Almost as old as history itself, the Ibizan Hound has been around for over 5,400 years. Inducted into the American Kennel Club in 1978, the Ibizan Hound is rather rare, ranking 152nd of a total 193 American Kennel Club breeds. Ibizan Hounds were prized as the skilled hunting companions of Balearic island residents (of which Ibiza was one), where the unfavorable terrain yielded little to eat. The Ibizan Hounds were experts in tracking down rabbits, which were often a staple in the islanders’ diets. Despite millennia of history overseas, the Ibizan Hound didn’t make its way into the United States until 1956.
Ibizan Hound Appearance
The Ibizan Hound shares a number of physical characteristics and some overlapping history with the famed Pharaoh Hound. Male Ibizan Hounds reach 23.5 – 27.5 inches at adult height, while females range from 22.5 – 26 inches at the shoulder. In general, Ibizan Hounds weight between 45 and 50 pounds.
Often noted for its resemblance to deer, the Ibizan Hound has long legs and a pair of tall, alert, pricked ears. Ibizan Hounds can have one of two different coat types: smooth and wire. Standard colors on an Ibizan hound are red, white, or some combination of these two colors. While white markings are not unusual, they are not standard on this breed.
The Ibizan Hound is very strong with impressive, lean muscle tone throughout. Its front legs are quite long and straight, with its back legs having a moderate angling and supported by plenty of flat muscle.
Though it spent much of its existence hunting rabbits, the Ibizan Hound is a loving dog that has been a companion to humans for thousands of years. The Ibizan Hound is extremely intelligent and independent and is highly alert. Even though the Ibizan Hound is very aware of its surroundings, the breed has a tendency to wander and explore.
Ibizan Hounds are happy to be around their families, but may be quite reserved around strangers. Typically, Ibizan Hounds are not aggressive toward strangers, though they may be slow to trust those outside their families. The Ibizan Hound is usually friendly around other dogs, particularly if it has grown up around them. These dogs may be okay around familiar cats if it has been raised with them, but the Ibizan Hound’s hunting instincts will likely lead it to chase or display aggression toward feral cats and other small wild animals.
The Ibizan Hound is a proud and proper canine, but this often sensitive breed doesn’t appreciate loud noises or surprises. Though the Ibizan Hound will likely be just fine around children and enjoy interacting with them, particularly if they are members of the family, young children should always be monitored around the Ibizan Hound to ensure they are treating the dog with respect.
Ibizan Hounds may be fiercely independent and are often found wandering in search of something interesting, but these dogs can certainly succumb to separation anxiety if left alone for too long with nothing to do.
Caring for an Ibizan Hound
The Ibizan Hound is a wonderful family dog, but is a unique breed and requires proper attention and care. It’s important for owners to educate themselves on the particular needs of the Ibizan Hound and how best to care for this breed.
As puppies, Ibizan Hounds need significantly more food compared to adults of the same breed. An organic dog food appropriate for puppies should be sufficient to promote healthy growth for the Ibizan Hound. As an active breed, protein is essential for healthy muscle development and maintenance. Depending on the dog’s age, the Ibizan Hound’s diet should consist of at least 18-22 percent protein and a minimum 5-8 percent fat. The Ibizan Hound will also require plenty of calories to sustain its active lifestyle, as well as micronutrients. Owners often choose to round out the Ibizan Hound’s diet with supplements like prebiotics and probiotics for dogs.
The Ibizan Hound is truly a spectacle of athleticism, and these dogs demand frequent, vigorous exercise. Because of its tendency to wander and explore, Ibizan Hounds should always wear a dog collar with identification tags. This breed does best with a diverse set of exercises and will be a great running partner or hiker. The Ibizan Hound will also relish the opportunity to run around a large, open yard. Owners should take care to install an electric dog fence or a secure fence at least six feet tall to prevent this adventurous and agile breed from escaping.
Training an Ibizan Hound is a process that should begin at a very young age. The Ibizan Hound is an intelligent and alert dog, but it’s important to keep training sessions short, since this breed tends to be distracted by its surroundings and will likely grow bored with lengthy lessons. Due to its sensitive nature, Ibizan Hounds should be encouraged with positive reinforcement; yelling and reprimanding should be avoided. Ibizan Hounds are perfect for canine agility sports and love to be given a challenge that involves lure coursing or tracking. Finally, Ibizan Hounds should also be enrolled in obedience classes to build good all-around habits and help these dogs socialize in a healthy environment.
The Ibizan Hound is an overall healthy breed of dog, which has enabled it to stick around for thousands of years. The average life expectancy for the Ibizan Hound is 11-14 years. There are a few conditions that Ibizan Hounds may be more susceptible to, and owners should remain vigilant in constantly checking for signs or symptoms of these health problems.
Like many other dog breeds, the Ibizan Hound is at risk for bloat, a potentially life-threatening condition that causes the stomach to expand with air and twist. One of the best ways to prevent bloat is to avoid exercise immediately after a meal and to feed the Ibizan Hound several small meals instead of one or two larger meals. Ibizan Hounds should also be kept lean, as weight gain and obesity can cause several problems in this naturally slender dog.
Owners of Ibizan Hounds should also keep an eye out for conditions like hip dysplasia, congenital deafness, eye disease, allergies, and autoimmune thyroiditis. Since the best treatment is prevention, adult Ibizan Hounds should be examined by a veterinarian at a minimum of once every 12 months. Furthermore, owners should consider a dog DNA test to identify any potential inherited disorders, as well as a flea collar to help prevent any unwanted pests that could cause or worsen an allergic reaction.