Skinny Dog Breeds
For a dog, being considered skinny is not always a bad thing and does not necessarily hint at underfeeding or neglect. Some dogs are specifically bred to have a lean frame, whether for aesthetics or for functionality– an example hounds, who are lean due to their need to run.
Although the Havanese isn’t really considered a skinny dog breed, they do have a number of characteristics that people love. You can check out our Havanese pages and also this article to get lots of information about dogs.
Small Dog Breeds
Many smaller dog breeds are skinny and built leaner than some of the larger dog breeds, such as Huskies or Labs.
Italian Greyhounds are becoming one of the “it” breeds of the moment. With their long legs, slender frame, and delicate muzzle, the breed appears very elegant. They are almost identical in appearance to a regular Greyhound, except in size. They clock in between 13 to 15 inches– one of the taller of the toy dog breeds– and weigh between 7 to 15 pounds.
Italian Greyhounds were bred from their larger counterpart in Italy. They share many of their cousin’s characteristics and looks. The Italian Greyhound is highly affectionate and attentive– the perfect cuddle buddy.
Russian Toy Terrier
The Russian Toy Terrier averages between 8 to 11 inches and about 6.5 pounds. It is one of the skinnier toy breeds, with a lean body and long, thin legs. It comes in two varieties– semi-long and smooth. The semi-long Russian Toy has a feathered look on its tail and legs, while smooth is sleek and shiny, which is a nice compliment to its thin build.
In the early 20th century, Russians saw this breed as a symbol of aristocracy. They were kept as pampered pets by upper-class families and aristocrats. Behavior-wise, the Russian Toy Terrier is usually lively and sociable. It can be aloof towards strangers, however.
Chinese Crested Dog
The Chinese Crested Dog has a fairly unique look with its namesake crested hairstyle. It stands between 11 to 13 inches and its weight comes in between 8 to 12 pounds. There is a hairless variety of the Chinese Crested Dog, which only has the hair on its head and ankles. There is also the Powerpuff, which is the coated variety and boasts a smooth, glossy coat in several possible colours.
The breed actually originated in Africa and Mexico; Chinese sailors began to trade them in the 16th and 17th centuries, giving them their name. Chinese Crested Dogs were bred to hunt rats to protect crops. They are friendly, playful dogs, as well as intelligent and a bit stubborn.
Medium Dog Breeds
Medium dog breeds are often built thicker and stockier, with short legs that keep them closer to the ground. Among their ranks, though, there are still many skinny dog breeds as well.
Braque du Bourbonnais
The breed is known for its distinctive ticked markings. It typically grows to be between 19 and 22.5 inches and weighs in between 35-53 pounds. Like many hunting dogs, its body is lean and streamlined.
The Braque du Bourbonnais is considered one of the most ancient pointer dogs bred in France. They are bred with keen hunting instincts and date back to at least the 15th century. The modern Braque du Bourbonnais is calm, gentle, and incredibly eager to please. This, as well as their intelligence level, makes them an easily trainable breed.
American English Coonhound
The American English Coonhound is also known as the English Coonhound or Redtick Coonhound. They average 23-26 inches in height and 45-65 pounds and have an athletic shape– lean and thin. They have a short, smooth coat, which varies in pattern and is often ticked.
While it may be unclear from the name, this breed is American by birth. It is English in ancestry. The American English Coonhound was bred by frontiersmen to hunt raccoons. They are loyal, mellow dogs, but when it comes to hunting, they are stubborn and tenacious. Their endurance is another great characteristic of their breed.
This breed is slim and long-legged, easily identified by its short, rusty coat. They can grow to stand between 21-24 inches and to weigh 44-60 pounds.
The Vizsla hails from Hungary. It was bred as a gundog and forms a tight bond with its owner or handler. Due to this, the Vizsla as a breed is not as independent as some and does not like to be left alone. They are sensitive and loving at home, but intense when put to work. They make a great companion for active, outdoorsy families due to their build and high endurance.
Large Dog Breeds
With a greater size often comes a greater mass, especially when it comes to dogs. These tall and slender breeds prove that is not always the case.
The Greyhound is one of the first dogs that come to mind when thinking of skinny dogs. They can stand between 2 feet 1 inch and 2 feet 6 inches, and weigh between 50-85 pounds. They have a short, smooth coat, which is not always grey!
The breed is actually an Ancient Egyptian dog, bred to track down hares, focus, and deer. They are sprinters, not endurance runners, so in fact love to sleep at home, too! A brisk walk can often be enough for them, but they are highly intelligent and need to be mentally stimulated to avoid boredom.
Salukis are related to the Afghan hound. They are tall, thin, and have silky hair on their ears, tail, chin, legs, and feet. The rest of their body has closer fitting hair. They come in many colorations and grow to be anywhere between 23 to 28 inches high. Their weight averages between 35-70 pounds.
The Saluki is a breed that hails from the Middle East and was often used by kings and nobility as a hunting hound. Originally, they were bred to hunt hares and gazelles. The Saluki is very quick and has a lot of energy, so would not be a good companion if you are just looking for a couch companion. Salukis are also trainable but independent, and may choose what they do and do not want to do.
The Pharaoh Hound is similar in appearance to the Greyhound. They share the same lithe physique, but the Pharaoh Hound also boasts large, upright ears. Their short coat is red, and they are slightly longer than they are tall. Height generally varies from 23-25 inches, and weight from 45-55 pounds when full-sized.
Pharaoh Hounds were king’s dogs and believed to have hunted gazelles with pharaohs. Currently, they are the national dog of Malta. They are sensitive, goofy dogs that need to run every day to stay happy and healthy.
This breed is a very lean dog in that its bones can be seen beneath its skin. It also has a short coat, making its tall, skinny build even more apparent. They stand between 23-27 inches and weigh between 35-55 pounds.
The Azawakh breed hails from a part of the Sahara Desert called the Azawakh Valley and was traditionally owned by the Tuareg Nomads. They are sighthounds, so will be easily distracted by moving cars or animals, but once inside are relaxed and comparatively inactive. The Azawakh is gentle, but protective of their families, and do not warm up to unknowns easily.