Monday, November 26, 2012

Dog Breeds: Alopekis

Distant ancestors of the Alopekis first appear in ancient Greece. Its name comes from the Greek word alopecis, which means "fox-like" and aptly describes this dog. The Alopekis was a developed naturally on the streets of ancient Greece, though today dog breeders carefully select breeding pairs. This breed is so similar in type to the Small Greek Domestic Dog that they were originally considered variations of the same breed. Today, however, they are considered their own breeds with their own standards in most associations.

The Alopekis really does look like a little fox. The ears are perky and wedge-shaped and the tail is bushy. The body is longer than it is high (at the shoulders) and allows for quick and graceful movements. The eyes are large and almond shaped and should be the same color. Eyes that are blue, yellow, or transparent (so they appear watery) are not encouraged.

The coat should be medium-short in length, never exceeding 2 inches. The coat should generally lie flat, though a slight wave is acceptable. The coat should have some sheen and should have a hard and smooth outer coat. The under coat should be soft and dense. Colors vary and should coordinate with the color of the eyes. Albinos are not an acceptable variety.

There are some wirehaired Alopekis in existence, but this variety is rare. With some careful breeding, the wirehaired variety could be developed, but this hasn't happened just yet.

Weighing anywhere from 6.5 to 15.5 pounds, the Alopekis is a small dog used to city life. This small breed is strong, healthy, tireless, intelligent, pleasant, and incredibly hardy. Friendly and even-tempered, the Alopekis is great with children and can usually adapt to living with other pets. Though small, they are protective of their family and will defend their people if need be. They are easily bored, however, so you should make sure your dog has something to do, especially when you're away from home.

This breed is highly adaptable. They can make their home on the farm or in a tiny apartment. They do like exercise and benefit from daily walks, but they don't need as much room to run as many other breeds. The Alopekis is a hardy dog with no known genetic problems. They are easy to care for and need only a casual brushing every week or so.

In the distant past there was a hairless variety of the Alopekis, sometimes called the Turkish Naked Dog (though it really was just a hairless Alopekis). Unfortunately, this variety has since become extinct. Today, we have only single variety of Alopekis, and hopefully this breed will continue to thrive.

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