The Greek Shepherd or Greek Shepherd Dog is a Greek livestock guard dog that has been bred for centuries for herding livestock in the mountainous regions of the country.
It belongs to the strain of the great white dogs of Central Europe, common with the Pyrenean mountain dogs, the Hungarian Kuvasz, the Tatra Sheepdog, the Slovak Kuvasz, the Šarplaninac (albeit with colored fur), and the Turkish Akbash.
It has been bred for many centuries in almost all regions of northern Greece (Epirus, Macedonia and Thessaly). It looks a lot like the Maremma-Abruzzese Shepherd and the Hungarian Kuvasz.
It is recalled how Alexander the Great used Epirus sheepdogs in his expeditions.
Furthermore, Plato himself states that the Epirus sheepdog has been known since the time of Homer and was famous for his incredible talents.
The Greek Shepherd is a medium to large sized dog, with a solid body and great physical strength capable of escorting the flock and also fighting with the enemy while maintaining its physical superiority.
Its head is massive, the skull is normally curved, with obvious superciliary arches and it is almost as wide as it is long.
The muzzle and cheeks are broad and deep.
It has a scissor bite and is covered with thick lips.
The skin is thick and covered with thick fur.
Ear cropping is not allowed and dogs with cropped ears cannot be shown in exhibits.
The brown eyes are of medium size, egg-shaped, symmetrically placed in a parallel line with the oblong axon of the skull, with sufficient distance between them.
From the oblique side of the head their position is a little below the level of the muzzle, as if there were an imaginary line extending towards the skull.
Darker shades are preferred.
The eyelids must be closed without revealing their mucous membrane.
This dog has a serious, piercing and calm appearance.
The chest should be broad and deep up to the elbows.
The broad chest consists of moderately arched ribs.
The tail is thick at the base .; some have long tails while others have short or tailless tails.
The double coat is dense and abundant. Coat colors include black, grayish brown and white or in combination with each other spotted dogs are the most common.
The harsh conditions of Greek mountain agriculture helped him to develop characteristics that make him a precious and irreplaceable keeper, capable of resisting the attacks of large carnivores, such as bear and wolf.
Today it is estimated that there are fewer than 3,000 pure-blooded Greek shepherds left; the Greek Shepherd is recognized as a purebred dog breed by the Greek Kennel Club.