The Wonderful Cretan Tracer

I am very happy and proud to have eventually finished the translation of this site referring to the wonderful Cretan Dog.
It will prove to be rather interesting as it refers to the ancient dog's logically possible relation with the primitive Basenji. Happy reading:)

http://www.kritikosichnilatis.gr/index.html

Thana,
have had a quick look at the site and will return again. The bits i have read are very interesting, what lovely looking Dogs, i have never heard of them before. They do look as if they could be related to Basenjis.

Houston

Thank you so much for sharing. I thoroughly enjoyed browsing the site and read very interesting things.

First Basenji's

Yes, thank you! The Cretan Tracer is beautiful, and it is very intersting to be able to read about the mythology as well as see the artifacts.

I actually was very excited to see it. I recognized the Hunting of Chamois from some research I did for a paper in my Aegean Archaeology class. I have taken a lot of classes on the Archaeology of Crete and Greece and I'm thinking of focusing in that area when I go to graduate school. I love the Minoan culture. One of my professors works on a Minoan site in Mochlos and I hope to go one summer as a volunteer. So it was very interesting to see that the site encompasses so many aspects of the Cretan Tracer!

Thamk you for sharing this!! I am always happy to learn about other breeds, especially these kind of breeds.

Just one thing: on the website I read " the most ancient hound of europe" but how can you be so sure about that? considering the following european breeds: Kel-Tal_fenek better known as Pharaohhound, the Podenco breeds ( Ibicenco, portugues, canario etc ) and the cirenco del etna?
would be interesting to know 🙂

"Just one thing: on the website I read " the most ancient hound of europe" but how can you be so sure about that? considering the following european breeds: Kel-Tal_fenek better known as Pharaohhound, the Podenco breeds ( Ibicenco, portugues, canario etc ) and the cirenco del etna?
would be interesting to know "

First of all i am glad to be sharing my own interest with all of you!!

Now, ibi n sane it seems that you didn't have the time to browse the site carefully, so, about the breeds you refer to,according to the FCI
http://www.kritikosichnilatis.gr/gr/apskiliprotogoni.htm

and if you browse through the contents of the site in general, there are many things historically and mythologically stated about the dog breeds you refer to and many more.

Now the Cretan Tracer being the ' Most Ancient hound of Europe' no one has up to now had the 'money' to prove that it is the most ancient one yet, as here in Greece things are a bit complicated and there is not an organised dog loving community that is particularly interested in rescuing such a treasure, apart from a few people who are actually dedicated to succeeding in doing it. I have personal contact with one of those dedicated people who without any support from the official kennel club of greece (there is a long story behind it) gladly offer their time and money to rescue this wonderful breed of dog. you see it must be proven by DNA that the c.tracer is an ancient breed and there is in fact only one person struggling to make it happen.
it does takes time for just one person, doesn't it?…
...Not to mention positive thinking and willingness from others, which is in shortage, isn't it?

@crystalncody:

Yes, thank you! The Cretan Tracer is beautiful, and it is very intersting to be able to read about the mythology as well as see the artifacts.

I actually was very excited to see it. I recognized the Hunting of Chamois from some research I did for a paper in my Aegean Archaeology class. I have taken a lot of classes on the Archaeology of Crete and Greece and I'm thinking of focusing in that area when I go to graduate school. I love the Minoan culture. One of my professors works on a Minoan site in Mochlos and I hope to go one summer as a volunteer. So it was very interesting to see that the site encompasses so many aspects of the Cretan Tracer!

I am glad you have personal experience about the ancient cretan culture.
Archaeologists in the cretan museum have been very helpful with the research that was made for this dog!! hope you make it in the future and visit the island.:)

@Thana:

http://www.kritikosichnilatis.gr/gr/apskiliprotogoni.htm

it doesnt work 😞
and I browsed through your website but have to admit I havent read it all ( yet ) it is too much at one time 😉 but still i dont see why the Cretan Tracer should be more ancient then the breeds I mentioned 😕
anyway can you tell me , in short, what the difference is between the cretan hound and the cretan tracer ? use, history ? etc.

Its difficult to tell you in short… i don't think i can set all historical and mythical aspects of the case here, its not just a story but many interelated ones that need to be studied and connected, so i can't set a whole history class in my 'quick reply'. the history goes back 10 000 years and all the breeds you mentioned are related to the cretan tracer.you see all primitive breeds that were the subject of trade in the ancient world( refering to Egyptians, Minoans, Phoenicians) are interrelated as they were neighbours. What -possibly- makes the cretan tracer a progenitor of the ones you mentioned is the fact that minoan civilization was prior to the expansion of the phoenician civilization and the dog had been isolated in crete and adapted to the certain environment for thousand of years- just as the basenji remained a pure primitive breed in Africa.
also, there had been some scientific observations in its genome in the UNIVERSITY OF CRETE - MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY IN CRETE
LABORATORY OF MOLECULAR SYSTEMS BIOLOGY. that conclude that the dog is a pure breed and i extract the final conclusion:

The difference of the Cretan Tracer from the Wolf (Canis Lupus) concerning genes is between 2,8-3,1%. This means that it is a dog that developed differently in the history of dogs. (as it also appears in the diagram- I didn't set this, but you can read all if you click on the right subcategories under SCIENTIFIC ELEMENTS) (The difference between Canis Lupus and the coyote is 7,5% while the difference between humans and the chimpanzee is 0.5%)
From the dogs that have been checked and from relative studies, appears that these differ from each other from 0% (that is to say they are identical) up to 0,05%. On the contrary, the Cretan Tracer differs from them at 0,3%. Still the difference between the already genetically tested dogs from the wolf (except for the Cretan Tracer) oscillates from 0,02% to 0,05%. Very interesting is also the fact that there is no differentiation in the Cretan Tracer from its original type, because of its isolation on the island.

I also lay the following as found in the site so as to answer your questions about the other dog breeds you refered to
The study on the genome of dogs is directed by Dr T. Ostrander from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Rersearch Center (USA) and is addressed to the national health institutions. In this program there are more than 10 researchers and technicians, collaborating with veterinarians, geneticists, molecular biologists, statisticians and computer scientists, in order to discover the possibly lurking genetic sensitivity of structures and illnesses in canine genome.

CANINE GENOME

'The study on canine genome proves that Kelb tal fenek (nowdays called Pharaoh Hound or Hound of Malta) is not of ancient Egyptian origin; particularly, that the breeds Kelb tal fenek (faraon hound) and Podenco Ibicenco (Potenko of Ibiza) are not as old as we believed up to today. This fact results from a study on the canine genome, which was published in May 2004 by scientists of the Fred Hutchinson research centre for cancer in Seattle (USA). The genetic samples of 85 breeds (of pure breed dogs), were examined at the duration of this study, which was realised with the support of American Kennel Club (AKC).
Scientists hope that this analysis will help make serious conclusions in fighting human illnesses. At least half of the almost 300 hereditary illnesses that occur in dogs, including various cancers - resemble particular human illnesses.
“There are more than 400 dog breeds, each one being an isolated breed population that allows us to study a complex genetic problem”.
An interesting effect of this study is that it helps to unravel certain myths: For example, Kelb tal- fenek, just as Podenco Ibicenco, was found to be not as old a breed as it was thought before- due to its resemblance with the dogs that are portrayed on ancient Egyptian graves. Their genes show that they have been developed in more recent years. Consequently, it can be said that the theory of the Egyptian origin of this breed does not have a definite scientific basis.
Researchers determined two categories of pedigree that were premature in order to be excluded from the wolves. The first category includes the Asiatic breeds Shar Pei, Shiba Inu, Chow chow and Akita, and the other category include the seemigly different breeds :African Basenji, Siberian Husky , Alaskan Malamute, Afghan hounds and Saluki. Later, the majority of canines developed inτο three other clumps of dog variants, as they resulted from human lead reproduction: hounds, sheep dogs guard dogs.
Certain breeds present very similar genetics: the Belgian sheepdog and the Belgian Tervuren, that are registered as separate breeds in AKC belong in fact to the same breed. Apart from these two breeds, the study presented also five pairs of breeds with very similar genetics: the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky, the Collei and the Shetland Sheepdog, the Greyhound and the Whippet, the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Great Swiss Mastif and Mountain Bull and the Mastif. Only four breeds failed to present consistent totals of common genes. Those were the Perro de Presa Canario, the German short-haired Pointer, Australian Sheepdog and the Chihuahua.'

  • Now, the reason why we wish to call the dog a tracer and not just hound, is because hounds are the dolichocephalic sight hounds (the tall ones that race fast).
    the cretan tracer - due to the fact that it had to adapt to the harsh rocky cretan terrain to survive, it became through the passing of years, a tracer- meaning it traces through sensing the air and the ground its prey, pursues it, captures it, and brings it to its place -or owner. (a Basenji is a tracer too, not just a hound. We have all noticed how a tracer behaves cause we keep one!).
    So, to call a dog a hound while this is too general a term and refers to other kinds of 'work' and 'behavior' in dogs, it just lacks precision.

that was the shortest i could do, for such a complicated matter.
What i truly wish is for the official greek kennel club to be run by people who are not just interested in having the 'power' of decision and earn money, but to be more supportive to the people who are struggling for the rescue of such a unique dog, yet so unpopular amongst most of us.

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