Are you a dog lover intrigued by small dogs with long legs? These fascinating and unique breeds combine the charm of a small dog with the grace and elegance of their long-legged counterparts. Plus, let’s face it, they’re adorable!

In this article, we’ll explore 16 small dog breeds with long legs, each with its own distinct characteristics, temperament, and history. So, let’s embark on this journey to discover your potential new furbaby!

Key Takeaways

  • Small dogs with long legs are perfect for active families or individuals looking for a loyal companion.
  • They come in many breeds, each with their own unique coat and personality.
  • Consider the breed’s exercise needs, potential health issues, and temperament before deciding if it is right for you!

1. Italian Greyhound

A small Italian Greyhound dog with long legs

The Italian Greyhound is a graceful, small dog breed with long legs and a slender body. Originally bred for hunting small game, these elegant dogs are now popular companions for active households.

Their lean and muscular bodies, long necks, and heads, along with their almond-shaped eyes and long, thin ears give them an air of sophistication. The coat of an Italian Greyhound is usually short. It can be either solid white or have black markings on its legs, tail tip, and chest.

When it comes to their temperament, I’ve always found Italian Greyhounds super affectionate and friendly with family and kids. They are also highly intelligent dogs, making them popular with professionals who use them for sports or dog shows.

Their strong prey drive can make them a bit challenging to handle for new owners. They should always be kept on a leash. Ideally, I’d recommend regular exercise on private racetracks or enclosed areas to let them run free!

2. American Eskimo Dog

An American Eskimo Dog with a white double coat

The American Eskimo is a small dog breed with long legs and a thick coat. They’re intelligent and extremely loyal, making them wonderful companions. They come in three sizes – toy, miniature, and standard.

Their thick double coat is snowy white, with the inner coat being soft and silky, and the outer coat being a bit longer and rougher. If you’ve ever owned a double-coated dog (I have 2), you’ll know that they take a lot of brushing. So be prepared for that!

These intelligent dogs are famously devoted and sociable, making them an excellent family pet. They are energetic and require lots of physical activity and mental stimulation to keep them happy and satisfied.

3. Cairn Terrier

A cute Cairn Terrier, one of the small dog breeds with long legs

Cairn Terriers are small, long-legged breeds with wiry coats, initially bred to hunt rodents. Their unique appearance features a coat that’s usually gray, black, or wheaten, a short muzzle, and a long, shaggy tail. Weighing around 13-14 pounds and standing 9-10 inches tall, these dogs are well-known in the dog world.

Full of energy, Cairn Terriers love to play and are easy to train due to their intelligence. These loyal dogs also make excellent watchdogs and guard dogs. They’re popular among pet owners who appreciate their lively nature.

4. Poodle (Toy and Miniature)

Toy Poodle

We all know the Poodle! Fun fact, they’re actually one of the oldest dog breeds. These gentle dogs make good family pets and tend to get on well with other pets.

Poodles come in three sizes – Toy, Miniature, and Standard – and are known for their long legs and curly coats. Toy Poodles, the smallest of the three, usually grow to around 10 inches and weigh between 5 and 10 pounds. Miniature Poodles are slightly larger, reaching 11 to 14 inches and weighing 10 to 15 pounds.

These dogs have a proud, dignified bearing and are adorned with curly, short hair. Toy and Miniature Poodles are not only smart, energetic, and dedicated, but also very easy to train. Their intelligence, loyalty, and good looks make them popular show dogs and family pets.

5. Basenji


The Basenji is a small, short-haired breed with long legs and a unique barkless sound. Bred for hunting in Africa, males are around 17 inches tall, and females are about 16 inches, with an average weight between 19.8 and 26.5 pounds.

These dogs have an ancient lineage, originating from Africa and making their way to Europe in the 1930s, eventually receiving recognition from the American Kennel Club in 1943. I find them fascinating!

Independent and intelligent, Basenjis can be somewhat aloof and reserved when meeting new people. However, they are very loyal and loving with their family and can be quite vocal, making them an intriguing choice among long-legged dog breeds.

6. Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland sheepdogs, or “Shelties,” are small herding dogs with long legs and thick double coats. On average, they stand 13-16 inches tall and weigh around 20-25 pounds. Their intelligence and loyalty make them incredibly popular among many dog lovers.

Shelties are known for being great family pets, as they are very loving and easy to train. This beautiful dog needs lots of exercise and mental stimulation. I recommend getting them involved in canine sports if you can, as they excel when they compete.

7. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is a small breed with a strong prey drive, originally bred for fox hunting. These long legged dogs usually weigh between 9 and 15 pounds and stand 10-12 inches tall. Their lively temperament requires lots of activity and mental stimulation to keep them happy.

Although these dogs were bred for hunting, their friendly and loyal nature has made them popular companions for families and individuals alike. I see them everywhere and it’s no wonder! Their energy and playfulness make them a delightful addition to any household.

Although they can get on well with other dogs, I would recommend keeping them away from small animals since they have such a high prey drive!

8. Beagle


Beagles are friendly and active dogs, perfect for families with kids. They have long legs and short coats, requiring minimal grooming. Beagles come in two sizes – 13-inch and 15-inch – and were originally bred for hunting hares.

Their friendly personality and intelligence make them easily trainable and great companions. Beagles are always up for a good play session or a long walk, making them an excellent choice for families or active individuals.

9. Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinschers, also known as “Min Pins,” are playful, active dogs that love to entertain themselves. Originally descended from German war dogs, Min Pins are great with children and make excellent watchdogs. They don’t require too much exercise, but they’ll certainly appreciate any activity you can provide.

These small, energetic dogs are perfect for individuals or families who want a loyal and entertaining companion. Their spirited nature and love for playtime make them an endearing choice for those seeking a long-legged, lively pet.

They have a high prey drive like many other terriers, so I’d recommend being careful when they’re around other animals.

10. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is a small, compact dog breed originating from Germany. These dogs are suitable for traveling and apartment living. Males are typically around 2 feet tall, and females are slightly smaller, weighing between 35 and 70 pounds.

I’ve found that Miniature Schnauzers can be quite stubborn, but they are intelligent and trainable with some patience. Their friendly and energetic nature makes them great companions for families or individuals who can provide the necessary exercise and mental stimulation.

11. Border Terrier

Border Terrier

Border Terriers are small, long-haired dogs that originated from the border regions of England and Scotland. Originally bred for hunting small game, they are popular in shows and breeding programs. With a friendly, energetic, and pleasant personality, these dogs are eager to please and make great watchdogs.

This breed is a particular favorite of mine, as I have fond memories of playing with one as a child that belonged to a family member! Their calm and trusting nature makes them a joy to have around.

12. Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier

The Bedlington Terrier, originally a hunting dog, has now evolved into a more laid-back breed that still requires exercise and mental stimulation. This breed enjoys swimming and playing and has an elegant coat that is easy to groom.

Despite their lazy reputation, Bedlington Terriers make excellent family pets, as they are loyal and loving. Their unique appearance and charming temperament make them an interesting choice among long-legged dog breeds.

13. Manchester Terrier

Manchester Terrier

The Manchester Terrier is a popular pet breed in the US, originally bred for rat hunting. Although not known for being the most affectionate breed, they are warm and friendly once they bond with you. Males are typically around 2 feet tall, and females are slightly smaller, weighing between 35 and 70 pounds.

Their loyalty and loving nature make the Manchester Terrier a great choice for families or individuals who don’t mind a less cuddly companion. Their intelligence and trainability make them an interesting addition to any household.

14. Lakeland Terrier

Lakeland Terrier

The hypoallergenic Lakeland Terrier originated from the Lake District in England and was developed for hunting small game. They are generally calm and trusting, but can be quite possessive of their owners and suspicious of people they don’t know.

Lakeland Terriers may be slightly stubborn when it comes to training, but with patience, they can be obedient. If you’re looking for a breed with an interesting history and personality, the Lakeland Terrier might be the perfect fit.

15. Parson Russell Terrier

Parson Russell Terrier

The American Parson Russell Terrier is an intelligent terrier breed that can be friendly and fun to be around. They can have a habit of constantly gnawing at things, so training and keeping their needs met is key! These dogs are known for their vibrant personalities and loyalty, making them a sought-after breed among terrier enthusiasts.

They are incredibly responsive, friendly companions that kids love and adults find loving and even fun. With proper training and care, the Parson Russell Terrier can be a delightful addition to your family.

16. Fox Terrier

Fox Terrier

The Fox Terrier is a small, active breed with long legs and a wiry coat, originally bred for fox hunting (as their name suggests). These dogs are energetic and loyal companions that love to play, making them a popular choice among dog lovers.

Their friendly and loving nature, combined with their intelligence and trainability, make them great family pets. In my experience, they can be a bit stubborn but with the right training, they make fantastic pets.

Are Small Dogs With Long Legs Right for You?

From the graceful Italian Greyhound to the friendly and energetic Fox Terrier, there’s a long-legged companion for everyone. With proper care, exercise, and consideration of their specific needs, these breeds can bring joy, love, and boundless energy into your life.

When considering a small dog with long legs, it’s essential to consider its exercise requirements and potential health issues. Exercise needs vary by breed, but generally, these dogs need a lot of physical activity each day. It’s also essential to think about the breed’s temperament and other needs before making a decision.

In conclusion, small dogs with long legs can make wonderful companions for the right person or family. You can find the perfect long-legged companion to bring joy and love into your life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which dogs are long and skinny?

From the Greyhound to the Whippet, these tall and skinny breeds are sure to make a great addition to any family. They are loyal, loving, and full of energy. Plus, they are great for kids.

What dog has a long back and small legs?

If you’re looking for a breed of dog that has a long back and small legs, a Basset Hound or Dachshund would be ideal. Both of these breeds have bodies suited for hunting, featuring their strong will and low, sleek stature with long backs and short legs.

Can Yorkies have long legs?

Yes, some Yorkies can have longer legs than other members of the breed, due to genetics. Therefore, it is quite possible to see a Yorkie with longer legs than what is considered ‘normal’ for the breed.

What is a small sized dog?

If you’re looking for an adorable canine companion that is easy to transport and won’t take up too much space, then a small dog might be the perfect choice. Generally speaking, small dogs weigh 22 pounds or less and stand 10 inches or under at the shoulder.

This makes them great pets for those with limited space, such as apartments, condos, or townhomes. Although I’m biased because I have 2, I highly recommend small breeds!