Ibizan Hound

"Fleet as a Deer"

Photo of Ibizan Hound


The Ibizan may share the same ancestry as the Pharaoh Hound -- they resemble one another, and they both also resemble dogs on ancient Egyptian tombs. Phoenician sea traders may have taken these dogs to the Balearic island of Ibiza, where they were used to hunt rabbits. Here it is thought they remained relatively unchanged for centuries, with little interbreeding from outside sources. Recent DNA studies have cast some doubt on this story of ancient lineage, however, suggesting the Ibizan is a much more recent breed, so at present, the Ibizan's roots are unclear. We do know these dogs were shaped by harsh conditions on Ibiza, where farmers couldn't afford to keep a dog that couldn't catch its share of rabbits. The dogs hunted by both sight and scent, and even used their keen ears to locate game. Watch your Ibizan bound across the yard after a bunny and you'll be watching history in motion.The first Ibizan Hound came to America in the 1950s. After a long climb, it finally gained AKC recognition in 1979. Always been near the bottom of the popularity rankings, the Ibizan currently ranks 138th out of 155 breeds.


An independent hunter with a sharp mind and acute senses, the Ibizan Hound might just pretend she can't hear her owner call if she's on the chase. An extremely sweet dog that gets along well with other dogs, the Ibizan isn't at all aggressive to people, though she doesn't tend to fawn over strangers. In fact, she doesn't fawn over her owner, either, although she's very attached. She's just not one for public displays of affection.


The Ibizan Hound is built along greyhound lines, a long, slinky sight hound with a slender head and body, but a little less extreme looking. Ibizans resemble, to a great extent, the Egyptian god Anubis, and breeders describe it as having a deer-like elegance. Its lithe and racy body is slightly longer than tall. With the exception of its large pricked ears, the Ibizan is not exaggerated in any way. The back is slightly arched, and the tail is set low and carried in a slight curve. The chest doesn't reach the elbow, in part because the angle of the upper arm is much more open than in other breeds. The head is long and conical, the eyes small and light, and the nose flesh-colored. The coat may be short, which is more popular, or it can be wiry, ranging in length from one to three inches. Colors are white or any shade of red, either solid or in any combination.


To hunt on its own, an Ibizan Hound had to trust its own instincts without checking back for direction all the time. This means you have to make it worth an Ibizan's effort to attend to you rather than what's going on elsewhere, and the best way to do this is with reward-based training. This breed is not a scholar at heart, and becomes easily bored if class sessions are too long or problems are drilled over and over. Keep it fast, fun, and rewarding, and the Ibizan can do surprisingly well.

Grooming & Care

Easy to groom, Ibizan coat care consists of simple weekly brushing for both smooth and wire coat types. The wire might need some additional stripping (plucking out dead hairs by hand) twice a year to keep them from looking scraggly. Otherwise, trim nails, brush teeth, and keep ears clean. Ibizans need the chance to get out and run several times a week, and should have a good walk on other days. They are not big ball fetchers, but do like to chase things. Never let them off leash where they could run away.

Health Concerns

The Ibizan has no major health concerns, but some may occasionally experience seizures and allergies. Ask your breeder and veterinarian about how to keep your Ibizan healthy.

Famous Ibizan Hound

Ch. Luxor's Playmate of The Year (‘Bunny') was first in the Hound Group at the Westminster Kennel in 2003 and 2004.

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 3
Schedule 5
Home 9
Children 49
Experience 11
Quick Facts
Grooming 13
Exercise 61
Challenges Can't be trusted off-leash.
Height 8.5 to 11.5 inches
Weight 13 to 17 pounds
Life 12 to 14 years
Home Alone 20
With Kids 86
With Strangers 93
Availability 95

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

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