ALL DOG BREED PROFILES

Ibizan Hound

Ibizan Hound
John Walton
Written by John Walton

Bred to chase after rabbits on the Ibizan islands, the Ibizan Hound, which is also known to have common roots with the Pharoah Hound, is famed for its agility, obedience, conformation, tracking skills and friendliness.

The breed is classified as the biggest among hounds and this rabbit hunter is also one of the lithest and quickest as it possesses excellent jumping skills. But aside from its athletic abilities, this canine pal has a quiet, gentle, and relaxed personality, making it a great addition to any household. Indeed, you can never go wrong with this breed if you desire a loyal pet companion you can always count on.

Breed characteristics

AdaptabilityAbove Average
TrainabilityHigh
Health IssuesAbove Average
GroomingHighest
All Around FriendlinessHigh
Exercise NeedsHighest

Dog Breed Group:Hound Dogs
Height:Approximately 1 foot, 10 inches to 2 feet, 3 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: About 40 to 50 pounds
Life Span: 10 to 14 years on an average

Although it came from the popular Spanish island, this classy and sophisticated breed existed since the Egyptian Era. With so many lovable characteristics, this gentle giant proves why it should be a part of any household.

Standing like a super model, this breed is highly distinguishable for its red and white color and its long and slender head. Aside from its distinct shape, its head bears great resemblance to that of Anubis’ head. Anubis is an Egyptian god popular in the earlier years.

Just like the Ibizan Hound, Anubis’ head is large and his ears can point in almost any direction. While all of these features make this dog breed one-of-a-kind, its main edge from other breeds is its personality.

There are three varieties of the Ibizan: longhaired, smooth-haired and wirehaired. The most common is the smooth-haired, while the longhaired is very rare. The wirehaired has a longer coat of rough hair that has a softer texture than the other two varieties. Aside from its very sophisticated physique, this breed is loved for its wonderful personality.

If you are looking for a playful and loyal buddy, you might want to consider adopting this canine pal. It is known to be a true «clown» in the dog world as it always finds delight in entertaining its human companions with its silly antics.

Popularly called “Beezer”, this huge dog is free-spirited and it totally loves the outdoors. It may not be a clingy breed, but it won’t mind playing and comfortably snuggling with its human companions. It is never shy or hostile, but just like most breeds, it can be extremely protective of its home.

Originally bred to chase after rabbits and participate in other small games, this breed is known for its determination, stamina and speed. Nowadays, it is a top competitor in games that were designed to test the agility levels of our canine pals.

If you are thinking of welcoming this breed in your home, bear in mind that just like other active pals, they require training and regular exercise.

Main Highlights
  • Ibizan hounds must be kept on a leash in an unsecured area. Since they were bred to hunt rabbits, they have the tendency to chase any small animal that moves even without your command.
  • They don’t have strong tolerance to cold temperatures. Their thin coating cannot withstand the intense cold, so if you are living in a cold climate, investing in a dog coat is a good idea.
  • Unapproachable by nature, they need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds. Otherwise, they can become shy or fearful.
  • If provided with proper exercise and care, it can easily adapt in an apartment setting.
  • These dogs are normally quiet indoors. They tend to become lazy or bored, which explains why a daily walk or run is a must for this breed.
  • They are excellent jumpers, making it necessary for owners to keep their fences at least 6 feet high. Also, it is not recommended for owners to use electronic fences as this may increase chances of accidents.
  • Daily exercise is a necessity for this breed as it can becomedestructive once it is deprived of daily activity.
  • As an adolescent, male hounds have a low appetite level. Encourage them to embrace a hearty diet but not to the extent of offering them food bribes or hand feeding. They will overcome this phase with prolonged training.
  • These dogs are a great companion for children, but bear in mind that all pets need supervision when they are with small children as accidents can always happen.
  • They are not an aggressive breed but they have a natural instinct to chase after small animals.
  • They are one of the rarest dog breeds. Hence, if you are interested in welcoming this breed in your home, you must be prepared to wait for its availability.
Breed History

The elegant Ibizan Hound existed since the Egyptian era. It is said that this breed originated from the dawn of civilization. Both this dog type and the Pharaoh Hound are said to share the same ancestral roots. Artifacts and medieval carvings depict that this dog breed has existed for around 5,000 years, which makes it one of the oldest dogs.

There are theories that the Phoenician sea traders from ancient times might have brought the dogs to what was then called the Balearic Islands of Spain about 700-900 BC. Spanish farmers used the dogs for hunting to provide food for the islanders so the breed was kept in its purest form and crossbreeding was significantly lowered.

The rough island conditions also constrained the islanders to select only the best rabbit hunters or hounds for survival and breeding. This headed to the production of a pure-bred dog which has hardly been altered from its original breed.

In the 1950’s, the Ibizan hound was first introduced to the United States. Its impressive physique and ability attracted people at first, but the breed never became a wide known pet. Early 1979, the American Kennel Club officially documented it as a regular AKC class. Then, in 1992, the Ibizan Hound Club of the US became an AKC member club and gained a specialty status; today it continues to be a rare breed.

Size

Males ideally stand from 23.5 to 27.5 inches at the withers, while an average female’s height ranges from 22.5 to 26 inches. In addition, a male’s average weight is at 50 pounds, while females can be as heavy as 45 pounds. There is no preferred height by the breed standard.

Personality and Character

People call them “Breezers” for these dogs are generally quiet, clean, playful and polite. This breed blushes when it gets excited, as does the Pharaoh Hound. They are highly trainable—they love to learn and do so very quickly.

One challenge you may encounter with this canine pal is their willfulness. If they sense passivity during training, they tend to get bored easily. Though somewhat independent and stubborn at times, they do well with training if positive methods are used, but will pull back at punitive training methods. Hence, with a positive reward system, owners would be able to raise a well-rounded Ibizan.

Moreover, they are highly sensitive to their owner’s voice; a calm, friendly yet assertive command will be more effective than a harsh command. This is due to their engaging nature. They ranked 53rd in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs. Being of average working intelligence, many Ibizan owners will enjoy giving you a multitude of examples of this breed’s problem-solving traits.

In addition to that, they are dubbed as «escapologists» as they are able to jump incredible heights from a standstill, making the need for tall fences more prominent. Also, they are great climbers. This breed can easily escape crates, open baby gates and even locks. And most of all, they have an intense prey drive, so they will chase anything that moves.

Therefore, it is important for owners to be cautious if they have tiny domestic pets like bunnies, rodents and cats. As a tip, trainers must be very vigilant for they cannot be trusted off leash unless in a safely enclosed area.

Their temperament is affected by numerous factors. While they are young, they need to be exposed to various people, environment and situations. Doing so helps the Ibizan pup to grow as a versatile and friendly dog. Seeking the assistance of a dog trainer or enrolling your pal in a dog kindergarten is highly advisable when you are dealing with a pup. This way, you can guarantee your pet companion’s holistic growth and development.

Health and Potential Problems

This dog breed is a hardy, strong and generally healthy dog.  Hereditary illness is rare but it can also develop. Hence, it is important that you find a good breeder who will provide health clearances for both of the dog’s parents before you buy your canine pal. This is proof that the hound is tested and is clear of any health condition.

To gain a better understanding on what health conditions your dog breed may face, see the list below:

  • Allergies: these are very common to dogs. This ailment may be caused by food, chemicals and other inhalants. A dog breed can have allergic reactions to drugs, including insecticides and flea powders. As an owner, it is important for you to be cautious for any signs of allergic reactions so you can eliminate your dog’s contact with any possible allergens.
  • Seizures: Some lines seem to be prone to seizures because of hereditary factors.  This disease can be activated by factors like metabolic disorders, infectious diseases, exposure to poisons or severe head injuries, but it can also be idiopathic. This can be controlled by medication, but it has no known cure.
  • Cataracts: Another common health condition to dogs, cataract is a condition when the eye lens’ opacity is higher, causing visual difficulty. This is usually caused by old age.
  • Axonal Dystrophy: this disorder is neurological in nature, and it commonly occurs in the early stages of life.
  • Deafness: dogs can undergo tests to know if their auditory sense is functional. If hearing loss is inevitable, owners can resort to training and accessories that aid hearing such as vibrating collars. With the right training and equipment, this dog breed can easily adapt to hearing loss.
Care Features

The Ibizan Hound is one of the breeds that live better in a warmer and drier climate. Since it is sensitive to cold temperatures, it is better to provide soft and warm shelter for these pals during the cold season. As the hound is a skillful jumper, care should be taken when constructing an enclosure. When enclosing your space, make sure that your fence is higher than 6 feet.

Most importantly, this athletic and independent dog should be given regular exercise in a safe and enclosed area. Proper exercise enables the hound to stretch its body, but its requirements are also satiated through jogs on a leash, long walks and full running. 20-30 minutes of daily exercise is ideal for this free-spirited paw.

In the same sense, it is also necessary for owners to use positive training techniques that include food and treats. Although they may need to be alone from time to time, they will become an eager and enthusiastic pal with proper training.

Feeding Schedule

The amount of food necessary to help dogs grow optimally depends on factors like size and level of activity. Ideally, owners must divide 2 to 3 cups of high-quality food into two separate meals per day.

Coat, Color and Grooming

Unlike other furry dogs, this breed doesn’t require intricate grooming because of its thin and smooth hair. Its needs vary based on its type. As stated earlier, you can find three distinct kinds of this dog class; wire haired, long haired and smooth haired.

Because the fur is usually short, it will not demand a lot of care and grooming. The simplest way to maintain the smooth-haired fur in good order would be to run a latex mitt over it.

In addition to that, it is not difficult to spot this hound. Its colors are white and red, white and tan, or solid white or red.

Wirehaired versions are generally just cleaned with hand plucking. Also, occasional scrubbing can help make its fur silky, smooth, and shiny. Brushing can also help to promote the skin’s essential oil formation. Long haired variations, on the other hand, will need extra brushing to sustain their fur’s shine. This dog breed has a tendency to lose hair at a normal rate.

Dog owners of this breed will have to ensure that ear cavities are meticulously cleaned and nails are cut and cleaned at least twice a month. Toenails may be clawed, or at best, kept short. Bathing is required regularly, so owners must allocate to meet their pet’s grooming needs. To learn whether or not you canine pal needs to take a bath, smell its fur. If it smells odd, you may need to prepare your dog’s bath essentials.

Examining for ticks throughout the tick period is also highly advisable, as well as taking the dog to the Veterinarian as this will make sure that your canine pal fulfills other health standards.

Children And Other Pets Compatibility

Due to its mischief and silly antics, these hounds are great with young children. They are graceful canine pals that are highly sensitive to their human companion’s needs. However, they can follow small children when they are happily running and playing around the house, so they are most likely suitable for households with middle aged kids who are used to socialize with pet dogs.

On the other hand, they are aloof with strangers. Since they are protective of their household, they may take their time to decide whether an unfamiliar person can be trusted or not.

As a reminder, you should think twice about taking care of smaller pets once you decide to adopt this dog breed since it has a strong instinct to chase and kill any rodent or small animal that moves. While it can kill unfamiliar cats, it can effectively socialize with cats that they grew up with. Simply put, early interaction is crucial if you desire to mix this breed with other pets.

Just like other canines, the Ibizan Hound should be well socialized with other dogs, animals, adults and children. Introducing a new pup in the family is easy since this breed is a pack animal by nature. For this breed, its human companions are its ‘pack’. When introducing an adult dog, be certain to spend time in walking your canine pals.

Ibizan Hounds are ideal pets as they genuinely love their human companions. More than their striking appearance, they have a remarkable personality and temperament. They are canine pals that can become a loyal companion to every member of your household as they are sensible pets that greatly respect house rules.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

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