Ibizan Hound Guide

Hound Dog Breeds

The Ibizan should possess deer-like elegance and expression, and its movement should reflect these qualities. Its lithe build enables it to perform the double-suspension gallop with great speed, agility and endurance. It is a superb jumper, able to spring to great heights from a standstill. It is racy, slightly longer than tall. With the exception of its large ears, it should not be exaggerated in any way. The trot is light and graceful. The coat can be hard, either short or wire — the latter should be from 1 to 3 inches in length.

The graceful Ibizan hound retains great hunting instinct, using its acute senses of hearing and smell to locate small animals, and relishing the opportunity to chase anything that moves. Unlike most sighthounds, it barks when chasing. It is reserved with strangers; some can be timid. It is gentle, mild-mannered, even-tempered and loyal, and makes a quiet, trustworthy house pet.


FAMILY sighthound, Southern (pariah), primitive

AREA OF ORIGIN Ibiza (Balaeric Islands)

DATE OF ORIGIN ancient times

ORIGINAL FUNCTION hunting rabbits

TODAY'S FUNCTION lure coursing

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 23.5-27.5 Weight: 50

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 22.5-26 Weight: 45

OTHER NAME podenco Ibicenco, ca Eibisenc, Balaeric dog

Energy level Medium energy

Exercise needs Medium

Playfullness Moderately playful

Affection level Somewhat affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Very friendly

Friendliness toward other pets Friendly

Friendliness toward strangers Friendly

Ease of training Easy to train

Watchdog ability High

Protection ability Not very protective

Grooming needs Moderate maintenance

Cold tolerance Low tolerance

Heat tolerance Medium tolerance

As an independent and athletic dog, the Ibizan hound needs daily exercise in a safe area. Ideal exercise allows the dog to stretch out at full speed, but its needs can also be met with long walks or jogs on leash, combined with an occasional chance to run full out. The Ibizan is not generally kept as an outside dog, although it can live outdoors in temperate climates given warm shelter and soft bedding. It is a skilled jumper, which should be taken into consideration when designing an enclosure. The smooth coat requires only occasional brushing, whereas the wire coat requires weekly brushing as well as occasional hand-plucking of dead hairs.
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: none
• Occasionally seen: deafness
• Suggested tests: none
• Life span: 12 – 14 years
• Note: sensitive to anesthesia
The Ibizan hound probably shares the same roots as the pharaoh hound, bearing uncanny resemblance to the dogs depicted in Egyptian tombs and to the jackal god Anubis. Phoenician sea traders may have taken the dogs to the island of Ibiza in ancient times, where they remained in relative seclusion. Ibiza saw many rulers through the ages, coming under the auspices of the Egyptians, Chaldeans, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Arabs and, most recently, Spanish. Hannibal was born on a neighboring island, and some say the Ibizan hound was the dog that accompanied him across the Alps. With little outside influence, the dogs of Ibiza remain uncontaminated by crosses to other breeds. The hard conditions on the island imposed stringent selection by islanders because only the best rabbit hunters could be allowed to procreate or, for that matter, survive. These factors produced a hardy, true breeding dog that is little changed from its ancestral stock. The first Ibizan hound came to America in the 1950s. The breed's striking appearance aroused much attention but has failed to attract a great number of pet owners. The Ibizan hound gradually gained enough popularity to warrant AKC recognition in 1979, but it remains one of the rarer breeds.