The Ibizan Hound, also referred to as the Podenco Ibicenco, the Ca Eibisenc, and the Balaeric Dog, is a Spanish breed. Its origins can be traced back to Egypt around 3400 B.C. when this dog’s ancestors were used as hunting dogs. Today they are used for both hunting and companionship.
The Ibizan Hound is a tall slender dog that stands between 22.5 and 27.5 inches tall and weighs between 42 and 55 pounds. They have a short, smooth or rough, dense coat that comes in white, lion, chestnut brown, or multi-color. This dog has a great temperament for family life, and they can be trained to get along with small pets. Some of the health issues that plague this breed include pesticide sensitivities and reproductive issues.
Origin of the Ibizan Hound
Around 3400 BC, in ancient Egypt, there were representations of slender, curled-tailed hounds that very much closely resemble the modern Ibizan Hounds. in about 700-900 BC, these sleek hunting hounds may have been brought to the islands off the coast of Spain from Egypt by Phoenician traders. In their newfound land, they were used to hunt fast game like rabbits to provide food for themselves and the island people.
The Ibizan Hound, also called Podenco Ibicenco and sometimes called “Beezers” by their fanciers, is a prized breed in Spain. The breed is used in packs to hunt rabbits. The breed is unrivaled in high and broad jumping ability, which it uses to hunt in the rough terrain of its native land. The breed was fully recognized by the AKC in 1979.
Ibizan Hound Appearance and Abilities
This breed is an elegant, agile, deer like hound with large triangular ears, which stand up when the dog is alert. It has amber eyes that give the breed an exotic look. It has a long, arched neck and long wedge-shaped head.
The Ibizan Hound coat is red, white or any combination of the two colors. Based on the coats, there are three varieties of Ibizan; the smooth-haired, long-haired, and wire-haired. Ibizans can have smooth coats or longer wiry coats with bushy mustaches.
Ibizan hounds are hardy and strong dogs. They have tremendous athletic ability and are known for their ability to jump 5 foot fences with ease. The Ibizan Hound is a very fast dog that can hunt on all types of terrain. It integrates all the senses, working by sight, hearing and smell.
Temperament and Tendencies
The Ibizan is generally aloof with strangers and tends to consider itself to be equal in status with his human counterparts. Thus, they can sometimes be willful and independent like most sight hounds. However, they are rarely aggressive; they are naturally good with children, gentle, sensible and sensitive.
The Ibizan Hound is even-tempered, affectionate and loyal. It is protective without jumping into sudden aggression. It will hold back cautiously with strangers. Once it believes the stranger means no harm, they will relax very quickly.
Extremely versatile and somewhat trainable, the breed makes an excellent family companion, and is well suited to the breed ring, obedience, tracking and of course, lure-coursing. Be careful however with small pets such as rabbits, cats and rodents. The Ibizan Hound has strong prey instincts and it was bred to hunt these creatures.
Ibizan Hound Training and Care
Like all breed of dog, the Ibizan Hound should be well socialized with other dogs, other animals, adults, and children. Obedience training should begin early on due to their high prey drive.
Ibizan Hounds are pack animals by nature, so introducing a puppy to the household is straightforward. An Ibizan believes that humans are its pack, so any addition of pack members must be introduced slowly. Apartment or a small house will be just fine for the breed as long as they receive daily exercise and space to lie down. A yard with a secure fence is important for this breed.
Although this hound is very adaptable, the best owner for this breed would be an active, dog-experienced owner in a suburban or country home.
An Ibizan requires a great deal of exercise. It should have at least two long walks a day in order to satisfy its migration instinct. While out on the walk make sure the dog heels beside or behind the person holding the lead, never in front, as instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human.