The Greek Harehound temperament can be described as confident, lively and outgoing.
The two other most common names are the Hellenic Hound and the Greek Hound. They will be used interchangeably for the purposes of this article.
This article will provide you with an introduction to the Greek Harehound temperament.
If you are thinking about adding a Hellenic Hound to your household, spend as much time as you can to get to know these unique dogs.
Owners and breeders can provide you with important insights into the Greek Harehound personality.
Before you bring one home, make sure you are ready to handle Greek Harehound behaviors.
Greek Hounds are active working dogs, so they are not suitable for all lifestyles. Owners need to be prepared to provide plenty of exercise and training.
Greek Harehound Temperament: Greek Harehound Traits
In this section, you will find some of the most common components of the Greek Harehound temperament.
However, it is important to remember that not all Greek Harehounds will display the exact same personality traits.
All dogs are individuals. Although there are commonalities within breeds, there will always be individual distinctions as well.
Keen Sense of Smell
The Greek Harehound temperament is designed to make this breed a top notch hunting dog.
The Greek Hound has an extremely powerful sense of smell.
These dogs are bred to follow their noses no matter what.
If you have one as a pet, you will need to keep this in mind. For example, you will need to keep your Greek Harehound on a leash at all times unless you are in a very secure area.
Even a well-trained hound might take off after a scent and not heed your calls.
This could be extremely dangerous if your Greek Hound dashes across a busy road or wanders so far that he becomes disoriented and lost.
Make sure your Hellenic Hound is microchipped and wearing a collar with an ID tag just in case!
Known for Strength and Stamina
The Greek Harehound temperament is energetic and intense.
These dogs are true working dogs.
They are not suited for a sedentary lifestyle.
Make sure you can devote at least an hour per day to vigorous exercise before you even consider acquiring one of these athletic dogs.
Greek Harehound exercise can include activities such as running, jogging, hiking, walking, biking or a canine sport.
Docile with other Dogs
The Greek Harehound temperament towards other dogs is usually friendly.
These dogs often hunt in packs, so they are accustomed to being around other canines.
This is especially true when your dog can be socialized with other dogs from an early age. Sign up for a puppy socialization class at the earliest opportunity.
Since Greek Hounds have a high prey drive, they are often not compatible with small pets such as cats, rabbits or ferrets. However, there can be exceptions to this rule.
If you have small pets, use caution when introducing a hound to the household. Always supervise your hound around other animals.
Aloof with Strangers
The Greek Harehound temperament is very loyal when it comes to its family, but it can be aloof with strangers.
The Greek Harehound makes a good watch dog and will alert its master to intruders on the property.
When guests come over, have them offer your dog a small treat to help with the acceptance process.
Like most hounds, the Greek Harehound tends to be a vocal breed. Hounds have a distinctive vocalization called “baying.”
For this reason, the Greek Harehound is not a good choice for apartment dwellers.
However, if you are not fond of barking, a Greek Harehound (or any hound) is probably not the breed for you!
Greek Harehound History: Where does the Greek Harehound Dog Breed come from?
The Greek Harehound has been around for thousands of years.
As its name implies, the Greek Harehound originated in Southern Greece for the purpose of hunting rabbits.
It is believed that the Greek Harehound descended from an ancient breed called the Laconikoi Kynes.
During the age of exploration, Greek Harehounds migrated out of Greece and spread into the rest of Europe.
The Federation Cynologique Internationale recognized the Greek Harehound in 1996.
The Greek Harehound was the first Greek breed to be recognized by the FCI.
The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the breed ten years later.
However, the breed is still too rare in the United States to be recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Today, the Greek Harehound is prevalent in its native land, but is considered a rare breed in all other countries.
Greek Harehound Size and General Appearance
The UKC breed standard describes the Hellenic Hound as, “A medium-sized, short-coated, black and tan hound that appears strong and vigorous.”
The average Greek Harehound height is between 17 inches and 22 inches.
The typical Greek Harehound weight is between 37 lbs. and 44 lbs.
Greek Harehound colors are always black and tan. A small white spot is allowed on the chest, but otherwise, no other colors are permitted.
The Greek Harehound has a long tail, long legs, and long droopy ears.
Greek Harehound Training
The clever Greek Harehound temperament makes this breed highly trainable under the right circumstances.
Some people say that hounds, including Greek Harehounds, are stubborn and difficult to train.
However, this is not completely true.
Greek Harehounds are very intelligent. It is up to the owner to channel that intelligence into good behavior.
It is ideal to start the training process early if possible.
If you acquire your Greek Hound as a puppy, sign up for a puppy kindergarten class right away. Puppy classes are a great way for your puppy to learn important social skills from other dogs.
If you adopt your Hellenic Hound as an adult, sign up for a basic obedience class with a positive reinforcement trainer.
It is important to find a trainer that uses positive, force-free training methods.
Greek Hounds, like most dogs, do not respond well to overbearing, dominance-based training.
Training should be enjoyable for you and your dog!
Once you have completed basic training, you can sign up for more advanced activities with your Greek Hound such as Nosework, Agility, Tracking or Search and Rescue.
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A Brief Guide to Greek Harehound Grooming
The Greek Harehound has a short, smooth coat that is easy to groom.
The Greek Harehound coat will benefit from weekly brushing and occasional bathing.
Use a firm bristle brush or a comb for weekly brushing sessions.
The Greek Harehound will shed once or twice per year. Additional brushing may be needed during shedding season.
As with all dogs, the Greek Harehound will also need periodic nail trims and dental cleanings.
Since Greek Hounds have floppy ears, they need more ear cleanings than most other dogs.
Staying Healthy: Greek Harehound Health Issues
Although there are not many health studies about this uncommon breed, it appears that the Hellenic Hound is a generally healthy breed.
However, there are a few health conditions to monitor.
Talk with your breeder and/or vet about what to expect in terms of the health of this breed.
If you purchase a puppy from a breeder, talk with the breeder at great length about the medical history of the parents.
The following health conditions are sometimes noted in this breed:
Greek Harehound knee problems can include patellar luxation. This is a common knee issue where the kneecaps dislocate or slip out of their normal positions.
Like all dogs, your Hellenic Hound should visit a trusted veterinarian at least once per year.
Make sure you keep your dog up to date on flea, tick and heartworm prevention at all times.
Unless you plan to compete in the dog show circuit, spaying and neutering is highly recommended. Talk with your veterinarian about this procedure.
Feed your Greek Harehound a high-quality diet. Avoid filler ingredients such as corn or animal by-products.
With excellent care and nutrition, the Greek Harehound lifespan is generally between 11 and 12 years.
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Greek Harehound Adoption and Rescue
Once you decide that the Greek Harehound temperament is a good fit for your lifestyle, you will need to locate one to add to your family.
This may prove difficult since the Greek Harehound is a very rare breed of dog—especially in North America.
One option would be to look for a Greek Harehound for adoption.
Adoption can be a wonderful way to add a pet to your family.
There are already so many homeless dogs in the world, it can be very rewarding to provide a loving home for a pet in need.
Where to Adopt?
A great place to start your adoption search is at your local animal shelter or humane society.
Although Greek Hounds are rare in American shelters, the staff at the shelter can direct you towards other adoption resources such as specialized rescue groups.
They can also keep your information on file and call you when similar dogs become available.
You can also search online for adoptable dogs. For example, Facebook is a great avenue for viewing hounds for adoption. There are numerous “Hound Networking” groups that you can join.
Also, check out national adoption websites such as Petfinder.com, Adoptapet.com and Getyourpet.com. These websites allow you to search for specific breeds within certain states. You can also set an alert and receive emails from these websites when particular types of dogs become available near you.
When you choose to adopt a pet through an animal shelter or rescue group, the Greek Harehound cost is substantially lower than when you purchase a dog through a breeder.
Adoption fees are usually between $100 and $300 depending on the organization. This price usually includes basic veterinary care such as spaying and neutering.
Finding a Greek Harehound for Sale from a Reputable Breeder
On the other hand, when you purchase an exotic breed from a breeder, the Greek Harehound price could be well over $1,000 (excluding travel and accommodations to acquire your puppy).
Even if you can afford this price, it will still be challenging to find a Greek Harehound puppy from a responsible breeder.
Some people even travel to Greece to find one of these dogs for sale.
There are very few Greek Harehound breeders in the United States. Contact a representative at the American Kennel Club for recommendations of responsible breeders.
Never purchase Greek Harehound puppies over the internet or from a pet store. You might accidentally acquire a puppy from a puppy mill or an unscrupulous breeder.
Always take the time to visit the breeder in person. This will give you an opportunity to view the premises, meet the breeding dogs, and talk with the breeder about their breeding practices.
A good breeder will actually welcome your visit. They will want an opportunity to meet you as well and make sure that you can provide a good home to one of their puppies.
Responsible breeders will not overbreed their dogs, so even after you find a breeder, you might still have to be placed on a waiting list for a puppy to become available.
Conclusion: Why the Greek Harehound?
There are many great qualities of the Greek Harehound temperament.
These dogs are clever, active, agile, and loyal.
They make excellent hunters and outstanding companions.
Greek Harehounds need an active lifestyle, so make sure you are prepared for an energetic pet before you make a lifelong commitment to a Greek Harehound.
Calvin is the co-founder and one of the main contributors to dogtemperament.com. He has been an avid dog lover all his life. He enjoys researching and sharing great ideas on how you can avoid common pitfalls of dog ownership and build the most loving and enjoyable relationship with your dog.