The Ibizan Hound is a lithe and leggy visitor from the dawn of civilization, bred as a rabbit courser on the rocky shores of Spain’s Balearic Islands. World-class sprinters and leapers, Ibizans need ample space to air out their engines.
Ibizans are lithe and leggy visitors from the dawn of civilization. Art history students will recognize the elongated head, with its large erect ears, as a familiar motif of ancient Egypt. The elegant, racy body stands 22.5 to 27.5 inches at the shoulder, with coat colors of solid red or white or red and white patterns. The rosy leathers of the nose, eye rims, lips, and amber or caramel eyes perfectly complement the coat. The breed’s quiet grace is often described as deer-like.
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. Islanders used packs of these hounds as rabbit hunters. Food was scarce on rugged Ibiza. For hounds and hunter, chasing rabbits wasn’t sport—it was more likely a matter of eating or going hungry. These many centuries later, Ibizans are still tenacious coursers blessed with blazing speed.
Temperament: family-oriented / even-tempered/polite
Height: 22.5 to 27.5 inches
Weight: 45 to 50 pounds
Life Expectancy: 11-4 years
Ibizan Hounds are generally healthy dogs, though there are some conditions the breed can be prone to. These include hip dysplasia, eye disease, autoimmune thyroiditis, and congenital deafness. Responsible breeders will screen their stock for conditions that can affect the breed. The website of the breed’s national parent club, The Ibizan Hound Club of the United States, provides detailed information on breed health. Regular visits to the vet for checkups and parasite control help to ensure the dog has a long, healthy life.
Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:
- Hip Evaluation
- Thyroid Evaluation
- BAER Testing
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
Ibizan coats come in smooth and wire varieties, with a wide range in how profuse the wire coat can be. Both varieties should be groomed upright ears should be checked weekly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which could result in an infection. The teeth should be brushed often, daily if possible, using toothpaste formulated for dogs.
Beezers are very athletic and require a lot of exercise. It is not uncommon for an Ibizan to be able to jump five or six feet from a standing position, so a tall, secure fence is the order of the day for owners of this breed. The Beezer will enjoy vigorous daily play sessions with his owner or other dogs, or he can go for long walks a couple of times a day. The Ibizan has a solid prey drive and should not be allowed off-leash in an uncontrolled setting, as he is apt to take off on a chase after perceived prey at a moment’s notice. The breed makes an excellent companion for a regular jogger.
Versatile and trainable, Ibizans make excellent family pets. The breed is even-tempered, affectionate, and loyal. The Ibizan is bit aloof but a sweet-natured, family-oriented housemate. Alert and watchful of strangers, they are nevertheless friendly and outgoing dogs. Puppies should be cheerful, playful, and healthy. Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended. Ibizans excel in several canine sports, including lure coursing, obedience, agility, rally, and tracking.
The Ibizan Hound should be fed a high-quality dog food appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet or the dog’s breeder if you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.