Five Skinny Dog Breeds

This tiny sighthound is most famous for its svelte look and delicate walk. These little dogs make good companions, but their long bones have all the strength of a sparrow leg so they are prone to injuries. In fact, they are so fragile that they have to be kept leashed all the time so that they don’t run after something and get injured in the process.

These skinny dogs may bark at strangers, unlike some of their more mellow skinny brethren, but they will probably turn tail and run from an actual home invasion. Italian Greyhound´s have short hair and are fairly easy to take care of but like all small dogs need their teeth brushed daily. They may have genetic diseases, may die of an accident, or may just run off on you while chasing a rabbit.

They are skinny, though.

4: Whippet

This medium sized British sighthound is a skinny slacker. They can run really fast when they want too but will spend most of the day reclining on the Lay-Z-Boy. Whippets are famous for their ability to hold down the couch while their home is being invaded. They are never sold as watchdogs.

They have been recommended as a great apartment dog since they don’t bark much and spend so much time on the couch. (They still need to get out and run around as often as possible.) Whippets are great at agility sports, racing, and lure coursing. They have been clocked running 36 mph and can manage a 200 yard sprint in less than 12 seconds.

Whippets have a genetic mutation that allows them to be skinny and good athletes. Some dogs have too much of this gene and end up being heavily muscled, and not skinny. That’s not the kind of Whippet I would want—he wouldn´t even make this list.

3: Afghan Hound

Most people don’t think of this as a skinny dog since they are covered in a thick coat. Anyone who has ever tried to find a vein in one of the nearly fatless legs will tell you different. The Afghan really deserves to be classed among the “see-through” dogs.

The Afghan is also a great slacker dog. The breed has that trait so common is sighthounds: they like to laze around until it is time to get up and kill something. Maybe it has something to do with their background: the Afghan Hound is one of the dog breeds most closely related to the wolf.

According the the book The Intelligence of Dogs, Afghans rate at the bottom. That may have to do with their lack of interest though, and not their lack of intelligence.

They are almost as tall as a Greyhound but not nearly as skinny.

2. Saluki

This is another middle eastern breed, maybe related to the Afghan hound. They may have originally been bred to hunt gazelle, so there is part of the reason for being so skinny. What kind of sheikh would want a fat dog chasing a thin animal like that?

Though they were brought back to Europe at the time of the crusades, the British did not admit them to their kennel club until 1923. They are a little shorter than Greyhounds, a little slower on the track, but they are famous for running long distances. The Saluki is the marathon runner of the canine world.

And besides that they are skinny. Really skinny!

1: Greyhound

This breed of dog is not usually grey but they are the champions of tall and skinny, being about 30 inches tall and having only 13% body fat. The Greyhound does not have an undercoat like most dogs so they really need a warm house and a soft couch to rest upon. They are also well known among the dog world because they don’t bark much, even at strangers.

Most of the Greyhounds available for adoption are retired racing dogs so they are used to being kept in a crate up to twenty hours a day. If you are interested in finding a dog willing to accept incarceration (and taxation without representation?) then this is the dog for you. This is also one of the reasons that they are great at apartment life. They do have a high prey drive and are attracted to small dogs and cats, but not in a good way!