What Were Dogs Used for in Ancient Greece?

Dogs have been a loyal companion to humans for thousands of years. In Ancient Greece, dogs were highly valued and played an important role in Greek society. Let’s explore what dogs were used for in Ancient Greece.

Hunting

One of the primary uses of dogs in Ancient Greece was hunting. The Greeks used various breeds of dogs for different types of hunting. For example, the Laconian Hound was used for hunting deer, while the Molossus was used for hunting wild boar.

These hunting dogs were trained to track and capture prey, and they were highly prized by hunters and nobles alike. In fact, owning a good hunting dog was a status symbol in Ancient Greece.

Guarding

Dogs were also used as guards in Ancient Greece. The Greeks believed that dogs had a keen sense of smell and hearing, which made them excellent watchdogs.

The Molossus breed was particularly well-suited for guarding duties due to their size and strength. These dogs were often used to protect homes, livestock, and even entire cities.

Companionship

In addition to their practical uses, dogs also served as beloved companions to the Greeks. Many Greek poets wrote about the close bond between humans and their canine friends.

In fact, there is evidence that the Greeks even held funerals for their deceased dogs. These funerals included rituals such as burying the dog with its favorite toy or treat.

Religious Significance

Dogs also had religious significance in Ancient Greece. The Greeks believed that dogs were sacred animals associated with several gods and goddesses.

For example, the goddess Artemis was often depicted with a pack of hounds by her side. Similarly, the god Apollo was said to have a white dog as his companion.

The Bottom Line

Dogs played an important role in Ancient Greek society. From hunting and guarding to companionship and religious significance, these loyal animals were highly valued by the Greeks and left a lasting impact on their culture.