Compared to their obese cousins, skinny dog breeds have several advantages. Because these dogs are thin, they can stay swift and agile, making them superb hunting hounds.
Even when they aren’t hunting, they enjoy being occupied and make excellent companions for active humans.
Here are the skinny dog breeds we’ve included in this article, as well as a brief history and summary of each breed’s personality traits:
- Italian Greyhound
- Afghan Hound
- Ibizan Hound
- Pharaoh Hound
Skinny dog breeds have become popular among the dog-lover community. There are several different breeds, which we’ve researched for you. Additionally, we’ve included some stats for each so you can decide if this breed fits your family.
1. Italian Greyhound
- Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
- Average Height: 13 to 15 inches
- Average Weight: 7.5 to 11 lbs
- Traits: Devoted, Athletic, Friendly
The Italian Greyhound gained popularity during the Renaissance with the Italian aristocracy.
However, evidence of this breed’s existence can be found in artwork from the Mediterranean region dating back over 2000 years.
During the 17th century, the Italian Greyhound proved popular with the English nobility, just as he had been in Italy.
The Italian Greyhound was included in a few toy breeds available during the period, and his popularity grew until Queen Victoria’s reign.
Italian Greyhound Personality
The Italian Greyhound packs a lot of athleticism into its tiny body, that’s for sure! He enjoys playing inside and outside, and running is one of his favorite pastimes.
However, he has no problems playing with a plush toy on cold days when he would rather stay inside. Tug of war is a favorite pastime of the Italian Greyhound as well.
Make no mistake; if you don’t let your Italian Greyhound run, he will take out his energy on your furniture. Other times, he has no problem curling up in your lap.
- Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
- Average Height: 23 to 28 inches
- Average Weight: 35 to 70 lbs
- Traits: Easy to train, Friendly, Playful
The ancient Saluki, also known as the Gazelle Hound, has been hunting in the deserts of the Maghreb and the Middle East for thousands of years.
This beautiful sighthound is still employed for hunting today, but it has also made a name for itself in agility and as a faithful pet.
The descendants of the Saluki are thought to have originated in Sumeria or Ancient Egypt. The art on Egyptian tombs from 2100 BC and Sumerian carvings from 7000 to 6000 BC prove this.
The Pharaohs’ hunting dogs, the Saluki’s forefathers, were used to pursue gazelles and rabbits.
The dogs were held in such high regard that they were commonly mummified. Nomadic Muslims retained Salukis for hunting in later years.
They called the dogs El Hor, which means “noble,” and allowed them to sleep in their tents.
One of Saluki’s key attributes is lazing. They aren’t high-energy canines and won’t follow anyone around the house.
Salukis regard creature comforts as a right; you’ll probably lose that fight if you can’t stand a dog on your furniture.
If you fantasize about a dog with Lassie-like devotion and loyalty, you’re daydreaming about a different breed.
Positive training methods can be used to train Salukis, but they prefer to comply at their own pace — and whim.
But they don’t do much wrong, do they? (Aside from running away when called). They don’t pull you down the main sidewalk, howl constantly, or bounce up and down crazedly.
However, they are capable of digging, so watch your yard.
3. Afghan Hound
- Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
- Average Height: 25 to 27 inches
- Average Weight: 45 to 65 lbs
- Traits: Independent, Loyal, Affectionate
During the 19th century, the Afghan Hound was discovered in the western areas of Afghanistan. These dogs were sent to England in the latter half of the century.
Some suggest Afghan Hounds were used as guards and herd dogs within the breed’s capabilities.
The primary function of these canines, though, was hunting. For many years, the Afghan rulers would breed a kennel of these hounds solely for these purposes.
The first Ghazni imports to the United States occurred in 1931 when Zeppo Marx and his wife bought a female dog, Asra of Ghazni, and a hound, Westmill Omar, from England.
Afghan Hound Personality
Because it was bred to be a hunting dog, the Afghan Hound is a very clever creature. They were bred to hunt and solve problems on their own without the help of humans. As a result, the modern Afghan Hound is a tenacious and self-reliant beast.
Afghan Hounds are ideal for active families who want to spend more time outside and socialize with one another. They enjoy long strolls with their owners and can romp about a fenced yard for hours.
Their enthusiastic attitude makes them excellent household pets.
To guarantee that your Afghan Hound puppy is not afraid of children of all ages, you must socialize your Afghan Hound puppy with children of all ages.
However, it is preferable to have older children when adopting an older Afghan Hound.
- Lifespan: 14 to 16 years
- Average Height: 25 to 29 inches
- Average Weight: 35 to 49 lbs
- Traits: Shy, Loyal, Friendly
The Kanni canine is a rare and old breed of dog native to Tamil Nadu. Kanni dogs are now located in the districts of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, and Virudhunagar.
They are standard-sized sighthounds bred to hunt small animals like feral pigs, Blackbuck, and hares. The Kanni dog’s native range includes the Western Ghats.
Also, they were used to chase tiny wildlife that dwelt in the Western Ghats’ highlands.
Kanni dogs may be curious, always wanting to know what’s happening and offering some opinion.
This, strangely, makes him a strong-willed dog who can make choices on his own when his master is not there.
On the other hand, when it comes to Kanni dog training, this can be a considerable difficulty. Because of their strong will, they can be tough to train, and only an experienced hand can help them become better pets.
If you have a Kanni dog, you should never leave him alone. They are susceptible to restlessness, leading to destructive behaviors such as chewing on boots and ripping up essential belongings.
Kanni dogs can become uncontrollably vicious and aggressive due to isolation and insulation.
5. Ibizan Hound
- Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
- Average Height: 22 to 29 inches
- Average Weight: 44 to 50 lbs
- Traits: Trainable, Playful, Loyal
The Ibizan Hound is one of the oldest breeds surviving today, with a 5000-year lineage. In the tombs of Pharaohs dating back to 3100 B.C., remains of this dog or its progenitor breed have been discovered.
In 800 B.C., they were transported to the Balearic Islands, where they were kept as a pure breed for nearly 2,000 years.
The Ibizan Hounds were specialized as rabbit hunters in Spain, especially in rough, rocky terrain.
Because they accompanied the ancient commander across the Alps, they are frequently called “Hannibal’s dogs.”
As a result, Hannibal and Tanit, the first pair of Ibizan Hounds brought to the United States for breeding, were named after the Phoenician goddess.
Ibizan Hound Personality
Small pets, such as rabbits, cats, and rodents, should be avoided because the Ibizan Hound was designed to chase them.
Cats reared with the Ibizan Hound will fit right in as part of the “family pack,” but it will hunt and possibly kill an unknown cat.
Ibizan Hounds are calm, tidy, playful, and courteous, sometimes called “Beezers” by their owners. They’re protective and self-reliant, and I’ll oversee newcomers.
They will relax quickly after determining that the stranger is not a threat.
- Lifespan: 10 to 14 years
- Average Height: 27 to 30 inches
- Average Weight: 57 to 88 lbs
- Traits: Friendly, Aloof to strangers, Athletic
Greyhound-like dogs—domesticated hunters with long, slender bodies—appear in temple drawings dating back to 6,000 BC in the Turkish city of Catal-Huyuk.
A 4,000 BC funeral vase discovered in modern-day Iran was adorned with representations of greyhound-like canines.
Because ancient artists preferred to depict only religious or socially significant subjects, these dogs must have been quite important to the people of the time.
We wouldn’t know if these canines were the forerunners of today’s greyhounds.
Greyhounds are known for being peaceful dogs that remain quiet and graceful in enclosed spaces. They prefer to curl up and relax in a warm and inviting environment.
While these characteristics are ideal for inside a home, the Greyhound requires a lot of exercise and space to perform the bursts of speed for which it is known.
However, Greyhounds do not take long to tire out; they are the sprinters of the dog world.
A large, fenced-in yard, excursions to the dog park, or a daily walk or jog should be enough to keep a Greyhound in shape.
7. Pharaoh Hound
- Lifespan: 11 to 14 years
- Average Height: 21 to 25 inches
- Average Weight: 44 to 55 lbs
- Traits: Energetic, Playful, Easy-to-train
The Pharaoh Hound is one of the oldest recorded dog breeds, originating thousands of years ago in Egypt.
Beautiful works of art featuring Pharaoh Hounds provide witness to the breed’s ancient Egyptian history. These Egyptian temple sculptures and paintings date as far back as 4400 B.C.
For more than 2,000 years, the Pharaoh Hound has been recognized in Malta, where it has survived essentially unmodified from its forebears, who can be found decorating Egyptian tombs.
Pharaoh Hound Personality
The Pharaoh Hound has a remarkable personality; they are affectionate, gentle, and lovable to their owners. It is famous for its unusual or clownish character in the family.
Like other hounds, these dogs have a healthy attitude and remain distant from strangers.
Moreover, a well-socialized dog will mix well with other canines and children. They are sensitive, can identify their owner’s feelings, and even suffer from frustration.
They make excellent watchdogs and bark at a new sound or suspicious movement.
- Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
- Average Height: 23 to 27 inches
- Average Weight: 33 to 55 lbs
- Traits: Affectionate, Playful, Adapts to apartments well
In Africa, the Azawakh lived near nomadic tribes. “The Azawakh receive a special appreciation from the nomads,” according to the AKC.
They share a home and are considered complete members of the family. They take on the responsibility of defending the campsite and flocks from intruders.
The breed is a dedicated hunter who provides meat for the family, but with the decline in game and the increased use of weapons, the dogs are becoming less valuable.
The Azawakh hunted antelope, wild boar, and hare. Their endurance and agility came in handy when it came to collecting prey. The harsh, dusty terrain was no match for their long legs.
Because it has no desire to befriend strangers, the breed is generally labeled as distant. It can, however, be affectionate with its family, if not always fun.
It creates a close attachment with its owners at a young age and must be rehomed by the breeder no later than four months to avoid behavioral issues and suffering.
It is fiercely protective of its home and family, barking suggestively and continuously when disturbed, yet seldom dangerous.
What is a Sight Dog?
A sight dog is also called a sighthound or gazehound. Unlike the scent hound, which uses endurance and scent to track, this dog can hunt its prey using speed and sight.
What is the Skinny Dog?
Why are sighthounds so skinny?
Sighthounds are so skinny because that’s how they evolved. They have very aerodynamic bodies, which makes them fantastic for athletic competitions.
Most of them have excellent health as they are rarely obese or overweight.
Heather is an animal lover that has many of them herself. She currently has her Blue Nose Staffy named Bootsie, but she’s catered to many animals over the years including guinea pigs, alpacas, cockatiels, cockatoos, bunnies, chinchillas, hedgehogs, and more. She believes that knowledge should be the foundation of caring for any pet.