What is a Ibizan Hound?

The Ibizan Hound (pronounced E-Bee-Than or I-Bee-Zan), also called Podenco Ibicenco, is an agile, deer-like hound. There are three hair types of Ibizan: smooth, long, and wire. The most common is the smooth-haired, and the long-haired is rare. The only color of an Ibizan Hound is white & red. Their color combination are normally called Irish marked (the red body, ears, and 3/4 of the tail, the head, neck, legs (socks) and tail tip are white), Pinto (white with red spots), Red with white, White with red, and Solid in either color. They have amber eyes and flesh nose and ears. There is NO BLACK or any other color anywhere on the Ibizan Hound. Their average height is 24-29 inches, & their weight is around 45-60 pounds. The life span for an Ibizan is around 12-15 years. The Ibizan Hound can have allergic reactions to drugs, including insecticides and vaccinations. Some could have seizures or hearing problems. The Ibizan Hound has a genetic propensity for Axonal Dystrophy, a nerve and muscle disease. There have been some that have bloated, diagnosed with cancer, and immune disorders. There has also been a few with "Alpha Rage Syndrome". It is strongly recommended that all Ibizan Hounds have CERF, BAER, and OFA testing done. The breed is quite sensitive to cold, as the hair is not very protective. They do not have much body fat, so a coat is needed when they go outdoors if it is cold out and they can get frostbite on their ears and feet. Caution should be given when walked in the winter months and salt is used on the ice. Ibizans are very clean and will lick their feet, becoming ill or possibly dying from the chemicals.

It is believed the Ibizan Hound originated in Ancient Egyptian, as pictures of them can be seen in drawings on the pyramid walls. The breed then went to Ibiza, where they were used to hunt rabbit and other small game. The Ibizan Hound is a very fast dog that can hunt on all types of terrain, working by sight, sound and scent. Spanish hunters run these dogs in packs, mostly females with a male or two, as they are the better hunters. This breed is very similar to the Pharaoh Hound, but the Ibizan Hound is larger and can have a multi-colored hair pattern. The Ibizan Hound was fully recognized by the AKC in 1979.

Ibizan Hounds, sometimes called "Beezers", "Ibby's", or "Ib's" are said to be a well kept secret by those that own the breed. They are somewhat independent, yet a clown with their family and those they consider close to them. They can be reserved with strangers. Ibizans will give chase to just about anything that moves so caution should be given with small pets such as rabbits, cats and rodents; as the Ibizan Hound has been bred to hunt these creatures. Beezers thinks its humans are their family. They can be raised with children, as long as the children are taught to give respect and care to the Ibizan, and vice versa. They cannot be kept as kennel dogs. The breed blushes when they get excited, as does the Pharaoh Hound. Ibizans like to learn and do so very quickly. They are trainable, but tend to be willful and get bored easily. Beezers can be seen in many types of dog sports such as conformation, lure coursing, agility, flyball, obedience and tracking. They also have been therapy and service dogs. These dogs are very sensitive to the voice of their handler and a friendly request will always achieve more than a gruff command. They can also be food motivated, depending on what they like at that given time.

A Ibizan Hound can live in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. Although they do bark and can/do give voice to things they see, talking in play or demand for attention, it is not suggested as they might bother the neighbors. They are moderately active indoors and will do best with a large, fenced in yard to run around in outdoors. The Ibizan Hound can jump very high from a complete standstill, enabling him to easily jump most fences. Using a "Hot Wire" along your property line is recommended. An incredibly fast dog, with speeds around 35 mph with endurance, rather then sprint like speed of a Greyhound, the Ibizan Hound can be extremely difficult to re-capture. Ibizans have selective hearing and an independent nature. They will take off running and WILL NOT come back until they feel like it. The strong chase instinct and lack of caution in traffic can lead to disaster. A large fenced area is best for regular exercise.

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Rose Bednarski