The AlopekisHome » Dog Breeds » Friend to Ancient Greeks like Aristotle
The Alopekis also called Alopecis, Alepouditsa, Bouboudi, Moropa, Venetaki and nicknamed Bobis is a dog from Greece that has been around for thousands of years. Its name is Greek for fox like or small fox referring to its appearance. There are three types the short haired, wiry and medium haired with the wire-haired being the most rare. Ancient Greeks have mentioned it in their writings from Xenophon to Aristophanes and even Aristotle.
|The Alopekis at A Glance|
|Other names||Alopecis, Alepouditsa, Bouboudi, Moropa, Venetaki|
|Average weight||7 to 18 pounds|
|Average height||8 to 13 inches|
|Life span||12 to 16 years|
|Coat type||Short, hard and flat or medium and wiry or medium and harsh|
|Color||White, cream, brown, golden, fawn, black, black and white, parti|
|Popularity||Not a registered member of the AKC|
|Intelligence||Average to above average|
|Tolerance to heat||Excellent – can handle high temperatures|
|Tolerance to cold||Very good to excellent|
|Shedding||Average – will be some hair around the home|
|Drooling||Moderate – not especially prone to slobber or drool|
|Obesity||Average – just don't over feed and under exercise and it should be fine|
|Grooming/brushing||Average – brush twice a week|
|Barking||Occasional – will be some barking.|
|Exercise needs||Fairly active|
|Trainability||Easy to train|
|Friendliness||Very good – social dog|
|Good first dog||Very good to excellent|
|Good family pet||Very good to excellent with socialization|
|Good with children||Very good with socialization|
|Good with other dogs||Very good to excellent with socialization|
|Good with other pets||Good to very good – being a ratter will want to chase rodent type pets|
|Good with strangers||Good with socialization but wary|
|Good apartment dog||Very good to excellent with enough outside time|
|Handles alone time well||Low – does not like being left alone especially not for long periods|
|Health issues||Healthy and robust, no congenital or hereditary issues|
|Medical expenses||$435 a year for pet insurance and basic health care|
|Food expenses||$75 a year for high quality dry dog food and dog treats|
|Miscellaneous expenses||$200 a year for basic training, license, toys and miscellaneous items|
|Average annual expenses||$710 as a starting figure|
|Cost to purchase||$500|
|Rescue organizations||None breed specific – look to local shelters and rescues|
|Biting Statistics||None reported|
The Alopekis' Beginnings.
The Alopekis descends from primitive dogs that came to Greece as far back as the proto-Hellenic era around 3000BC! Settlement sites dated back that far have had artifacts with dogs that look like the Alopekis and then Ancient Greek sites have sculptures and other depictions too. Its name came from the ancient Greeks naming it after its fox like appearance. There was a time when they believed the dog came from matings between foxes and dogs too. Today it is more carefully bred but there was a time when it was kept as companion but was also a large part of the Greek stray dog population. It used to be seen as the same breed as the Small Greek Domestic Dog but they have now been separated. ..
Most say there are two types, there are actually three but the wiry is very rare. There was a time when there was a fourth type, the hairless but that dog is now extinct partly because the change in climate where it got too cool for them and partly because human intervention was needed to help it, and it did not happen because Ancient Greeks thought it was ugly! This dog is one of the oldest European dogs and as well as being kept as a companion they were used to protect chickens and ducks, from foxes as well to hunt vermin like rats and mice. It also played a role in controlling aggressive bulls..
For years this dog was a common breed in Greece but in the 1960s and 1970s there was a big importation of breeds from other countries and interest in those became more prominent. This also led to cross-breeding which has threatened the Alopekis' otherwise health gene pool. There was also no registering body to protect them, and litters only had a small number of puppies surviving. This is also a dog that only has puppies once a year unlike most dames. A lot of dogs have also been neutered by people trying to control the stray dog population and there was no discrimination between breeds made.
New Lease on Life.
Thankfully there were some people monitoring the situation with the Alopkis. Veterinary surgeon Professor Spyros Chleiounakis led a group studying the dog in the North of Greece. The publication of their findings in 2013 suggested that the breed should be protected. So far the Greek Kennel Club has not recognized the breed because of its low numbers and it is still facing possible extinction.
The Dog You See Today.
The Alopekis is a small dog weighing 7 to 18 pounds and stands 8 to 13 inches tall. It has a body longer than it is tall, with a sickle shaped long tail, slightly arched medium length neck and a broad deep chest. It has a strong back, straight front legs and elliptical shaped feet with thick pads. Its back thighs are strong and it also has strong knees. Its coat can be three different types, all of them are double. Short, flat and hard is one, harsh and medium length is another and wiry and medium length is the third. Colors include white, black, brown, fawn, golden and cream.Advertisement
It has a wedge shaped head, a deep muzzle that has a broad base and tapers to its nose which is broad with nostrils that are open. Its jaws are strong and its skull is somewhat domed and broad. Its eyes are large and somewhere between almond shaped and round. Its ears are mobile, erect, large and triangular shaped with tips that are slightly rounded.
The Inner Alopekis
The Alopekis is a devoted, affectionate and trustworthy companion. It is confident and happy, social and outgoing, reliable but still lively. It should not be high strung, it barks occasionally but is not a yappy type dog. It is alert and will bark to let you know there is an intruder and it does have protective instincts so may act to try and defend you, its family and its home. It is a hard worker when it has a job to do like hunting vermin and is quick and has great stamina. It is a good dog both in urban settings and in rural ones and can be a good dog for any owner that is able to somewhat active with them..
This dog can be playful and joyful and are eager to please. It is intelligent, attentive and enthusiastic. It is bright eyed and resourceful, adaptable and resilient. It has a fair amount of energy and always seems ready to go. It is a great family dog but if it does not get enough activity it can become neurotic, destructive and hard to live with. It also does not travel well and does not like to left alone, some can even have separation anxiety. It needs owners who are more often around than not.
Living with an Alopekis
What will training look like?.
The Alopekis is easy to train as long as you are firm with it, make sure it knows you are the pack leader and do not spoil it. Be consistent with the rules you set, be patient and use positive techniques. Start training and socialization early and you may even find it needs less repetition than some dogs due to its inclination to obey and intelligence. House training should be fairly easy as long as you stick to a regular schedule, though it can be true that small dogs are sometimes harder to house break because it is easier for them to sneak off and go wherever they want. Its training should include leash training and it capable of learning to herd and drive from smaller animals like chicken up to larger livestock. Early socialization involves introducing it to different people, animals, situations, sounds and so on so it learns to react appropriately and is a more trustworthy and happy dog.
How active is the Alopekis?.
These are fairly active dogs so will need daily opportunities for exercise and should also get good mental stimulation too. It should be taken out for a couple of fairly long walks a day along with a chance at some physical play with you. It also needs regularly opportunities of leash for some safe run time. It is a lively and playful dog so needs interaction and toys. A yard or land is a nice thing for it to have to explore and play in. It is an athletic dog and has quite a lot of stamina.
Caring for the Alopekis
How much grooming and shedding this dog does really depends on the coat type you have. Short coats need brushing just once or twice a week using something like a slicker brush. The medium length dogs need more frequent grooming or the hair tangles and debris gets caught in it. Most Alopekis shed a moderate amount but it can get heavier in the hot summer months. Whichever coat it has, only bathe it when it is really needed to avoid drying out the skin's natural oils. For the same reason only use a dog shampoo when it is bath time. Since this dog is quite a clean one, often grooming themselves keeping it clean is not a difficult job.Advertisement
Other needs include brushing its teeth two to three times a week or even daily if it will let you. Checking its ears once a week for signs of infection like irritation and redness, then cleaning them. Do this by wiping the parts you can reach never inserting anything into them. You also need to clip the nails when they get too long, taking care not to cut too far into where there are blood vessels and nerves. That would cause bleeding and hurt the dog.
The Alopekis will eat about ½ to 1 cup of a good quality dry dog food a day, split into two meals. The amount varies depending on its size, health, metabolism, level of activity and age. Make sure it also has assess to fresh water.
How is the Alopekis with children and other animals?.
These dogs are very good with children, especially with socialization and if raised with them. It can be playful and lively and energetic with them, it can also be affectionate and loving towards them, it is a good family dog. Make sure young children are supervised and taught how to be careful and what is okay when playing and stroking dogs, and what is not acceptable. It can also be very good with other dogs, and when raised with them most other pets. But being a vermin hunter it is not good with pet rodents.
What Might Go Wrong?
This is a healthy breed, it has no hereditary diseases, is robust and has good long life span, the average being 12 to 16 years but some even live to 18 years. They only have litters once a year though and the average litter size is 3 to 5.
In reports of dogs attacking people and doing bodily harm in the last 35 years in North America, there is no mention of the Alopekis but that is to be expected considering it is not a common dog there. However it is not an aggressive dog anyway so is not likely to attack anyone, though any dog breed of any size can off days and get drawn into something they might usually otherwise avoid. Ways to see your dog has the best chance is to make sure it is properly socialized and trained, well fed and cared for, given enough attention, exercise and stimulation.
Your Pup’s Price Tag.
An Alopekis puppy will cost something like $500 for a pet quality dog from a decent breeder, or a lot more for a dog from a top breeder. Take the time to find a trustworthy breeder and avoid using puppy mills or backyard breeder. There are plenty of dogs hoping for good homes in rescues and shelters. If you do not have to have a purebred, since they are not common there, please do consider adopting one, rates are between $50 to $400..
When you have a puppy you will need to get some things for it like a crate, carrier, leash and collar and such. That will be an initial cost of about $120. It should also be taken to a vet for some tests, checks and such. Things like blood tests, deworming, vaccinations, a physical, micro chipping and spaying or neutering will cost another $260.Advertisement
Finally there are also costs to being a responsible pet owner. You will need to be able to afford to feed it, train it, entertain it, give it basic medical care and so on. For miscellaneous costs like basic training, license, toys and miscellaneous items expect an annual cost of $200 or more. For annual food costs like dog treats and a good quality dry dog food expect about $75 or more. Then for essential medical needs like pet insurance, check ups, flea and tick prevention and vaccinations expect to pay $435 or more. This give an annual total of $710 as a starting figure.
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The Alopekis is facing some difficult times right now but hopefully with people aware of it, that can change its fortunes. It is a great family dog and a great companion, suits rural or urban living as long it has owners who take it out at least twice a day for exercise and play, and it is easy to train. Just don't bring it home if you have mice or hamsters or such as it is an excellent rodent hunter. It is a health dog and is easy to groom and maintain.