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Greek Sheepdog

One of the great Greek Molossers, the Hellenikos Poimenikos is an ancient working dog, valued for its intelligence and trainability. It is related to the great mountain breeds of Serbia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Rumania, Albania and Turkey, as well as to the dogs of Central Asia and Kavkaz. The Greek Shepherd Dog is also a close cousin to the other Greek mastiffs, which some authorities consider to be its regional sub-types, such as the Skilos tou Alexandrou, Skilos tou Pyrrou and the Molossos tis Epirou. A very brave guardian of its shepherd and his flock, this is a breed that never strays away from his master's side. It also makes a good hunting dog, although it's rarely employed as a single hunter, but rather as a companion to the faster Hellenic Hunting Hounds. A large and rugged breed, it makes a great farm dog.

This Greek breed is very protective of everything that belongs to its master, whether it's guarding family members, farm animals or even objects found on the property. Not as large as other breeds of the region, this dog makes a good companion, although it's rare to find in urban environments. The body is well-muscled, strongly boned and powerful, with a large head and broad shoulders. The ears can be cropped, but most modern dogs are left unaltered.

The thick white coat usually comes with black, red or brown markings, although it is quite common to see tricolour dogs today. The average height is around 25 inches, but larger specimens exist.

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