Greek Shepherd

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Greek Shepherd
Greek shepherd male.jpg
Greek Shepherd
Other namesGreek Mastiff
Greek Sheepdog
Hellenikos Poimenikos
Domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

The Greek Shepherd or Greek Sheepdog (Greek: Ελληνικός Ποιμενικός, Ellinikós Pimenikós) is a Greek livestock guardian dog that has been bred for centuries for guarding livestock in the mountainous regions of the country.

Greek Shepherd


The Greek Sheepdog is a medium to large size dog, with a solid body and great physical strength capable of escorting the flock and also fighting 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 symmetrically in parallel lines with the oblong axon of the skull, with enough distance between them. From the oblique side of the head their position is a little under the muzzle level, as if there were an imaginary line extended toward the skull. Darker 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 colours include black, greyish-brown and white. The breed has never been bred for colour, 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


A Greek Shepherd might not be suitable for first-time dog owners. Like all livestock guardian dogs, they tend to be independent thinkers. They are considered brave, decisive, loyal, working dogs with a highly developed sense of duty and a 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. Greek Shepherds do not tolerate violent behaviour or training. These independent dogs need consistent training and intelligent guidance. They need owners who understand their flock guarding ways. When placed in a pack situation, these dogs have been known to assert their top dog position aggressively. Suspicious but tactful in the presence of strangers, they do not 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 the animal 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 an increase in uncontrolled interbreeding with other dogs have altered the Greek Shepherd's distinctive characteristics and it has been estimated that currently, fewer than 3,000 pure Greek Shepherd dogs remain in Greece. In an attempt to rescue the breed, ARCTUROS (ΑΡΚΤΟΥΡΟΣ) has been implementing the Greek Shepherd Dog Breeding Program since 1998. [2]

See also[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. Archived from the original on 2014-05-06. Retrieved 29 August 2014.

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