Skinny Dog Breeds

Skinny Dog Breeds
January 8, 2019

If you’re looking for a dainty dog breed, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list for you to explore. There are many benefits to owning a skinny dog breed – especially if you intend on being an active owner and look forward to taking them on long walks.

Each of the breeds listed here will need a lot of exercise, which is probably why they don’t tend to make the most popular pets list. Yet, with the prevalence of obesity in dogs, owning a skinny dog can mean owning a healthy dog.

Usually, the sight of a dog’s ribs will make anyone suspect that you’re underfeeding your dog, Yet, this isn’t the case for the naturally skinny dog breeds.

Here’s our comprehensive list of the top skinny dog breeds which originate from all over the globe.

Italian Greyhound

The Italian Greyhound is the smallest of the Greyhound family. They are often found at dog shows across the glove for their delicate canter and undeniably svelte stature. As pets the will make for a great companion. Yet, it should come as no surprise that due to their fragile frame, it is not uncommon for them to be prone for injuries. Many owners prefer to keep them on the leash at all times to prevent them from chasing smaller animals or rodents and damaging themselves. Many skinny dogs tend to be very shy, yet, the Italian Greyhound will always have something to say about strangers.


Whippets may boast an impressive speed, yet, when they’re not on the track or in the field, they are one of the laziest dog breeds there is. If you’re looking for a dog to keep you company while you snooze on the sofa, look no further. Although you may have to battle for sofa space due to their long limbs. Although they are hardier than the Italian Greyhounds, they don’t make for the best guard dogs and can be incredibly timid. Whippets are also commonly used in sports such as agility spots, lure coursing and racing; they have the ability to run up to 36 mph and can blitz a 200-yard sprint in under 12 seconds. Due to selective crossbreeding, many whippets now have a more muscular than a slender frame.

Afghan Hound

Even though the Afghan Hound is covered in a thick fluff and appear quite rotund, underneath the fur they still qualify as a skinny dog breed. Aside from its need for exercise the Afghan hound is pretty fond of a snooze – which you can probably see is becoming a common trait amongst sighthounds. They only tend to get the urge to run when there is something to chase and kill. Surprisingly, the Afghan hound is closely related to the wolf. Less impressively, they are also dubbed as one of the least intelligent dogs around! They stand at the same height as Greyhounds, but Greyhounds still have them beat when it comes to slenderness.


The Saluki is a breed which has been around for centuries and were previously kept by kings. They proved to be useful in the Middle East and Africa for their speed which helped hunters chase down wild pigs and gazelle. Even though they made for the perfect hunter, as pets, they don’t quite match up to the other skinny dogs on this list. Not to mention that they’re also one of the most expensive breeds to get your hands on in the first place.  If you wanted to put money on any dog breed as a marathon runner, it would have to be the Saluki. Even though whippets may prove themselves superior when it comes to sprinting, their stamina for running is unparalleled in the canine world.


Despite the name, Greyhounds aren’t actually grey, but they are the skinniest breed on the list. A healthy Greyhound will usually have only around 13% body fat and stand at around 30 inches tall. The Greyhound looks even skinner due to the fact that they don’t have an undercoat like many dog breeds. Which means owners will need to provide plenty of soft and cushy furnishings in the home and if you’re in a colder climate they’ll also need a coat for going outside in the winter. As well as being the skinniest breed on the list, they are also one of the quietest, it takes them a lot to feel compelled to bark at strangers. Variants of the Greyhound include the Arabian Greyhound, Hungarian Greyhound and Spanish Greyhound.


The Azawakh is a member of the African Sighthound family which originates from the Sahara and Sahel Zone in Africa. Historically, they were kept by nomads who treated the Azawakh with as much respect as they did other family members. The Azawakh dogs took their job in the family home very seriously and proved to be a great guard dog – as they still do today. Both as pets and hunters the Azawakh proves to be very responsive to reward-based training. 

Compared to the six dogs above, there aren’t many other dog breeds which come close in terms of slenderness. However, the breeds listed below still fall into the slightly skinny category depending on the individual stature of the dog:

  • Canarian Warren Hound
  • Deerhound
  • French Tri Coloured Hound
  • Ibizan Warren Hound
  • Irish Wolfhound

But one thing is for sure, if you’re looking for a skinny dog, you won’t find any skinnier than the ones listed here. If you have found another breed which looks fairly slender, it’s potential that they’re underweight. Always ensure that your pet is the correct weight, this will ensure that they live the longest and healthiest lives.