Ibizan Hounds are slender and elegant and have medium-sized frames. Their coats come in white, red, or any combination of the two, and the breed can have either a smooth coat or a wiry coat with a bushy moustache. Both coat types are texturally hard. Ibizan Hounds have large and pointed ears, and small, amber, oval-shaped eyes. These dogs range in size from 22.5 inches to 27.5 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 45 to 50 pounds.
If you want to keep them safe and contained, a fence higher than six feet must be installed around every side of the yard.
Happy, kind, and gracious, the Ibizan is an active dog that makes a good family companion, provided enough opportunities for physical activity are available. Because these dogs can easily jump over five foot fences, a highly secure yard is important to keep these dogs contained and safe. Although Ibizans are slow to warm up with strangers, they are generally friendly animals that get along with everyone.
The Ibizan Hound has been given the nickname Beezer, and the breed stands out for its pink nose, erect ears, and resemblance to the Egyptian dog god, Anubis. Like Pharaoh Hounds, Ibizan Hounds blush when happy.
Affectionate, even-tempered, loyal, and gentle, the Ibizan Hound makes an excellent family pet. They love spending time with family, are great with older children, and are easy to please and mellow in personality. The breed is also well suited to obedience, tracking, and lure coursing. The natural hunting instinct of these dogs makes them excel in the field, but it can make them a handful in the yard.
These dogs are mild-mannered and get along with nearly everyone, but they are also very independent and require daily exercise to remain healthy and happy. Long walks or jogs on a leash are great, but this breed needs an opportunity to run at full speed on occasion. These dogs either need a very large yard or access to an open field or run.
Ibizan Hounds are friendly and polite, but they can be reserved with unfamiliar people. However, they are generally quite outgoing and affectionate with human family members. Even around strangers, they are quick to warm up and always seem happy to make new friends. Because of this, they aren't known as the best watchdogs.
Ibizan Hounds are one of the more healthy breeds, but they are known to be affected by a few genetic conditions that can negatively affect length or quality of life. Congenital hip dysplasia, epilepsy, deafness, and certain eye disorders are all more likely to occur in this breed than in some other breeds.
Ibizans are also prone to allergies, some of which may be severe, and to hypothyroidism, a hormonal disease that occurs in dogs unable to produce sufficient thyroxin hormone in the thyroid gland. Additionally, Ibizan Hounds are sensitive to anesthesia. This important piece of information must be made known before all veterinary procedures and surgeries.
With routine veterinary care, timely vaccinations, proper nutrition, and regular exercise, Ibizan Hounds can live a long life of up to 14 years.
Ibizan Hounds learn quickly due to their intelligent and quick nature. This makes training easier and helps these dogs learn commands after a single lesson. However, these dogs are independent-minded and have more training success when techniques are started early in life.
Behavioral issues common to this breed include food swiping, prey chasing, and escaping from the yard. Fortunately, these dogs enjoy training, provided sessions are kept short to prevent boredom and positive reinforcement techniques are used. If Ibizan Hounds are allowed to become bored or lonely, they can quickly become noisy, destructive, or depressed. They need plenty of attention from their human family.
Outdoors, these dogs will chase everything that moves. If you want to keep them safe and contained, a fence higher than six feet must be installed around every side of the yard. If a neighbor's cats are a problem, exercise alternatives must be considered to keep both animals safe. Training may reduce the prey drive, but it will not remove it entirely.
Both wirehaired and smooth-coated Ibizan Hounds require minimal grooming. Smooth coats need brushing once or twice weekly, and wirehaired coats benefit from weekly brushing and occasional hand plucking to remove dead hairs. A rubber curry brush or hound mitt will take care of loose hairs and keep them off your clothing and furniture.
Ibizan Hounds are generally neat dogs that tend to clean themselves. Bathing is only necessary if the coat becomes dirtied with a sticky or harmful substance. Veterinarian-approved canine shampoos will clean the coat without causing skin irritation. Care must be taken to prevent the Ibizan from cleaning a harmful substance, such as oil, from the coat. Ingestion of such substances can be very dangerous.
The breed's nails should be clipped every few weeks, and the teeth need brushing daily to prevent tartar build-up and protect against cavities and gum disease. About once weekly, the ears need cleaning with a gentle otic cleanser. Any signs of infection, such as redness, odor, or discharge, should be reported to a veterinarian right away.
The Ibizan Hound is believed by some to be an ancient breed. This is because depictions of curled tailed dogs very similar to Ibizans were traced back to 3400 BC Egypt. Some believe sea-trading people, such as the Phoenicians, carried the Ibizan Hounds to foreign lands, including those off the coast of Spain. One of these islands, Ibiza, is where the dog takes its name. However, DNA studies have shown that these dogs are not an ancient breed.
In their native Spain, Ibizan Hounds are used primarily in packs for rabbit hunting. They are extremely popular due to their unequaled broad and high jumping ability and their trainability. They are also beloved before their friendliness and loyalty.
In 1956, Colonel and Mrs. Consuelo Seoana first introduced the breed to the United States. Since that time, Ibizan Hounds have become popular family companions due to their friendly personalities and unique appearance.
The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Ibizan Hound in 1978.