Breed: Hound dog
Height: 19-27 inches
Weight: 44-66 pounds
Coat: Straight & Short-haired
The Cretan hound is a hunting dog breed belonging to the island of Crete, Greece.The roots of this breed date back to 4,000 years ago and it is considered to be one of the oldest hunting breeds in Europe. This multi-talented dog is a phenomenal hare hunter. Cretan hounds have shown impressive guarding instincts as well, though it is believed that they were born to hunt, given their exceptional hunting skills. The article dwells at length on the history, appearance and temperament of Cretan hounds. Read on to know more about this breed.
Documentation on Cretan hounds reveals that these dogs have existed for over 3500 years. The ancient Minoan civilization extensively cultivated and used this breed. These hounds were used for chasing and catching hare and wild rabbits in harsh terrains of Crete. Some ancient authors have called them the best hare-hunting dogs. Cretan hounds were also exported to the Greek colonies and other countries in Europe, to improve the local hounds by cross breeding. Their ancestry is traced to Africa and they later adapted to the unique living conditions in Crete, though there is no concrete evidence to prove the same.
Cretan hounds have a slender body that places them somewhere between a scenthound and sighthound. The head of this dog breed is in the shape of a wedge. During the chase, its pricked ears fold backwards, just like that of a greyhound. The skin may reflect many colors and fits tightly on the body. Their distinct tail is long and curved upwards, forming a ring. At the base, the tail is covered with a brush of longer hair. The legs are well-muscled, strong and slender and the ribcage is spacious, without being too broad or too rounded. This dog breed comes in different colors, such as pure white, cream, sandy, fawn, grey, black or brindle, bi-colored or tri-colored.
Though Cretan hounds look meek and affectionate, they are nothing less than deadly on the chase. This dog breed is known to be polite, clean, gentle, and elegant in form and movement. The gestures are never overwhelming or vulgar. Cretan hounds are seen to be slightly reserved with strangers. They are tolerant of other domestic animals and seem to be happy in their company. These dogs are excellent with children, as they are very affectionate towards them. Cretan hound will rarely bark, but notify if strangers approach the home. Its body constitution requires the challenge of a true chase to keep the dog fit and active. The ability to communicate with dogs is essential in the owner of this breed.
The Cretan hound is a fairly healthy breed, with very few health concerns or issues. Genetic diseases to this breed are not known. As long as these dogs indulge in plenty of exercise, health issues may not raise at all.
Brush the coat with a firm bristle brush and bathe in mild soap only when required. Occasionally, you may need to dry shampoo the Cretan hounds. Trim the nails regularly. The breed is an average shedder.