Greek dog breed is under threat, say experts

A small breed of dog endemic to Greece for millennia is facing extinction, a team of experts said at a conference in Thessaloniki within the context of the Zootechnia 2013 exhibition.

The Alopekis, a fox-like dog with an elegantly curved tail, is believed to have existed in Greece since at least the late Neolithic period as findings in Thessaly, northern Greece, suggest. It also features frequently in ancient art, appearing as a companion, a farm helper and playing with children.

According to research leader and veterinarian Spyros Chliounakis, the survey of the breed, conducted from February 2005 to September 2012, located just 58 individuals fitting the description, raising concerns that a lack of awareness about the breed’s history may soon lead to its disappearance.

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