History of the Breed:
With his great, upright ears, sculpted head, and sleek lines the Ibizan Hound is one of the most striking of the Mediterranean breeds. Playful, elegant in his athleticism, sensitive and affectionate, the Ibizan Hound is a moderately sized dog bred to hunt small game. He shows great loyalty, but can be diffident toward strangers. He is a good alert dog, but not protective. He is not an excessive barker, nor is he considered shy. One of his most stunning qualities is his sense of play, and with his moderately angulated build he is able to leap and twirl with the grace of a dancer.
|This primitive breed's past is shrouded in
mystery, as mummified remains and ancient Egyptian artwork indicate that these were
hunting dogs valued by the Pharaohs. Artifacts recovered from tombs dating 3,000 B.C.
show identical morphology to the hounds of today, yet they disappeared from Egypt, and
were thought extinct.
Traditionally they are thought to originate from the island of Ibiza, one of the Balearic Islands off the Mediterranean coast of Spain, where Carthaginian or Phoenician traders brought early dogs from Egypt as early as 800-600 B.C.
|In its native land the breed was rigorously preserved to the present time. Here the Ibizan Hound was considered livestock, given the vital job of providing fresh meat for the table, so living conditions were harsh. Strict culling preserved only the most fit. Even today, the Spanish tend to regard this breed as working stock rather than a pet, though this perception is changing as the breed shows its worthiness as a beloved family member, and living conditions have improved for the population.|
|As hunters, Ibizan Hounds are run
free to find and bring down small game, mostly rabbits and hares. Working
independently or cooperatively in packs, they "give tongue", crying
triumphantly, when chasing down their quarry. Their unique structure allows them to
rapidly pursue their target over rough terrain, even changing direction in mid-air leaps.
Historically they have hunted in the Balearic Islands: Ibiza, Majorca, Minorca, and Formentura, where they are called Ca Eivissenc, as well as in the Spanish Provinces of Catalonia, Valencia, Languedoc-Rousillon, and in France's Provence where they are called the Balearic Hound, or Podenco Ibicenco.
|To learn more about the Ibizan
Hound in his native land and a rescue organization located there, go to these Web sites:
Can-Poca-Roba, a kennel located in Spain
The Podenco Aid Foundation, a safe haven and rescue center for Podencos (Ibizan Hounds).
Check out Luxor Kennels, home of many of the Ibizan Hounds featured on this Website
Learn more about the Ibizan Hound Club of the United States (ICHUS) and visit its site.
(Photo and map of Ibiza courtesy of Ibizaselect.com. Copyright 1998 by United World, used with permission)