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11 Skinny Dog Breeds: Pictures, Facts & History

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on April 29, 2024 by Dogster Team

whippet in field

11 Skinny Dog Breeds: Pictures, Facts & History

There are many different canines, from large, heavy dogs like Saint Bernards to tiny toy dogs like Chihuahuas. Everyone has a favorite and there is a dog for everyone. For instance, if you are looking for a skinny dog, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we list several of the most popular skinny dog breeds and provide information about each, so you can see if they’re right for your home or if you’d rather just be a fan.


How Are Dogs Classified?

Breeders classify dogs into breed groups based on their primary purpose or function. These groups have similar characteristics, making finding a dog with desired features easier. For instance, many skinny dogs are in the sighthound category. These breeds are typically tall, thin, agile, and fast, as these traits help them chase down prey. Other types of dogs include hounds, terriers, herders, and toy dogs.


The 11 Skinny Dog Breeds

1. Greyhound

greyhound standing on grass
Image Credit: nonmisvegliate, Pixabay
Origin: England
Lifespan: 10–14 years
Height: 26–30 inches

Greyhounds have slender, aerodynamic bodies built for speed. They are one of the oldest breeds and make excellent racing dogs, while their calm and gentle nature makes them wonderful companions. The Greyhound has a long, narrow head and a short, smooth coat that can come in many colors, including black, brindle, fawn, blue, and white.

2. Whippet

Whippet in the desert
Image Credit: Danita Delimont, Shutterstock
Origin: England
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 18–22 inches

Whippets or Miniature Greyhounds are elegant, slender dogs with a friendly and playful temperament. They are known for their impressive running abilities and are popular for lure coursing. The Whippet has long, thin legs, a deep chest, and a short coat that can come in various colors and patterns, including solid colors, brindle, and parti-color.

3. Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound
Image Credit: Alexandra Morrison Photo, Shutterstock
Origin: Italy
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 13–15 inches

Italian Greyhounds are the smallest of the sighthound breeds, characterized by their dainty, slim build and graceful appearance. These dogs are affectionate and tend to form strong bonds with their owners, making them loyal companions. The Italian Greyhound has a small, narrow head with a long, slender muzzle and a short, fine coat that can come in various colors and patterns, including solid colors, sable, and brindle.

4. Saluki

Image Credit: Svetlay, Shutterstock
Origin: Middle East
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Height: 21–28 inches

Salukis are ancient hunting dogs known for their slender and elegant physique. They are independent and dignified animals with a deep history. They require regular exercise and have a strong prey drive, so they may not be a good choice for pairing with cats. The Saluki has a short, silky coat that you can find in various colors, including cream, red, fawn, black and tan, and white.

5. Borzoi

Image Credit: Bob63, Pixabay
Origin: Russia
Lifespan: 9–14 years
Height: 26–33 inches

Borzois, also called Russian Wolfhounds, are majestic and tall sighthounds with a calm demeanor and a noble presence. Originally bred for hunting wolves, they are now gentle and loyal companions that make fantastic pets, though they still retain a strong prey drive. The Borzoi has a silky, medium to long coat that you can find in various colors and patterns, including solid colors, sable, and brindle, and they have a distinctive ruff of fur around their neck that makes them easy to identify.

6. Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound
Image Credit: David Raihelgauz, Shutterstock
Origin: Afghanistan
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 24–27 inches

Afghan Hounds are known for their long, slender bodies and silky coats. They have an independent but affectionate personality, and owners often describe them as cat-like due to their solitary nature. These dogs require regular grooming to maintain their luxurious fur, and you can find them in many colors, including cream, red, black, blue, and brindle.

7. Irish Wolfhound

irish wolfhound
Image Credit: DragoNika, Shutterstock
Origin: Ireland
Lifespan: 6–10 years
Height: 32–34 inches

Despite their imposing size, the Irish Wolfhound has a slender build and is a gentle giant with a calm and friendly nature. Historically used for hunting wolves and other large game, they now make loyal family pets for loving pet owners worldwide. They have rough, wiry, and dense coats that can come in various colors, including gray, brindle, red, black, and white.

8. Pharaoh Hound

Pharaoh Hound
Image Credit: Eve Photography, Shutterstock
Origin: Malta
Lifespan: 11–14 years
Height: 21–25 inches

The Pharaoh Hound is known for their slim and athletic body. They are affectionate and good-natured dogs with a distinctive trait of blushing when excited. This skilled hunter excels in agility sports and has a short, fine coat that is typically tan or chestnut with white markings.

9. Ibizan Hound

Ibizan Hound posing elegantly against the backdrop of a town square
Image Credit: Sergii_Petruk, Shutterstock
Origin: Spain
Lifespan: 10–14 years
Height: 22–28 inches

Ibizan Hounds are slender and graceful dogs with a distinctive upright ear shape. They are known for their intelligence and independent nature and are excellent jumpers that excel in various dog sports and competitions. The Ibizan Hound has a short, fine coat that can come in various colors, including solid white, red, or any combination of these.

10. Deerhound

Scottish Deerhound standing at a beach
Image Credit: Kim Christensen, Shutterstock
Origin: Scotland
Lifespan: 8–11 years
Height: 30–32 inches

Scottish Deerhounds are tall and slender dogs originally bred for hunting deer, and they have a gentle and dignified disposition. They make excellent family pets, though they require ample exercise and have wiry, rough coats that you can find in various colors, including gray, brindle, blue-gray, and fawn.

11. Sloughi

sloughi dog is standing in the grass
Image Credit: Bianca Grueneberg, Shutterstock
Origin: North Africa
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Height: 23–29 inches

The Sloughi is a lean and elegant sighthound known for their speed and agility. They are loyal and protective of their family but may be reserved with strangers without proper training. Originally bred by Amazigh nomads for hunting, this breed is well-adapted to arid climates and has a short, fine coat that you can find in various colors, including shades of cream, red, fawn, and brindle.



There are plenty of skinny dogs to choose from out there if that’s the kind of dog you’re looking for. While many of the dogs on this list are sighthounds, other types of dogs can be skinny. The Greyhound is one of the most popular skinny dogs, and many owners like the Italian Greyhound, which looks similar but is smaller. The Whippet is another tall, skinny dog that has become more popular recently.

Featured Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

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