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Greek Harehound

Other names: Hellenikos Ichnilatis, Hellenic Hound, Greek Hound

Greek Harehound
Greek Harehound

The Greek Harehound is an athlete with great stamina. Not only is he a great scent hound in the sporting field, but he is also strong and fearless. This isn’t unusual, as he was originally bred for hunting wild boar and other game. This breed thrives when it has access to acres of space to run freely; it certainly isn’t suited to living in a small space. 

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Key facts about the Greek Harehound

  • Life expectancy : Between 11 and 13 years
  • Temperament : Playful, Hunter
  • Size : Medium
  • Type of coat : Very short, Hard
  • Price : Between £400 and £600

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds

Section

Section 1 : Scent hounds

Physical characteristics of the Greek Harehound

Adult size

Female dog Between 18 and 21 in
Male dog Between 19 and 22 in

Weight

Female dog Between 37 and 44 lb
Male dog Between 37 and 44 lb

Coat colour

The Greek Harehound’s coat is usually only black and tan, however a small white patch is acceptable.

Type of coat

Short and smooth.

Eye colour

Dark brown.

Description

This is a well-proportioned medium-sized dog. His head tapers slightly, with a longish muzzle. He has a muscular body, as befits a dog of his athletic capabilities. As a working dog, his long legs are certainly of great benefit to him.

Temperament

Affectionate

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Although he is a working breed, the Greek Harehound is often loyal, loving and gentle towards his owner.

Playful

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Affectionate, friendly and extremely playful too.

Calm

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Keen and enthusiastic in the hunting field, but calmer when in a home setting.

Intelligent

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The Greek Harehound is a dog with great intelligence, able to work alone when hunting. 

Hunter

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These dogs are fearless, skilled hunters. They are scent hounds with a keen sense of smell.

Fearful / wary of strangers

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The Greek Harehound can be suspicious and wary around strangers

Independent

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Like other scent hounds, the Greek Harehound is very strong-willed and independent.

Behaviour of the Greek Harehound

Tolerates solitude

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As a strong-willed dog, the male of the breed is often slow to mature and won’t reach adulthood until he is aged 2 or 3. He is not a dog to leave alone for several hours, or he will become bored and destructive around the home.

Easy to train / obedience

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Harehounds are notoriously strong-willed and difficult to train. In fact, training this dog can be quite challenging.

Barking

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As a scent hound, he will bark when he recognises any prey, to alert his master. His bark is extremely loud.

Tendency to run away

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As his main aim in life is to chase after prey and hunt them down; given the chance to escape and be free to roam off his lead, he will attempt to run off by himself. 

Destructive

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The Greek Harehound knows he has a job to fulfil each day. If he doesn’t achieve this he will become a nuisance and display some destructive behaviours. 

Greedy / Gluttony

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A very active dog, with high energy levels. He can also be quite a greedy dog, taking any snack that is available in his reach. 

Guard dog

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The Greek Harehound can be territorial and will let his master know when a stranger approaches. He will alert you with a loud, long bark when he sees anything suspicious. 

First dog

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As a strong-willed dog, the male of the species is often slow to mature and won’t reach adulthood until they are aged 2 or 3. An especially boisterous breed, they can be difficult to train and need an experienced handler, rather than a first time owner.

Lifestyle

Greek Harehound in a flat

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This scent hound can do well as a companion pet, but he does need a large outdoor space to roam freely. 

Need for exercise / Sporty

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The Greek Harehound needs a large space to exercise where he can run free. He needs lots of different activities and physical stimulation. 

Travelling / easy to transport

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As a physically active dog, he’s not too happy when travelling in a car.

Compatibility

Greek Harehound and cats

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Since the Greek Harehound is bred to hunt and kill hares and rabbits, chances are that he will chase after smaller animals, like cats, too. 

Greek Harehound and dogs

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As a breed that normally hunts in packs with other dogs, he will be quite placid around other canines. 

Greek Harehound and children

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The Greek Harehound will be fine around older children, especially if they have been socialised and living together from a young age. 

Greek Harehound and the elderly

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This dog is not recommended as a companion pet for an elderly owner. He needs someone to run beside him for miles as he exercises. 

Price

The initial cost of purchase of a Greek Harehound puppy will be between £400 to £600. Monthly costs in addition to this will be between £80 to £120 to cover food, vet bills, and pet insurance. 

Grooming

The short coat of the Greek Harehound requires little in the way of grooming. A weekly brush should suffice to keep his hair looking tidy. An occasional bath, should he come back very dirty from hunting, is all that he needs. 

Shedding

The Greek Harehound is an average shedder.

Nutrition of the Greek Harehound

An adult Greek Harehound requires a high-quality dog food to meet his dietary needs. A working-breed formula may be required.

Health of the Greek Harehound

Life expectancy

There are no known genetic defects to affect this breed. Its average life expectancy is between 11 and 13 years.

Strong / robust

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The Greek Harehound is extremely robust and healthy.

Withstand heat

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These canines are most comfortable and experience no problems in warmer climates.

Withstand cold

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As a breed with great stamina, he won’t have any problems when working outdoors in cooler weather. This breed is used to living in cool, mountainous regions.

Tendency to put on weight

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As is the situation with many active dogs, once their working lives come to an end and they retire from hunting, they can be more prone to becoming obese when not exercising enough. 

Common illnesses

Good to know

On the whole, the Greek Harehound is a free spirit. He isn’t purposely defiant, but sometimes turns a deaf ear to his master’s commands. His great desire is to run free, which can certainly cause problems in a home setting.

Origins and history

The Greek Harehound’s ancestors date back to thousands of years ago. His heritage dates back to the ancient “Laconikoi” canines of the Peloponnese. This dog has hardly changed in appearance or demeanour through the years. This is probably because there was no competition from other breeds in the mountainous regions of Greece. The bloodline has therefore remained true to his ancestry. 

Names

Sparta, Chaos, Feta, Opa

Find out more dog name ideas here

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