From the name itself, it’s easy to see where the Ibizan Hound might have originated. But there isn’t any certainty about their real roots, however. Due to their uncanny resemblance to a life-size statue of the god Anubis, Watchdog of the Dead, which was found in the tomb of King Tut, the dog breed is believed to have been around for over 5,000 years, making them quite the ancient types. At least that was the suggestion, based on the artifacts found in Egypt. Further genetic research, however, showed that the Ibizan Hounds aren’t as old. Their lineage doesn’t go as far back as thousands of years. But they did make their way to Spain through Phoenician traders that are believed to have taken them to the Balearic Islands between 8th and 9th century BCE, which is still quite old by hunting dog’s standards.
Due to the harsh life that they led in the Spanish island, Ibizan Hounds learned to hunt with tenacity, patience and skills. They also hunt for themselves because they weren’t fed at that time. As sighthounds, they hunt using their sense of sight, hearing and smell. Unlike other hunting dogs, they can hunt alone or in packs, with some farmers having up to 15 hunting dogs in a hunting party. They can also hunt both during the day and at night. With the Ibizan Hounds, hunting is like a well-choreographed event with them as the master of the game. Their favorite quarry? Rabbit and sometimes hare. It all starts with them sensing their prey, promptly pointing once found, and then starting the chase. This is when their sighthound instincts kick in. An Ibizan Hound is also trained to retrieve game and bring it back to the hunter.
Ibizan Hounds welcome any opportunity to learn quickly, making them easy to train. However, the handler must show them who’s the boss or they will become stubborn and willful. They also get bored very easily and require consistency to keep them interested. Although trainers must be firm to handle an Ibizan Hound properly, commands are best delivered in a calm and friendly voice, as harsh words will lead nowhere. Exposure to different people, sound, sights and situations are essential, so they will grow to become well-rounded hunting dogs. Socialization training must be done at an early age with this hunting dog.
The Ibizan Hound comes in two different dog breeds based on the hair type. Some have smooth hair, while others have wire-like coats. Those with longer hair are often thought as the third kind, but the coat is likely to be a variation of the wire. Males stand up to 27.5 inches and weigh around 50 pounds. Females, on the other hand, can grow from 22.5 to 26 inches tall and weigh 5 pounds less than males. Colors range from white,red,lion or white and red.
The Ibizan Hounds are a lively dog breed, ready to run after anything that seems fun to chase. Their temperament can vary based on their heredity, training and socialization skills. As a pet, they’re affectionate, loyal and even-tempered. As hunting dogs, they’re aggressive and are likely to chase and kill cats or rodents, especially without proper training. They are very independent, too.