Monday, April 28, 2008

Ibizan Hounds Dog Breed

Ibizan Hounds Dog Breed

The ancient and enchanting breed, Ibizan Hound, is an elegant and agile breed with an athletic and attractive outline and a ground-covering springy trot. Though graceful in appearance, it has good bone girth and is a rugged/hardy breed. Its large upright ears - a hallmark of the breed - are broad at the base and frame a long and elegant headpiece. The neck is long and lean. It has a unique front assembly with well laid back shoulders and straight upper arm. In this way it is different from most other sighthound breeds in construction. It comes in both smooth and wire coated varieties. It is either red or white or a combination of red and white. Its nose is flesh colored, as are its ears, eye rims, and pads of feet. Its eyes are a striking amber color and have an alert and intelligent expression. The Ibizan may range in height from 24 to 29 inches and weigh from 45 to 65 lbs, males being larger than females.
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.
The Ibizan Hounds, sometimes called "Beezers" by their fanciers, are quiet, clean, playful and polite. Good with children, gentle, sensible and sensitive. Protective and somewhat independent. They will hold back watchfully with strangers. Once they decide the stranger means no harm, they will relax very quickly. Be careful with small pets such as rabbits, cats and rodents; the Ibizan Hound is bred to hunt these creatures. Cats that are raised with the Ibizan Hound will fit in just fine as part of the "family pack," but it will chase and possibly kill a cat it does not know. As in all breeds, the Ibizan Hound should be well socialized with other dogs, other animals, adults, and children. If you have an adult Ibizan Hound and would like another dog, it is suggested that you get a puppy. Beezers are pack animals by nature, so introducing a puppy to the household is easier. An Ibizan thinks its humans are their pack, so any addition (human or baby) must be introduced slowly. Ibizans are members of the family. They cannot be kept as kennel dogs. They love their humans, are as clean as a cat, and respect the rules of a household. This breed blushes when they get excited, as does the Pharaoh Hound. Ibizans like to learn and do so very quickly. They are trainable, but tend to be willful and get bored easily. Provided they have been properly trained, they can participate in many types of dog sports. These dogs are very sensitive to the voice of their handler and a friendly request will always achieve more than a gruff command. This breed tends to have large litters.

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.

The Ibizan Hound is even-tempered, affectionate and loyal. Extremely versatile and trainable, he makes an excellent family pet, and is well suited to the breed ring, obedience, tracking and lure-coursing. He exhibits a keen, natural hunting instinct with much determination and stamina in the field.
Ibizan Hounds are very intelligent, active, and engaging by nature. They are true "clowns" of the dog world, delighting in entertaining their people with their antics. Though somewhat independent and stubborn at times, they do take well to training if positive methods are used, but will balk at punitive training methods. They are generally quiet, but will alarm bark if necessary, so they make good watch dogs. They are sensitive hounds, and very good around children and other dogs alike. They generally make good house dogs, but are active and athletic, therefore need a lot of daily exercise.

Height: 22-29 inches (56-74 cm.)
Weight: 42-55 pounds (19-25 kg.)

Life Expectancy: About 10-12 years.

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