The Cretan Tracer is a breed of hound that originated on the Greek island of Crete and is considered one of the oldest hunting breeds in Europe. Its exact origins are unclear, but ancient artifacts from Crete depict dogs similar in shape to the modern Cretan Hound, suggesting that the breed has been around for thousands of years. Over time, these dogs have been shaped by the island's rugged landscape and by the needs of local hunters, resulting in a breed that is agile, speedy, and adept at following scent trails.
Little is known about genetic conditions associated with the Cretan Tracer breed. However, degenerative myelopathy, hip dysplasia, and progressive rod-cone degeneration are common conditions from which many other dog breeds are known to suffer. As for all breeds, genetic screening is recommended to assist veterinarians with diagnosis and proactive care, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs. As a Sighthound breed, they are known to be more sensitive to barbiturate anesthetics. Thiopental, or any other thiobarbiturate, should not be used on these dogs.
The Cretan Tracer is known for its speed, agility, and exceptional ability to trace game, hence its name. These dogs are typically reserved and gentle with their families, but can be wary of strangers. They are independent-minded dogs, a trait common among hounds, but can also form strong bonds with their human companions. As a breed developed for hunting, they require regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.
The Cretan Tracer is not recognized by major kennel clubs like the American Kennel Club (AKC) or the United Kennel Club (UKC), and therefore doesn't have an official breed group classification. In Greece, however, the breed is recognized and protected as part of the country's natural heritage. If it were to be categorized, it would likely be classified within the hound group, due to its skills as a scent and sight hound.
The Cretan Tracer is considered to be one of the oldest hunting breeds in Europe.