Ibizan Hound: Dog Breed Characteristics & Care

History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

Two Ibizan hounds standing alert in a forest

Kristiinatammik / iStock / Getty Images

The Ibizan hound is a medium-size hound dog breed from the Spain with a short, smooth or wiry coat and a lanky build. These dogs have a slender, elegant frame, and they move with agility, grace, and swiftness. They sport large, upright ears and amber eyes that reflect their alert, intelligent nature. Overall, Ibizan hounds, or Beezers as they're sometimes called, tend to be very sweet and even-tempered. They do best with an active owner who can give them plenty of space to stretch their legs.

Breed Overview

Group: Hound

Height: 22.5 to 26 inches (female), 23.5 to 27.5 inches (male)

Weight: 45 pounds (female), 50 pounds (male)

Coat: Wiry or smooth short coat

Coat Color: Red, red and white, or white

Life Span: 11 to 14 years

Temperament: Affectionate, even-tempered, active

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: Spain

Characteristics of the Ibizan Hound

Ibizan hounds typically have a loving personality with their family, but they can be somewhat reserved when it comes to strangers. A high energy level also helps to shape their temperament, and they need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. They’re often good with other dogs, but they might view smaller household pets as prey.

Affection Level High
Friendliness Medium
Kid-Friendly Medium
Pet-Friendly Medium
Exercise Needs High
Playfulness High
Energy Level High
Trainability Medium
Intelligence High
Tendency to Bark Medium
Amount of Shedding Low

History of the Ibizan Hound

The Ibizan hound hails from the Balearic Islands; Ibiza is the most well-known of these islands just off the coast of Spain. Ancestors of this breed were Egyptian hounds that Phoenician traders brought to the area roughly 3,000 years ago. The hounds were a help to the local people, who found their sight and speed useful in hunting rabbits and hares on the islands.

With their long legs and supersonic ears, the dogs were adept at finding and pursuing prey. They became crucial to life in the Balearic Islands, with many people relying on them to catch their next meal. As they were bred and raised in the homes of the islanders, the distinct breed we know today as the Ibizan hound was developed.

The hounds remained a relatively isolated group of canines for centuries. They were first imported to the United States in 1956. And it wasn't until 1978 that the American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed. It still remains a rare dog breed to this day.

Ibizan hound running in tall grasses
Kristiinatammik / iStock / Getty Images

Ibizan Hound Care

This is an active, athletic breed, so be prepared to provide your dog with ample daily exercise. Fortunately, its grooming needs are relatively easy. Plus, the breed is intelligent and able to pick up on training with ease, though it can be stubborn about obeying.

Exercise

Plan on a couple hours or more of exercise per day for an Ibizan hound. These dogs will benefit from long walks, and they make for excellent running and hiking companions. They also can excel in dog sports, including agility and tracking, which can help to burn some of their mental and physical energy. Puzzle toys are another great way to challenge them mentally.

Just keep in mind that as sighthounds they have a high prey drive. Keep them on a leash or in a securely fenced area when outside, so they don’t take off chasing small animals or other perceived prey. In addition, Ibizan hounds have the ability to jump several feet in the air. So make sure any fencing is tall enough to hold them.

With sufficient exercise, Ibizan hounds are typically calm indoors. Some can even be couch potatoes. But don’t let that fool you into thinking all this breed needs is a casual walk around the block. 

Grooming

Ibizan hounds don’t shed much, and their coat tends to stay fairly clean. Brush your Ibizan hound weekly to remove loose fur and distribute skin oils. Plan on a bath roughly every month, depending on how dirty your dog gets. 

Moreover, see whether your dog is due for a nail trim once a month or so. And be sure to check its ears at least weekly for wax buildup, debris, and other abnormalities. Also, brush its teeth ideally every day.

Training

Start training and socialization from a young age to help prevent bad habits from forming. A puppy class can teach your dog both basic obedience and good manners. Early socialization also can help your Ibizan hound become more open to meeting strangers and other dogs. 

Always use positive training methods, such as treats and praise. Harsh corrections can cause these dogs to shut down and refuse to learn. In addition, keep training sessions fun and varied, as this intelligent breed can become bored easily. And be consistent in your commands. 

Two Ibizan hound puppies playing
 Kristiinatammik / iStock / Getty Images
White Ibizan hound in tall grasses
 Kristiinatammik / iStock / Getty Images
Pair of Ibizan hounds looking over wall
Kristiinatammik / iStock / Getty Images 

Common Health Problems

Ibizan hounds are overall a healthy breed, but they are prone to some hereditary health issues, including:

Diet and Nutrition

Always have fresh water available for your dog. And provide a high-quality dog food with balanced nutrition. It’s typical to feed two measured meals per day to make sure you’re offering the proper amount. But always discuss the quality, feeding schedule, and type of food with your vet. Plus, be mindful of treats and other extra food to prevent overfeeding. And note that these dogs can easily jump on tables and counters to snag food.

Where to Adopt or Buy an Ibizan Hound

It can be difficult, but not impossible, to find an Ibizan hound for adoption in North America. Check animal shelters and rescue groups in your area, and see whether you can get your name on a breed wait list. Breeders also can be few and far between. If you’re looking for a puppy from a reputable breeder, expect to pay around $800 to $1,500.

For more information to help you find an Ibizan hound, check out:

Ibizan Hound Overview

Pros
  • Generally even-tempered

  • Great running companion

  • Easy to groom and fairly low shedding

Cons
  • High prey drive

  • Needs lots of exercise

  • Can jump fences

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

In the right environment, the Ibizan hound can make for a wonderful companion. But be sure to do thorough research to ensure that the breed is right for your lifestyle. Talk to Ibizan hound owners, rescue groups, reputable breeders, and veterinary professionals. 

If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:

There’s a whole world of potential dog breeds out there—with a little research, you can find the right one to bring home!

FAQ
  • What’s the difference between an Ibizan hound and a pharaoh hound?

    Ibizan and pharaoh hounds look quite similar, and they’re both ancient dog breeds. But Ibizan hounds are slightly larger, and pharaoh hounds tend to be a bit more social.

  • Are Ibizan hounds rare?

    Ibizan hounds are a rare dog breed in North America and around the world. Depending on where you live, it might be difficult to find one at a rescue group or breeder. Get your name on a wait list if possible.

  • Are Ibizan hounds good family dogs?

    Ibizan hounds generally are moderately tolerant of children when they have proper training and socialization. They could be a good fit in a household that has respectful older children.

Article Sources
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  1. Ibizan Hound. American Kennel Club.

  2. Ibizan Hound Puppies and Dogs. Adopt a Pet.