Meet The Breed: Agile Ibizan Hound

Ibizan Hound was bred to keep the island of Ibiza rabbits-free. Read on to learn what makes this agile breed so unique today.

The Ibizan Hound is one of the oldest dog breeds alive. Many would say that Ibizan Hound is a visitor from the dawn of civilization.

Art history students are probably first to recognize this breed with an elongated head, from old motives of ancient Egypt.

This elegant dog stands 22.5 to 27.5 inches at the shoulder, with a coat color that ranges from solid white to red, or in some cases red with white patterns. Many dog experts would describe breeds’ appearance as deer-like.

Quick Facts

Real name: Ibizan Hound
Other names: Ibizan Hound, Ibizan Warren Hound, Beezer
Origin: Ibiza, (Balearic Islands, Spain)
Breed type: Hound Dogs
Weight: 50 pounds (male), 45 pounds (female)
Height: 23.5-27.5 inches (male), 22.5-26 inches (female)s
Lifespan: 11-14 years
Litter Size: 6-12 puppies
Color: Solid white to red, or red with white patterns
Coat: Shorthaired or wirehaired.

Ibizan Hound History

You have probably heard of Ibiza, an island known for its party time and famous nightlife. However, not many know that this island is home to one of the oldest dog breeds alive.

Ibiza is one of the Balearic Islands, off Spain’s Mediterranean coast.

About 3,000 years ago, Phoenician traders first brought Egyptian hounds to the rocky island. These dogs were used, by islanders, as hounds, to hunt rabbits.

Food was a luxury at the time in Ibiza, so rabbit chase was more than a sport – it was a matter of surviving.

This dog has been fascinating dog fanciers for ages, so scientists took interest in this breed, and conducted a DNK analysis that discovered that this breed was formed from other breeds.

This elegant dog is in fact a type of several breeds, including:

  • Pharaoh Hound
  • The Cirneco dell’Etna
  • The Portuguese Podengo
  • The Podenco Canario

Among these breeds, the Ibizan Hound is the largest. By Fédération Cynologique Internationale the Ibizan Hound is classified as primitive types.

Ibizan Hound Physical Appearance

The Ibizan Hound has clean-cut lines, large and pointy ears, which only add to his unique appearance. This is a hunting dog whose job was primarily to hunt rabbits.

They have a deer-like appearance which is complemented with the power of a hunter.

This is a lean dog with a strong and powerful body. The head is long and narrow, while the expression is elegant and deer-like.

The eyes are small, ranging in color from clear amber to caramel. The ears are large, pointed, and natural.

The neck is long and slender, while the topline is smooth and flowing. The chest is deep and long, while the ribs are slightly sprung.

The tail is set low, highly mobile, and reaches at least the hock. The forearms are long and strong. Dewclaw removal is optional. Nails are white.

There are two types of coat; both untrimmed.

The shortest coat is on the head and ears, while the longest coat is at the back of the thighs and under the tail.

Wirehaired coat can be up to three inches in length with a possible stronger mustache.

There is usually more hair on the back, tail, and back of the thighs. The thighs are very strong and flat muscling, while the feet are in front.

Ibizan Hound Personality

The Ibizan Hound still has powerful hunting instincts, which is why they love to hunt everything that moves.

This is the main reason why your Ibizan Hound should be on a leash whenever you step out of the home.

You don’t want any possible accidents or having to chase him because you won’t be able to catch him. They should always be exercised in safe areas and on-leash, especially in unknown areas.

Opposite to many sighthounds, the Ibizan Hound will often bark when cashing and playing.

This dog is great with family members and people that he loves and trusts, but will always be reserved with strangers.

All in, this is a quiet dog when with his family, and inside the house. This is a mix of noble royalty and wild hunters, which means that they would probably change a soft bed for a chance to run free or hunt.

You may not hear them barking too often when inside the house, but you can definitely hear them barking when chasing.

They are among the gentlest and most easy-going of dogs, who get along with dogs and children.

Still, make sure that you educate your children on how to behave around dogs and not to disturb them while eating or resting in their bed.

Obedience is not their middle name – obedience is something that’s not common for all sighthounds. They have no street smart and no idea how to protect you or your house from any intruders.

Living With Ibizan Hound

Ibizan hounds are happy when they have a chance to run every day.

They especially like to play hunter and will chase any small toy and even small animal that moves, which is why it’s not recommended for them to share a home with smaller animals – this may be an exception if they are raised together from a young age.

At home, they will enjoy a nice bed and a loving environment. They love spending time relaxing as long as they get enough exercise.

All in, they know how to behave inside the house, as long as training and socialization are done properly.

Ibizan Hound Training

The secret to a well-behaved Ibizan Hound (or any other breed) is proper training and early socialization.

You should start training your Ibizan Hound as soon as you bring him home.

If you are adopting a senior dog, you should slowly introduce him to house rules.

The most important thing about training is patience – arm yourself with patience because you will need it.

Training as a process is long, and requires time and energy but is also fun if you do it out of love. Everything is easier when it’s well-planned and organized.

Dogs can easily get bored of repetitive and identical training sessions, so make sure that you keep it light and fun.

If you need extra help with training your puppy, or even an adult dog, feel free to reach out to professional dog trainers or sign up your Ibizan Hound to puppy classes and get educated together – this is a great bonding option.

The Ibizan Hound puppies are usually playful, cheerful, and healthy, as long as you get them from responsible breeders.

If you are adopting a dog, animal shelter employees will inform you of the dog’s health condition and your future obligations.

Expose your dog to the new environment as soon as puppy vaccination is done – dog explore the world by smelling it, so present him to new people, other dogs, and animals, as soon as your veterinarian says that’s ok.

If you already have dog experience and would love for your dog to participate in some dog sports, think about agility, obedience, and tracking.

Ibizan Hound Grooming

Ibizan coats come in smooth and wire varieties, with a wide range in how thick the coat can be. Both varieties should be groomed regularly, at least once a week.

Make sure that you have the right grooming tools on hand because the proper tool can make the grooming process much easier.

The Ibizan Hound has upright ears that should be checked daily for any sign of debris, wax, thick, or fleas. As you may know already a buildup of wax and debris could result in an infection.

The teeth should be brushed, or you should provide specially designed teeth treats that promote the dog’s teeth health.

Talk to your veterinarian to learn about brushing your dog’s teeth and what toothpaste is the best option for your canine.

Ibizan Hound Health

Ibizan Hounds are generally healthy dogs, although just like humans, they are prone to specific conditions. These include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Eye disease
  • Congenital deafness
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis

Responsible breeders will always screen dogs for certain conditions, and will always be honest about the dog’s health condition and history.

For more details on breed health, you can check the breed’s national parent club The Ibizan Hound Club of the United States.

Don’t forget that once you get your Ibizan Hound you are directly responsible, for one of the most troubling health issues in dogs today and that’s obesity.

Too many treats, infrequent portions, large portions of food, and so on, can lead to weight gain, which can further lead to complex medical issues.

Make sure that you know how much you should feed your dog and when – this basic can help you keep your dog healthy and happy.

Recommended health tests for this breed include:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • BAER Testing
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation

The Bottom Line

The AKC Standard says,”Lithe and racy, the Ibizan possesses a deerlike elegance combined with the power of a hunter.”

This should say more about the breed and help you understand better what are you stepping in once you get an Ibizan Hound.

This is a hunting breed, which means that you need to be extra careful when on walks, and around small animals.

If you don’t want a dog who needs a large enclosed area, who has strong instincts to chase smaller animals, and is emotionally sensitive, then this isn’t the breed for you.

If you are getting a dog for the first time, make sure that you which breeds are great for first time dog owners, and which you should avoid until you gain some dog-owning experience.

On the other hand, if you want a dog who is elegant build, has an easy-care coat, and is polite with strangers, while responding to training well, in that case, the Ibizan Hound is the breed for you.