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Ibizan Hound Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Traits & Facts

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Ibizan Hound dog lie down on a road in field_dragonika_shutterstock

Height: 22-28 inches
Weight: 40-52 pounds
Lifespan: 11-14 years
Colors: White, red, fawn, red and white
Suitable for: Active families or individuals, those seeking a low-shedding dog, city or country life with room to run
Temperament: Intelligent, Active, Entertaining, Independent, Stubborn, Engaging, Clownish, Polite, Family-oriented

The Ibizan Hound was developed on Ibiza, one of the Balearic Islands off the eastern coast of Spain. Nearly 3,000 years ago, Phoenician traders brought a breed of primitive, Egyptian hound to the rocky shores of Ibiza and these were later developed into the hound we know today.

The island inhabitants of Ibiza used the spry hounds to hunt rabbits and game across the rugged terrain. They did not hunt for sport, and the partnership of hunters and dogs developed these hounds into hardworking creatures with a family-oriented nature.

Ibizan Hounds are still used to hunt rabbits to this day but are also kept as companions. They are still blazing fast and tenacious little coursers.
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Ibizan Hound Puppies – Before You Get One…


Clever, alert, and up for adventure, Ibizan Hounds are spirited companions to share an active life with. But before you take a puppy home, consider some questions like these:

Do you have the financial means to care for a dog for up to 15 years? Are you an active enough person to enjoy exercising a high-energy dog every day?

Does your schedule keep you away from home for long hours? Do you have a family willing to share the responsibilities of a new puppy, or will you be the main care provider?

3 Little-Known Facts About the Ibizan Hound

1. Ibizan Hounds Only Entered the AKC in 1971

Despite the Ibizan Hound being descended from one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, this breed was relatively unknown in America until the 1970s.

They were first brought to the United States around 1950 but were not accepted by the American Kennel Club until 1971.

2. They Are Escape Artists

As you may imagine from their athletic prowess and independent nature, Ibizan Hounds are hard to keep in when they want out. They are known to leap high fences, squeeze through gaps, and cut and run if they see something exciting while off-leash.

Most recommend a backyard fence of at least six feet to keep these hairy little Houdinis from getting into trouble.

3. They May Have Had a God Modeled After Them

When ancient Egyptian statues of the jackal-headed god of the dead, Anubis, were uncovered by archaeologists, people quickly noticed the likeness to the Ibizan Hound.

So, who was modeled after whom? We may never know, but you can be sure the perky Ibizan Hound thinks it’s definitely his likeness on those ancient statues.

Ibizan Hound posing elegantly against the backdrop of a town square
Image Credit: Sergii_Petruk, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Ibizan Hound 🧠

Ibizan Hounds are intelligent, energetic, and clownish – they love to entertain their friends and family, as well as get active outdoors.

They are affectionate creatures and appreciate a considerable amount of physical contact with family members. When these independent pups want their space, they will simply go do their own thing and are not the type to become obsessively attached.

Around strangers, Ibizan Hounds are often reserved and aloof. They are almost never fearful, and once they decide you’re worth the attention, they are a confident and capable friend.

Their keen senses and alert intelligence make Ibizan Hounds excellent watchdogs with a minimum of training. But they lack the aggression and physical stature to be a more forceful deterrent or guard dog.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Ibizan Hounds have been bred to work closely with their families for centuries. These dogs enjoy spending time with the family and are affectionate companions. They make great playmates for older children. Your kids and dogs can spend hours adventuring together and tiring each other out!

It is important to supervise little kids with these dogs, as well as teach both how to interact with one another. Ibizan Hounds have incredibly sensitive skin, and tugs or smacks from small children – even if no harm was intended – can startle and hurt these dogs quite easily.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Ibizan Hounds are generally polite and friendly with other dogs.

The well-honed predatory instinct of Ibizan Hounds makes them poor companions for smaller animals and some cats. We recommend supervision and early socialization with the family feline but avoiding interaction between your Ibizan Hound and any prey animals completely.

Ibizan Hound face
Image: Pixabay

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Things to Know When Owning an Ibizan Hound

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

With the help of commercial dog foods, giving your dog a well-balanced diet has never been easier. Brands like CORE and Blue Buffalo are high-quality and committed to giving your dog the right spread of vitamins, minerals, and whole foods they need.

Athletic and fleet of foot, Ibizan Hounds need plenty of healthy fats and proteins to fuel their active lives. Choose dog foods that have plenty of lean proteins like fish and fowl.

Chicken and turkey will help them grow strong muscles and won’t weigh them down. And fish like salmon are good protein and rich in fatty acids, which support joints and brain development.

Avoid brands that incorporate ingredients of questionable quality such as unspecified animal fats, by-products, and “blood meals.” They can contain leftover animal parts like beaks and hair, and can even be rendered from sick or dead animals.

Exercise 🐕

Ibizan Hounds are working dogs that were developed to chase prey over rocky terrain for long hours. Owing to their athletic background, these pups are high energy and have significant stamina. They need at least one hour of vigorous exercise each day, and more will always be welcomed.

Ideally, these dogs should have a fenced-in yard or garden to roam. But be aware, the keen and prey-driven Ibizan Hound is likely to dig and chase anything that moves. Flowers and vegetables should have a protective fence to keep your pup from making a mess.

Fences should be quite tall to make sure this adventurous little soul doesn’t escape into the wider world on one of their jaunts. Six feet tall is a good minimum, as the powerful legs of the Ibizan Hound can clear shorter barriers with ease.

Training 🦮

Though capable and clever problem solvers, Ibizan Hounds aren’t the easiest to train. They have an independent streak that can turn to stubbornness if you don’t convince them of the value of training. Give these pups plenty of affection, praise, and treats when they perform well.

And their intelligence also lends a certain sensitivity to this breed. Harsh words and criticism may wilt an Ibizan Hound and cause them to withdraw. With an upbeat and positive mannerism, however, you and your dog will have a grand time learning to communicate.

Ibizan Hound standing posed to perfection_sally wallis_shutterstock
Credit: Sally Wallis, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

Grooming your Ibizan Hound is quick and easy work. Whether your pup is of the smooth or wiry-coated variety, neither takes much maintenance. Ibizan Hounds shed little and can be kept looking neat and clean with the occasional bath, brush, or trim (if longer haired).

Clean your pup’s teeth and ears at least once a week to remove dirt and food, as well as prevent a variety of infections.

You should also check their nails at least once a month, though the active Ibizan Hound will likely wear down their nails themselves. A sure-fire way to tell if your dog’s nails need trimming is to listen when they trot through the kitchen. Is there a telltale “click-clack” of nails on the tile? Trimming time!

Health and Conditions ❤️

Descended from ancient, primitive dogs, Ibizan Hounds are an incredibly hardy breed.

Here’s a list of the few health conditions you should check in with your veterinarian about regularly:

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Retinal dysplasia
  • Deafness
Serious Conditions
  • Seizures
  • Allergies
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Male vs Female

Female dogs are more social, as they have historically been run in packs of all female dogs for hunting. The female Ibizan Hound is considered to be the better hunter and a quieter companion.

The male Ibizan Hound is larger than his female counterpart. He is also more likely to develop wanderlust as he matures, as well as behaviors like humping and territory marking.

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Final Thoughts

So, is the spry Ibizan Hound the dog for you?

People without an active lifestyle or fenced in yard may want to think again, as the energy levels of these pups may wear the unprepared owner down.

But if you have the room for them to run, a love of the outdoors, and desire a sensitive and intelligent dog to share your life with, the Ibizan Hound may be just who you’re looking for!

Featured Image Credit: DragoNika, Shutterstock

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