Over the past weekend registration of Europe’s oldest dog breed, the legendary Kritikos Lagonikos (Cretan Hound) was held at Agios Nikolaos and Ano Archanes on Crete. The Cretan Hound Club, the Kennel Club of Greece, the Heraklion Hunting Association, the Hunting Association of Agios Nikolaos, and other organizers and sponsors were on hand at both locations.
On Saturday September 11th in Agios Nikolaos, and on Sunday September 12th in Ano Archanes in Heraklion Prefecture, a total of 94 dogs were presented before international judge Manos Matsakis. In all, 37 Cretan Hounds (Kritikos Lagonikos) were presented for registration in Agios Nikolaos, and 57 arrived in Ano Archanes for judging.
Of these young dogs, a total of 4 were not examined either because of bad character, being under age, or inappropriate documentation. Judge Matsakis and Cretan Hound Club President Nikos Anetakis registered 90 hounds in all, under the following categories. 65 of the new registers were classified BEA1, 19 were in the BEA2 category, and 1 Cretan Hound was classified BEA3. 5 of the dogs presented were not registered. In the Instagram below, the Cretan Hound Mojito, owned by our editors, is examined by the judge in the part beneath Mt. Juktas in Archanes.
The categories designate genealogical information concerning whether or not the parents of the dogs were registered previously or not. Cretan Hounds, for those unfamiliar, are a dog breed that is over 4,000 years old, which has been maintained by hunters and enthusiasts since antiquity.
There are currently no official breeders of the dogs. This registration is part of a program to see that these amazing animals get international recognition, and that the breed survives and thrives in the future. Cretan Hounds were a largely unknown breed until the late 1800s. Classified as a primitive breed, their DNA has remained pure because of the efforts of dog owners on Crete.
As part of the program, special blood tests for DNA tracing and screening for rare diseases in the dogs were also carried out on a voluntary basis. Owners will receive detailed information about the ancestry of their dogs, as well as the official breed registration documents from the Greece Kennel Club.
A special thanks to Astrid Collett, who travelled all the way from Germany for the events, for her amazing photos.