Welcome to my list of seven breeds of dogs that have long legs and short bodies.
And guess what?
All of my breeds are terriers.
And the reason for this is that most terriers are small dogs, with short bodies.
If that is a disappointment to you, then I’m sorry.
I know that you must be able to get hold of all manner of strange mixes of dog breeds that have long legs and a short body, but are you really sure about what you are buying? And how healthy they are?
At least if you stick to my breeds, each one of them is formally recognised by such organisations as The Kennel Club (U.K.) and the American Kennel Club.
What do long legs and short bodies give you?
Of the thirty one different terrier breeds recognised by the AKC, sixteen of them are described as long legged.
Of these 16, my list contains seven.
The great thing about any terrier is that you know from the “get go” what you are going to get.
And, regardless of their leg length any terrier will come with a colossal personality and buckets of energy.
Long legged terriers were also bred for different purposes than their short legged cousins.
Short legged terriers were bred to catch their prey by following them into small underground burrows.
Whereas long legged terriers were bred to stay on the surface and dig down to their quarry.
And to be more versatile and perform other roles such as herding and guarding.
The ideal long legged, short body dog owner
The combination of a high energy dog, with bucket loads of personality and an “I know best” attitude means that you have your work cut out.
But if you have the time and the patience to give to any of these long legged, short body rascals, then you will be richly rewarded with a lifelong and loyal companion.
And an interesting thing to me is that none of these long legged Terriers is particularly popular.
Of 196 registered breeds, the most popular dog is ranked in 19th place and the ninth terrier breed in my list is ranked 123rd!
Let’s get stuck into the breeds and start with the most popular long legged terrier in the U.S.
 Miniature Schnauzer
This is the most popular long legged terrier breed according to AKC and it hasn’t even got the word Terrier in its name!
Standing up to 14 inches (or 35 cm tall), and weighing up to 20 pounds (or 9 kgs), Schnauzers have a very unique look to them.
With ears that stick straight up, bushy eyebrows, a huge beard and a body shape that is all straight lines, these dogs will never be mistaken for another breed.
They come in three colours: solid black, salt and pepper or black and silver.
They make great family dogs because they are very tolerant of other animals and children.
They like daily walks and play time with the family.
 Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Slightly taller than the Miniature Schnauzer, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier can measure up to 19 inches high (48 cm) and is much chunkier- weighing around 40 lbs (18 kgs.)
Their coat colour runs along the gold spectrum: from beige to a dark yellow and so from that sense they look softer than the Mini Schnauzer.
Their coats are made of hair that has a gentle wave running through and many of these terriers have a very distinctive fringe that covers their eyes.
Like most terriers, the Soft Coated Wheaten has bags of energy and a large personality. They are very loyal dogs and tend to bond strongly with one person.
 Airedale Terrier
Currently amongst one hundred and sixty nine registered breeds at the AKC, the Airedale ranks a fairly lowly 60th most popular breed.
It is in contrast to the 1920’s when the Airedale was the most popular breed in American owned by Presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt.
Taller than the Wheaten Terrier, an adult male Airedale can measure around 23 inches (58 cm) and weigh around 70 lbs (32 kgs).
Originally bred as an all run hunting dog and farm dog in the mid nineteenth century, Airedales were bred to hunt independently and many have that stubborn streak still in them today.
But with the right upbringing, these dogs make great pets for many families. They can learn to get on well with other animals including cats and are very child friendly
 Rat Terrier
Sick of these wavy and wiry terrier coats?
How about a flat coated long legged terrier?
My next breed is the Rat Terrier and without all that hair you can see how long those legs are!
I think that the Rat Terrier’s most distinguished feature is their ears which are large and naturally upright.
And they have a very knowing look in their eye.
Coming in two sizes, standard and miniature, an adult male can be as tall as 45 cm or 18 inches and weighing up to 25 pounds (11 kgs.)
The Rat Terrier is the shortest in my list so far.
Bred specifically to kill rats that could threaten a farm’s supply of grain, these Terriers could also turn their hand to guarding chickens or even playing with children.
Rat Terrier’s come in a wide variety of colours- either three colour combinations or two colour combinations.
Most of these terriers need a modest amount of exercise and for some of them just the rough and tumble of indoor play will be enough.
 Border Terrier
My sister has two of these as does Andy Murray the tennis player.
My sister refers to hers collectively as “the Border Terrorists” which gives an insight into the size of their personalities and their energy levels.
And they have a quite distinctive look, with their otter shaped heads and short snouts.
Relatively speaking, Border Terriers are small terriers.
In terms of height they can be anything from 12- 15 inches and an adult male might weigh just over fifteen pounds.
These are the smallest breed in my list so far.
But for their size their legs are long.
Indeed their legs are long enough to keep up with horses and other fox hounds and short enough to be able to flush foxes from their burrows.
This can make them a handful to integrate them into a house with cats!
 Wire FoxTerrier
Only ranked currently as the 101st most popular breed as of 2019 the Wire Fox can claim to have won more “Best in Show” awards at the Westminster Kennel Club Show than any other breed.
It is thought that they were bred to flush foxes out of their burrows and as such would have played a key role at the start of any fox hunt.
Wire Fox Terriers in size are slightly bigger than a Border Terrier.
Measuring slightly more than a Border, a Wire Fox may reach just over 15 inches (or 39 cm) and weigh slightly more- around 18 pounds, not 15.
And the coat’s colour is different as the Wire Fox has lots of white hair whereas the Border Terrier is all grizzle and tan!
A breed that has won some many dog shows certainly knows how to get everyone’s attention and keep it.
They are great family dogs if you can handle their ego and tame their independence with some consistent training.
 Irish Terrier
If you are after a long legged and short bodied dog that gets on well with your children, your search might have ended just here.
Irish Terriers are renowned for their love of children.
Characterised by a dashing red coat which can vary in colour from a deep fiery shade to a lighter golden shade.
It is thought that they were originally bred to kill rats and that they are one of the oldest Terrier breeds.
Nicknamed by some as “The Red Devil” these dogs have a fiery temperament with other dogs and small animals.
But if you are willing to dampen these flames with lots of exercise and plenty of interaction and socialisation, an Irish Terrier will shower you with loyalty.
¹ Photo by Wade Lambert on Unsplash
² Photo by Oscar Chena on Unsplash
³ Photo by David Hilowitz on Flickr
⁴ Photo by William Moreland on Unsplash
⁵ Photo by sally9258 on Flickr
⁷ Photo by State Farm on Flickr
⁸ Photo by Rukia13 on Flickr