The Kokoni dog breed is native to Greece, but some claim that he originally came from Malta. Kokoni means “small dog” in Greek. So, he is known as the Small Greek Domestic Dog. His other nicknames are Greek Kokoni and Meliteo Kinidio. In the UK, he is dubbed as Kokoni Spaniel. That’s because he has the same coat colours as the Spaniel.
The Kokoni dog breed’s history is vague. However, this little dog was depicted in many artefacts of ancient Greece. He was illustrated in coins, figurines, statues, and potteries. Kokonis were bred as companion dogs for aristocrats, especially women and children.
Over time, the Kokonis slowly became versatile working dogs of the commoners. They were skilled enough to hunt vermin and other small game. Kokonis were also capable of herding livestock.
Unfortunately, as these small dogs have integrated into the poorer parts of Greece, some were not taken in by any family. Thus, Kokonis were forced to live their lives as street dogs.
As a result, the mating of this dog breed was unrestricted. Surprisingly, this has a positive effect on the breed, as he developed to be healthier than other dogs.
The Kokoni and his Greek cousin, the Alopekis, were once different varieties of the same breed. However, provisional standards were made, and these two dogs became separate breeds.
Kokonis remained to be popular companion dogs in Greece and Cyprus, but they are not well known to the rest of the world. For this reason, they are not yet acknowledged by any major kennel clubs. On the brighter side, Kokonis are officially recognised by the Greek Kennel Club.
There is only a little representation of the breed outside Greece. The most notable one is the Kokoni dog named Satchel who was featured in the 2005 movie, Bewitched.