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15 Animals With Short Legs (Pictures & Videos)

a group of animals with short legs standing on a wooden porch

15 Animals With Short Legs (Pictures & Videos)

One of my neighbor’s kids once approached me to brag about her new dog, a corgi. She was excited and thrilled about how adorable her short-legged canine friend was.

After some time, she started asking me whether there were other animals with short legs. 

There are a lot of animals who share the short legs trait. Though, many people observe short legs only on domesticated animals, such as dogs, cats, and rabbits.

But, there are also wild animals with short legs, which was influenced by genetics and their environment. 

Let us get to know these animals better in the list below.

List of Animals With Short Legs


a short-legged corgi in the white room

Scientific Name: Canis lupus familiaris
Type of Animal: Mammal

The first short-legged animal on our list is the corgis.

These adorable dogs are known for their bubble bottom and short strides. And thus belong to the group of waddling animals.

Although cute to watch, their waddling is caused by their short legs. Due to a random mutation in their genes, corgis inherit short limbs as traits.

Their adorable look makes them one of the favorite dog pets for dog owners. But, their short legs are also a medical issue for corgis.

Corgis suffer from joint and back pain. Though, it does not stop them from being excellent herding dogs.


a weasel with a white belly standing on hind legs

Scientific Name: Mustela
Type of Animal: Mammal

Weasels are sometimes compared to ferrets since both are creatures with short legs and long bodies.

There are a lot of things that differentiate weasels from ferrets. Weasels have beige or light brown coats, and they are also thinner than ferrets.

Like other short-legged animals, weasels rely on their tiny limbs for survival. Weasels’ short legs allow them to dash into long and narrow burrows while searching for prey.

With their small, tubular body, and short legs, these thin animals can fit in almost any burrow they find.


a brown dachshund walking on a green grass

Scientific Name: Canis lupus familiaris
Type of Animal: Mammal

Another dog with the same mutated gene is the dachshund. This short-legged dog shares the same FGF4 gene with the corgis, stunting their ability to have long legs.

The growing tips of their limb bones actually harden at an early age, halting their ability to grow more. It is treated as for of dwarfism called chondrodysplasia.

Their stubbly legs make them waddle, unlike their long-legged cousins that can gracefully run. Dachshunds are still capable of running. Though, it is not advisable if they suffer from back pain.

Dachshund is energetic dogs and needs an alternative to burn their energy.

Read Also: Animals That Howl

Basset Hounds

a brown and white basset hound with big ears

Scientific Name: Canis lupus familiaris
Type of Animal: Mammal

The basset hound is another canine on our list that suffers from a genetic condition. This long-eared animal has osteochondrodysplasia, a form of dwarfism similar to dachshunds and bulldogs.

This genetic condition creates abnormal bone and cartilage growth. Basset hounds’ front feet turn outward slightly to balance the width of their shoulders.

Although these dogs have short legs, basset hounds have long bodies, and they can reach things that dog with long legs can.

Basset hounds are also used for hunting, and their legs make them slower, which is ideal for hunters to follow.

Minuet Cats

Scientific Name: Felis catus
Type of Animal: Mammal

Minuet cats have short stubby legs that gave them the nickname Napoleon. Besides their limbs, they have round faces and short snouts with dense fur. 

These cats have a long lifespan, able to live up to 15 years. Minuet cats are perfect for a family with kids as they are sweet and playful felines.

They come in every color and pattern, making them very attractive pets.

Although, these felines were a new breed, being introduced in 1995. Nevertheless, that does not make them less popular than other dwarf cats.


a black and white ferret on a grass

Scientific Name: Mustela putorius furo
Type of Animal: Mammal

Ferrets have a lot of physical similarities with weasels. It includes having a long, slender body and tiny legs.

Ferrets’ legs are strong, perfect for climbing and digging burrows. Like weasels, ferrets also have long claws to make their burrowing jobs more efficient.

Recently, ferrets are becoming popular pets. However, it is meticulous in taking care of them as they have an innate tendency to create burrows.

At the same time, if they are kept with other pets, owners should always watch for their ferrets. These mammals are still carnivorous animals.

Dandie Dinmont Terriers

Scientific Name: Canis lupus familiaris
Type of Animal: Mammal

Although most terriers generally have short legs, Dandie dinmont terriers are best known for their extremely short limbs.

Their legs are around five centimeters long. No wonder Dandie dinmont terriers look odd running around a grass area.

Although very short, Dandie dinmont terriers are intelligent dogs. They were bred around the 1700s to be a pet for wealthy and middle-class people in Europe.

Besides their intellectual ability, they are great hunters, able to attack badgers and otters. Dandie dinmont terriers have a mix of wire and soft hairs, requiring extra grooming.


an otter walking in a shallow water

Scientific Name: Lutrinae
Type of Animal: Mammal

Otters are sea creatures known for their almost dog-like appearance. They are playful and skilled swimmers.

These wild animals also have short legs. However, these short limbs are beneficial to their survival.

Otters’ tiny legs and slender bodies allow them to swim underwater, walk on land, groom themselves, and manipulate their prey. To balance themselves, otters have sole pads and webbed digits.

At the same time, their feet have nonretractable claws. So, otters can scratch any person planning to approach them. 

However, even with these advantages, their short legs do not allow them to run properly.

Munchkin Cats


Scientific Name: Felis catus
Type of Animal: Mammal

Munchkin cats are called the original dwarf cats. Their genes have been used to produce new breeds of cats with short (or even shorter) legs.

The munchkin cat’s tiny legs came from a dominant genetic trait. This gene is also called the lethal gene because if two munchkins mate and both pass this dominant trait, their offspring will not survive.

Although, despite being short-legged animals, munchkin cats are excellent jumpers. They can jump approximately five to six times their height.

Munchkin cats are also agile and excellent climbers. However, their abilities are sometimes overshadowed by their adorable appearance.

Regardless, anyone who plans to take them must be energetic to match them.

Tibetan Spaniels

tibetan spaniel standing in the snow

Scientific Name: Canis lupus familiaris
Type of Animal: Mammal

One of the oldest dog breeds with short legs is the Tibetan spaniel. Due to their furry coat, they are also called the “little lions.”

There are paintings including this dog dating back as far as 1100 BC. They are also a favorite dog breed in Tibetan monasteries, acting as a watchdog.

Tibetan spaniels will lookout for any potential danger and warn its owner. They are also intelligent and energetic, perfect for owners who have an active lifestyle.

Tibetan spaniels love human companionship. So, it is easier for them to adjust to any surroundings, even with many people.

Genetta Cats

Scientific Name: Felis catus
Type of Animal: Mammal

Genetta cats are friendly and energetic felines. It is hard to believe sometimes that these active creatures have short legs.

They are a short breed with a spotted or marbled coat. Sometimes their spots remind others of the African golden cats or Asian leopards.

Genetta cats also suffer from dwarfism, so much like other domesticated pets. Even with their wild appearance, Genetta cats adore humans, and they like to spend time with their owners.

Genetta cats have a mix of munchkin breeds in their genes, from which the short leg trait came. Munchkin cats are known as the original dwarf cats.


a bushy-tail skunk in a white room

Scientific Name: Mephitidae
Type of Animal: Mammal

Skunks are famous for their stinky (and painful) farts. They also have the iconic black and white coat that easily distinguishes them from other wild animals.

However, these sneaky mammals also have short legs. Their short limbs usually go unnoticed because skunks also have small heads, small eyes, and pointed snouts.

With their short legs, skunks also waddle, and it also does not help that they are flat-footed. Fortunately, their short legs are stocky, allowing them to climb on fences and wires.

Interestingly, skunks are not good tree climbers because of their long nails.

Skookum Cats

Scientific Name: Felis catus
Type of Animal: Mammal

Skookum cat is another breed with a long lifespan, able to live up to 10 to 15 years. They are also a recent breed, being presented in the 1990s.

Skookum cat is a crossbreed between a munchkin and a LaPerm. It results in the Skookum cat developing short, stocky legs. Interestingly, their front legs are shorter than their hind legs.

With their curly fur, any pet owner must be able to comb and groom them regularly. Or else, Skookum’s fur may tangle, getting more difficult to maintain.


a black and white-headed badger walking in the woods

Scientific Name: Meles meles
Type of Animal: Mammal

Badgers also have the iconic black and white fur color. They have these adorable small heads and rounded ears. 

These mammals also share the trait of having short legs.

Badgers stay low on the ground due to their short legs. However, they have sturdy and squat bodies to compensate.

Their stocky legs help them dig on the ground. Luckily, badgers have long claws, which makes their task more manageable.

These nocturnal animals dig burrows to find food – no wonder they have strong legs.

Kinakalow Cats

Scientific Name: Felis catus
Type of Animal: Mammal

Besides being animals with short limbs, Kinkalow cats have been gaining attention because of their curled ears. These cats are rare and considered exotic. 

They are a mix between an American curl and a munchkin, which emerged in the United States in the 1990s. 

However, even though decades had passed, only a few could own Kinkalow cats.

Kinkalow cats are super sweet and playful cats that can fit any family. They are energetic that can complement any active person.

These dwarf cats are also rare for cat breeders to produce. So, understandably they are also rare to find in adoption shelters.

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