Tall skinny dogs? Yes, you heard it right. Dogs can be skinny too, not because of poor eating habits, declining gut health, or an illness, but because of their built-in physique. They are born skinny. That’s why it’s wrong to tag them as underweight.
Many dogs have tall, thin profiles, which may surprise you. When you study different tall skinny dog breeds, you’ll see that they share some common characteristics but also have distinct variances. Some breeds are presumably well-known, while others are not as common.
Read on to learn more about these lovely tall skinny dogs and how they manage their daily lives despite their frail appearance compared to their chubby counterparts.
The tall skinny dog breeds discussed in the article may not have other characteristics in common, such as intellect or bravery. They’re just tall but skinny!
Tall Skinny Dogs
Now let us dwell on the twelve tall and skinny dog breeds that may seem scrawny but are solid.
1. Afghan Hound
The Afghan Hound is considered one of the oldest dog breeds. Its height ranges from 25-27 inches at the shoulder, and it weighs only 50-60 pounds. Most people do not consider it a skinny dog as it has a silky, thick coat. But beneath that thick and lustrous hair lies a slim and slender body.
The Afghan Hound was used for hunting large prey in Afghanistan’s deserts and mountains, where its thick, flowing coat was required for warmth. The Afghan was valued for its ability to sprint quickly and across long distances, bravely holding dangerous animals like leopards at bay until its huntsman arrived. It was also valued for its capacity to think and hunt without being directed by humans.
Aside from its independence and indifference, the Afghan Hound can be incredibly tender and entertaining when it wants to be. It is sometimes referred to as a “clown” by its adoring family because it is known to be mischievous, and stories thrive of this breed’s capacity to steal stuff from beneath the noses of family members. This breed responds well to gentle handling, love, and patience, as well as an understanding that the dog will not always cooperate.
Fun FactAn English officer stationed near Kabul is the first to document a Western Afghan breeder. In 1925, Afghan Hounds from his Ghazni Kennel were transferred to England and eventually made their way to America.
Greyhounds are an ancient Egyptian breed that can be traced back to 3000 B.C. They were bred as hunting dogs to track down hares, foxes, and deer. This dog breed’s canines can reach speeds of up to 45 mph, making them the “Ferraris” of the dog world.
This breed is not normally grey, but they are champions of being tall and skinny, standing between 2 feet 1 inch to 2 feet 6 inches tall with barely 13% body fat. Their bodies are long and lean, with a short, smooth coats. They typically weigh 60 to 70 pounds. The Greyhound lacks an undercoat like most dogs, so they require a warm home. An occasional bath and weekly rubdowns with a damp cloth will keep them looking sleek and tidy.
Greyhounds are known for being high-energy dogs, yet their favorite pastime is sleeping. They’re designed as sprinters, not distance runners, so a daily stroll will suffice, though energetic folks find them making good jogging or running partners. Greyhounds, in fact, do well in apartments or homes with limited yards. However, they do require a robust fence to prevent them from chasing animals they might see, say prey, such as rabbits, cats, squirrels, etc.
They’re also well-known in the dog world for not barking excessively, even at strangers. From this list of tall skinny dogs, this is the dog to choose if you need a dog who can run up to 45 mph but sleeps for most of the day.
The Greyhound is easily bored and needs mental stimulation. They are affectionate to their loved ones but like to work with you rather than work for you.
Fun FactGreyhounds have been described by Greeks, shown in Egyptian art, and lauded by a Roman poet, and are the only dog breed referenced in the Bible.
3. Pharaoh Hound
This tall skinny dog breed resembles greyhounds except for the large, upright, and angular ears. Standing tall with big ears and a crimson coat, this ancient eye-catcher retains the attractiveness of the other breeds in the party. Due to their similar look, the Pharaoh and the Ibizan hound are sometimes confused, but the Pharaoh hounds are smaller than their Ibizan cousins. The athletic Pharaoh hound has a muscular and lithe physique. They should be slightly longer than taller, with males standing 23 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder and females 21 to 24 inches. Pharaoh Hounds weigh 45 to 55 pounds when fully grown.
These affable, affectionate hounds are quick and tenacious on scent and fit in easily at home. Pharaohs are sleek, aerodynamic coursing dogs designed to chase down prey at fast speeds on rocky terrain. A tight brown coat with matching leather on the nose, ears, and eye rims is one of its many identifying features, as are gorgeous amber eyes, a white-tipped tail, the ability to smile, and a unique manner of blushing when excited, hence nicknamed “the blushing dog.”
To stay happy and healthy, this hound has to run for at least 15 to 20 minutes twice a day. Pharaoh Hounds enjoy making their owners laugh with their clownish actions. They do, however, have a sensitive side and have been known to blush! Return this puppy’s affection in kind, and you’ll have a lifelong buddy.
Fun FactPharoah Hounds were king’s dogs and may have hunted gazelles with pharaohs, hence the name. This devoted hunting companion eventually made it to Malta, where it is now the national dog.
4. Ibizan Hound
The Ibizan Hound was bred to hunt rabbits and small game on the Balearic island of Ibiza, and is still used for this purpose in Spain today. They are around 22 to 27 inches tall and weigh 45 to 50 pounds. The lovely red and white dog has a long, narrow head that resembles that of the Egyptian jackal god Anubis, huge, erect ears that can point forward, sideways, or backward, and flesh-colored pigment on the nose and eye rims, all of which combine to give it a distinctive appearance. Their enormous ears distinguish them from greyhounds.
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Though some other hounds like leisure, this breed prefers to run and hunt over anything else. Belonging to the hound group, its strong sense of smell helps them in hunting. Their physical activity requirements are moderate. Every day, they’ll go for 20-30 minute walks or jogs.
The Ibiza is calm, docile, and affectionate, making it an ideal companion for an involved household. Although the Ibizan can be reserved around strangers and protective of his home, he should never be shy or violent.
Fun FactAn Ibizan can jump 6 feet from a standing position.
The Whippet is like a greyhound with curves, named the “poor man’s greyhound.” They have long, slender legs, slim waists, and deep chests. Their short, glossy coat is low-maintenance and sheds once in a while.
Whippets have a genetic trait that allows them to be athletic and skinny. They stand between 18 and 22 inches tall and weigh around 25 and 40 pounds. A Whippet is believed to be paper-thin, lean, and underweight. Do not judge a dog by its body type, people say.
Whippets are fast-moving hounds that frighten their small hunting prey. Jumping and climbing are not hard for their agile frames, and they like running and chasing. When the fun ends, a Whippet will be ready to unwind and contentedly curl up on the couch. They are well-known for their ability to hold down the couch when their home is being invaded. They are never sold as watchdogs because they are docile and non-aggressive.
They are sweet and adorable as human companions. They’ve been touted as excellent apartment dogs because they don’t bark often, are low-maintenance, and spend a lot of time on the couch. (They should still go outside and run around as much as possible.) Whippets excel at agility sports, racing, and lure coursing. They’ve been clocked at 36 miles per hour and can sprint 200 yards in less than 12 seconds.
Fun FactWhippets grew popular with working men in Northern England, who spent their free time competing to see whose Whippet could kill the most rabbits or rats or whose could run the fastest.
Saluki is one of the oldest and most expensive dog breeds used as hunting hounds for kings and nobility. They are fast as the wind, skinny as a supermodel, and thrive on human companionship.
It is a Middle-Eastern skinny dog breed related to the Afghan hound. They were originally bred to hunt hares and gazelles, so there is a logic behind them being so skinny. They weigh around 40-65 pounds and are 23 to 28 inches tall.
They are a bit shorter than Greyhounds and a bit slower on track, but they are famous for running long distances. The Saluki is the marathon runner of the canine world. They are known to be fast-hunting hounds in mountains and deserts. It’s a skinnier, more angular hound with long silky hair on its ears, toes, tail, chin, and legs. Tall and skinny, they have a striking balance and symmetry, and despite their bony legs, they look solid and limber. Salukis can be found in many colors and patterns.
They are extensively admired for their peculiar appearance, but not everyone can live with this energetic and independent hunter. Any movement can activate Saluki’s instinct to chase. Be it a cat or squirrel or anything, his speed has been recorded at 30-35 miles per hour. If it’s not guarded by a securely fenced yard or a strong human, it’s likely to end up beneath a car on the street.
The Saluki makes an excellent jogging companion (if you can keep up with it), a great competitor in agility, and lure coursing. Indoors, it will make sure to feel at home on your sofa, as they like its comforts and need cushioning for its skinny body.
It’s easy to train a Saluki but do not anticipate the passivity like that of a Golden Retriever. Salukis think autonomously and will choose what they find interesting over you. Apply positive reinforcement methods such as food rewards and praise, and never use jarring verbal or physical corrections.
Fun FactIllustrations of Salukis (greyhound-like body, hair on ears, tail, and legs) appear on Egyptian tombs dating 2100 B.C., 4,000 years ago. The carvings from Sumerian Empire are even older (7,000-6,000 B.C.E.) that show dogs resembling Salukis.
Kanni means pure in Tamil, and it gets the name for its loyalty and purity of heart. Kanni hails from south India, where it is known as the Maiden’s Beastmaster. It looks like a Greyhound but is smaller in size, weighing around 35-48 pounds and with a height of 22-25 inches. They have short coats and are exclusively seen in black and tan or black and sable combinations.
They are classified as a sighthound, though used largely for coursing games. They have been deemed a royal indigenous breed in India and are recognized by the Kennel Club of India.
Kanni is an intelligent and trainable breed, generally shy but loyal and protective of his family. They do not get destructive as long as their exercise requirements are met. They were bred to work independently, so they could sometimes become obstinate. On the brighter side, they’re intelligent, loyal dogs and easily trainable.
Fun FactKannis are fed milk for breakfast, corn porridge for lunch, and Ragi porridge at tea time. They eat meat once a week or once a month.
Next on this list of tall skinny dogs is Sloughi!
Sloughi is nicknamed the Arabian Greyhound, known for its hunting skills and speed. This breed originated from North Africa and has been hunting a variety of games in the North African deserts. Sloughi males are 26-29 inches tall, while their females are 24-27. They usually weigh between 35 to 50 pounds.
Sloughi have a short, dense coat that does not shed frequently, hence requiring brushing only once a week. Their hair color ranges from light sand to red sand with or without a black overlay. Sloughis have good manners that go with their silky, athletic body. They are affectionate with loved ones and really reserved with strangers.
Sloughis have high energy levels and require plenty of exercises to stay happy and healthy. They can be a loving, lifelong companion. They’re stubborn at times, though.
Fun FactThe Sloughi breed in Europe and U.S.A are imported from Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, and Algeria.
Azawakh originated from the Azawakh Valley in the Sahara desert, hence the name. It has long been a guardian, hunter, and companion to the tribes in Sahara. They are lean, swift hunters with a regal presence. Weighing around 33-55 pounds and standing tall between 23-29 inches, their bones can be seen beneath their skin. They have a short fine coat that may come in different colors and color combinations.
They are gentle and protective with their families but standoffish towards strangers and do not like to be touched by unknowns. They are a perfect amalgamation of loyalty, intelligence, and independence.
Being a sighthound, it is attracted by motion and is likely to chase moving objects, i.e., animals, children, and bicycles. They are comparably inactive indoors and are happy to snooze on the couch. Regular exercise is important for their body and mind development; they can be perfect running companions.
Fun FactTraditionally owned by the blue-clad Tuareg nomads, Azawakh are called the “idii n’ illeli.” Which means “sighthound of the free people” in their language.
Borzoi was developed as a coursing and hunting dog in Russia. They hunted rabbits, foxes, and wolves, usually in groups. Later, they became famous for royalty across continental Europe.
They weigh around 60 – 105 pounds and are 26 – 28 inches tall. Their silky coat sheds a lot and requires maintenance. Their skinny physique allows them to run at a speed of 35-40 mph.
Borzoi is cherished for its calm, agreeable temperament. It can be stubborn at times. Hence their training is best accomplished with tolerance and consistency.
Fun FactBorzoi can be fussy eaters and are prone to bloat. Feed frequent small meals and prevent heavy exercise after eating.
11. Doberman Pinscher
Dobermans are compactly built dogs, muscular, fast and strong. They were bred as guard dogs and stand proudly among the world’s best protection dogs. They are sleek, fearless, and vigilant, possessing both a brilliant mind and physique. They weigh 60 – 100 pounds and are 24 – 28 inches tall.
Doberman’s fierce repute precedes them. They’re thought to be aggressive and vicious. True, they’re tough guardians, but they are gentle, watchful, and loving dogs. They enjoy being part of the family and are trustworthy with their family members as well as guests if treated kindly.
Despite its qualities, it isn’t the right dog for everyone. It’s big and extremely active, both physically and mentally. They need a lot of exercise to maintain their shape.
Fun FactDobie will take up the alpha role in your household if you are not a commanding leader.
12. Irish Setter
Irish Setters grew as gun dogs in Ireland. They became famous because of their rich mahogany coat and gusto as bird dogs. They’re bold and have the potential to do well in many canine sports and activities.
Irish Setters are sociable, playful, affectionate, and inquisitive dogs with high energy levels—a perfect family dog. They are not guarding dogs, although they’re known to step in and protect their people. They are, however, excellent watchdogs and will bark to make you aware of intruders and visitors.
They enjoy going to new places, especially if they involve birds. Its hunting instinct is strong, and once trained on birds, it’ll never need a revision course.
They’re 2 feet 1 inch to 2 feet 3 inches tall and weigh 60-70 pounds. The flame-colored long flowing coat makes it an attractive breed, and its elegant movements intensify its look. They’re, however, slow to mature and preserve their puppy zest for several years.
Fun FactIrish Setters become very attached to people in their lives and can undergo serious separation anxiety if left alone for longer periods.
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With Irish Setters end our list of tall skinny dogs. Did you find yourself a companion on the list? We also have a separate list of tall dog breeds—dogs that are tall but may not be skinny.