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The Ibizan Hound is a medium to large purebred from Ibiza, a Balearic island. There are actually three varieties of this hound, the long haired, smooth haired and wire haired. The most common one though is the smooth and it is that kind this article will be directed towards. Some breeders and fanciers would class the long haired and the wire haired as the same type. It is an agile dog, deer like in appearance and was bred originally to hunt small game like rabbit. Today it is also successful in dog shows and sports like tracking, conformation, lure coursing, obedience, agility as well as being great family dogs.
|The Ibizan Hound at A Glance|
|Other names||Podenco Ibicenco, Ibizan Warren Hound – Ibizan Podenco|
|Average size||Medium to large|
|Average weight||40 to 60 pounds|
|Average height||22 to 29 inches|
|Life span||12 to 14 years|
|Coat type||Short, wiry, long or smooth, hard|
|Color||Red, brown, white, tan|
|Popularity||Not popular – ranked 165th by the AKC|
|Intelligence||Average – understands new commands after 25 to 40 repetitions|
|Tolerance to heat||Very good – can live in very warm climates not extremely hot|
|Tolerance to cold||Low – not good in cold weather and will need extra care|
|Shedding||Moderate – some hair will be around the home|
|Drooling||Low – not prone to slobber or drool|
|Obesity||Low – not prone to weight gain|
|Grooming/brushing||Low to average maintenance – short coat is easy to brush|
|Barking||Occasional barker – while there will be some barking it will not be constant|
|Exercise needs||Very active – needs to be in a home with active owners|
|Trainability||Moderately easy for people with experience|
|Friendliness||Excellent with socialization|
|Good first dog||Good but best with someone who is experienced|
|Good family pet||Excellent with socialization|
|Good with children||Excellent with socialization|
|Good with other dogs||Excellent with socialization|
|Good with other pets||Good with socialization but can have a high prey drive|
|Good with strangers||Very good with socialization|
|Good apartment dog||Good – can adapt to most living situations as long as it gets out for enough exercise|
|Handles alone time well||Moderate – does not like being left alone for long periods|
|Health issues||Somewhat healthy but there are issues that can occur such as allergies, seizures, eye problems, deafness,|
|Medical expenses||$485 a year for basic health care and pet insurance|
|Food expenses||$270 a year for a good quality dry dog food and dog treats|
|Miscellaneous expenses||$245 a year for basic training, toys, license and miscellaneous items|
|Average annual expenses||$1000 as a starting figure|
|Cost to purchase||$1,200|
|Rescue organizations||Several including the Ibizan Hound Club of the United States and SPAR|
|Biting Statistics||None reported|
The Ibizan Hound’s Beginnings
The Ibizan Hound may trace back as far as Ancient Egypt around 3400BC where dogs that look very similar to the Ibizan Hound, the tesem, are depicted in tombs. It is similar in looks to the Pharaoh Hound though it is larger and the coat color is different. When sea traders came to the Ibiza island it is thought they brought with them ancestors of the Ibizan Hound around 700 to 900 BC. This breed was considered to be one of more ancient breeds still around though some recent DNA testing may have disproved this.
Islanders used them to hunt rabbit and small prey for them. They did not feed the dogs, they had to also hunt and feed themselves and were capable of hunting in the day and at night. The Ibizan Hound was fast and used hearing, smell and sight to hunt by. They were also able to hunt in packs or alone. Interestingly the female is considered to be the better hunter and when using packs most are female with just a couple of males. Traditionally farmers tended to have just one dog, and the wealthier farmer might have two. Today on the island it is actually considered bad luck to kill these dogs. If an owner no longer wants their dog they take it to the other side of the island and release it there, hoping it gets adopted by someone else.
New Lease on Life
In fact this breed may not have been much known if it was not for Colonel and Mrs Consuelo Seoane importing a breeding pair from the island in 1956 to Rhode Island, in the US. This led to the first American litter of Ibizan Hound puppies and to some more imports occurring. In 1979 it was fully recognized by the AKC and today it is often used in lure coursing, oval track racing and straight racing. It is fairly uncommon in the US still though especially as a family dog. It ranks 165th by the AKC.
The Dog You See Today
This is a medium to large dog weighing 40 to 60 pounds and standing 22 to 29 inches tall. It has a slender and fine boned body with a slender and long neck that is a little arched. It has a deep and long chest and its back is level. The front legs are straight and dewclaws are removed in some places. Despite its slender and elegant build it is a hardy and strong dog. There are three types of coats, the long haired, wire haired and smooth haired, and the latter is the more common. The coat is hard and common colors are white, red, tan or brown.
The Beezer has a narrow and long head too with a slim long muzzle that tapers to the end and is cone like in shape. It has a rosy colored nose as are the eye rims, they should not be black. Its eyes are small and can be caramel to amber in color. Its ears are its hallmark feature, large but upright and pointed and broad at the bottom.
The Inner Ibizan Hound
Ibizan Hounds are polite, sensible and gentle dogs. It is alert too and will bark to let you know if someone is breaking in. It does have more protective instincts than most hounds so may act to defend you or the home but that can vary from one Beezer to another. Around strangers it is reserved and will judge whether the stranger could mean harm. With its family and owners it can be playful, even clownish sometimes and is affectionate and very loyal. It is a pack animal and prefers to be around either other dogs or the family which it will adopt as its pack. When a new baby or pet comes along though it needs to be introduced slowly and carefully.
It is a sensitive dog and it needs to be a part of family activity and is best not in a home where there is a lot of tension and raised voices. It is a peaceful dog that needs a peaceful home. This is a breed that can be owned by new owners but is best with people who have some experience. It is intelligent and it has an independent side and is an occasional barker. When excited it will blush. As it has a slender body with little padding make sure you have cushioning in its crate and soft bedding to sleep on.
Living with a Ibizan Hound
What will training look like?
With owners who have experience and can be firm, consistent and in control it will learn more quickly. If you are meek or inexperienced and is sense that it is likely to be harder as it can be willful and stubborn. They also bore easily so be sure to keep the sessions interesting and short to keep its attention. Being sensitive the Ibizan Hound does better with positive techniques, use treats, praise, encouragement and rewards. Do not scold or physically punish it but be assertive still, using verbal correction not physical as it is touch sensitive.
As well as starting training early you should also start socialization too. Dogs grow into more confident and happier adults when they have extensive socialization early on. Introduce it to different people, places, animals, dogs, sounds and situations. This will also help ensure its natural wariness around strangers does not turn to being fearful or shy.
How active is the Ibizan Hound?
As a moderately active dog it can adapt to apartment living but really being a large dog it does better in homes that have a large yard or even some land. It is important that the yard is well fenced as this dog can jump very high and will run off after any creature moving quickly. It needs to get enough exercise to keep it happy and healthy but keep in mind it is a very fast dog so keep it leashed, if it takes off you will not be able to catch it! Their independent nature means it will not come back until it feels like it. .
Take it for two or three long walks each day and take it somewhere it can run safely off leash regularly too, a dog park for example. It will enjoy playing games with you like fetch and it will also enjoy going out with you when you go jogging, hiking or cycling for example. Just take care when it is cold to give it some extra protection as its coat means it is not good in cold climates. If it is acting restless, hyperactive, out of control or destructive it may mean it is not getting enough mental and physical stimulation. .
Caring for the Ibizan Hound
The smooth Ibizan Hound is easy to care for, its short coat just needs a rubber glove or hound mitt run over it one or twice a week. The wire haired thankfully does not need plucking but that type and the long haired type will need more brushing. It sheds an average amount so be prepared to have some hair around the home. The more you brush it or wipe it down the less hair will be around. Bathe it only as it needs one as this dog is clean like a cat. Bathing too often will damage its natural oils.
You will need to check its ears once a week for signs of ear infection like swelling, sensitivity, or a build up of wax. Then you need to clean them weekly too. Use a damp cloth or cotton ball and dog ear cleanser to wipe then down, cleaning only the parts you can reach easily, never insert anything into its ears. Its teeth should be brushed at least two to three times a week to keep them and the gums healthy. Its nails should be clipped if they get too long. Its level of activity may mean they are worn down naturally, but if they need trimming use proper dog nail tools and take care not to cut too low. In the quick of their nails they have vessels and nerves that will cause it pain and bleeding should they be cut.
On average it eats 2 1/2 to 3 cups of a good quality dry dog food a day, split into two meals. How much exactly can vary from one Beezer to another depending on its level of activity, size, metabolism, age and health.
How is the Ibizan Hound with children and other animals?
Socialization is important in helping how Beezers get along with others. They are good with children and make great play mates as they have a silly side to them too. They can be gentle as well when needed and are affectionate towards them. Being raised with them of course helps too. When or if new babies come along take care to introduce your dog and baby and give it time to adjust to its pack expanding. It does better though around older children for a few reasons. First of all being touch sensitive it does not like it when young children grab and startles it. It also does not like the sudden screams and loud noises young children tend to make. Also older children already know not to pull at it and how to be kind to it. .
Around other dogs it is good also, as it enjoys being part of a pack. You can have other dogs with it in the home though if you bring an adult dog home to stay you will need to take some steps to establish to the both of them who is pack leader again. With other pets though there can be problems. This is a dog bred to hunt things like rabbits! It will try to hunt other animals like rabbits, cats and such. In some cases with raising and socialization it can learn to accept a cat in the home. But if a strange one should cross its path or its yard, that is game. .
What Might Go Wrong?
Ibizan Hounds have a fairly good life span, at 12 to 14 years. It is a hardy breed but there are some issues it can be prone to. Things that may come up include drugs allergies, seizures, Axonal Dystrophy, eye problems, hip dysplasia and deafness.
In reports that have covered dogs attacking people and causing bodily harm in Canada and the US over the last 35 years, there is no mention of the Ibizan Hound. There is good reason for that, it really is not an aggressive dog towards people, and of course there are not many around in North America anyway. There is some breeds that are more aggressive and some that are less, but it is a fact that any dog could at some time attack a person. There are factors that can set a dog off, and there are times when a normally behaved dog suddenly loses it. Small dogs are not less likely to attack than larger ones, but are perhaps less likely to do bodily harm. As a responsible owner making sure your dog is socialized, trained, fed, stimulated and given the attention it needs will go a long way to keeping a dog less likely to having bad day.
Your Pup’s Price Tag
An Ibizan Hound puppy is going to cost about $1200 from a good breeder of pet quality dogs, and double or triple that for show quality dogs from top breeders. Avoid using pet stores, puppy mills or backyard breeders where at best there is ignorance and at worst terrible mistreatment and cruelty. There are some dogs that can be found at local rescues and shelters, but it is rare to find purebreds that are uncommon. However one avenue if you are interested in rescues is to look at racing and coursing dogs that are no longer wanted.
When you have your dog you need to take it to a vet for a check up. There it will have a physical, some blood tests, be vaccinated, dewormed, micro chipped and then spayed or neutered. These initial medical needs will cost about $290. You also need some initial items at home for it like a leash and collar, bowls, crate and bedding. You can expect to pay around $180.
There are also ongoing costs to factor in when deciding whether you can care for any dog. For the Beezer you can expect to pay about $270 a year to feed it, and that covers a good quality dry dog food and dog treats. Health care for just the basics like flea and tick prevention, shots and check ups along with pet insurance or emergency pet savings should be about $485 a year. Miscellaneous items, license, basic training, toys and such will give you another cost of $245 a year. This gives an annual starting figure cost of $1000.
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The Ibizan Hound is easy to care for in terms of grooming but does need an active owner as it needs a fair amount of physical and mental stimulation each day. Socialization is also important to ensure it does not become timid or defensive. It needs a coat if you live where there are cold winters and it does have a high prey drive so small furry animals will be chased and hunted down. It is a loyal dog and while it can be very sensible and serious with its owners and pack it can also reveal a very clownish and playful side that makes it very endearing and amusing to have around.
Featured Image Credit: Sally Wallis, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.
- The Ibizan Hound’s Beginnings
- New Lease on Life
- The Dog You See Today
- The Inner Ibizan Hound
- Living with a Ibizan Hound
- Caring for the Ibizan Hound
- How is the Ibizan Hound with children and other animals?
- What Might Go Wrong?
- Your Pup’s Price Tag