Cretan Hound Dog Breed Guide

Cretan Hound Dog Breed Guide

There’s an ancient breed of dog called the Cretan Hound. You can say that they are one of the oldest hunting races in Europe. They are beautiful dogs of large size and come from the Greek island of Crete. Bred as working dogs, they are energetic and love to run.

They use a combination of sight and smell to track prey and are incredibly quick and patient to catch. Their athletic bodies are covered in short, smooth coats that are white, cream, brown, gray, black, brindle, bicolor, and tricolor. Cretan Hounds are very sensitive and aggressive when chasing food, but at home they are gentle, loving, docile and very patient.

They are curious dogs that like to explore new places, but they are also cautious of approaching strangers. These dogs should be busy and happy to participate in family outings or games. They are bright, intelligent, and easy to train, but require firm hands and a loving companion as adults. Cretan Hounds get along well with children and become their playmates.

They are patient and gentle when playing, in the wild they are excited and sometimes stubborn, so it is good to keep them on a leash as they like to run! Cretan Hounds can learn to live with other animals if they are introduced to them early, but their hunting purpose is not to hunt other animals, keeping rabbits is not recommended!

History of Cretan Hound Dog Breed: 

Cretan Hound

The Cretan Hound is an ancient breed with a history of over 3,500 years. The ancestors of dogs came from Africa to the rocky areas of Crete, Greece. After mating with the native dogs on the island, the result was a dog that adapted well to the harsh environment. They were bred to control the hordes of ferocious rabbits and hares that killed the people of the island.

In ancient times, the area was controlled by the Minoan people, and for centuries dogs were kept there because of its remoteness. Eventually, humans began to explore and the dogs spread to other islands, eventually reaching Greece and other European countries. Although in other regions the Golden Hound was interbred with other breeds of dogs, in Crete it remained the same until it was very popular.

The Cretan community is very protective of this dog and closely guards the secret of its breeding. They’re good dogs that are often hidden from prying eyes, and due to the strict protection of the Cretan Hound it is rare outside the island. The breeding process is very complicated because the best males are born to maintain the health and strength of the species. Unfortunately, the other pups were thrown away so that the blood would be strong.

Although kennels in Greece and some European kennels know this beautiful and useful dog, it is still not recognized by the American Kennel Club. To this day, the Cretan Hound is the most elusive Cretan dog, loved by local residents and considered a friend and family member.

Some Quick Facts About Cretan Hound:

  • Cretans don’t like to share their dogs, either
  • The Cretan dogs have a wonderful sense of sight and smell
  • The most ancient dog breed in Europe is the Cretan Hound

Cretan Hound Dog Breed Overview & Appearance:

Cretan Hound Dog

The Cretan Hound is 19 to 27 inches tall and weighs 44 to 60 pounds. This dog has a flexible body that allows it to move quickly and easily hold the hunt. Their bodies are longer than they are tall, and their legs, though slender, are very strong. They have round, long, curly, bushy tails that curl around their backs, and they look beautiful.

Their heads are round, their eyes are long and smooth, and their lips are thick. With dark eyes and noses that pick up on scents, these dogs can do what they love most – hunting. The ears are straight and alert, but they turn back when chasing food.

The fur is short, hard, and smooth in texture like a glove. Coat color varies from white or sand to black, gray, and brown. It can also be bridle or tri-color. Elegant, almost regal in appearance, this unique and special hunting dog is bred for service and patience to respect its owner.

Height19-27 Inches
Weight44–66 Pounds
LifespanAverage 14 years or more
TemperamentGentle, affectionate, reserved, tolerant, inquisitive
Litter Size3 to 7 puppies
ColorsWhite, sandy, fawn, cream, gray, black, brindle, bi-colored, tri- colored coat
CoatStraight and Short-haired
Puppy Price$1200 – $1500 USD
Cretan Hound Dog Breed Overview

Temperament of Cretan Hound Dog:

Cretan Hound

Cretan Dogs have almost two characteristics: They are very focused and active when hunting to be the best. When he comes back from the field, he is gentle, loving and quiet. Although their main occupation is hunting, they are very patient with family members, especially children.

They are alert and calm when around strangers and will alert you when someone approaches the house. Even if you keep a Cretan Hound just for companionship, pests will never bother you. They are very good at catching mice and making sure no mice enter their territory.

The Cretan Hound loves companionship and wants to please. It is very active and suitable for families who like to explore the outdoors and enjoy jogging and cycling. Cretan dogs do not like to be alone for long periods of time, although they do not like barking. They enjoy the mental stimulation of being with their family and enjoy participating in family games.

They respond well to training, although you need to be strong, patient and consistent in your training as they do not respond well to harsh words or physical contact. Socialize these dogs well by introducing them to lots of people and other pets so they learn proper behavior and confidence. Be sure to keep them on a leash when outside, as their instincts to chase fast objects such as bicycles, cars, or dogs can be disturbed.

This dog needs space in a safe yard to run around like a dog. They don’t do well in small houses unless they have a very strong owner who makes them uncomfortable by taking them outside all day. The Cretan Hound is loved in its native land and is a very friendly dog.

Are Cretan Hound Good Family Dogs?

Cretan Greyhound

Cretan Hounds, also known as kritikos Ichnilatis, are loyal dogs with great hunting abilities. Although they were bred for hunting in their native Crete, they are loving and loyal family companions. Their gentle and kind nature towards family members, together with their intelligence and understanding nature, makes it easy to adapt to family life. However, the powerful hunting instincts are a challenge for small domesticated animals.

Early socialization and proper training are key to controlling these instincts and ensuring they get along well with children and other pets. Regular exercise and mental stimulation are essential to keeping them happy and content in their home environment. All in all, with proper training, socialization and understanding of their hunting needs, the Cretan Hound can be an important member of the family.

Are Cretan Hounds Good with Other Pets?

Cretan Hounds can get along with other pets, but their hunting abilities affect their interactions, especially with small animals or animals that are considered valuable. Early socialization and ongoing training can go a long way in helping them adjust to other pets.

Introducing them to other animals in the house in a controlled manner will help them to have a good relationship. However, their desire to chase and catch is still there, so monitoring and providing a safe environment during interaction is important to prevent conflicts. With proper training and careful introduction, many Crested Dogs can be taught to get along well with other pets, but their heritage should be considered when introducing them to smaller animals.

Food and Diet Requirements Of Cretan Hound:

Cretan Hound

Depending on the activity level, size, and age of the Cretan Hound, he will usually survive on a diet that meets his energy needs. A high-quality dog ​​food with lean protein is essential to support muscle development and overall health.

This can include sources such as chicken, fish or lamb, as well as carbohydrates from grains and vegetables. Portion control is important to prevent overeating and weight loss, especially if these dogs are athletes. Dividing meals into two or three portions throughout the day will help control their energy levels.

As with dogs, access to clean water is important to keep them hydrated. It is recommended that you consult with your veterinarian to tailor a meal plan to your Cretan Hound’s individual needs for health and nutrition.

Exercise Needs Of Cretan Hound:

The Cretan Hound is an active, lively breed that requires plenty of exercise to keep its body and mind healthy. These dogs have hunting skills and enjoy activities that challenge the mind and body. Daily exercise, such as brisk walking or jogging in a safe area where you can learn and use your sense of smell, is important.Activities such as hunting, obedience or dog sports can be both physical and emotional. Getting plenty of exercise and stress can prevent stress and promote a happy and healthy weekend.

How to Train Cretan Hound?

Cretan Hound

The Cretan hound, known for its speed and ability to hunt, is a hunting breed originating in the Greek island of Crete. Because of their unique and lively nature, training this breed requires patience, consistency and a simple approach.

Start training early to get along well with people and other animals. Subordinate commands such as sit, stay and come are very important. Positive reinforcement methods such as treats, praise and play are appropriate for Cretan Hounds because they respond well to encouragement. Their skills are strong to catch, so it is important to transfer this energy correctly.

Engage them in activities that stimulate their senses, such as sniffing games or puzzles. Physical activity is very important for physical and mental health like going for a walk or a run will help their energy peak. Because of their unique nature, it is very important to build strong relationships based on trust and respect.

Consistent training and clear communication will help build a good bond between you and your Cretan Hound. Patience and understanding of their nature will play an important role in successfully training and living with this intelligent and flexible breed.

Grooming needs of Cretan Hound:

Cretan Hound

The Cretan Hound is rarely groomed because its coat is short, thick, and sparsely groomed. Weekly brushing with a soft brush will help remove stray hairs and keep the coat in shape. However, during the shedding season, you may need to brush more regularly to control hair growth. Wash them as needed, usually when they get dirty or start to smell like dogs.

Use a dog soap to keep the skin and coat from drying out. Check their ears regularly for signs of wax, redness, or odor, and clean them thoroughly using a doctor-approved ear cleaner to prevent infection. Also, trim their nails regularly as long nails can cause problems and affect your gait.

Dental hygiene is important, so brush your teeth several times a week with dog toothpaste and a brush to prevent dental problems. Although their grooming needs are mild, daily grooming will help keep your Cretan Dog happy and healthy by ensuring that their coat stays in good condition and overall health.

Common Health Problems of Cretan Hound:

The Cretan Hound is a healthy and robust breed, without many documented health problems. However, like dogs, they are prone to some health problems. Some health problems that Cretan Hounds may experience include:

  • Hip Dysplasia: Although not common, hip dysplasia (an abnormal formation of the hip joint that can lead to arthritis or lameness) can affect some dogs.
  • Ear Infections: Dogs with floppy ears, such as Cretan Hounds, are prone to ear infections due to poor airflow, wax build-up, or moisture retention. Cleaning the ears can help with this problem.
  • Skin Conditions: Some Cretan hounds are prone to skin irritations, allergies, or allergies. Maintaining good hygiene and early treatment of skin changes can prevent this problem.
  • Eye Conditions: Although rare, some dogs may experience eye problems, such as entropion (eyelids turning inward) and cataracts.

To ensure your Cretan Hound stays healthy, regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, proper exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight are important. Effective breeding practices that focus on monitoring health and genetic diversity can play an important role in reducing the risk of genetic health conditions within the breed. Early detection and treatment of health problems is important to keeping your Cretan Dog healthy.


What do you feed a Cretan Hound dog?  

A balanced diet for the Cretan Hound is commercial dog food (dry or wet) formulated for its age, size and activity level. It is important to choose foods that contain healthy ingredients and avoid artificial fillers and additives.

Some owners choose to eat raw food or at home under the advice of a veterinarian to ensure a balanced diet. Always provide clean water and consult your veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations based on your dog’s individual needs.

What is the meaning of Cretan Hound?

The term “Cretan Hound” refers to a breed of dog originating from the Greek island of Crete, known for its hunting abilities and agility.

Is Cretan Hound dog vegetarian?

No, most Cretan Hounds are not vegetarian. They are carnivores and survive on a diet consisting mainly of animal protein.

Where can I find a reputable Cretan Hound breeder?

Popular Cretan Hound breeders can be found from breed clubs, associations, or popular online platforms that focus on responsible breeding practices, health checks, and dog welfare.


It’s rare to see a Cretan hound, but it’s worth knowing. These dogs are very beautiful, lovable animals with a rich history that deserve to be preserved. It is not surprising that their homeland took great care of them. If you end up with a Cretan Hound, consider yourself lucky. Even if it doesn’t suit your lifestyle, that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the beauty of his canine teeth.

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