Like humans, dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Some are big and stocky, meant to protect you from the dangers of strangers, like Mastiffs, while others are skinny and designed to run like the wind, like Greyhounds.
Skinny dog breeds tend to have very lean bodies that are aerodynamic, which allows them to easily give chase when hunting — or win races!
Most of the bone structures on these pups are similar, so don’t be surprised if you confuse a few — I did at first, too! They have reverse S-shaped skinny bodies with deep chests, an elongated head, and relatively long legs. Many are sighthounds and avid hunters that come with a high prey drive and higher energy levels.
Skinny Dog Breeds
We’ve compiled a list of our top 11 skinny dog breeds that warrant a second look! Let’s check out each dog breed in greater detail.
1. Irish Setter
Hailing directly from Ireland, the Irish Setter is one gorgeous pup. These beauties have stunning red fur and sparkling eyes that immediately capture you, as well as a tall and skinny frame. Not one to let the beauty run skin deep, Irish Setters are total sweethearts; they love their humans and aren’t afraid to be affectionate.
If you’re looking for a pup that loves to play, that’s the Irish Setter. They can spend hours outside running after a ball and just bounding around with the children, whom they adore, making them great family dogs.
Irish Setters do need some extra grooming, though, because their curly locks are prone to matting and tangling. Training this skinny dog breed should be a breeze because they’re intelligent, but make sure you change it up because they tend to get bored easily.
- HEIGHT 25″ to 27″
- WEIGHT 60 to 70 pounds
- LIFESPAN12 to 15 years
2. English Greyhound
English Greyhounds or simply as they’re known in America, Greyhounds are one of the top sought-after hound dog breeds. English Greyhounds are the fastest dog breed and were originally bred for racing, and they are considered to be the fastest dogs on Earth. Tall and skinny, they can run at extremely high speeds — up to 44 miles per hour!
English Greyhounds make excellent pets as well, especially if you adopt retired Greyhound racing dogs. They are sweet with a gentle disposition, which makes them an excellent option for families with children.
These tall and skinny dogs tend to love to laze about but will need some exercise if you don’t want this dog breed to find a more creative way to occupy themselves.
- HEIGHT 27″ to 30″
- WEIGHT 60 to 70 pounds
- LIFESPAN10 to 13 years
3. American English Coonhound
Have you ever heard an American English Coonhound bay? Oh, what a beautiful sound, especially when it’s accompanied by them chasing down prey, particularly raccoons. These pups are tall and skinny, and they have the body style perfect to propel them on their hunts.
American English Coonhounds are working dogs; therefore, you will need to make sure they have a job to do or, at the very least, plenty of exercise. Their personalities vary depending on what they’re doing.
For example, when working, they’re studious and stubborn — don’t get in the way of their task. At home, off duty? What a lovebug. However, one thing about this skinny dog breed to keep in mind, they can be tough to train, and they are very vocal creatures.
- HEIGHT 23″ to 26″
- WEIGHT 45 to 65 pounds
- LIFESPAN11 to 12 years
If you’ve never heard of the Saluki, you’re not alone. This ancient Egyptian dog is tall and skinny and dates back to the days of the pharaoh and beyond. Saluki dogs are sighthounds and are sometimes called other names, such as Persian Greyhounds, gazelle hounds, and Arabian hounds.
The Saluki was commonly used for hunting, and while it may look fragile, it’s anything but. Saluki dogs are built to withstand harsh conditions.
If you own a Saluki, you need to make sure you give it something to do — exercise it. This skinny dog breed has a lot of energy! However, at home, the Saluki is content to settle down with its owner and cuddle.
- HEIGHT 23″ to 28″
- WEIGHT 40 to 65 pounds
- LIFESPAN10 to 17 years
The Sloughi breed is one of those similar skinny dog breeds that is often confused with other dogs, like the Saluki, because of their slender body composition. Like the Saluki, Sloughis are hunting dogs, and though they are between 40 and 60 pounds, they are still very agile and fast. They were used to hunt wild pigs, foxes, gazelle, and hares.
One thing that’s an absolute must with this skinny dog breed? A tall fence. These pups have hops. As in, if your fence isn’t tall enough and they get a wild hair about them, they will jump it.
The Sloughi is a very intelligent pup that’s also incredibly loyal to its people. These skinny dogs are sensitive, so if you notice signs of separation anxiety, they can benefit from training. This dog breed is often referred to as an Arabian Greyhound.
- HEIGHT 24″ to 29″
- WEIGHT 35 to 50 pounds
- LIFESPAN10 to 15 years
6. Italian Greyhound
Italian Greyhounds are the little cousins of the Greyhound, though they are not the same dog as many people think. The Italian Greyhound is a little more slender, with a tall and skinny body devoid of much body fat. That means you’ll need to snuggle yours up in winter — or buy a cute dog sweater wardrobe!
It’s not uncommon to see an Italian Greyhound lounging about like a couch potato, but when they decide to run? They’re fast. If you don’t let them run around outside, they will turn your home into their own racing grounds.
But keeping this dog breed occupied is easy, too. They love human companionship, and you can bet it’d engage in some tug of war. Some people also confuse the Italian Greyhound with the Whippet dog.
- HEIGHT 13″ to 15″
- WEIGHT 7 to 14 pounds
- LIFESPAN14 to 15 years
The Azawakh is one of those very unique breeds that commands attention with its dark brown eyes. These pups are excellent hunters and serve as watchdogs, too.
The Azawakh breed originated from the south Sahara Desert region where they were owned by nomads. The Azawakh gets its name from the Azawagh Valley in West Africa. It has a smooth coat and strong, lean body that puts their bone structure on display.
Unlike other pups on this list of skinny dog breeds, Azawakh dogs aren’t known for their sight or incredible speed. However, they are very intelligent pups who are also independent and, therefore, might seem a bit aloof. Like many others on this list of skinny dog breeds, it needs quite a bit of exercise.
- HEIGHT 23.5″ to 29″
- WEIGHT 33 to 55 pounds
- LIFESPAN 12 to 15 years
8. Pharaoh Hound
The name gives it all away — or does it? The Pharaoh Hound is often thought of as an Egyptian dog, but it’s actually a hunting dog from Malta. Part of the hound family, it’s one of the most gorgeous on our list of skinny dog breeds, too (don’t tell the others!).
Plus … they blush! Get the Pharaoh Hound excited, and you’ll see its face start glowing — how cute is that?
Pharaoh Hounds love to run, so be sure you train yours well, or you might just find yourself the subject of a viral video trying to chase down your dog. That said, the Pharaoh Hound is exceptionally agile and is even accustomed to running at high speeds on rocky terrains, which comes in handy for hunting rabbits.
Pharaoh Hounds are affectionate and sociable, which means you can have them at home with other dogs; just be careful of their prey drive with smaller animals.
Some people have compared the Pharaoh Hound to the Ibizan Hound, but the two are separate breeds with a few distinctions that set them apart.
- HEIGHT 21″ to 25″
- WEIGHT 45 to 55 pounds
- LIFESPAN 12 to 14 years
9. Afghan Hound
If you’re wondering which one of our skinny dog breeds is the most regal, well, let’s take a look at the Afghan Hound. Surely, if dogs had a fashion nouveau magazine, would grace it every issue.
Their long, flowing, silky coat simply looks stunning when they run and is very photo-shoot-worthy. Their coat, while definitely glamorous, served to protect them from harsh mountain climates.
Like other sighthounds on this list, Afghan Hounds are very tall, lean, and fast. However, at home, Afghan Hounds are goofballs who love showing their enthusiasm and will play with children and family members all day long. However, it’s best to let this dog come to you, much like a cat. It’ll let you know when it’s time to bestow some attention on its grace.
- HEIGHT 25″ to 27″
- WEIGHT 50 to 60 pounds
- LIFESPAN 12 to 18 years
10. Doberman Pinscher
There’s no doubting that at first glance, the Doberman Pinscher looks intimidating. If you own one, though, you know these pups are simply lovebugs who hate being separated from their people.
Doberman Pinschers are great family pets that tend to bond with their owners, but sometimes, this might just be one person in the household, so prepare yourself for that possibility.
The Doberman Pinscher is a tall, lean dog that is very muscular and makes for great watchdogs, which the breed excels at if trained properly. Those who have owned a Doberman Pinscher recognize that this dog breed is special. It loves to socialize and is very affectionate.
- HEIGHT 24″ to 28″
- WEIGHT 60 to 100 pounds
- LIFESPAN 10 to 12 years
11. Kanni Breed
Kanni dogs aren’t one that we often see on many lists, but this skinny dog breed is a rarity. It hails from South India’s Tamil Nadu region and is a very regal-looking dog with a thin brown coat, pendant-shaped ears, and bony legs. It kind of looks like the Vizsla dog breed but with shorter ears and a leaner body.
This pup is very loyal to their owners and friendly, though it can sometimes be wary or shy around strangers. These slender and tall dogs are also protective and can be a mixture of a Velcro dog or independent, depending on the day.
They are also very easy to train, which is great, but they have a lot of energy, so make sure you have the means to entertain them.
- HEIGHT 25″ to 29″
- WEIGHT 35 to 49 pounds
- LIFESPAN 14 to 16 years
What Is a Sighthound, and What Makes It Skinny?
A sighthound is a hound dog breed that is bred for hunting. Instead of hunting alongside its owner, like retrievers do, they hunt small animals independently and bring back the prey when it’s caught.
The two main tools in their arsenal are their sight (they track using their eyes rather than their noses) and their speed.
Which Dog Breed Is the Most Skinny?
This win would probably go to the Whippet! They are small and thin with a lean build but oh so mighty at the same time.
Which Dog Resembles a Whippet in Appearance?
Whippets are cute to look at! They actually look so much like Greyhounds and Italian Greyhounds — which are two separate slender dog breeds, by the way! — that sometimes people call them mini Greyhounds.
When it comes to tall, skinny dog breeds, this list is just scratching the surface, but they’re all worth another look in my opinion. If you’re considering adopting one, be warned that most have very high energy levels and need to be kept busy, such as with agility competitions, so they’re better suited to active families.
As most are also sighthounds, these lean dogs will have a prey drive, which can spell trouble if you have other pets in the home. However, if you’re willing to put in the time and training, any one of these tall, skinny dogs will make you a wonderful family pet.