Let's talk Hellenic Hounds

Paying homage to their ancient Greek origins, the Hellenic Hound boasts impressive athletic abilities, perhaps even comparable to that of Olympians. But what would be the Hellenic Hound’s expert sport of choice? Sniffing. Along with an exceptional sense of smell, the greatest strengths of the Hellenic Hound include stamina and being largely fearless of their surroundings. However, while they might be known for their athletic prowess, the Hellenic Hound’s joyful and laidback disposition suggests that they are more content treating their sporting abilities as a game, rather than a job. Their friendly and affectionate temperament means the Hellenic Hound integrates smoothly in a family setting, with dogs and humans alike.

Official name: Hellenic Hound

Other names: Hellinikos Ichnilatis, Greek Harehound

Origins: Greece

Black and white portrait of a Hellenic Hound
 Drooling tendencies   Warm weather?  High
 Shedding level  Medium Suited to apartment living?   Very low
 Energy level (high, low, medium) *: Moderate Family Pet? *
 Compatibility with other pets  Medium Can stay alone? *  

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches.

Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed’s specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socialising your pet as well as covering their basic welfare, social and behavioural needs.

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

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Illustration of a Hellenic Hound
48 - 56 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
17 - 20 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
46 - 53 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
17 - 20 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age:  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age:  2 to 12 months
 Adult age:  1 to 7 years
 Mature age:  7 to 10 years
 Senior age:  From 10 years


Get to know the Hellenic Hound

All you need to know about the breed

Considered both a “free spirit” and an “open air” breed, the Hellenic Hound is most content when in the great outdoors. If given the choice, the Hellenic Hound would exercise for hours on end in a park or forest, so providing them a home in a rural environment, rather than a cramped urban flat, is a better option.

The Hellenic Hound is a natural adventurer, who thrives in extreme landscapes such as mountains, making them excellent companion dogs for nature enthusiasts. When not frolicking in the outdoors, the Hellenic Hound appreciates nothing more than becoming an adored member of any family household—taking pleasure in spending time with both children, once trained, and other dogs. However, introducing the Hellenic Hound to a home with either cats or small pets, like hamsters or rabbits, might be problematic given their intuitive prey tendencies. In any other circumstance, you’ll be completely taken by your Hellenic Hound’s ability to form a quick, deep bond with their human family.

Hellenic Hound crouched down on front legs with a pine cone between paws


2 facts about Hellenic Hounds

1. A hunting dog in the ancient world

As documented by ancient Greek writings, the Hellenic Hound is thought to have been developed thousands of years ago. Artemis, the goddess of wild animals and vegetation, had all sorts of hunting dogs, including the Hellenic Hound, as loyal companions and devoted protectors. Legend goes that the Hellenic Hound even invented spiked dog collars in order to protect their human masters from wild wolves.

2. Quite a voice

Although mainly known for their tracking abilities, the Hellenic Hound does have a heightened sense of place, and as a result, is not afraid to use their voice if alarmed by a stranger crossing their path. Similar to other sporting canines, the Hellenic Hound has a distinctively long and loud vocalisation, called “baying.” But not to worry, their vocal tendencies are rarely aggressive and can be turned aside with early training and plenty of mental and physical stimulation on a daily basis.


History of the breed

Originally hailing from Southern Greece, the Hellenic Hound breed has existed for thousands of years and is thought to have descended from the Laconikoi (lacos=hare) Kynes (kynes=dog). Hence, the Hellenic Hound’s gifted ability in catching small prey, such as hares, in the early days.

Once sea travel became more accessible, the Hellenic Hound began joining Greek traders and adventurers on their expeditions around Europe, thus explaining their eventual population increase outside of their native homeland. As a result, many other scent hounds originating from Europe have traces of the Hellenic Hound in their DNA.

In 1996, the Hellenic Hound became the first Greek breed to be recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), followed by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 2006. Due to their low breeding numbers in the United States, the American Kennel Club (AKC) has not recognised the breed as of this writing.

Black and white portrait of a Hellenic Hound


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Hellenic Hounds

1. Coat

Coat is short, dense and slightly hard.

2. Ears

Medium-length ears that fall below the muzzle.

3. Body

Well-developed deep chest with straight muscular legs.

Close-up of a Hellenic Hound


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Hellenic Hound
Hellenic Hound stood alert on grass


Caring for your Hellenic Hound

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Due to their short, but very dense coat, the Hellenic Hound should be brushed weekly with a strong bristled brush. The Hellenic Hound breed also sheds seasonally, ‘blowing’ their coat, so it is recommended that they be brushed more regularly during the peak shedding period so as to avoid loose hairs accumulating around the house. Nails should be clipped regularly and teeth brushed daily to ward off dental problems. As for exercise, if any two words sum up the needs of the Hellenic Hound, it is ‘freedom runner’. This breed loves nothing more than being in open spaces and running great distances to make sure they get the exercise required to exhaust their physical batteries. The Hellenic Hound is not fiercely defiant of orders, although confidence and consistency with training will be essential - coupled with positive reinforcement as cheerful rewards.


All about Hellenic Hounds

The short answer is no. Despite their relatively smooth coat, they do still shed, but this can be helped with constant brushing and putting your vacuum to work on a regular basis. Interestingly, no dog is completely hypoallergenic, even non-shedders. Indeed, dander (skin flakes) and not hair or fur is responsible for sparking allergic reactions in humans.

Yes, the Hellenic hound is considered an overall great family dog, once trained, especially with older children who are keen to play and run around with them outside.



1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/