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Breed of the Month: Ibizan Hound

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Ibizan Hound

Country of Origin: Spain
Height: 22.5–28.5 in
Weight: 40–55 lb
Coat: Two varieties—smooth is strong, hard, shiny, dense/rough is wiry, hard, dense
Colors: White or red, solid or in any combination
Registries (With Group): American Kennel Club (AKC); United Kennel Club


Long ago, trading ships that traveled the Mediterranean brought the same prick-eared dogs who created the Pharaoh Hound to the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain. The island of Ibiza, located in the Balearics, is the one that gave this ancient breed its name. Hannibal was born on Ibiza, and it is said that Ibizan Hounds rode on his elephants when he invaded Italy. The breed has been known throughout the islands for more than 5,000 years. He earned his keep by hunting rabbits and other small game, which supplemented the islanders’ otherwise meager food supply. Over time, he became known on the European continent, first in Catalonia, Spain, where he was called Ca Eivissencs, and in Provence, France, where he was called Charnique, and was prized by poachers. His association with the clandestine activity of poaching eventually led to his being banned from France.
In the 20th century, the Marquesa de Belgida of Barcelona, Spain, Doña Maria Dolores Olives de Cotonera, took a strong interest in the Ibizan Hound, by then considered an indigenous Spanish breed. She had a large kennel on Majorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands, where she bred high-quality Ibizans whom she promoted throughout the world. Today, the Ibizan Hound is a prized hunter, coursing dog, show dog, and companion animal all over the globe.


The first impression of the Ibizan Hound is of a tall, aristocratic, sleek dog who is rather aloof—typical traits of many of the sighthounds. But those who get to know an Ibizan Hound (or “Beezer,” as they’re more familiarly called) soon learn that they are generous with their affection, sensible, polite, and even playful. Beezers are well known for being able to jump up 6 feet in the air, and they can reach speeds up to 40 miles per hour. Ibizan Hounds are pack animals and so fit in with families just fine. They need to be raised with or seriously socialized to pets like cats and other small animals, as these are considered prey to them unless otherwise instructed. Beezers are clean and quiet indoors.


  • Exercise: Beezers thrive with plenty of exercise. They are happiest if they have access to an area where they can safely extend themselves and really run, even if these runs are short bursts of intense speed. It is never a good idea to exercise an Ibizan Hound off lead unless in a safely enclosed area.
  • Grooming: Shorthaired or roughhaired, the Ibizan Hound is a naturally clean dog whose coat is easy to care for. The shorthaired variety requires only a quick going-over with a hound glove; the roughhaired variety needs just occasional brushing.
  • Life Span: 10 to 12 years.
  • Training: The independent-minded Beezer can be willful and seemingly inattentive, but he wants to be part of the family and will learn household manners. His training is best done through positive, reward-based methods, and patience and persistence are key. Socializing the Ibizan Hound to a wide variety of people and places—and to other pets—is necessary to broaden his worldview.

Excerpted from World Atlas of Dog Breeds, 6th Edition. © 2009 T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Used by Permission.

World Atlas of Dog Breeds

World Atlas of Dog Breeds Book

2 Responses to Breed of the Month: Ibizan Hound

  1. Paula Anthony May 16, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

    We are lovingly owned by 2 Ibizan Hounds and would not trade Danni or Sushi for the world. It is nice to see them as the breed of the month. However they are not a breed for everyone. If you don’t mind craters in your well manicured lawns and flower beds this is the breed for you. If you don’t mind getting ready to serve a meal and find out that a portion or all of it is missing, then this is a good breed for you. If you don’t mind sharing every soft spot in your home with them then this is the breed for you. The breed has a quite a few positive attributes but unfortunately some do not educate themselves prior to bringing one home. Even with the best socialization with small animals they can never be fully trusted…just ask my Danni that snatched a Pappilion that was put next to her on the ground at a dog show.

  2. PrairieWolf Adams July 6, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

    I have had Ibizans since 1994 and I can’t see myself living without one. At this moment I have an 8mo and an 11 1/2 yr old. They are such clowns, BUT not the breed for everyone! Make sure you research the breed before trying to buy or adopt and be willing to wait on a waiting list as very few litters are bred each year. If you think you can live with their bad points (just like each breed has bad points) then an Ibizan could just be the breed for you. Come to a dog show and see us sometime 🙂

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