1) Ancient dog
The Alopekis is an ancient Greek dog, dating back thousands of years. References to Alopekis-like dogs can be found in works by Xenophon and Aristotle, hundreds of years before Christ. These dogs have existed in Greece since the Neolithic era, and remarkably, they have changed very little over time. The Alopekis dogs of today still closely resemble their ancestors from the past.
Rather than being classified as a dog breed, the Alopekis is considered a landrace. This means that it evolved naturally over time, adapting to its natural and cultural environment. Although domesticated -it is not a wild dog- it is not a breed that was deliberately created by humans. Instead, it co-evolved with humans to serve specific purposes in specific environmental conditions
3) Almost extinct
Despite its ancient origins, the Alopekis is relatively unknown among the general population in Greece. The population of Alopekis dogs has experienced a significant decline in the last century, pushing them to the brink of extinction. Factors such as mass sterilization of dogs and crossbreeding with other local breeds have worsened the situation. However, there are still some purebred Alopekis in Greece, particularly in the northern regions, mainly Serres. Recent efforts have been made to identify surviving populations and preserve the breed. Let's hope these efforts will be successful!
The Alopekis has a distinct fox-like appearance and even their name Alopekis can be translated as fox-like or as a small fox. It was named by ancient Greeks, as they thought that the Alopekis is a dog and fox hybrid.
5) Versatile workers
While the Alopekis is not commonly used for hard work in modern times, it was highly valued in the past for its versatility and tireless work ethic. They excelled as reliable watchdogs, had natural hunting instincts for ratting, and could even assist with flock attendance. The Alopekis is an intelligent, hardworking, and adaptable dog capable of learning various tasks.
The Alopekis is adaptable, faithful and loving companion, perfectly adapted to the Greek climate. Known for its intelligence and eagerness to please, it is easily trainable. This breed is not hyperactive, but they are quite lively and they are always ready for outdoor adventures. Alopekis dogs are alert, outgoing, and naturally obedient. They thrive on attention and genuinely love their families. They possess courage and curiosity, yet can also adapt to a calmer lifestyle. Alopekis dogs can live harmoniously with other dogs and make great playmates for children. However, it's important to supervise interactions between any dog breed and young children.
The Alopekis is a small-sized dog, measuring between 9-13 inches (23-33 cm) in height, with an ideal weight range of 8-18 lbs (4-8 kg). There are no extreme size differences between males and females.
8) Coat and color
The Alopekis can have short and smooth, semi-long and thick or semi-long and wiry coat. The wire-haired type is extremely rare though. All coat types are quite dense. The Alopekis come in variety of colors. The typical colors include white, cream, fawn, golden, brown or black and combinations of these colors.
The Alopekis does shed some fur throughout the year but does not require extensive grooming to maintain a healthy coat. Regular brushing helps remove loose hair and distribute natural oils. Like all dogs, it's important to regularly check their eyes, ears, nails, and teeth, and attend to them as needed. The Alopekis is known to be extremely clean dog.
The Alopekis is known for its longevity and excellent health. They are generally not prone to serious health issues and can live well into their late teens, with an average lifespan of around 15 years. Overall, the Alopekis is a very healthy and robust dog breed.