5 Best Known Ancient Greek Dog Breeds

Greece is a wonderful country, but they don’t have an abundance of dog breeds. However, the few that they do have can’t be more curious. Greek dogs are fantastic, characterized by diversity mirroring Greek culture. There is the small Kokoni and then the gigantic Molossus of Epirus.

I have seen many of these ancient Greek dog breeds, and they are amazing. It is no surprise the Greek’s had the world’s most popular civilization for such a long time. Here is a list of Greek dog breeds.

Do you have a specific question about the subject? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

Greek Shepherd

The Greek Shepherd, also known as the Greek Sheepdog, is a large dog raised to protect livestock in the country’s mountainous regions. These dogs, which can weigh more than 100 pounds, are typically black, white, tan, or a combination of the three, and they have large heads and wide chests — ideal for fending off predators.

Standing up to predators is something that these dogs are not afraid to do. These dogs in ancient times have been called upon to defend against wolves, bears, and other ferocious predators, so you can be sure that they’ll protect you from that suspicious-looking squirrel in your backyard.

The breed has been mentioned in the works of everyone from Aristophanes to Aristotle, giving them a distinguished pedigree and making them one of the most ancient dog breeds. Unfortunately, they are on the brink of extinction, and concerted efforts are needed to save them from extinction.

Molossus of Epirus

Of the Greek dog breeds, this one is huge, weighing in at 140 pounds. They’ve been around since Alexander the Great’s time when he used them to defend his livestock and subdue his opponents.

According to many scholars, the Molossus of Epirus was the dominant ancestor of modern Mastiff breeds. Whatever the truth is, one thing is certain: If I ever plan to conquer the known universe, this is the dog I’d want by my side. I’m sure ancient Roman dog breeds couldn’t hold a candle to them.


The Kokoni is a small breed that weighs up to 17 pounds. These dogs have long bodies and curved tails. They come in a wide range of colors, so you can find one in almost any color combination you want. These dogs in ancient Greece might have been the smallest among them.

These dogs have a persuasive bark, which makes them great watchdogs. However, since they don’t bark as much, they will make great apartment-dwelling companions. 

Greek Harehound

The Greek Harehound was initially bred in Greece to track and hunt rabbits, as one would think. This ancient Greek dog is only available in black and tan, and they weigh about 45 pounds.

They are technically scent hounds, which means they have very sensitive noses and enjoy tracking anything that crosses their paths. If you decide to get one, make sure to keep them on a leash at all times, or you could catch them speeding down the road in search of the last thing they smelled. Without a leash, these ancient Greece dogs might end up back in their homeland!

Cretan Hound

The Cretan Hound, which originated on the Greek island of Crete, is one of the oldest dog breeds in history, with origins going back at least 3,500 years. They are incredibly swift and agile, making them suitable for hunting smaller breeds such as hares.

These ancient Greek dogs are slender and sophisticated, and you’d never guess they’re capable hunters based on their appearance. But let them loose in search of their prey, and you’ll see what kind of effective predators these dogs are.

Credits: thanks for the cover photo to Canva and Wikimedia Commons.

Disclosure: At pawtypooch.com we only mention the products that we’ve researched and considered worthy. But it’s important to note that we are a participant of several affiliate programs, including VigLink, ShareASale, Skimlinks, and Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate pawtypooch.com earns from qualifying purchases.  Also, please note that pawtypooch.com does not intend to provide veterinary advice. All published articles are meant for informational purposes only. And this information should not be substituted for professional veterinary consultation.