Alopekis

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
Greece
Translation
Francis Vandersteen
This breed is also known as
Alopecis
Pelasgoi Dog
Greek Terrier

A brief presentation of the Alopekis

The Alopekis is an ancient breed of Greek dog, similar to a fox, characterized by a body longer than its height at the withers, a wedge-shaped head, a muzzle with a broad, deep base, strong jaws, large eyes, a broad nose, triangular ears, well rounded hind legs, strong knees and vertical hocks. Ancient writers such as Xenophon, Aristophanes and Aristotle had mentioned this breed, while numerous archaeological finds, including sculptures, tombs, statues and carvings, depicted this little fox-like dog.

History of the Alopekis

Since numerous prehistoric artifacts bearing depictions of Alopekis have been found in Thessaly, Raphina and Asketario, the breed is thought to have evolved from ancient dogs that lived during the proto-Hellenic period. In addition, dog bones such as those from marshes or peat bogs found at Neolithic settlement sites (such as Sesklo and Sitagroi) indicate that Alopekis is one of the oldest dog breeds of European origin. Alopekis dogs were widespread throughout Greece. In addition to their traditional role of exterminating small vermin and protecting domestic ducks and chickens from foxes, they were supposedly used to control aggressive bulls during training sessions and bull games. Today, urbanization, cross-breeding with imported dogs and the absence of a breed registry have had an impact on their numbers. Since 2005, a group of researchers led by Professor Spyros Chleiounakis has been studying a local population of Alopekis in northern Greece. The results of their research, and subsequent articles published in the press, call for the conservation of the surviving Alopekis dogs in Greece. The Kennel Club of Greece is now working with Amaltheia volunteers to save them from extinction.

Appearance of the Alopekis

Alopekis resemble foxes, with a relatively short, smooth coat, wedge-shaped head and spiked tail, erect ears and intelligent expression, a body longer than the dog's height at the withers, quick, graceful movement. Mobile and happy on the move, with a brush-like coat underneath. The double coat is of good quality, with a hard, smooth outer layer and a soft, dense undercoat. The coat is thicker and longer around the neck, forming a brush under the tail, breaches on the back of the thighs and short feathers on the back surfaces of the forelegs. Medium to short length, not exceeding 2 inches (5 cm), lying flat on the body or only very slightly wavy, with a natural silky sheen. Supplied in all colors and combinations except bleached white (albino). A strong pigment is preferable, but winter noses should not be penalized. Both eyes must be the same color, neither blue nor transparent (watery). Light yellow eyes (like those of prey) are a serious aesthetic fault. There are two varieties of hair: short-haired and wire-haired. The wiry type is very rare, but with work it could also be developed. This breed is also smaller and lighter than the small Greek domestic dog.

Temperament of the Alopekis

Endowed with an affectionate, sociable and pleasant personality, the Alopekis is a devoted companion ideally suited to city dwellers and city dwellers. Known as hard workers, they are often used for hunting and retrieving game. Although sometimes trained to catch rats and other vermin, the dog can get along well with other animals and pets. Caring and playful by nature, they make fabulous companions for children. Because of its lively, daring and alert spirit, the Alopekis is considered an excellent watchdog.

Needs and activities of the Alopekis

Athletic Alopekis need regular physical activity, including free play in a fenced yard and long daily walks. Although adaptable to small households, they should be taken for frequent walks to avoid frustration and boredom. This is an easily trainable breed due to its intelligence and obedient nature. For leash training, introduce your Alopekis to the harness and leash, allowing him to wear it for some time, during which you can play with him and give him treats. Learn a sound by clicking your tongue or using a "Yes" word, and have your puppy come to you by taking a few steps backwards, then offering you treats. Before going outside, practice walking with few distractions. As for herding, a visit to the farm where your dog can observe cows or sheep in pens is a good way to familiarize him with livestock. See how your Alopekis reacts when he's around ducks, chickens, cows and sheep. In addition, there are breeding trials that simulate the conventional tasks of livestock breeds, allowing your puppy to enjoy searching and running alongside livestock.

Maintenance of the Alopekis

They don't need much grooming, just brushing their coat once or twice a week with an occasional bath keeps them clean and healthy. You can also brush their teeth daily and make sure their nails are trimmed monthly. Alopekis are not known to suffer from any breed-specific health problems and are genetically sound.

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