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The Kritikos Lagonikos is an elegant and gentle hound dog. These pups possess keen senses and a persistent, brave hunting style. At home, they make polite, affectionate companions.
The Kritikos Lagonikos—or Cretan Hound—is originally from the island of Crete. Considered one of the oldest hunting breeds in Europe, it's been around for about 5,000 years! Artifacts from the ancient Aegean civilization (as well as Homer's epics) mention and picture the "Kressai kynes," or Cretan Dog.
The Kritikos Lagonikos' sharp senses make the breed well-suited for hunting hares by sight or smell. (These dogs are known to "suck" scents out of the air or taste dirt while pursuing their prey.) Hunters appreciate the breed for its speed, agility, and quick mind.
Today, it's rare to see the Kritikos Lagonikos outside of its native Crete.
The Kritikos Lagonikos is a medium-sized, primitive hound with an athletic build.
The breed's coat is very short, straight, and hard. It's thinner on the head, ears, and lower body, and longer on the neck, rear, and tail. The Kritikos Lagonikos comes in all colors and color combinations.
These dogs have wedge-shaped heads, almond-shaped, dark eyes, triangular ears, long, rectangular bodies, and muscular legs. They carry their tails up in a half-circle or curved over the rear—with a hook at the end.
The Kritikos Lagonikos is an obedient, mild-mannered dog that grows very attached to its people. These pups make expressive, loving companions and generally get along with other animals. But because of their intelligence and strong will, they're best suited for experienced owners.
This breed may be distrustful of strangers (but never aggressive). Socialization can help these dogs learn how to respond appropriately to different people and situations.
The Kritikos Lagonikos has a strong prey drive and loves to chase. That's helpful if you're hunting, but it can spell trouble for neighborhood cats or small animals entering the yard.
These dogs thrive on a diet formulated for their life stage (e.g., puppy, adult, senior). A food made specifically for medium-sized breeds will have the appropriate blend of nutrients for their size and activity level.
Obesity in dogs can lead to serious health issues. So, carefully monitor the amount of food you give your pup, and don't forget to keep track of treats. As a rule, treats should make up no more than 10% of a dog's calories.
Though the Kritikos Lagonikos does shed, the breed's coat is relatively low-maintenance. Brushing once or twice a week is usually enough to keep it free of loose hair and dirt. Trimming nails, cleaning ears, and brushing teeth should also be part of every dog's grooming routine, regardless of breed.
The Kritikos Lagonikos is a high-energy breed with a lot of stamina. So, in addition to regular walks, these dogs need opportunities to run and engage in vigorous backyard games. (And if those games include chasing, all the better!)
Attentive, curious, and eager to learn, the Kritikos Lagonikos tends to follow visual commands well, even from a distance. But because they're so smart, these pups can sometimes be willful. For a successful experience, train your Kritikos Lagonikos using a firm and consistent—but also positive and rewards-based—approach.