Are you looking for your next dog or are you a closet Greyhound fan who is just fascinated by dogs that have long legs and long bodies?
If that is the case, I have picked seven different breeds, many of whom are very similar to Greyhounds.
But I didn’t include the greyhound on my list because I wanted to explore some lesser known breeds and describe them to you.
But before I start to describe the breeds in my selection, I want to chat about whether long legs and long bodies serve any real function or whether it is just about how each breed looks?
Is beauty only skin deep?
Let’s find out as in my next section I chat about the reason why length is so important to some dog breeds.
What you will learn from this article:
- Why do dogs have long legs and long bodies?
- Scottish Deerhound
- Ibizan Hound
Why do dogs have long legs and long bodies?
There are several reasons why any dog breed would have long legs and long, slim bodies.
The most obvious is so that the dog can run fast- which is where the legs come in.
But having carried out lots of research for the breeds in my list, I think that long legs are also useful for running up hills and also for jumping.
Most of the breeds on my list are sight hounds that were originally bred for chasing both large and small prey over rough terrain.
Rough terrain, such as those found in deserts, mean that a dog will need to be able to maintain speed as it encounters rocks, craters, inclines, declines and vegetation.
Long slim bodies provide these dogs with an agility and endurance to chase their prey sometimes for miles in some extreme temperatures.
And finally I think that the combination of long legs and long bodies provides these dogs with a physical presence that would intimidate the prey and the physical strength to kill large prey such as deer or antelope.
But, let’s stop those unsavoury thoughts there and take a look at my first breed in my list of seven dogs with long bodies and long legs.
And we start with the Scottish Deerhound.
Our first example of a dog that has a long body and long legs, is a Scottish Deerhound, or just plain Deerhound.
Some people believe that it shares many similarities with a Greyhound and I believe that it looks very similar to an Irish Wolfhound, which is included in my list of ….
But what is clear from looking at a deerhound is that it has some very long legs, perched on top of a long and thin body.
Although it won’t outrun a greyhound on the flat, make the terrain rougher with a bit of incline and the Deerhound will soon leave its smaller cousin in the dust!
Which makes sense when they are bred to hunt deer…
An adult male deerhound should be about 81 cm or 32 inches at the shoulder and they can weigh up to 110 lbs or 50 kgs.
All of this is covered in a long, wiry coat which can be a variety of colours.
Most favoured is the dark blue and grey hair but sandy or red coats are also desirable
These are tough dogs to live with, not just because of their size but because they need a lot of exercise.
But if you like a canine challenge as much you do physical challenges, this might be the breed for you.
Our next long legged, long body contestant is the Ibizan Hound or Beezer for short.
As one of the oldest dog breeds, it is thought that the shape of the ears and head are similar to some seen in Egyptian hieroglyphics.
The upright ears and angular head are the features that your eye is drawn too as well as looking at those long legs and well honed body.
And those eyes- it as though they are hanging on your every word.
This is another breed that was bred to hunt prey over rough ground, although its prey is rabbits not deer.
And that is why the Beezer is only about 66 cm or 26 inches tall, weighing up to 22.5 kg or 50 lbs.
Ibizan Hounds are available in many colours combinations as long as they are only shades of red and white.
This breed demands lots of exercise and it’s party trick is that it can jump over 5 feet high from a standing start.
A great breed if you have a large garden with high fences.
I think that the Azawakh is as beautiful and elegant as the Afghan Hound.
There is just something so balanced and symmetrical on this dog.
Almost everything is “long”: legs, body neck and tail.
It is the very definition of athleticism as its muscles and bones are so clearly defined.
Standing up to 60 cm or 29 inches tall and weighing up to 25 kgs or 55 lbs, this breed has been developed to hunt hare or antelope and to act as livestock guardians in the Southern Sahara desert.
As the phrase goes, “not just a pretty face, then!”
Azawakhs will make an excellent running companion. Failing that a strenuous game of fetch will suffice.
But these aren’t great at being left alone- they much prefer to be with the “family” pack.
If my last choice was elegant and beautiful, my next choice tops the list for exotic.
The Mexican breed Xoloitzcuintli is a breed that even experienced owners can’t spell!
Fortunately, it can also be called a Xolo (pronounced “show-low”.)
This breed made it onto my list more because of its unique looks than the fact that it has proportions that can be clearly described as long legged and long body.
But it doesn’t score too badly on that front but that may be due to the fact that it doesn’t have any hair covering the body!
The Xolo comes in three sizes: standard, miniature and toy.
The standard size stands at up to 54cm or 23 inches high and weighing up to 55lbs or 25 kgs.
It also comes in two varieties- hairless and coated although the hairless variety might have hair on its head, its feet and the tip of its tail.
Dating back perhaps three thousand years, this breed is thought to be the Ancient Azec dog of the gods.
Known as a very tranquil and calm breed, the Xolo will need lots of exercise- around an hour everyday.
If you want a dog with which to stand out from the crowd and from a breed that even your veterinarian can’t spell, go Xolo!
I have chosen to highlight the Whippet next, instead of the more logical choice of Greyhound?
It is purely because Greyhounds are more well known and I wanted to find out more about this breed.
Whippets were developed in the nineteenth century by cash strapped miners in the North of England as a cheaper alternative to both Greyhounds and racehorses.
Essentially, they are mini Greyhounds.
An adult male might stand at 55 cm or 22 inches tall and weigh in excess of 17 kgs or 38 lbs.
Like the Greyhound, Whippets need very intense and short periods of exercise mixed with lots of lounging around.
A fairly unusual quality that they have is that Whippets rarely seem to bark.
And so if you are an apartment dwelling, part time sprinter on the lookout for a dog with long legs and body, perhaps a Whippet might be your perfect fit!
Salukis have long, slender ears to go with their long legs and body.
Coupled with their large eyes, these dogs can melt your heart with their facial expressions!
If I described other breeds in this list as athletes, then a Saluki is more like a dancer- that can travel at speeds beyond 30 miles per hour.
A male can be up to 28 inches or 71 cm tall but it might only weigh 65 lbs or 29.5 kgs.
An interesting characteristic of the breed is that females are considerably shorter than males.
The Saluki is another dog whose origins go all the way back to Ancient Egypt.
They were bred to hunt gazelle and so they have speed as well as endurance.
Like the Iberian Hound, Salukis can jump over 5 foot fences with ease.
These dogs do need a couple of good running sessions per week- walking everyday won’t scratch their “exercise itch.”
Sloughi are another dog bred to hunt anything from hares to wild pigs in the unforgiving landscape of the North African desert.
It is not hard to see why this dog is nicknamed the “Arabian Greyhound” because they are almost identical in size and shape.
Measuring up to 73 cm or 29 inches at the shoulder and weighing up to 32 kgs or 70 lbs, perhaps the only difference is coat colour.
Sloughis coats can be anything from cream to red fawn in colour- which is the camouflage that you need when you live and work in a desert!
And their exercise needs are similar to most other breeds in this list in that they can play lazy whilst at home but they do need regular opportunities to really stretch their legs as long as the space is enclosed!
⁶ Photo by sergio souza on Unsplash