Ibizan Hound – General Description
The Ibizan Hound, pronounced “I-bee-zan” or “I-beeth-an”, is a lean, agile dog of the hound family. There are three hair types of the breed: smooth,long, and wire. The more commonly seen type is the smooth. Some consider there to be a third type, long, but most consider the longhair to be a variation of the wire.
Classification and Standards
- FCI Group 5, Section 7, #89
- AKC Hound
- ANKC Group 4 (Hounds)
- CKC Group 2 – Hounds
- KC (UK) Hound
- NZKC Hounds
- UKC Sighthounds and Pariahs
Character & Temperament
The Ibizan Hound is moderately intelligent, active, and engaging by nature. They rank 53rd in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs, being of average working/obedience intelligence. They are true “clowns” of the dog world, delighting in entertaining their people with their antics. Though somewhat independent and stubborn at times, they do take well to training if positive methods are used, but will balk at punitive training methods. They are generally quiet, but will alarm bark if necessary, so they make good watch dogs. They are sensitive hounds, and very good around children and other dogs alike. They generally make good house dogs, but are active and athletic, therefore need a lot of daily exercise. They do not make good kennel dogs.
Ibizan Hounds are “escapologists”: they are able to jump incredible heights from a stand still. As such, they need very tall fences. They also have been known to climb. They have a strong prey drive, therefore they cannot be trusted off lead unless in a safely enclosed area.
The Ibizan Hound originates from the island of Eivissa and has been traditionally used in the Catalan-speaking areas of Spain and France to hunt rabbits and other small game. The Ibizan Hound is a fast dog that can hunt on all types of terrain, working by scent, sound and sight. Hunters run these dogs in mostly female packs, with perhaps a male or two, as the female is considered the better hunter.
Traditionally a farmer may have 1 dog and a very well off farmer 2 dogs to catch rabbits for food. However in the last 20 years it is seen as a sport where between 5 and 15 dogs can be seen in the chase of one rabbit. Mainly on weekends with pack owners from the towns.
This breed is considered by most experts one of the most ancient dog breeds. It is believed the Ibizan Hound evolves from the tesem, the ancient Egyptian hunting dog. Representations of this dog on the walls of ancient tombs show a striking similarity to the modern Ibizan Hound. These dogs would have been brought to the island of Eivissa by the Phoenicians, who founded settlements there as early as the 8th century BC. A recent DNA analysis did not find support for this opinion and did not include the Ibizan Hound among their identified ancient dog breeds. A more recent article argues that continued trait selective breeding may be behind this lack of support. Heidi G. Parker, the lead author of the original study has stated recently that indeed their original findings do not imply that the Ibizan Hound is not an ancient breed and that with better tools they would in all likelihood be able to trace a continuous lineage of thousands of years for many dog breeds and add them to their group of ancient dogs.
The Ibizan Hound breed is recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, Continental Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, Kennel Club of Great Britain, Canadian Kennel Club, National Kennel Club, New Zealand Kennel Club, Australian National Kennel Council, America’s Pet Registry, and American Canine Registry. It was fully recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1979.
In folk culture
According to journalist Norman Lewis, when an owner no longer wants to own one of these dogs (having too much of an appetite, for instance), it is considered very bad luck to kill the dog. Instead, they release the dog on the other side of the island, so that someone else might ‘adopt’ the animal.
Size & Appearance
The Ibizan Hound is an elegant and agile breed, with an athletic and attractive outline and a ground-covering springy trot. Though graceful in appearance, it has good bone girth and is a rugged/hardy breed. Its large upright ears – a hallmark of the breed – are broad at the base and frame a long and elegant headpiece. The neck is long and lean. It has a unique front assembly with well laid-back shoulders and relatively straight upper arm. It comes in both smooth and wire-coated varieties. It is either red, white, or a combination of red and white. Its nose is flesh colored, as are its ears, eye rims, and pads of feet. Its eyes are a striking amber color and have an alert and intelligent expression. The Ibizan may range in height from 24 to 29 inches (61 to 74 cm) and weigh from 45 to 65 pounds (20 to 29 kg), males being larger than females.
Health & Maintenance
The Ibizan Hound is typical of the Hound Group in that it rarely suffers from hereditary illness. Minor health concerns for the breed include seizures and allergies; very rarely, one will see axonal dystrophy, cataract, retinal dysplasia and deafness in the breed. Ibizan Hound owners should have their dogs’ eyes tested by a veterinarian before breeding. Ibizan Hounds are sensitive to barbiturate anesthesia, and typically live between 12 and 14 years.
Work and Activities
The Ibizan Hound authority Miquel Rosselló has provided a detailed description of a working trial which characterises their typical hunting technique and action, strikingly illustrated with action photos by Charles Camberoque which demonstrate hunt behaviour and typical hunt terrain. While local hunters will at times use one dog or a brace, and frequently packs of 6-8 or as many as 15, the working trial requires an evaluation of one or two braces. A brace is called a colla. The couples should be tested on at least 2 to 5 rabbits (not hares), without the use of any other hunting aid. An inspection and evaluation of the exterior, fitness, character and obedience of the dogs is recommended prior to the hunt. The trial is qualified as having 5 parts. The dogs should show: (1) careful tracking and scenting of the rabbit, without being distracted in the least, 0-30 points; (2) correct signalling of the game, patient stand, strong jump into the air, obedience 0-10 points; (3) chase, giving tongue, speed, sureness, anticipation 0-30 points; (4) putting the game to cover at close quarters, listening, waiting, obedience, correct attack 0-10 point; and (5) good catch, or correct indication of the game’s location, retrieval, obedience 0-20 points.
Individual dogs are expected to show a great degree of discipline, obedience and co-operation. They should be extremely agile, have good speed and a powerful vertical jump from a stationary position in rough and often heavily covered ground. They should have excellent scent-tracking abilities, give tongue at the right time when approaching the game closely, and otherwise be silent so that they can locate the game by sound.
The Ibizan Hound is similar in function and type to several breeds, such as the Pharaoh Hound, the Cirneco dell’Etna, the Portuguese Podengo, and the Podenco Canario. The Ibizan Hound is the largest of these breeds, classified by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale as primitive types.
- Coile, Caroline, Ph.D., Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds, Barron’s Educational Series, 2005. Page 80.
- Cà Eivessenc: l’Alternativa/Podenco Ibicenco: La Alternativa. Palma de Mallorca: Caixa de Balears Sa Nostra 1987
- Parker, H.G.; Kim, L.V.; Sutter, N.B.; Carlson, S.; Lorentzen, T.D.; Malek, T.B.; Johnson, G.S.; DeFrance, H.B.; Ostrander, E.A.; Kruglyak, L. (2004-05-21). “Genetic structure of the purebred domestic dog”. Science 304 (5674): 1160. doi:10.1126/science.1097406. PMID 15155949.
- Quignon, Pascale; Herbin L.; Cadieu, E.; Kirkness, E.F.; Hédan, B.; Mosher, D.S.; Galibert, F.; André, C; Ostrander, E.A.; Hitte, C.; (2007-12-19). Awadalla, Philip. ed. “Canine Population Structure: Assessment and Impact of Intra-Breed Stratification on SNP-Based Association Studies”. PLoS ONE 2 (12): e1324. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001324. PMC 2129117. PMID 18091995.
- Lewis, Norman (1986). “7” (2nd ed.). London: Eland Publishing Ltd.. pp. 83–90. ISBN 0-907871-43-7.
- Jan Eduard [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Steffi Rehkate (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Dannydulai (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Tux-Man (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Pleple2000 (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- sean mason (originally posted to Flickr as ) [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- W. E. Mason – Dogs of all Nations [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Ibizan Hound (Podenco Ibicenco)
FCI-Standard N°89 / 04. 02. 2000 / GB
TRANSLATION : C.Seidler.
ORIGIN : Spain (Balearic Islands).
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 26.05.1982.
The Podenco Ibicenco is mainly used for hunting rabbits without guns, by day and at night. Thanks to his particularly good scenting ability, which, coupled with hearing, he uses more than sight, he scents and hunts out rabbits with ease, even in dense cover. Nimble and bright, he catches his prey quickly, specially when hunting together with other dogs. When one dog indicates game, he is surrounded by all the others, which keep a certain distance and stand in wait. They bark only when they see or hear the game and when they have surrounded it. Both when indicating and catching game, all dogs wag their tail fast, but are easily put off their waiting attitude. The Podenco Ibicenco is also used for hunting hare and large game. He is a good retriever. With certain exceptions only bitches are used for the formation of a pack or, at most, with one male only, as the latter do not work together during a hunt and are quarrelsome. When a pack has caught several thousand rabbits, it can happen with this breed, that some dogs from the same pack no longer want to hunt until they have had a considerable rest. The Spanish expression « enconillarse » ( go to rest ) refers to this peculiarity.
F.C.I. CLASSIFICATION :
- Group 5 Spitz and primitive types.
- Section 7 Primitive type-Hunting dogs.
Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY :
This breed originates in the Balearic Islands of Majorca, Ibiza, Minorca and Formentera, where it is known by the original name of « Ca Eivissec ». It is also widely found in Catalonia, round Valencia, in the Roussillon and in the Provence, where it is known by the names Mallorquí, Xarnelo, Mayorquais, Charnegue, Charnegui and Balearic Dog. Probably these dogs were brought to the islands by the Phoenecians, Carthaginians and eventually also the Romans.
This dog is a typical primitive and robust representative of one of the oldest still existing breeds. Illustrations of these dogs are found in the graves of the Pharaohs and on objects in museums, so that the existence of the breed can already be proved in the year 3400 BC.
IMPORTANT PROPORTION :
The distance from the tip of the muzzle to the eyes is equal to that from the eyes to the occiput.
Seen as a whole, the long, fine head has the appearance of a cone cut off near its base ; completely dry, rather small in relation to body.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Long and flat (dolichocephalic). Occipital bone protruding. Forehead fine and flat.
Stop : Barely pronounced.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Nose leather flesh color. Nostrils open. Nasal bridge slightly arched.
Muzzle : Nasal bridge and nose protrude over lower jaw ; fine, long and according to color of coat, flesh color.
Lips : Thin,close fitting, flesh color.
Teeth : Perfect fitting bite, scissor bite, white and regular.
Eyes : Slanting, small, light amber color, reminiscent of caramel color. The amber color can be more or less intensive according to coat color. Without seeming very noble, the expression shows intelligence but also fear and mistrust.
Ears : Always stiff, very mobile. Pointing forward or sideways in a horizontal plane or held backwards. Upright when dog is animated. The center of the ear set on is level with the eyes . The shape is that of an elongated rhomboid, which has been cut off by a third of its long diagonal. They are fine without hair on the inside of the ear opening ; of medium, not exaggerated size.
Very dry, both in its upper and lower part. Its length is a quarter the length of the body, slightly arched and muscular. Skin is taut, smooth, without dewlap. Normally, the coat is longer and denser in the region of the set on to the body, especially in the smooth variety.
Regarded as a whole, the body is symmetric, slightly convex and of medium, even proportions, compact and slightly longer than height, without the differences being laid down exactly.
Withers : Well defined, high, dry and long.
Back : Long, straight and pliable. Muscles strong, yet flat.
Loins : Arched, of medium breadth, strong and firm.
Croup : Strongly sloping with bone structure visible ; it shows very strong, hard muscles.
Chest : Deep, narrow and long, but not reaching to the elbows. Forechest pointed and strongly protruding. Ribs flat.
Abdomen :Tucked up, but not too much.
Set on low ; there should be some longer and coarser, slightly offstanding hairs (like ears of grain) towards the tip ; long. When the tail is pulled through between the legs, it should reach the spine. Slightly thicker at set on, gradually tapering towards the tip. Hanging naturally in repose ; in movement carried in sickle shape more or less tightly curved. Preferably not carried upright or too much curled over back.
Vertical, symmetric. Seen from front, the position of the front legs is very close together ; altogether sturdy, with long limbs which give the impression of a slim, fast, yet strong animal.
Shoulders : Shoulder blades slanting, strong and freely mobile.
Upper arm : Very long, straight, strong and very close in position.
Elbow : Broad, set well apart from the body, parallel to the median plane of the body, but never loose.
Forearm : Broadening towards front pastern.
Pastern : Strong, firm, broad and well upright.
Vertical with long, strong, flat muscles.
Hock : Well angulated, broad, set low, vertical, turning neither out nor in.
Feet : Almost harefoot. Toes long and close together. Profuse hair in space between toes ; nails very strong and normally white, occasionally according to coat color. Pads very hard.
The preferred movement is a suspended trot. Gallop is very fast and gives the impression of great agility.
Taut, close fitting to body ; reddish pigment, but may be a different colour where coat colour differs.
Smooth, rough or long hair.
- The smooth should not be silky, but strong and shiny.
- The rough should be hard and very dense, somewhat shorter on head and ears and somewhat longer on rear of thighs and underside of tail. A beard is highly valued. The longhair is softer and should have at least a length of 5 cm.
The head is very densely coated.
Preferred are white and red, or entirely white or red. Fawn dogs are permitted, provided it is an exceptionally good specimen ; in smooth coats, however, this color is not permitted.
Males : 66 to 72 cm.
Females : 60 to 67 cm.
Without undue strictness, dogs which are close to the required measurements can be accepted, provided they are well proportioned and aesthetic.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
SERIOUS FAULTS :
- Head short and broad.
- Stop markedly pronounced.
- Missing of a premolar.
- Drop ears.
- Barrel ribs.
- Elbows turned outwards.
- Cow hocks.
- Feet turned out.
- Crossing of feet and hocks in movement.
ELIMINATING FAULTS :
- Aggresive or overly shy.
- Skull in the shape of a stair( plane of skull too high in relation to nasal bridge).
- Brown pigment or black spots on nose leather.
- Any form of prognathism.
- Eyelids and lips : Reddish brown.
- Evidence of crossing with a « Galgo » or other form of sighthound :
- Folded ears.
- Dark eyes.
- Croup broad.
- Barely defined forechest.
- Front legs wide apart.
- Thighs rounded and broad with visible veins.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
TagsAfghanistan Africa America Ancient Egypt Ancient Greece Assistance Dogs Austria Bark Behavior Belgium Biology Bosnia Breed Type Canary Islands Catahoula Companion Dog Coonhound Croatia Cur Dog Sport Dog Types Egypt England English-French Evolution Finland Foxhound France Germany Greece Guard Dogs Hairless Health History Hounds Hungary Iberia Imperial China Ireland Israel Italy Lap Dog Malta Montenegro North Africa Norway Nutrition Palestine Pariah Persia Peru Poland Portugal Primitive Rabies Ridgeback Roman Russia Scenthound Scotland Serbia Sicily Sighthound Slovakia Spain Spitz Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Thailand The Domestic Dog Training Transylvania Wales Working Dogs