Skinny Dog Breeds

Skinny Dog Breeds (12 Examples)

Skinny dogs strike graceful and impressive aesthetics, with a proud and noble appearance commonly favored by royalty in ancient and even modern times. For the most part, skinny dog breeds are ones bred for hunting, as a slight build allows for faster speeds due to lower mass, aerodynamic structures, and long legs.

Today, these dogs may continue to be used for hunting purposes, or they may be sporting dogs or companions of particularly athletic people.

Whether you’re seeking a dog with less mass for easier management or simply love the elegance of skinny dogs, here are 12 popular skinny dog breeds to peruse.

Skinny Dog Breeds

  1. Whippet
  2. Italian Greyhound
  3. Saluki
  4. Kanni
  5. Pharaoh Hound
  6. Greyhound
  7. Azawakh
  8. Ibizan Hound
  9. Afghan Hound
  10. Vizsla
  11. Sloughi
  12. American English Coonhound

List Of 12 Skinny Dog Breeds

1.   Whippet

Affectionate, laid-back, and adorably playful, Whippet dogs are low-maintenance, quiet, and elegant. Bred as a sighthound, the dog’s skinny appearance helps it in achieving the fastest possible speeds for dogs within its weight and size category.

Whippets are often termed the Poor Man’s Racehorse due to their strong resemblance to Greyhounds and their high athleticism, which allows them to take part in various dog sports.

With their classic inverted S body shape, their slender waist and deep chest make for a highly agile runner. The breed’s thin legs are surprisingly sturdy, allowing the dog to perform a sudden intense burst of speedy chase.

It is this skinny appearance that is so iconic for fans of the Whippet breed. Measuring between 18 and 22 inches in height and weighing between a mere 25 to 40 pounds, this breed is the epitome of lanky and slim.

2.   Italian Greyhound

The Italian Greyhound, also known as the Italian Sighthound, is a small dog breed that has – like many toy breeds – been popular among the royal and rich for much of history.

Originally, the breed was meant to chase down prey like rabbits and hares. Today, the sensitive and alert dog is primarily a companion, a playful and very affectionate breed.

As the smallest of the sighthound breeds, Italian Greyhounds are certainly skinny and slight, which helps them achieve whopping speeds of 37 miles per hour.

The flash-and-dash breed is known for its graceful, unique appearance, with a sleek curving body and fine-boned legs of notable length.

They measure between 13 and 15 inches in height and weigh a mere 7 to 14 pounds. Their skinniness is further exacerbated by their smooth coat, which means they often need some extra warm clothing or blankets in colder months.

3.   Saluki

The Saluki breed, also referred to as the Persian Greyhound, is a standardized sighthound breed originally used by nomadic groups as a hunting companion. This breed was even the favored sighthound for numerous kings across several millennia. 

The dignified and surprisingly gentle Saluki boasts a smooth and feathery coat that comes in many different colors, with a symmetrical overall body structure that appears elegant and graceful.

Independent, adaptable, and intelligent, these dogs pose a challenge to owners but return the effort with lots of love.

Saluki Dog Standing In Grass

Salukis are notably skinny and leggy, built with the perfect balance that one might compare to a dancer or athlete.

Male Salukis measure between 23 and 28 inches in height and weigh between 40 to 65 pounds, with females of the breed being considerably smaller.

As with most similar sighthounds, they have deep chests and a reverse S body type that allow them to run across long distances at high speeds.

4.   Kanni

The Kanni, also known as the Maiden’s Beastmaster is a rare South Indian sighthound. The breed’s name translates to “pure”, an honorary name given due to the breed’s known loyalty.

The dog can only be found in abundance in the state of Tamil Nadu. For the most part, the breed is used for coursing or hunting prey and game for handlers.

Shy but protective and independent but easily trainable, the faithful Kanni breed is of medium size. They have heights between 25 and 29 inches and weigh between 35 and 49 pounds.

As with many similar dogs, they’re notably skinny, with tucked abdomens and straight top lines of the body. A strong jaw and long legs give this slender dog a graceful appearance, seen in full glory as the breed pursues prey.

5.   Pharaoh Hound

Pharaoh Hounds, also known as Kelb tal-Fenek (which translates to “rabbit dog”) are a Maltese hunting dog breed.

They are affectionately nicknamed the Blushing Dog of Malta because they tend to “blush” when happy, their noses turning bright pink.

Smart and friendly, this skinny breed cozies up well as a companion at home, as long as they get plenty of daily exercise.

The slender build of the Pharoah Hound is central to its speed. Sleek with aerodynamic bodies, the graceful breed strikes a beautiful balance between elegance and ruggedness.

Their slim build allows them to sprint easily across difficult terrain. They measure between 21 and 25 inches in height and weigh around 45 to 55 pounds!

6.   Greyhound

There is no breed of dog faster or more capable of sprinting than the Greyhound: a gentle, noble, and sweet dog with a long history as the favorite of poets, royalty, artists, and dog-lovers alike.

The graceful breed is typically used as a racing dog, though originally bred as a sighthound, and it’s quite common for people to adopt retired racing greyhounds as their own independent but loving companions.

The skinny build of the Greyhound is the perfect example of the breeder’s saying, “form follows function”. Aerodynamic, narrow, and slim, with deep chests and tucked waists, these dogs are built for a high-speed chase.

The inverted S shape of most similar hounds is clearly visible on the Greyhound. The breed can be between 27 and 30 inches in height and 60 and 70 pounds in weight, making them quite sizeable while still being skinny.

7.   Azawakh

The Azawakh is a West African breed, bred as a sighthound and somewhat related to the Saluki, though not closely. An ancient breed, this dog is known for its ability as a lure courser and guardian, as well as for its independence, elegance, and fierce affectionate loyalty.

The Azawakh is such a skinny dog that its incredibly lean body shows its musculature and bone structure under its skin, even when it’s of healthy weight.

With a smooth reverse-S-shaped body marked by the typical deep chest and tucked waist, this leggy and slender dog is not to be underestimated. It’s a durable hunger and a tough, rugged, resilient runner.

Azawakh dogs can measure between 23.5 and 29 inches in height and may weigh between 33 and 55 pounds, depending on gender.

Its skinniness is further exacerbated in appearance by the fact that its muscles are flat or “dry, ” which means they stick close to the bone in ways that even the Greyhound and Whippet do not exhibit.

8.   Ibizan Hound

The Ibizan Hound is an even-tempered, family-oriented dog bred as a well-rounded hunting, coursing, and pest-control dog. They love the entertain their loved ones, are intelligent problem-solvers, and have a reputation for being quite polite, as far as canines go!

This ancient dog breed is lithe and skinny with long legs, a long head, and an appearance you’ll recognize from ancient Egyptian motifs. The Ibizan Hound is typically between 22.5 and 27.5 inches in height and 45 and 50 pounds in weight.

Their slight build and racy form are partially what gives them their iconic deer-like elegance. One look at their slim figures and you’ll be quite aware that this is an agile, athletic, speedy breed.

9.   Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound, a close relative of the Saluki, is a basal breed from ancient times.

Iconic for its regal, velvety fur and elegance, this dog was bred as a hunting dog but is now a popular show dog due to its beauty. This fur was instrumental in protecting the dog from the harsh climates of its home environment.

Two Afghan Hounds

Some people don’t realize that the Afghan Hound is a skinny breed because of how much fur it has!

Underneath that fur, though, this dog showcases the typical skinniness of similar hounds, coupled with huge paws and powerful, long legs that almost seem to dwarf their frames.

A tall breed, Afghan Hounds measure between 25 and 27 inches in height and weigh about 50 to 60 pounds. This makes them appear even skinnier, though they are in fact a perfectly balanced breed.

10. Vizsla

The Vizsla is an energetic but gentle dog, bred as a gun dog meant to spend long days outdoors and on the move. Versatile and perfect for sport, hunting, and pointing, this breed can work adaptably in bodies of water, forested areas, and wide-open fields alike. 

Vizslas are often overlooked when it comes to skinny dogs, but they share the inverse-S shape that is iconic on some of the aforementioned hounds on this list.

Lean and light-footed, the slim shape of these dogs makes them elegant trotting dogs with tons of stamina and a distinguished gait. They’re excellent companions and can keep up well with joggers and bikers.

The Vizsla dog stands between 21 and 24 inches in height and weighs between 44 and 60 pounds, depending on gender. These dogs have long legs that assist in hauling their slight bodies across far distances with ease.

11. Sloughi

The Sloughi, which is also called the Arabian Greyhound, is yet another hound dog on this list. It is related to the Azawakh and was bred as a sighthound, capable of coursing and running across hot environments at impressive speed.

Aloof to those it does not know but gentle with loved ones, this reserved and noble dog is a fantastic hunter of all sorts of game, including wild pigs, hare, gazelle, and jackal.

For the most part, the Sloughi is very much a no-frills type of dog, with every build of its body clearly aligned with its purpose. It is skinny and lean with strong muscles and stands at 24 to 29 inches in height, weighing between 35 and 50 pounds.

This is an athletic breed and has impressive endurance, agility, and speed, all aided by its long, slender legs and slight frame.

12. American English Coonhound

The American English Coonhound, known also as the Redtick Coonhound, is descended from foxhounds and inherits much of its hunting prowess from its ancestors.

With the ability to pursue raccoons across long distances and for a long period of time, this breed is a capable working dog with lots of energy and an athletic build.

The American English Coonhound stands between 23 and 26 inches in height and weighs between 45 and 65 pounds.

It is muscular but quite skinny and lean, with a racy and sleek build that facilitates better prey-hunting. This build also allows the dog to be quite good at treeing, or the act of pursuing prey and driving them up trees as easy targets.

These skinny dogs have deep chests and are known, in modern times, for their capacity as athletes, with great endurance and speed. Sweet but determined, sociable but mellow, and slender but strong, these are great all-purpose hunters and athletes!


Skinny dog breeds are often athletic, energetic, and versatile, with the need for a lot of exercise, tons of companionship, and sufficient daily mental and physical engagement.

If you’re up to the task of training these formidable and sleek breeds, they can be amazing furry friends to bring into your life!