The Cretan Hound is a breed of dog that has its roots in a Greek island called Crete. Writings and artifacts that were discovered suggest that these dogs have been around as long ago as 4,000 years. It is considered one of the oldest dogs in Europe that are very good when it comes to hunting.

Cretan Hound side view

During the early Minoan civilization, they were often used to track down and catch rabbits in the wildlands. Because of their cunning abilities, they were brought to several Greek colonies and other places in Europe, including Spain and British islands, for them to be mixed with other canine breeds.

Even if they are classified as a rare breed, a few can be seen joining international dog shows in Athens.

Traits and Behavior

This kind of breed is very intelligent and the reason why their trainability skill is rated excellent is that it easily understands commands and faithfully obeys. However, much as it has been gifted with innate intelligence, it is also sensitive to criticisms from its owner or trainer. It can sense if there is fear or anger in the atmosphere.

Cretan Hound walking in the grass

Otherwise, the Cretan Hound is popular as a sweet and affectionate dog. With proper handling and training, this dog can serve as a good, home companion and can get along well with children and with other dogs.

Pet Care and Diseases

For this dog to live a good life, excellent pet care must be extended. Because of its natural unkempt hair, grooming can be left to a professional groomer, requiring the hair to be plucked by hand twice a year.

Cretan Hound running

Also, since the dog is practically covered with a double coating of hair, some of its excess hair inside the ears and feet must be trimmed down.

Since most of this kind now are living in homes and not in stables as it was originally, adequate provisions in terms of food, living temperature (this dog thrives in a cool climate), and exercise must be extended.

Regular exercises such as walking and running are needed by this dog as it is energetic and agile. Even swimming exercises can be considered to maximize the dog’s agility skills.

There are just some health concerns that future owners must watch for. These include hip dysplasia, cancer, distichiasis, chronic ear infection, cherry eye, sensitivity to anesthesia, and bloat.


The Cretan Hound is a medium-large dog that appears like a scenthound or a sighthound. Generally, males stand at least 27 inches (60 cm) tall while females stand at least 19 inches (50 cm) tall.

Cretan Hound with red collar

The physiognomy of this dog looks kind of wolfish. The legs are long and slender. A Cretan Hound’s body coat is short and smooth to touch.

The tail is about medium-long in length and curls at the back, covered with long fur. The thick covering can also be observed around the buttocks and the neck.

The coat may be of different colors such as white, sandy, cream, green fawn, and black. Brindle, bi-colored or tri-colored is also common.

General Information

The maximum life expectancy is 12-15 years. The average litter size is 3-7 puppies.

Other names include Kritikos Ichnilatus, Cretan Hunting Dog, Cretan Rabbit Dog, Cretan Tracing Dog, and Cretan Tracer.