The Greek Hound is a rare dog breed originating in Greece. Also known as Hellenikos Ichnilatis, Hellenic Hound and Greek Harehound, this dog is a scenthound that is used to track and chase hares. With athletic and robust built and well balanced symmetry, Greek Hound is a smart and good looking dog.
The Greek Hound is an ancient breed of scenthound whose roots dated back thousands of years ago. As with any ancient breeds, origin of the Greek Hound was lost in antiquity although it was believed that the progenitors of this breed are the ancient laconikoi kynes. These dogs are native to Peloponessus or Southern Greece. The Greek Hounds are black and tan dogs noted for being excellent trackers and hunters of hare. Ancient Greek writings praising this outstanding breed exist.
This medium size dog stands between 18-22 inches and weighs between 38-45 lbs. The head is long with wide forehead and broad muzzle which slightly tapers to the nose. Large eyes are dark coloured while ears are set high and hang down halfway along the head. Medium length neck is strong and broadens towards the chest. The back is straight and long with a level topline. Chest is deep and broad with well sprung ribs. Legs are well set, angulated and strong. Medium length tail is carried straight or with slightly upward curve. It has a short, coarse and thick coat that comes in characteristic black and tan(Fire red) coat.
This breed is not recognized by AKC.
The Greek Hound has a characteristic colour which is black and tan. Varied shades of tan are acceptable. Small white markings on the chest are allowed.
The coat is short, dense, thick and hard to touch. It covers the entire body completely.
Though bred to be exceptional hunters, the Greek Hounds also have qualities that make them very good family and companion pets. The dog is very loving and loyal to its family. It is courageous and bold breed that will protect its family from any sort of danger and will not back away. It is not an aggressive dog unless provoked or it senses danger for its family and owner. Very affectionate and playful, the dog will not miss a chance to be part of children's activity, proving itself as a great playmate and trustworthy companion. It hunts in solo or packs and is used to living with other dogs. This characteristic makes the dog very compatible with other dogs but it may not be a trustworthy around other non-canine pets due to high prey drive.
As a hunter, the dog is relentless, hard working and extremely efficient who will not let the prey get away easily. With its characteristic resounding voice, the dog will follow the trail through its exceptional nose and on finding the prey, it will change its voice to inform the hunter the prey has been spotted. Very fast and courageous, it can take on much larger prey like wild boars without being intimidated by them.
It is an excellent dog for families with a yard. This breed is not suitable for apartment living due to its high exercising needs.
The dog has a short and low maintenance coat that would be clean and healthy with regular weekly brushing. Bathe is needed when necessary. Nails should be trimmed regularly.
As it is a hunting dog, eyes, ears and feet should be checked for ticks and burrs after its arrival from a hunting expedition as unattended thorns can infect the dog.
This dog is independent in nature and may not be an easy dog to train. The breed requires an experienced handler who can show true leadership skills and be patient with training. Gentle yet firm training will be needed as harsh and heavy-handed training is bound to backfire with this breed.
The Greek Hound is not a suitable dog for apartment living. As a high energy dog, it needs large open spaces to run and play as it likes without the restriction of leash. The dog can become hard to control and even destructive if not provided with necessary exercise.