Snooty and stylish: 7 sophisticated long-nosed dog breeds

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Have you ever wondered why some dog breeds sport a long pointed nose whereas others look smooshed to the point of discomfort? From the graceful greyhound to a regal Afghan hound, long-nose dogs are some of the most captivating of all the 200 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. This article will delve into some of the most popular long-nosed breeds, exploring the reasons behind their sleek snouts.

Two brindle greyhounds with collars and leashes standing outside.
Greyhounds. Photo credit: YayImages.

Why do dogs have long noses?

All domesticated dogs, whether an American Eskimo or a tiny chihuahua, stem from the same species, Canis familiaris. Human interference through selective breeding has resulted in hundreds of different-looking canines. The difference in appearance isn’t just about looks, there’s often a specific purpose or intention with each breed.

A dog’s nose contains around 300 million olfactory sensors, according to the AKC, 100,000  times more sensitive than a human’s.

Long-nose dog breeds, however, have even more olfactory sensors, a characteristic purposely targeted as many of these dogs were bred for hunting and tracking purposes. While this isn’t always the case, it’s evident in many of the drug-sniffing dog breeds as well as other service dogs.

Some dogs simply use their long snouts to get what they want. According to Leah Ingram from Your Home Dog, her dog Oscar uses his long nose to encourage affection. “He is the first dog I’ve ever adopted that uses his snout to nudge my hand repeatedly to pet him. And, of course, I comply.”

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Advantages and disadvantages of long noses

A long-nosed dog, also known as dolichocephalic, stands in stark contrast to a brachycephalic dog with a short nose. Their elongated muzzles allow for more efficient airflow, helping to dissipate heat during warm weather as well as putting them at the top of the class for scent detection, whether that’s bomb-sniffing or tracking over long distances.

On the other hand, longer snouts make these breeds more susceptible to injury, such as trauma to the nose in working conditions and dental issues due to the length of their jaw.

Unlike short-nosed breeds, dolichocephalic breeds are not prone to breathing problems or overheating nearly as much.

Two dachshunds standing on a couch.
Dachshund. Photo credit: Pexels.

Popular long-nosed dog breeds

Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular and striking long-snout dog breeds that have captured the hearts of many, either for their looks or their working abilities.


Without a doubt, the greyhound is by far the most well-known and popular long-nose dog breed. Often nicknamed the 40-mph-couch-potato, this breed features a long thin snout, tall stature, lanky legs and folded ears.

The greyhound is the perfect example of the long nose not existing for its olfactory capabilities but rather for its sleek appearance and aerodynamics. Greyhounds are bred for racing and have some of the most impressive sprinting capabilities of all breeds. Anyone who’s owned a retired racer knows of their invitingly sweet and calm disposition. They make excellent housepets and, despite prevailing misconception, don’t need much more than a few leash walks a day.

Greyhounds are often seen bundled up in winter jackets the minute it gets cold. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is due to crazy pet owners. The breed has a very short coat and thin skin and doesn’t tolerate the cold well. Dog booties are a common accessory among these delicate social souls.

Afghan hound

This doggie diva not only makes an appearance on this list but also happens to be among the dumbest dog breeds. Originally bred to hunt, their long nose previously served a purpose but isn’t used nearly as often today.

Afghans sport a long, luxurious hair-like coat that swings gorgeously as they walk. Combined with their long snout, they’re the fashionista of the canine world. They’re also quite high maintenance as that coat requires daily brushing.

Collie sitting down outside with woman embracing it.
Collie. Photo credit: Pexels.


The collie became widely popular in America thanks to the show “Lassie” which debuted in the 1950s. Collies feature a long nose with a medium size body and a long, flowy coat.

Originally bred to herd livestock, collies are incredibly intelligent and social dogs. Similar in function to an Australian shepherd but much calmer in temperament, they’re extremely loyal and will do almost anything to please their human family.


If you’ve ever looked at a whippet and thought it was a mini greyhound, you wouldn’t be alone. This breed is a relative of both the greyhound and the Italian greyhound. Like the greyhound, they were bred to chase rabbits for sport.

They’re often considered the goldilocks of these three breeds falling right in the middle regarding size and overall household requirements. Like all sighthounds, they enjoy short bursts of energy, which a game of frisbee in the backyard can easily accommodate. Overall, they’re calm, friendly and affectionate in social situations.

Whippet laying on a couch.
Whippet. Photo credit: Pexels.


Nicknamed the wiener dog, this sweet yet spunky breed has a long, sausage-like body and a long nose to match. Combined with their floppy ears, they’re an interesting sight among all dog breeds. Special attention has to be given to their spine due to its longer length, often requiring steps or ramps up to higher surfaces.

German Shepherd

The German shepherd is a striking dog. Along with their working counterparts, the Belgian Malinois and Dutch shepherd, two similar long-nosed breeds in both appearance and function, were bred for all-purpose work and protection. The German shepherd embodies the quintessential K9. Their elongated nose, perked-up ears and solid stature all fit together in a stunning visual package.

Depending on disposition, they can also make a great family dog. While he didn’t choose their dog, Bingo, a German shepherd/labrador mix, for his long nose or appearance, Dan from PetNPat says, “We wanted a large breed dog and had a German shepherd in mind. He’s wonderful with the kids, was reasonably easy to train, and alerts when people approach the property without being overly threatening or menacing. We love him because he’s a big strong dog who’s also very gentle and affectionate.”

White bull terrier against a black background.
Bull Terrier. Photo credit: Pexels.

Bull Terrier

Bull terriers have a very unique appearance. Unlike other long-nosed breeds, their longer snout is not as well defined, making their entire head resemble an egg in shape.

Their distinctive looks carry over to their personality. Bred for sport, not function, their long snout stems from the original breeding between a bulldog and a terrier. Despite their somewhat stocky, intimidating looks, bull terriers are great family pets that do well with an active household.

The final word on these noble noses

While many other long-nose dog breeds exist, these seven are among the most popular in American culture today. Whether known primarily for their majestic appearance and stylish looks or because of their keen hunting abilities, these long-nosed legends are all unique in their own right.

Gina Matsoukas, along with her K9 handler husband, write the blog, What Can My Dog Eat? seeking to answer common food and training questions of all dog owners. They live in central New York with Skye, their Belgian Malinois police canine, enjoying an active outdoor life.

6 thoughts on “Snooty and stylish: 7 sophisticated long-nosed dog breeds”

    • Hi Terry – You’re right, Borzoi could definitely make the list as well. It’s not exhaustive, just a few of the breeds and since they’re so similar to Afghans, we chose to leave them off this time. Do you have a Borzoi?

      • Salukis! They’re the oldest breed, very “snooty”, and have the attitude to match. Totally unrelated to greyhounds, afghans, whippets, or borzois.

        • Hi Diane – Salukis are another great long-nose breed! Many of the sighthounds seem to fit the long-nose mold and could probably have a whole category unto themselves in this list.

    • About time the whippet was mentioned. They are absolutely the best and easiest but.. they aren’t golden retrievers, so are not highlighted.

      • Goldens (and all their spinoff combo breeds) definitely get plenty of attention these days! We love some of the more unique breeds though too so it’s nice to be able to let them shine as well. Are you a whippet owner? I’ve never met one I didn’t love.


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