This is an ancient Greek breed, believed to be the key progenitor of all terriers and many modern small dogs of Western Europe. The Alopekis shares its pariah ancestry with a variety of common small-sized working dogs of the Balkans, most of which are thought to be extinct. The breed's recognizable physical type was established by the Pelasgoi tribes, but the Alopecis remained primarily a versatile rural dog, bred for its personality traits, rather than physical appearance. Traditionally employed as a tenacious vermin destroyer, property watchdog, hunting dog, livestock herder and guardian, this rugged Greek breed also makes an excellent family companion, in both rural and urban environments. The Alopekis is today considered to be a separate breed from its closest cousin, the larger Meliteo Kinidio, with which it was commonly lumped together under the "Small Greek Domestic Dog" name for years.
There was a greater variety of coat types to be found in the past, but in present times the long-haired and hairless variants are extremely rare and even considered extinct. The surviving types are the more common short-haired variety and the occasionally encountered bearded wirehaired dogs. Some appearance traits that are used to differentiate the Alopekis from the modern Small Greek Domestic Dog are their height, coat and ear-type. The Alopekis is erect-eared, shorter at the withers and is no longer seen with a rich long coat. However, there are still some uncharacteristic specimens to be found within both breeds, including drop-eared Alopekis dogs and smaller Meliteo Kinidio examples.
Very smart, energetic and resilient, it is valued for its courage, intelligence and stamina. This is an excellent hunting dog, known for its high-prey drive and fierce personality. When guarding livestock, the Alopekis is a very alert and comitted alarm dog. Protective of its master and territory, it makes a reliable watchdog. In recent years, the Alopecis has become a popular family companion and urban pet, although still not as common as its less temperamental cousin, the Meliteo Kinidio. When socialized properly, the Alopekis is a friendly and tolerant companion, but supervision is still needed around strange dogs, due to its terrier-like personality and confrontational nature.
Although short-legged and small-sized, the Alopekis is a very agile and fast breed. Somewhat fox-like in appearance, this is a strong-boned, muscular and tough little dog, posessing a broad head and a powerful neck. This is a common street dog in its homeland and unpure specimens are fairly numerous. The Alopekis should be a double-coated and well-pigmented dog, but there are some sub-standard specimens in existence, including light-eyed and albino dogs.
As mentioned above, the coat comes in two main types, these being the densely undercoated shorthaired variety and the bearded rough-coated variant. Regardless of type, the coat is accepted in any shade, solid or particoloured. Average height is around 10 inches.