Cretan Hound

35-55 lbs
Greece/Island of Crete
Kritikos Lagonikos, Cretan Rabbit Dog, Kritikos Ichnilatus, Cretan Hunting Dog, Cretqan tracer, Cretan Tracing Dog

The Cretan Hound is a very ancient dog breed; we could even go as far as saying they are one of the oldest hunting breeds in Europe. These attractive dogs are medium to large and originate from the Greek Island of Crete. Bred as a working dog, they have an abundance of energy and love to run. They combine both sight and scent to track their prey and have impressive speed and stamina when engaged in the hunt. Their athletic shaped body is covered with a short, smooth hair coat which comes in colors of white, sand, fawn, grey, black, brindle, bi-colored and tri-colored. The Cretan Hound is focused and intense when chasing their prey, but at home, they are gentle, affectionate, humble and quite tolerant. They are curious dogs and like to explore new places, and are also alert, warning of any approaching strangers onto the property. These dogs need to be kept busy, and love being involved in any family outings or games. Smart and intelligent, they are relatively easy to train, but need a firm yet kind hand as they do have a hint of stubbornness. The Cretan Hound gets on well with children, and will be good playmates for them. Patient and gentle in play, in the field they are energetic and sometimes willful, so it pays to keep them on a leash as they just love to run! The Cretan Hound can learn to live with other animals if socialized early in life, however, their high chasing and hunting drive means strange animals will be chased and pet rabbits are not recommended!

purpose Purpose
Hunting, Companion, Watchdog
history Date of Origin
Ancient Times
ancestry Ancestry

Cretan Hound Health

Average Size
Male Cretan Hound size stats
Height: 19-27 inches Weight: 40-60 lbs
Female Cretan Hound size stats
Height: 18-25 inches Weight: 35-55 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia (Chd)
Minor Concerns
  • Ear Infections
  • Eye Problems
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Drug Allergy or Sensitivity
Occasional Tests
  • Eye examination
  • Full Physical Examination
  • Ear Tests and Myringotomy Tests
  • Ophthalmic Examination
  • X-rays or other radiographic imaging

Cretan Hound Breed History

The Cretan Hound is an ancient breed, existing for over 3500 years. Ancestors of the dog came from Africa to the rocky terrain on the Greek Island of Crete. After breeding with local dogs on the island, the result was a hound that adapted extremely well to the rough conditions. They were bred to control the prolific spread of the rabbit and the fast wily hare that plagued the islanders. In ancient times the area was ruled by the Minoan civilization, and for many hundreds of years, the dog was isolated there due to the remote location. Finally, as people began to travel and explore, the dog spread to other islands, and eventually to Greece and other European countries. While in other lands the Cretan Hound was bred with other breeds of dogs, in Crete they remained as unchanged as when they originally were perfected. The people of Crete are very protective of this dog, and guard well their secrets to breeding. Their best dogs are often hidden from inquisitive probing eyes, and they staunchly protect the dog, making the Cretan Hound quite rare outside of the island life. Breeding practices are quite harsh, as they keep only the best males to protect the breed's health and strength. Other pups are sadly disposed of to ensure the lineage is strong. While Greece and some European kennels recognize this elegant and efficient dog, it is still not recognized by the American Kennel Club. To this day the Cretan Hound remains the elusive dog of Crete, favored by the locals, and treasured as companions and family members.

Cretan Hound Breed Appearance

The Cretan Hound stand approximately 19 to 27 inches tall and weighs around 44 to 60 pounds. Blessed with a slender build, this hound can move quickly and maintain the chase seemingly without any effort. They have a body that is longer than it is in height, and their legs, although slender, are very strong. With a stomach that tucks up and a long curved bushy tail that curls over their back, they have a handsome appearance. Their head is wedge shaped, and they have a long fine face and neat muzzle. With round dark eyes and a nose that can pick up a scent in an instant, this dog is fully equipped to do the thing they love the best - hunt and chase. The ears are erect and alert, although they fold back when chasing prey. Their coat fits them like a glove, being short, hard and smooth in texture. Their coat color can vary from white or sandy, to black, grey and brindle. They can also be brindle or tri-colored. Elegant and almost regal in shape, these unique and special hounds look built for action and have the stamina which has earned them the respect of their owners.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Cretan Hound eyes
amber Cretan Hound eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Cretan Hound nose
Coat Color Possibilities
white Cretan Hound coat
fawn Cretan Hound coat
black Cretan Hound coat
gray Cretan Hound coat
brown Cretan Hound coat
brindle Cretan Hound coat
pied Cretan Hound coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Cretan Hound straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Cretan Hound Breed Maintenance

This dog has a short, sleek coat which makes them an easy dog to maintain although they do shed an average amount, so there will be times where there is hair around the home. A good brushing with a firm bristle brush will help remove any loose hair. When it comes to bathing, they rarely need it. You can use a special dry dog shampoo that will be gentle on the dog's skin and coat, and save the full bath for when they do need it. An area that may need attention is their ears. It is good practice to check inside the ear on a weekly basis for signs of infection or sensitivity. Infected ears can have a really bad smell, so if you do catch a whiff of something, it may be coming from the inner ear. Be careful wiping in the ear as it is a very sensitive area and additionally, never probe deep into the inner ear. Brush your dog's teeth at least two to three times a week, as dogs can get decay just like humans. If you train them to have this done from when they are a puppy, it will not be a big deal. Keep their toenails trimmed, and be careful not to trim too close to the nail bed where the blood vessels are. Cutting too close may cause your dog pain, which is something you want to avoid. Other than that, this good looking hound is easy to maintain, and you both will enjoy the time cementing your close bond.

Brushes for Cretan Hound
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Cretan Hound requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Cretan Hound Temperament

The Cretan hound almost has two personalities; they are focused and intense when hunting and therefore, very efficient. When they return home from the field, they are gentle, affectionate and quiet. Despite their main occupation as a hunter, they are very tolerant of family members, especially little ones. They can be wary and reserved with strangers and will let you know when someone approaches the property. Even if your Cretan Hound is kept just for companionship,  vermin will never plague you! They are excellent rodent catchers and will ensure none come into their territory. The Cretan Hound likes company and is eager to please. They are very active and will suit a family that loves exploring the great outdoors, or likes to jog or cycle. The Cretan Hound doesn't like being left alone for too long, although they are not much of a barker. They love the mental stimulation of being with their pack (their family) and will happily join in active family games. They respond well to training, although you need to be firm but patient and consistent in training, as they do not respond well to harsh words or physical handling. Socialize these dogs well by introducing them to many people and other pets, so they learn proper behavior and gain confidence. Keep them on a leash when out and about as the instinct to chase fast moving things like bicycles, cars or other dogs can cause a problem. This dog needs some space in a secure yard to just mooch around as dogs do. They don't respond well to small apartments unless they have a very active owner who takes them out for most of the day and tires them out. The Cretan Hound is understandably cherished in their homeland, and makes a valuable companion dog.

Cretan Hound Activity Requirements

This dog is very active. They love to run; they love to chase and can do so for long periods of time. The Cretan Hound was bred specifically to locate and chase prey, and has done so with great effectiveness for many long years. Therefore, activity is second nature to this dog and they thrive with an active family. Your Cretan hound will love long exploratory walks, hiking, and jogging almost more than they enjoy family games in the back yard. If this dog is cooped up or left alone too long, all sorts of behavioral problems can arise. They are not suited for a sedentary life; the more activity, the better they love it. The Cretan Hound has a long lineage and their instinct to hunt is well entrenched, so do use a leash when out walking otherwise instinct may kick in, and that will be the last you see of your dog for a few hours! Games of chasing and ball retrieving will keep this hound busy, but ensure you keep them mentally busy too. Challenge them to find ways of getting their food out of special 'food toys', or teach them a new trick or two. They love being with their family, and enjoy being part of whatever is going on.

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
14 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
120 minutes
activity minutes

Cretan Hound Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$1.50 - $1.90
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$39.00 - $52.00
food bag monthly cost

Cretan Hound Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Cretan Hound size stats at six months
Height: 13.0 inches Weight: 12.0 lbs
Female Cretan Hound size stats at six months
Height: 11.5 inches Weight: 10.5 lbs
12 Months
Male Cretan Hound size stats at 12 months
Height: 19.0 inches Weight: 25.0 lbs
Female Cretan Hound size stats at 12 months
Height: 17.0 inches Weight: 23.5 lbs
18 Months
Male Cretan Hound size stats at 18 months
Height: 23.5 inches Weight: 46.0 lbs
Female Cretan Hound size stats at 18 months
Height: 21.5 inches Weight: 42.5 lbs

Cretan Hound Owner Experiences

5 Years
2 People
House & Yard
As a Greek rescue dog that spent 3.5 years in kennels with little human contact and in a group of dogs where he was bullied, Alfie is very shy, doesn’t know what a toy or bone is for, and his flight response is so defined that he cannot be let off of the leash outside as he will run for hours (never has his gps tracker off!). He is affectionate on occasion to those he trusts, but at most this is limited to sleeping next to you and asking for belly rubs. He has also developed epilepsy so he is having to adjust to medication. Whilst we will never know if he suffered any abuse on the streets before he spent his time in kennels where rat droppings in the food were normal, his life going forwards will be one of love, companionship and safety.
2 years, 4 months ago
5 Months
2 People
Don’t really know have never had one before were told she was a German shepherd .find her loving playful eager to please
5 years, 9 months ago
4 Years
1 People
Walks & hiking
Leash free parks,
Extraordinarily good natured, patient, social and playful. Loves to chase, be chased, play fight and wrestle with other dogs, fast & beautiful at full run. When not outside, she’s sleeping. Does not come when called when off leash; completely involved in sniffing about, loves bushes and tall grass areas. Terrified of thunder and fireworks. High shedding. Excellent companion dog.
3 years, 7 months ago
4 Years
3 People
House & Yard
Amy is adventurous and explores off the lead, but checks in on us regularly or returns quickly to our call. If she gets mucky she will ask for a shower when we get home, by running in and standing in the shower cubicle. At home she loves to bask under a duvet with us - in bed or on the sofa.
3 years ago
14 Years
3 People
Bodhi is friendly, affectionate and loves meeting new people and other dogs. Despite getting up in age and dealing with a swollen joint in his front left leg, a defect from birth, he is still full of energy and the best companion ever. We adopted him when we lived on the island of Crete, but never knew that he was this special breed. When he was much younger he could not be trusted to go off the lead, but at 14, he does quite well walking the Paseo in Andalusia these days.
2 years, 9 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd