The Cretan Hound (Kritikos Lagonikos), belongs to a primitive hunting breed, its existence on the Greek island of Crete is documented in writings for at least 3.500 years. Minoan civilization, which at its peak dominated most of the Aegean, the Cyclades islands and the eastern Peloponnese, bred and used it extensively.
Like a hunting and hunting hound, was always used to hunt down and capture wild hares and rabbits on the harsh terrain of his home island. The classical authors praised the cretan hounds (Kressai Kynes) as the best hare hunters known to man and in ancient times they were exported to the Greek colonies and other European countries, reaching Spain and the British Isles, to mix and improve local hounds.
These dogs have many peculiar traits and it is clear that they are a truly ancient species, probably the oldest breed of dog in Europe. Your ancestors may have come from Africa., but later they adapted to this unique habitat of Crete, an island remote enough to be home to other unique species of animals as well, as a unique subspecies of wild goat, the lynx and others.
Isolated there for millennia, these dogs were trained by function to perform a particular and challenging task and remain pure and unaltered to this day.
Due to a long history of fighting external enemies, the Cretans they are a freedom loving race, proud, independent, somewhat suspicious and even tested. They do not like to give their dogs to outsiders and even to this day the best specimens are kept hidden from public view..
Breeding practices are ruthless and the limited means of the past taught the locals to castrate all males, except the best, and to destroy the dogs that were not good for hunting. This resulted in an especially strong and healthy breed., but also very few in number. For years they were kept a secret and even now they rarely leave Crete, except on the occasions when they participate in international dog shows held in Athens, where visitors have the opportunity to meet a true living legend.
The Cretan Hound (Kritikos Lagonikos) is a slender dog, of body intermediate between a hound and a greyhound, especially light feet (that are oval instead of feline) and strong loin, specially adopted for fast reflexes and high speed on dangerous and rocky terrain.
The head wedge shaped, it is elongated and dry, with pointy, highly mobile ears that fold back like a greyhound's during the chase. (There are specimens with semi-standing or drooping ears, and the latter tend to be more similar to a sighthound; there is also a smaller variety, something like a Whippet, of which little is known).
The skin it is thin and tense all over the body, and of many colors. The tail is a very important characteristic of the breed, long and curved up, forming a loose or tight ring and covered with a longer hair brush underneath.
The Cretan Hound is slightly longer than tall, with medium angulations, legs slim and well muscled; the rib cage is spacious but neither too wide nor too rounded and does not reach the tip of the elbow. The back he's slim but powerful and there's a nice tuck, with the tips of the hipbones slightly prominent.
There must be a balance between speed and endurance characteristics, being the conformation a commitment that produces great agility. Flaccid individuals are not tolerated, clumsy and heavy.
Colors: pure white, cream, sand, leonado, grey, striped or black, bicolor or tricolor.
- Height: females: 50+ cm. (19+ inches) Males: 60+ cm. (27+ inches)
- Weight: 20-30 kg (44-66 pounds)
Character and skills
The Cretan Hound uses both sight and smell in hunting and has a particular tendency to savor air or ground odor, to the point of sucking it off the pebbles and stones. When it perceives the prey, the tail moves in a circular motion and the hound stiffens moments before starting the chase.
Manso, affectionate, aristocratic, but deadly in pursuit, is a polite hound that comes to life in the presence of prey; clean, soft, elegant in form and movement, it is never vulgar or overwhelming in gestures.
Slightly reserved with strangers, is naturally inquisitive and tolerant.
The Kritikos Lagonikos lives happily with other domestic animals, but it will mercilessly chase the neighbor's cat.
It's excellent, friendly and very affectionate with children. He rarely barks but will alert strangers to his home; on the farm he will kill mice and rats and is not indifferent to feather hunting, but the latter use will make the breed lazy and disorderly in hunting; your constitution needs the challenge of true persecution.
Make sure you are the calm leader, but firm and sure of this dog, providing enough leadership and exercise to produce a well-balanced canine companion. Proper communication between the dog and the man is essential.