Cretan Hound

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Hounding    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , , , , , , ,


Size: Large     Weight: 44-66 lbs     Fur length: Short    Ears: Flappy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Black, Gray / Salt & Pepper, Light Brown / Golden, Merle / Spotted / Brindle / Speckled, White / Cream


Life Expectancy: 12-14 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Good for every climate.

Breed Details


The Cretan Hound (also called Kritikos Ichnilatis) is an ancient breed of hunting dogs originating in the Crete Island, Greece. This breed is believed to be the oldest hunting dog breeds in Europe. The dog has history that goes back to some 4000 years back. They were present and used as hare hunting dogs during the prehistoric era of Minoan Civilization. This multi-talented dog can hunt using its exceptional sight, scent, agility, speed and durability skills. With well developed muscular body and long sturdy legs, the dog is able to achieve fast gallops, nimbleness, agility and swift reflexes. It can easily hunt on difficult, harsh terrain and rocky ravines of its birth place. The dog will literally suck the scent of the prey from the ground, follow the trail and flush out the prey from its den with great tenacity. A hound that becomes rigid with the tail moving in circular fashion is a sign that a chase is about to begin. It is quiet while hunting. It gives body language like wagging of tail, the way ears are positioned and facial expressions to indicate progress of the hunting process. The Cretan Hound is a large and slender dog with a height between 27 to 30 inches and weighs any where between 44-66 lbs.

The dog has thin and long wedge-shaped head with broad skull. Pointed muzzle with straight nasal bridge tapers to large nose with wide nostrils. Nose can be black, brown and chestnut. Ears are pricked and eyes are almond shaped. Neck is strong and slightly tapered. The dog has a lean but muscular long body with large chest and retracted legs. Tail is set quite low. The coat is fine, smooth, straight and comes in different colours.

This dog is NOT recognized by AKC or any major kennel club.


The colors of this breed can range from pure white, cream, sandy, fawn, grey, black or brindle to bi-color or tri-color.


The coat is fine, smooth and straight with varying lengths on different parts of the body. It is short on head, ears and underside of the body and long on sides of neck, buttocks and tail.


A persistent, deadly and relentless hunter, the Cretan Hound is a different story when at home. It is docile, calm, obedient and well mannered inside the home. It has a stable and well balanced temperament that makes it an ideal family pet. Excellent, gentle and affectionate with children, the dog gets along well with other dogs in the family but can not be trusted around other non-canine pets due to its high prey drive. It is an intelligent and attentive breed that has protective instincts as well. The dog will make a good watch dog and will signal arrival of an stranger to its family. This dog has adapted to wide and open spaces of the rocky and mountainous terrain of Crete Island which makes it unsuitable for apartment life style. This brave and tireless hunter is full of dash and vigor when hunting but the dog is docile, calm, obedient and well mannered inside the home, truly the perfect home companion.


The Cretan hound is an average shedder with a short and fine coat. It does not have high grooming needs. Brushing the coat once a week will be enough to keep it clean. The dog can get dirty after a hunting expedition and should be bathed with a mild soap. Ears are teeth should be regularly cleaned and nails should be trimmed.


Obedience training will not be a problem with the Cretan Hound as the dog manifests an eagerness to please attitude. It is intelligent and bright dog that will respond to positive training methods.


The Cretan Hound has high exercise needs. It will need large yard to play and run. Also the dog would need to be taken on daily walks and provided ample playtime. It can be a good jogging partner.

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