 100 or more hounds. 

They’re intelligent and gentle and make the perfect companion. Not only do they need daily physical exercise, but they need to be mentally challenged as well. Use games like treat puzzles so they’ll need to figure things out to be rewarded.

Lucy, a borzoi, won Best Hound in the Westminster Dog Show (UK) in 2018. With extra-long snouts and graceful movements, they’re a sight to be seen.

Afghan Hound

long legged dog breeds
Height25”-27”
Lifespan12-18 yrs.
GroupHound
PersonalityIntelligent, expressive  

With silky long hair that flows just so as they prance around the conformation show ring, to the delight of the crowd, Afghans have spectacular beauty. They’re independent thinkers and should be trained with consistent, positive reinforcement so they can recognize the true leader of the pack.

That glorious hair on the ancient breed was bred into them for protection from harsh climates in the Afghanistan mountain regions where they originated. Even their giant paw pads helped them navigate.

As hunters, they would incapacitate or hold prey at bay until the guardian/hunter could arrive. The way their eyes are set on their narrow heads gives them exceptional vision as sighthounds.

They were once called “Persian greyhounds.”They’re open with strangers but can be aloof and okay with other dogs but need to be socialized early with them.

The Afghan Club of America was formed in 1937. What an impressive canine.   

Greyhound

long leg dog
Height27”-30”
Lifespan10-13 yrs.
GroupHound
PersonalityGentle, adaptable, loving

Many people rescue greyhounds from racetracks since they’re treated so poorly, but I’ll spare you the horror stories. Those who do adopt speak of how sweet and even-tempered they are. 

The greyhound is the fastest dog there is and can reach speeds of up to 45 mph. Other coursing hounds use the greyhound as a template for speed, agility, and more.

Similar to cheetahs, greyhounds use a double suspension technique to run, which means their bodies contract and extend with all four feet, leaving the ground at once between strides.

You’ll have quiet, consistent behavior from your grey and really, all they want to do is lounge when they’re at home. As with all dogs, always use positive-reinforcement training with the grey. They’re especially sensitive animals.

They hardly shed or smell, just remember to winter them up with a sweater if they’ll be in cold temperatures. You’ve hit the jackpot with this one.   

Medium Long-Legged Dogs

Now, let’s discover the unique charm of medium-sized dogs, where agility meets grace in a perfectly proportioned package.

Doberman Pinscher

long bodied dogs
Height24”-28”
Lifespan10-12 yrs.
GroupWorking
PersonalityAffectionate, fearless, vigilant

These fabulous guard and tall dogs have a sky-high energy level, so if you aren’t highly active, you might want to choose a different breed. Jogs, free play during the day, and hikes are right up their alley.

Obedient and easily trained, it’s important to get them in situations as puppies where there are different people, situations, and animals. With their size, you don’t want a big bully walking around.

And how did they get that name? A German tax collector, Louis Dobermann, is the person who wanted to develop the perfect dog for protection. And that he did in the late 1800s.

Dobies are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections like parvo, rabies, and distemper so keep those vaccinations current.

They’ve excelled at:

  • Law enforcement work
  • Military work
  • Therapy/Emotional support dogs
  • Service dogs
  • Search and rescue
  • Competitive dog sports
  • Companion animals
  • Guard dogs

Dobies are fabulous pets and will give you their undying devotion at all times.

Vizsla

small long legged dogs
Height21”-24”
Lifespan12-14 yrs.
GroupSporting
PersonalityFriendly, outgoing, devoted 

This breed, which comes in glorious shades of red, is so good at things that it’s easier to just make a list:

  • Gets along well with families, young children, seniors, other dogs, and strangers
  • Highly adaptable
  • Playful
  • Can work as both pointers and retrievers
  • Love water (in general)

The ancestors of these beautiful long legged dogs were probably introduced to Hungary by the Magyars more than 1,000 years ago. They were bred to be fast yet cautious to be able to sneak up on prey.

They shed very little and don’t need to be groomed that often which comes in handy since they think they’re lap dogs. Whatever you’re doing, they want to be with you. What a gorgeous best friend to have. 

Airedale Terrier

tall dogs with long hair
Height23”
Lifespan11-14 yrs.
GroupTerrier
PersonalityVersatile, calm, intelligent

Although Airedale terriers have the watchdog tendencies of a Doberman, they’re not as lovey-dovey as a Vizsla when it comes to other people, kids, or dogs. Due to their size, they’re not the quintessential guard dog but are equally devoted and courageous.

Known as the “King of terriers,” they’re the largest of the long legged terrier breeds, they were named after Airedale in Yorkshire, England. Their unique, boxy features make them stand out among other dog breeds. They are eager to please and easy to train which makes for the perfect combination.

They love to hunt and were bred to capture rats and otters in the Yorkshire rivers. In WWI and WWII, this long legged terrier located wounded soldiers and carried messages showing their great courage and smarts.     

Saluki

dog breeds with long body
Height23”-28” inches (male), considerably smaller (female)
Lifespan10-17 yrs.
GroupHound
PersonalityAffectionate, gentle, dignified

At first glance, a Saluki looks like a dog you could knock over with a feather, but they’re actually strong, muscular as well as being tall and skinny. They were the favorite of kings who used them to hunt for thousands of years.

They’ll need to be socialized with other dogs but cats, hamsters, and other little critters shouldn’t be around in the home due to the Saluki’s high prey drive and “hunting rabbits” disposition. They’d chase a roach if it had fur on it. 

This breed can live and work in any climate and even work well living as city or country animals as long as they’re getting daily walks and free running opportunities.

Although they respond well to obedience training, always remember their need for speed and to hunt, so recall commands could be more tricky. Always loving and ready to hunker down and relax, you’ll get a good one in a Saluki.

Small Long-Legged Dogs

Time to delve into the delightful realm of small, long-legged dogs, where compact size blends with lofty strides and spirited charm.

Whippet

long body dogs
Height18”-22”
Lifespan12-15 yrs.
GroupHound
PersonalitySweet, gentle, loving 

Although they share the same ancestors as the greyhound, the Whippet is its own breed. They have the same classic inverted “S” shape lines of the sighthound. 

They’ve also been called the English Whippet and “The Poor Man’s Racehorse.”

These beauties rarely bark and have such sweet faces that emanate how much they love to be around their humans. This breed became popular in the 1800s in England when betting on race dogs was the thing to do.

In the 1900s, English laborers brought the Whippet to Massachusetts, US, where they continued to be raced. What a speedy love bug. 

Bedlington Terrier

small dog breeds with long legs
Height15”-17.5”
Lifespan11-16 yrs.
GroupTerrier
PersonalityProtective, loyal, lively 

What a spectacular animal with its egg/football-shaped head, loads of fur, and beautiful form. Primarily bred to hunt, as with other terriers, today the Bedlington mostly graces the conformation show ring and his guardian’s bed. 

This is the perfect dog to live in an otherwise free-of-animal home. Although they can get along with other dogs, they love to have your full attention. The Bedlington was named after the English mining shire from where they originated.

Although they’re energetic, they seem to acclimate that energy to yours, so whether you’re going for a walk or a jog, they’d love to come along. If you have this breed, you’ll absolutely have lots of onlookers, so get ready to talk.    

Border Terrier

long legged terriers
Height12”-15”
Lifespan12-15 yrs.
GroupTerrier
PersonalityAlert, good-natured, determined

Bred by Scottish farmers in the late 1800s, the border terrier did what long-legged terrier group dogs do: Hunt vermin and dig. They were originally bred to hunt alongside foxhounds, so they get along well with other dogs.

Keeping this little dog busy with toys and games is a good idea since they’re curious and you want to keep those paws busy. This breed is friendly and adapts well, so apartment-dwellers are encouraged to get in on the border terrier.

Their expressive eyes translate their love for you and your children. The border terrier is an all-around good dog, and you’d be happy to have one.

Manchester Terrier

long legged terrier breeds
Height15”-16”
Lifespan15-17 yrs.
GroupTerrier
PersonalityAlert, curious, energetic

This long legged dog breed is sleek and smooth, unlike the border terrier. They like to bark, so train them early and consistently so you won’t have a Chatty Cathy on your hands.

This breed originated in England and comes in two types – standard and toy. They’re high-spirited, meaning energetic, and need plenty of exercise time daily to stay worn out. They’re clean dogs and often groom themselves. 

Perfect watchdogs, they’ll make deep bonds with family members and may get a bit possessive. They’re extremely affectionate and enjoy being a part of family activities.  

Silken Windhound

long legged hound breeds
Height18.5”-23.5”
Lifespan12-15 yrs.
GroupHound
PersonalityConfident, affectionate, well-mannered

Looking something like a small Borzoi at 20-45 lbs, the silken windhound isn’t spoken about frequently in the dog world. (I hadn’t even heard of one until this article.) A speedy dog that loves to run like his sighthound cousins, they will however handle recall commands better than say, a greyhound or a Whippet.

As their name suggests, their coats are long and flowing which makes them gorgeous canines. Their long, wedge-shaped heads with flop ears make them look collie-like and approachable.

They were developed by Francie Stull, who strove to breed a sighthound with a Borzoi’s coat. What she got was an elegant, affectionate, and confident hound. 

Do Long-Legged Dogs Need Extra Care?

Dogs with long legs need to be exercised more than their short-legged brethren. Either they need lots of space to run in their environment or need to be with highly active guardians. 

Doggie doors can be quite tough for a long-legged breed, so you might want to have an easy-to-open door instead. 

Here are some possible health issues of long-legged breeds:

  • Bloat
  • Congenital joint disease of the shoulders, elbows, knees, and hips
  • Tumors that affect the leg bones

Ask your veterinarian for the best large-breed diet and nutrition that protects joints for your dog with long legs.

FAQs

What Is a Fast Dog With Long Legs?

  1. Greyhound
  2. Whippet
  3. Vizsla
  4. Saluki
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. Silken Windhound
  7. Great Dane

Do Hounds Have Long Legs?

Sighthounds certainly do. They hunt larger game and need to cover a lot of ground when hunting.

What Small Dogs Have Long Legs?

  1. Whippet
  2. Bedlington terrier
  3. Border terrier
  4. Manchester terrier
  5. Silken Windhound

And more.

What Breed Is a White Dog With Long Legs?

Although there are a myriad of dog breeds that can be white and do have long legs, the standard poodle is probably the most well-known white dog with long legs.

Conclusion

As they strut their stuff around conformation show rings, they know how to entertain and delight. Dogs with long legs are also elegant and made for speed and hunting who’d love to become fixtures on your couch.

And they’ll also become fixtures in all dog lovers’ hearts!

Jen Flatt Osborn
Born with a pen in her hand and a deadline (and probably a tail), Jen considers writing a vocation, an art, and a release. She’s a freelance copy/content writer who specializes in the pet industry. Previously, she was the founder/director of an animal sanctuary for 12 years, taught classes to middle school students about dog behavior, and has lived a life full of devotion to animals and their welfare. As a vegetarian, Jen advocates for the humane treatment of every living creature. She currently lives with one delightful canine who encourages her to put her head out the car window more often.

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