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17 Long-Legged Dog Breeds (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Fawn great dane standing outdoor during snowy day

There are all sorts of dog breeds in the world: small and large, short- and long-haired, and all sorts of personalities and temperaments to match any family. Some dogs, regardless of their overall height, are most well-known for the length of their legs. Sight hounds are among the breed groups most recognized for this trait, but many other breeds have long legs too.

This list of 17 long-legged dog breeds is split into hound breeds, guardian breeds, sporting breeds, terriers, and working dogs.


The 8 Long-Legged Hound Breeds

1. Afghan Hound

An afghan hound dog walking on the lawn_raywoo_shutterstock
Image Credit: raywoo, Shutterstock
Breed Group: Hound
Lifespan: 12 – 18 years
Height: 25 – 27 inches
Temperament: Independent, sweet, loyal

Believed to be the oldest pedigree dog breed, the Afghan Hound can be traced back to a time before written records. Therefore, it’ll never be certain where and when these dogs originated. That said, it is theorized that they came from the area that is now split into Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan.

The Afghan Hound’s long legs are hidden by their sleek fur and give them an elegance once favored by Asian aristocrats and royalty. This regal elegance also granted them favor with the British gentry when the breed was introduced to the U.K. by soldiers in the late 1800s.

2. Azawakh

Azawakh standing on grass outdoor
Image Credit: Aneta Jungerova, Shutterstock
Breed Group: Hound
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Height: 23.5 – 29 inches
Temperament: Affectionate, independent, loyal

Pronounced “Az-a-walk,” this breed came from the arid desert of the Sahel zone and the south Sahara. Short haired and bred to be a sighthound, they are thin bodied, long legged, and incredible sprinters.

Although their long legs and body shape give them an almost fragile appearance, the Azawakh is a sturdy breed whose job was to protect their owners and livestock and hunt prey. They were developed to suit the rugged terrain that the Tuareg nomads favored and often hunted hares and larger prey like boar and antelope. According to their original nomadic owners, their name was “idii n’ illeli,” which translates to “sighthound of the free people.”

3. Borzoi

white russian borzoi in the forest during autumn
Image Credit: Anastasiia Cherniavskaia, Shutterstock
Breed Group: Hound
Lifespan: 9 – 14 years
Height: 26 – 28 inches
Temperament: Loyal, affectionate, calm

Once called the Russian Wolfhound, the Borzoi is calm and affectionate but swift when necessary. They were bred to assist with the wolf hunts in Romanov Russia and had a massive role in the festivals and ritualized hunts. Their original purpose is where their long-legged and slim stature comes from.

During their development, the Borzoi benefited greatly from the time, effort, and funds poured into the festivals that they were bred for. When they were exported to America in 1936, they were still known as Russian Wolfhounds. American breeders renamed the breed after the Russian word for swift, “borzyi.”

4. Greyhound

Italian Greyhound standing
Image Credit: Natallia Yaumenenka, Shutterstock
Breed Group: Hound
Lifespan: 10 – 13 years
Height: 27 – 30 inches
Temperament: Gentle, independent, noble

The origins of the Greyhound can be traced back 5,000 years to ancient Egypt. These dogs were hunters that needed speed and agility to hunt prey native to the Egyptian desert. The Greyhound’s long legs, slender and inverted-S shape body, and narrow skull give them a keen edge over other dog breeds when it comes to sprinting. Today, they’re still known as one of the fastest dogs around.

It’s not just their speed that benefits from the Greyhound’s body shape, though. Their slender appearance has been considered elegant since their ancestors were owned by the pharaohs.

5. Irish Wolfhound

irish wolfhound dog at the park
Image Credit: volofin, Shutterstock
Breed Group: Hound
Lifespan: 6 – 8 years
Height: 30 – 32 inches
Temperament: Brave, calm, dignified

One of the biggest dogs in the world is the Irish Wolfhound, and as you might expect, they have long legs to match their height. You might not expect it from their muscled body and fur, but these dogs are fast runners too. Their speed, strength, and weight served them well during hunts in 15th-century Ireland, where they focused on big game animals and wolves.

Irish Wolfhounds were so good at their job that they almost went extinct during the 16th century, when the animals that they were bred to hunt were eradicated. Captain George Augustus Graham of the British Army made it his life’s work to restore and protect the breed in 1862. Through his dedication, he developed the friendly and dependable Irish Wolfhound that we know today.

6. Saluki

a saluki dog in a meadow
Image Credit: Elisabetta Bellomi, Pixabay
Breed Group: Hound
Lifespan: 10 – 17 years
Height: 23 – 28 inches
Temperament: Independent, gentle, dignified

Slender, long-legged, and graceful, hound breeds like the Saluki have always been favored by the aristocracy. They’re swift, agile, and loyal, with a keen hunting instinct like all sighthounds have. The Saluki’s speed and long legs made them perfect for bringing down gazelle for their human companions.

As one of the oldest dog breeds, they’ve spent much of history alongside the kings of old, particularly Egyptian pharaohs. Despite the age of the breed, there’s been little change from their original ancestors to now.

7. Scottish Deerhound

scottish deerhound
Image Credit: Kim Christensen, Shutterstock
Breed Group: Hound
Lifespan: 8 – 11 years
Height: 28 – 32 inches
Temperament: Gentle, dignified, polite

The Scottish Deerhound is an old breed, and much of their origin story has been lost to time. As their name suggests, they were bred to hunt deer in the Scottish Highlands. Their rugged appearance matches their homeland, giving them a hardiness that enables them to handle Scottish weather. The breed’s long legs serve them well on the uneven terrain too, both for speed and sure-footedness.

They slowly became less popular as the big game that they hunted was wiped out, with the Greyhound taking their place instead. However, they did remain common in Scotland, where many large deer remained despite the ongoing hunting.

8. Whippet

Whippet in the desert
Image Credit: Danita Delimont, Shutterstock
Breed Group: Hound
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Height: 18 – 22 inches
Temperament: Affectionate, calm, playful

The Whippet is similar in appearance to the Greyhound, with the same long legs, slender body, and natural speediness that makes them an excellent sprinter. They can be distinguished from the Greyhound by their size, being smaller in comparison.

These dogs were known as the “poor man’s racehorse” due to their smaller, more manageable size compared to the Greyhound. The Whippet became popular during the Victorian era in England, when they were bred by coal miners in the northern counties. They were developed to suit the minimal funds that the miners had for feeding them.

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The 1 Long-Legged Guardian Breed

9. Akbash

akbash dog
Image Credit: bektasaydogan, Shutterstock
Breed Group: Guardian
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Height: 28 – 34 inches
Temperament: Loyal, gentle, affectionate

Originating in western Turkey, the Akbash is one of the many white livestock guardian breeds admired for their protective natures. They were bred to protect sheep from wolves and other predators. Although they’re not recognized by the AKC, they were used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the Predator Control Program in 1980.

The Akbash isn’t one of the tallest breeds, but their lean, muscular body and fur do hide how long their legs are. They are a unique mix of gazehound and Mastiff, with impressive stamina, strength, and courage.


The 1 Long-Legged Sporting Dog Breed

10. Vizsla

vizsla running
Image Credit: Ivanova N, Shutterstock
Breed Group: Sporting Dog
Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
Height: 21 – 24 inches
Temperament: Affectionate, energetic, gentle

Intelligent and versatile, the Vizsla was first bred by the Hungarian aristocracy. They worked with red, nimble dogs originally bred by the Magyar people, who ravaged most of Western Europe during the 800s. From these first dogs, the Hungarians developed an all-purpose hunting dog that was sturdy and skilled at every task that they were told to do.

While they’re not one of the largest dogs on this list, the Vizsla’s long legs and slender figure give them speed and agility that serves them well alongside horses and beside on-foot hunters. Today, their versatility makes them good companion dogs and working animals.

Divider-Dog bone- NewThe 4 Long-Legged Terrier Breeds

11. Airedale Terrier

Airedale terrier
Image Credit: jarobike, Shutterstock
Breed Group: Terrier
Lifespan: 11 – 14 years
Height: 23 inches
Temperament: Clever, brave, friendly

The Airedale Terrier is the largest of the long-legged terrier breeds and is known as “the King of the Terriers” as a result. They were developed in the mid-1800s by factory and mill workers during the Industrial Revolution. The original breeders were determined to mimic their own tough, rugged, and devil-may-care temperaments in the breed.

Airedale Terriers are among the most versatile dog breeds in the world and have long since found their places in guarding, acting, athletics, hunting, herding, policework, and companionship. These dogs also served in the British Armed Forces during World War I as guard dogs and messengers.

12. Bedlington Terrier

border terrier
Image Credit: Colin Seddon, Shutterstock
Breed Group: Terrier
Lifespan: 11 – 16 years
Height: 15 – 17.5 inches
Temperament: Loyal, charming, alert

Despite being lamb-like in appearance and temperament, the Bedlington Terrier is a working dog. They were bred to be pit fighters and for hunting rats in the coal mines of Northumberland during the 1800s. The breed also found work alongside the Romani people.

Although they were fierce fighters when the breed was first developed, they were quickly found to be loving companions. The British aristocracy began paying attention to these long-legged, graceful dogs and kept them as companions for their stylish appearance. Since then, the Bedlington Terrier has been favored as a family dog.

Bedlington Terrier standing on grass
Image Credit: No-longer-here, Pixabay

13. Border Terrier

Breed Group: Terrier
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Height: 12 – 15 inches
Temperament: Happy, affectionate

Being the smallest of the long-legged terrier group, the Border Terrier’s size might make you overlook them as a long-legged breed. But they do have the longest legs in comparison to other small terrier breeds.

Like many other terriers, they were bred to work, particularly on farms for protecting livestock from foxes. They were small enough to dig their way into a fox’s den but long-legged and fast enough to keep up with the horsemen on hunts.

While they’re more commonly known as the Border Terrier today—due to their origins on the Scottish-English border—they’ve also been called the Coquetdale Terrier, Reedwater Terrier, and Ullswater Terrier.

14. Manchester Terrier

Manchester Toy Terrier
Image Credit: Olga Aniven, Shutterstock
Breed Group: Terrier
Lifespan: 15 – 17 years
Height: 15 – 16 inches
Temperament: Spirited, observant, athletic

In the 1800s, Manchester was home to textile mills and two sports revolving around dogs. One was hunting rabbits with hounds, and the second was rat killing, where a terrier would be thrown into a pit of rats.

The Manchester Terrier was developed at around the same time as a breed that would excel at both sports. They’re one of the smallest long-legged terriers, and the Toy variety is even smaller. Both the Standard and Toy Manchester Terrier share the same spirited temperament and have long legs despite their size.


The 3 Long-Legged Working Dog Breeds

15. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher
Image Credit By: zodobie, pixabay
Breed Group: Working dog
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Height: 24 – 28 inches
Temperament: Alert, brave, loyal

The Doberman Pinscher is renowned for their alert posture and prowess as a guard dog. While they’re not bulky and muscular like the Rottweiler, they’re just as intimidating, and their long legs only add to their appearance. Excelling at police and military work, the Doberman is fiercely intelligent and has also been used in therapy, competition, and search and rescue and as service dogs.

These dogs were developed by Louis Dobermann in Germany during the 19th century. As a tax collector whose presence was rarely received well, he decided to develop a guard dog to accompany him. Dobermans earned their fame during World War II, when twenty-five died during the battle for Guam.

16. Great Dane

male black great dane
Image Credit: Tara Lynn and Co, Shutterstock
Breed Group: Working dog
Lifespan: 7 – 10 years
Height: 28 – 32 inches
Temperament: Friendly, dependable, patient

As the “Apollo of Dogs,” it shouldn’t be a surprise to find the Great Dane on this list. These gentle giants get most of their height from their impressively long legs. Despite their name, Great Danes don’t have any connection with Denmark, as they were developed in Germany. Since they’re such an old breed, it’s unknown how this connection happened.

Their gentle, friendly nature often belies how strong these dogs are, and it’s easy to forget that their ancestors were bred to hunt wild boar. These days, they’re better known as massive softies with hearts of gold and loyal protectiveness toward their families.

17. Komondor

Komondor lying on ground
Image Credit: Colin Seddon, Shutterstock
Breed Group: Working dog
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 25.5–27.5 inches
Temperament: Loyal, dignified, courageous

It isn’t easy to tell under all that fur, but the Komondor is a working dog breed with impressively long legs. Originally bred in Hungary, where they’re the king of the flock dogs, they’re independent and protective, with a light-footed, agile nature that contradicts their appearance.

Their thick dreadlock-like fur might make them easy to recognize and give them a unique appearance, but it also serves to protect them from the elements. The thick fur also serves as a measure of defense against the wolves that would threaten the sheep that they protected.

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Having long legs is a trait shared by many sighthounds in the dog world, but many other breeds also owe their skills to the length of their legs. While sighthounds are known for their speed, the long legs of many other breeds aid them with their jobs too. Even terriers, which seem tiny in comparison to breeds like the Great Dane, can have surprisingly lengthy legs for their size.

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Featured Image Credit: Dmussman, Shutterstock

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