Kokoni Dog

The Kokoni is one of the most popular dogs in Greece. Learn all about this breed and find out what makes a Kokoni such an ideal companion. 

Kokoni dog on a leash

Height: 9-11 inches
Weight: 4-8 kilos
Lifespan: 13-19 years. Kokonis are known to live into their late teens.
Pedigree (registered with the Kennel Club?): No, this breed is not KC registered

Positives and Negatives

Below are the breed-related traits seen commonly amongst the Kokoni:

Pros

  • Makes a good watchdog
  • Minimal grooming requirements
  • Great for first-time owners
  • Adaptable to many types of lifestyles

Cons

  • Can cause a reaction to those with allergies
  • Prone to dental issues
  • Small Dog Syndrome is common in this breed
  • Not recognized by the KC or AKC

Overview

The Kokoni is a small Greek domestic dog bred as a human companion. You may recognize this dog from the 2005 movie Bewitched! Some people in the UK refer to this pooch as the Kokoni Spaniel due to the similar Spaniel colors.

This dog can have traits of protectiveness. Kokonis are highly alert and make excellent watchdogs. You can be sure this breed will be at the door waiting to assess any newcomers. The dog’s lifespan is known to be long, allowing you to enjoy many happy years with this furry friend.

Kokoni dog lying on the grass

These dogs are highly popular in Greece and Cyprus. Many shelters in these countries often have Kokonis in their care. Do check out any rehoming options before purchasing a puppy. Their ideal temperament makes the Kokoni adaptable to different types of living spaces and owners.

Friendly by nature, the Kokoni is an excellent choice for families with children of all ages. They also suit elderly owners too. Give this dog a loving home and in return, you will have a loyal companion.

These types of dogs have low grooming and exercise needs which makes them ideal for many owners. They’re intelligent and easy to train, making them a perfect choice for a first-time owner. As long as you are clear and consistent, you won’t have a problem training this pooch.

History

The Kokoni breed originates from Greece however some believe they initially came from Malta.  The dog is believed to have ties dating back to Ancient Greece. Similar looking dogs have been seen on artifacts such as coins and pottery.

Bred for companionship the Kokonis would often be seen around women and children. They would closely follow women to the market and provide the perfect playmate for the children.

Years ago these dogs were generally seen amongst the aristocracy. The Kokonis’ working roles wouldn’t reap enough benefits for the poor. Although small, a Kokoni can still catch small game and will keep an area clear of vermin. They also have the ability to herd and would sometimes be kept near livestock as a helper.

In Greek Kokoni means “small dog”. Yet size means nothing when it comes to survival. Their ability to hunt small game allows them to survive as street dogs. These pooches are both highly independent and intelligent. Size doesn’t mean a thing to the Kokoni!

This dog is very popular in Greece but not in other countries. They haven’t been recognized as a breed by any major organizations apart from the Greek Kennel Club.

Kokonis closely relate to the larger Alopkis but both have been established as their own breed. Unlike other Greek dog breeds, Kokonis are mostly found in the city areas.

Up next: Know more about the history, personality, and even health needs of the awesome Leonberger.

Personality

The Kokoni really is a great all-round dog which explains their popularity throughout Greece. They’re playful and may try to entice you into play by barking and gentle nipping.

Kokoni dog sitting on grass

Kokonis bond closely with their owner so don’t be surprised if you see this dog sneaking into your bed each night. They are highly affectionate and will always seek praise and cuddles. This close attachment may see them develop protective habits.

Their independence is a massive bonus and means you can easily leave this dog alone for a few hours. Be sure they have had some exercise first so they don’t bounce off the walls! The breed isn’t prone to separation anxiety.

Are Kokonis Good With Strangers?

Kokonis are known to act as watch dogs. If a stranger approaches your home they will alert you by barking. They can be wary and suspicious of people they don’t know. Socialization will help Kokonis feel more at ease allowing them to show their friendly side.

Are Kokonis Good With Children?

Yes, Kokonis are great with children! Their small size and playful nature make them the perfect playmate. Do keep an eye around smaller children as Kokonis may nip to initiate play.

This lively breed suits a child perfectly. The games they will play together is a great way to keep your pooch exercised and mentally stimulated.

Kokoni dogs on the shore

Are Kokonis Ok With Other Dogs?

Again, socialization will depend on how this pooch reacts to other dogs. They have a tendency to portray Small Dog Syndrome which could get them into big trouble with larger dogs.

They have the ability to be nice and friendly. Aim to introduce these dogs to others as early as possible. Household pets such as cats should be raised with a Kokoni from young. Avoid keeping smaller animals.

Exercise

Little but lively, this breed will need at least 45 minutes of exercise each day. A Kokoni puppy will require longer. If this dog’s activity requirements aren’t met, they will most certainly pick up on bad behavioral habits.

Long walks are a great way to get them to burn off that energy. They will also need some mental stimulation so play a variety of different games to help keep their minds thinking. Garden play just won’t be enough for this dog. They need to let out their energy or your dog will find ways to misbehave.

Kokoni dog at international dog show in Greece

Kokonis generally stay close to their owners and territories. Although they can hunt, they have a low prey drive and won’t run for miles on a chase. It is always best to exercise smaller dogs off leads in enclosed spaces. Their size makes them susceptible to injuries.

Health

Luckily for the Kokoni, they are known to be a healthy breed. Saving owners money on costly vet bills. As this breed has recently been established there are currently no major health issues linked to this dog. This could change depending on further breed research.

Minor issues such as dental hygiene is something to be aware of. You must brush the Kokonis teeth daily in order to prevent any plaque build-up and possible infections.

Intelligence & Trainability

Like many intelligent dogs, mental stimulation will always be needed. If you don’t meet this dog’s activity requirements your training will just go to waste. Kokonis will easily pick up bad habits if they haven’t received enough attention.

This dog isn’t sensitive and can handle punishment rather well and won’t be affected emotionally like other breeds. They love to receive praise from their owners so always use positive reinforcements. Once clear leadership has been established a Kokoni will become obedient.

They aren’t known to be stubborn which is why training is so easy. Picking up new tricks is a piece of cake for this dog. They can also quickly distinguish the difference between a command and an action. Their intelligence, independence, and lack of stubbornness are what make a Kokoni so easy to train.

Small Dog Syndrome is common amongst this breed. It is a trait that can land them in lots of trouble. With the right training and daily exercise, a Kokoni will be able to avoid this. Consistency is key.

You mustn’t let them get away with even the slightest bad behavior. All members of the household need to stick to the rules. This dog is intelligent and will be able to work out who they can push the boundaries with.

Recommended: Korean Jindos are recommended for experienced pet owners only. Discover why here.

Grooming

Kokonis will need a quick daily groom each day for a few minutes. It’s the best way to prevent any tangles and mats. They don’t shed too bad but daily brushing will determine this. A firm bristle brush will be the best tool for your pooches coat.

They’re a great breed for first-time owners who haven’t groomed dogs before. There isn’t much required for the process, just fifteen minutes of your time each day. Nail trimming is often feared by most owners, but with the Kokoni you will only have to file them down every couple of months.

White Kokoni dog standing on grass

Bathing doesn’t need to be too frequent. Most owners bathe this breed every 6 weeks unless they end up dirty before then. The Kokonis natural oils are the best way to look after their fur. They have a dense, wavy, silky coat that’s also weather resistant.

As mentioned before the Kokonis teeth are prone to plaque build-up and disease. They must be brushed daily. Ears are another important focus. Aim to cleanse these each week to prevent wax and debris from settling in the canal. You should also pluck any excess fur from the entrance.

Image Sources:

Photos of Kokoni 1, Kokoni 2, Kokoni 3, Kokoni 4, and Kokoni 5  by Ddcriminal, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

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