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10 Skinny Dog Breeds: History, Pictures & Info

Jana Blagojevic

By Jana Blagojevic

Whippet in the desert

Some dogs are excellent at certain things, while at others, they don’t excel as much. With dogs with skinny lean bodies, you can expect to have amazing runners and trackers. This is due to their slim, streamlined bodies, which give them an aerodynamic motion allowing them to be much faster and more precise.

To learn which breeds are skinny by nature, read the article below. It may surprise you that some of these breeds are quite popular, while others you may not have heard about.

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The 10 Skinny Dog Breeds

1. Azawakh

Azawakh standing on grass outdoor
Image Credit: Aneta Jungerova, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12—15 years
Height: Male 25—29 inches; Female 23.5—27.5 inches
Weight: Male 44—55 pounds; Female 33—44 pounds

The Azawakh dog is an exquisite breed with a tall and thin stature. Its lovely appearance is enriched by the fine coat in all varieties and color combinations—from white, black, blue, and brown parti-color to red, fawn, and brindle.

It originates from the south Sahara’s dry regions and the Sahel zone. They were owned by the Tuareg nomads, who appreciated them to the point where they lived under the same roof as family members. They were used as watchdogs, protecting the campsite from invaders, and as excellent hunters.

Their gorgeous, strong, lean bodies allowed them to hunt for antelope, hare, and wild boar, displaying fantastic skill and agility.

2. Cirneco dell’Etna

Cirneco dell'Etna
Image Credit: tkach-artvitae, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12—14 years
Height: Male 18—19.5 high; Female 16.5—18 inches
Weight: Male 22—26 pounds; Female 17—22 pounds

The Cirneco dell’Etna is believed to originate from an ancient Greek colony Cyrene in present-day Libya. While the Cirneco’s appearance seems delicate and fragile, this breed is a hard worker with incredible stamina. The Cirneco dell’Etna is a unique and majestic dog breed with a distinctive appearance that people often confuse with the Pharaoh Hounds. Their lean and slender bodies resemble the Pharaoh Hound, although they are a much smaller version.

Their coats are sleek but rugged, ranging in color from light tan to dark chestnut. Their ears stand perfectly upright, complimenting their alert nature.

3. Greyhound

greyhound running
Image Credit: herbert2512, Pixabay
Lifespan: 10—13 years
Height: Male 28—30 inches; Female 27—28 inches
Weight: Male 65—70 pounds; Female 60—65 pounds

The Greyhound breed perfectly exemplifies how a dog’s slender form serves an agile and aerodynamic purpose. This breed has a stunning, skinny appearance which makes it known and adored worldwide. Its slim form makes this breed fascinating, resembling the “inverted S” shape with the tucked-in waist and curved chest.

While this breed has a sweet and gentle spirit, they are perfectly built for high-speed pursuit, making it the fastest dog breed in the world.

4. Ibizan Hound

Ibizan Hound
Image Credit: DragoNika, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 11—14 years
Height: Male 23.5—27.5 inches; Female 22.5—26 inches
Weight: Male 50 pounds; Female 45 pounds

The Ibizan Hound has been a common symbol in ancient Egyptian motifs because of its thin, slender body, large upright ears, and elongated head. The Ibizan Hound has roots in Egypt and is covered in a gorgeous coat with white and red patterns. Their amber eyes complement their coat color perfectly, and their overall delicate appearance and graze are almost deer-like. This dog has been seen in Ibiza and the islands nearby for thousands of years, primarily as rabbit hunters.

5. Italian Greyhound

italian greyhound
Image Credit: Alexandra Morrison Photo, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 14—15 years
Height: 13—15 inches
Weight: 7—14 pounds

The Italian Greyhound is a miniature cousin of the Greyhound, with an elegant stature. Their bodies are slightly slenderer, and they are alert and skilled runners. Because of their extremely slender, skinny figures, with very little fat, they require extra care during winter.

Even though they enjoy being couch potatoes, you can expect them to bolt with incredible speed and precision when noticing moving prey.

6. Pharaoh Hound

Pharaoh Hound standing in the meadow
Image Credit: Julia Suhareva, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12—14 years
Height: Male 23—25 inches; Female 21—24 inches
Weight: 45—55 pounds

The Pharaoh Hound is a hound with incredible aerodynamic skills for high-speed running and tracking in challenging, rocky terrains. They are one of the oldest domesticated dogs in history, originating from ancient Egypt. It is believed that the Phoenicians introduced Egyptian hounds to Malta, eventually gaining the name Pharaoh Hound and becoming the country’s national hound.

In Malta, they were used for hunting small game, especially rabbits, so their lean bodies would help them achieve the speed and precision they needed.

7. Russian Toy

Russian toy
Image Credit: Evgeniia Shikhaleeva, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12—14 years
Height: 8—11 inches
Weight: Up to 6.5 pounds

The Russian Toy is a dog that differs significantly from other skinny dog examples in this list, mainly because of its exceptionally small size. The Russian Toy is a toy breed originating from Russia, with a tiny, elegant body and slender long legs. It is an incredibly lively dog, with frequent energy bursts making it dash through the house or yard.

They also adore snuggling near their pet parents and lounging on the couch with you the entire day.

8. Saluki

Image Credit: Svetlay, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 10—17 years
Height: 23—28 inches
Weight: 40—65 pounds

The Saluki is another ancient example of hounds that kings used for hunting for thousands of years. Salukis are a swift dog breed with a skinny lean body that is quite powerful. They’ve got slim figures with long fur on their ears, paws, and tail, giving them an elegant and delicate appearance.

Some experts believe that Saluki is one of the oldest recorded dog breeds, dating back 4,000 years. Despite their fragile demeanor, they have impeccable eyesight and can withstand some very harsh conditions.

9. Sloughi

Image Credit: Bianca Grueneberg, shutterstock
Lifespan: 10—15 years
Height: Male 26—29 inches; Female 24—27 inches
Weight: 35—50 pounds

While the true history of the Sloughi hound dog is uncertain, it is known that these hounds were favorite companions for Egyptian and Berber hunters. This hound hunted both small and large game in the deserts of North Africa, which is why it is also called the Arabian Greyhound. The most common game it hunted included fox, hare, wild pigs, jackal, and gazelles.

The slender, skinny body allowed this hound to achieve incredible speeds even in harsh desert conditions. It comes in various colors and markings, from light sand, red, and fawn, to brindle coats with occasional black markings.

10. Whippet

amazing whippet portrait in the forest
Image Credit: nik174,Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12—15 years
Height: Male 19—22 inches; Female 18—21 inches
Weight: 25—40 pounds

The Whippet is a lovely and incredibly affectionate dog, quite similar to a Greyhound in appearance, only smaller. They are gentle and fragile but, on the other hand, fit for intense pursuit. Their skinny bodies allow them to exhibit lightning-fast running skills, making this breed a genuine athlete.

While these pups adore running in an open area, they will also be suitable for an apartment if they get plenty of walks and exercise.

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Once you learn about all these skinny dog breeds, you will begin understanding how a dog’s body perfectly incorporates its purposes. Some dogs might be more masculine than others, making them excellent working dogs, while others were bred to be perfect couch potatoes.

With hounds and other skinny dogs, you can expect to have a bit of both—a diligent and skilled dog with a gentle and affectionate nature. These dogs can run at impressive speeds and hunt with amazing precision, mainly made possible by their lean yet strong bodies.

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Featured Image Credit: Danita Delimont, Shutterstock

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