The Small Greek Domestic Dog is the modern name used for the ancient Greek dog breed known as Meliteo Kinidio or Kokoni (Κοκόνι). They are widely found in Greece, have traditionally been more common in urban areas and were a popular companion of Greek aristocracy for centuries. Quite fearless for their size, they are quite territorial and possessive of their owners. The Small Greek Domestic dogs are ideal companions, extremely expressive, highly perceptive and they sigh and use their eyes like humans. They insist in sleeping in bed with the owners. They are adept hunters of small game and birds. This lovely breed still retains some of its working abilities and can be a good farm watchdog, livestock herder and impressive vermin killer.At one time the Alopekis and Small Greek Domestic Dog were considered to be different types of the same breed. A large number of images on ancient friezes, pottery, and amphorae show this breed as a companion to women and children.
History and etymology
The dog originates from Malta, hence the Ancient Greek name Melitaion Kunidion (Μελιταῖον Κυνίδιον); "Melita" was the ancient Greek name for Malta and Melitaion (Μελιταῖον) is the neuter form of Melitaios (Μελιταῖος), meaning "of or from Melita (Malta)", while kunidion (κυνίδιον) and kunarion (κυνάριον) are diminutives of kuōn (κύων), "dog". "Melitaion Kunidion" is translated as "little dog from Malta" and the dog is attested amongst others in Theophrastus and Strabo.