5 Things to Know About Ibizan Hounds

Ibizans are smart dogs who do well with children. Just make sure you have a tall fence — this dog can jump up to 6 feet high.

1. Key Characteristics

  • AKC Group: Hound
  • Height: 22.5–27.5 inches
  • Weight: 45–50 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 11–14 years

The Ibizan hound is an ancient dog from Egypt that is named after an island off the coast of Spain.

The dogs have long, narrow heads, flesh-toned noses and small eyes that are shades of caramel to clear amber. The ears are large and pointed and can move in a variety of directions based on the dog’s mood. The tail is set low and curls into a sickle shape.

The coat can be short or wirehaired and is rough in texture. Coat colors are restricted to white or red, either solid or mixed. An all-white, wirehaired Ibizan is rare.

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Ibizan hounds are known for being playful, smart and fast. By: smason (Top photo: Veronika Petrova)

2. Where They Came From

Ancestors of the Ibizan hounds were allegedly kept by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt around 3400 B.C.

Evidence of the regal hound was found in their tombs, as well as in the tomb of Tutankhamen when it was discovered in 1922. Included in his tomb was a life-sized statue representing the Egyptian god Anubis — its likeness was identical to the Ibizan hound.

The dogs made their way to Ibiza off the coast of Spain in the 8th and 9th centuries B.C. It is believed that they were brought there by Phoenician sea traders, and the dogs remained there for 2,000 years.

U.S. Army Col. Consuelo Seoane and his wife imported the first Ibizan hounds into the United States in 1956. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1978.

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These regal-looking dogs actually have puppylike dispositions and are slow to mature. By: Colin West

3. How Friendly Are They?

Ibizan hounds are playful, protective and can be reserved with strangers.

They get along with other dogs but might chase after cats and small animals. They are great with people and children, viewing the family as the “pack.” They are easy to train and eager to learn.

The breed is slow to mature and can remain puppylike, even into the senior years. They tend to bark more than other breeds but not excessively. They are sensitive to harsh discipline — training and socialization are highly recommended. Kennels are not recommended, however, so don’t confine this dog in small spaces for a long time.

4. Is the Ibizan Hound the Right Dog for You?

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[efsiconheading type=”h4″ style=”fi-guide-dog”]Exercise Needs[/efsiconheading]

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HIGH: Take your Ibizan on 2 walks a day and a run, when possible. Use a lead, or exercise your dog in a secured area — Ibizans are fast. Once they take off after something, they are difficult to catch and may ignore hazards, such as automobiles. The dogs have high prey drives and may go after cats and smaller animals.

You’ll need to have a tall fence if you want to let your Ibizan off the leash — they can easily clear 5- or 6-foot fences, according to the book Top Dog.

[efsiconheading type=”h4″ style=”fi-paw”]Grooming Needs[/efsiconheading]

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LOW: Your Ibizan is an average shedder and just needs occasional brushing. This is the same for the short and the wirehaired coats. Both coat types can be trimmed, if desired, and the wirehaired coat does not need stripping.

Bathe your Ibizan as needed, but definitely check and clean his large ears regularly (at least once a week).

[efsiconheading type=”h4″ style=”fi-heart”]Health Problems[/efsiconheading]

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LOW: Ibizan hounds are generally a healthy breed. There are a few health issues to be aware of, though (some of which can affect any breed):

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Watch these pups frolic through all manner of terrain:

5. Where to Adopt One

We found nearly 3 dozen Ibizan hounds nationwide who are looking for homes. Around a handful of them were purebreds, so it’s possible to rescue and adopt one instead of buying from a breeder.

If you do contact a breeder, familiarize yourself with the puppy mill warning signs and ask for health clearances on the dogs when you inspect the property.

Additional Resources

Kristine Lacoste

View posts by Kristine Lacoste
Kristine Lacoste, editor in chief of Petful, is an author, poet and pet lover from Louisiana. She is the author of an award-nominated book, One Unforgettable Journey, and was host of a weekly pet news segment on the National K-9 Academy Radio Show. She was the New Orleans coordinator for Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit that helps military members and their pets, for 3 years. She is also employed as chief operating officer for a large mental health practice in Louisiana. Kristine has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Business Administration degree.

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