The Small Greek Domestic Dog is the modern name used for the ancient Greek dog breed known as Meliteo Kinidio (Greek: Μελιταίο Κυνίδιο) or Kokoni (Κοκόνι). They are widely found in Greece, have traditionally been more common in urban areas and were a popular companion of Greek aristocracy for centuries. Quite fearless for their size, they are quite territorial and possessive of their owners. The Small Greek Domestic dogs are ideal companions, extremely expressive, highly perceptive and they sigh and use their eyes like humans. They insist in sleeping in bed with the owners. They are adept hunters of small game and birds. This lovely breed still retains some of its working abilities and can be a good farm watchdog, livestock herder and impressive vermin killer. At one time the Alopekis and Small Greek Domestic Dog were considered to be different types of the same breed. A large number of images on ancient friezes, pottery, and amphorae show this ancient breed as a companion to women and children.
History and etymology The dog originates from Malta, hence the Ancient Greek name Melitaion Kunidion (Μελιταῖον Κυνίδιον); "Melita" was the ancient Greek name for Malta and Melitaion (Μελιταῖον) is the neuter form of Melitaios (Μελιταῖος), meaning "of or from Melita (Malta)", while kunidion (κυνίδιον) and kunarion (κυνάριον) are diminutives of kuōn (κύων), "dog". "Melitaion Kunidion" is translated as "little dog from Malta" and the dog is attested amongst others in Theophrastus and Strabo.
This breed of dog is of a medium size ranging from approximately 14-26 pounds. They have dropped ears, short snout, long body, with long curved tail. This breed also comes in a large array of colors and combinations of colors, such as; black and tan, blonde, cream, and white. They are not recognized by the American Kennel Club. They are often confused with the Longhaired Dachshund or a Cocker Spaniel mix. Their legs are longer than a Dachshund's which raises their belly and chest much more off the ground. Average height is around 15 inches.
Coat The coat of the Small Greek Domestic Dog is of good quality, and is easy to groom. There are two types of coats for this dog. One is called the longhaired coat, and the other is called the shorthaired coat. The longhaired coat is the most common now and also the most commonly represented type on ancient artifacts. Sometimes, it is slightly wavy, but it should always feel silky. The coat is rich, dense and weatherproof, coming in all colours.
Tail The sickle-shaped tail of the Small Greek Domestic Dog is usually long. The dog holds its tail up high, and has an elegant curve. It is always in motion, showing the dog's joy. The coat of this dog forms a brush under its tail.
This breed of dog has large eyes which vary in shape from round to more of an almond shape. They are bright, intelligent, and are not deep-set. The color goes with the color of the coat, but they will never be transparent or blue.
Muzzle, nose and jaws The muzzle "tapers easily to the nose", and the topline is level. It is longer than a Cocker Spaniel's, but shorter and more rounded than a Dachshund. The nose of the Small Greek Domestic Dog has well-opened nostrils. It is not too large compared to the muzzle, and it is moist, flat, and level on the front surface. The Small Greek Domestic Dog has strong jaws with scissor-bite teeth.
Temperament The Small Greek Domestic Dog has an even temper and gentle disposition. They are lively, cheerful, amiable and not generally aggressive or timid. They enjoy company, and although they may initially be standoffish with strangers, they are easily won over. They are very intelligent and are easily trained and famously devoted to their owners. They are very loving and protective. They have a loud, strong bark for their size though they do not bark much.
Health This is a deep-chested, sturdy and agile breed, capable of great speeds and valued for its stamina. The breed has good longevity and lives into their late teens. Major health issues are unknown. As with many dogs, they love to jump. With their long back, jumping can lead to injury and should be discouraged. Other health issues can be minor dental issues and cataracts late in life.
Famous Small Greek Domestic Dogs The blonde dog known as "Satchel" in the 2005 movie Bewitched with Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell is a Small Greek Domestic Dog.