Did They Have Dogs in Ancient Greece?

As a dog lover, you may have wondered if dogs existed in ancient Greece. The answer is yes! Dogs were not only present in ancient Greece but also played a significant role in the society and culture of the time.

Types of Dogs

Ancient Greeks had several types of dogs, each serving a specific purpose.

  • Laconian dogs: These were large hunting dogs used to hunt wild boar and other large game. They were known for their strength and endurance.
  • Molossian dogs: Molossian dogs were large guard dogs used to protect livestock and homes. They were also used in battles due to their fierce loyalty and strength.
  • Greyhounds: These sleek and fast dogs were used for hunting smaller game such as hares and foxes.

Dogs in Mythology

Dogs also played an important role in Greek mythology. The most famous myth involving a dog is the story of Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guarded the entrance to the underworld. Another famous myth is that of Odysseus’ faithful dog, Argos, who recognized his master after twenty years of absence.

Dogs in Art

Ancient Greeks often depicted dogs in their art. One example is the famous Greek vase painting depicting a hunting scene with Laconian hounds chasing after a wild boar.

Dogs as Companions

In addition to their practical uses, Greeks also valued dogs as companions. It was common for wealthy Greeks to keep small lapdogs as pets, which they would carry around with them.


Dogs were an integral part of ancient Greek society and culture. They served practical purposes such as hunting and guarding, played a role in mythology, were often depicted in art, and were valued as companions. It’s clear that the bond between humans and dogs has been present for thousands of years.