Greek Shepherd

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The Greek Shepherd or Greek Sheepdog (Greek: Ελληνικός Ποιμενικός, Ellenikós Poimenikós) is a Greek livestock guardian dog that has been bred for centuries for guarding livestock in the mountainous regions of the country. The Greek Shepherd is believed to originate from the Turkish Akbash dogs who were bred with local or semi-local stock.

A female Greek shepherd

Description[edit]

The Greek Sheepdog is a medium to large size dog, with a solid body and great physical strength that is capable of escorting the flock and also fight with the enemy while maintaining its physical superiority. Its head is massive with its muzzle-skull. The skull is normally curved, with obvious hyper eyebrow arches and it is nearly as wide as it is long. The muzzle and cheeks are wide and deep. It has a scissors or plane bite and is covered by fat and slightly loose lips. The skin is thick and is covered by dense fur. Cropping the ears is not permitted, and dogs with cropped ears cannot be shown. The brown eyes are of average size, egg-shaped, placed symmetrical in parallel lines of the oblong axon of the skull, with enough distance between each other. From the oblique side of the head their position is a little under the muzzle level, as if there is an imaginary line extended toward the skull. More dark tints are preferred. The eyelids must be tight without revealing their mucous membrane. This dog has a serious penetrating, calm look about him. The chest must be wide and deep up to the height of the elbows. The thorax consists of arched ribs with medium curvature; they are extended backwards enough to leave enough space for the heart and the lungs. The tail is thick at the base. Some have long tails while others have short or no tails. The double coat is dense and abundant. Coat colors include black, grayish-brown and white. The breed has never been bred for color, but rather for a heavy skeleton, good muscle, and a dense, semi-long to long coat.[1]

Height: Males 25 - 29 inches (65 – 75 cm) Females 23 - 26 inches (60 – 68 cm)

Weight: Males 84 - 110 pounds (38 – 50 kg) Females 70 - 92 pounds (32 – 42 kg)

Life Expectancy - about 12 years

Recognition - KCG, APRI, DRA

Temperament[edit]

A Greek Shepherd might not be suitable for first-time dog owners. As all livestock guardian dogs, they tend to be independent thinkers. They are considered brave, decisive, loyal, working dogs with a high sense of duty and strong protective instinct towards flock animals and their environment.[1] Naturally wary, loyal only to the flock leader-shepherd, the Greek Sheepdog can be characterized as the Big Mountain shepherd’s dog of Greece. They do not tolerate violent behavior or training. These independent dogs need consistent training and intelligent guidance. They need an owner who understands their flock guardian ways. When placed in a pack situation, this dog could seek to be top dog by fights. Suspicious but tactful in the presence of strangers, they don’t make friends easily. They may appear calm, but are ready to protect at all costs at any time. When protecting their flock they move along the border, selecting places from where they will be able to see a wide area. They are aggressive towards the wild animals and able to drive them back with their deep bark. If their deep bark does not drive them away they will pursue the intruder and attack. Early socialization is vital if the dog is to be a trustworthy companion. They can be well trained but have a tendency to judge a situation before taking any action.

Greek Shepherd today[edit]

The decline of livestock farming and uncontrolled interbreeding with other dogs altered its distinctive characteristics and it has been estimated that currently, less than 3,000 pure Greek Shepherd dogs have remained in the country. In an attempt to rescue it, ARCTUROS has been implementing the Greek Shepherd Dog Breeding Program since 1998. [2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Greek Sheepdog (Hellenikos Poimenikos) (Greek Shepherd)". Dog Breed Info Center. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Greek shepherd dog (Canis familiaris)". ARCTUROS. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 

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