Ibizan Hound

AKC Hound Group


Photo copyright © MyDogPhoto.com. All rights reserved.

Photo copyright © MyDogPhoto.com. All rights reserved.

Several examples of Ancient Egyptian art, some from 5,000 years ago, depict dogs closely resembling today’s Ibizan Hound. This sleek hunting hound might have been brought to the islands off the coast of Spain from Egypt by Phoenician traders about 700–900 BC. The breed became common on the island of Ibiza and other nearby islands and was used there to hunt rabbit and other small game. The Ibizan Hound can hunt on all types of terrain, working by sight, hearing, and smell. He is a steady pointer when he discovers game, and also can retrieve very well. Spanish hunters run these dogs in packs. Today the breed’s chasing instincts can flourish in the sport of lure coursing. The Ibizan Hound is also a delightful companion and show dog. This breed is very similar to the Pharaoh Hound, but the Ibizan Hound is taller and can have a multicolored coat. The Ibizan Hound was fully recognized by the AKC in 1979.


The agile, deerlike, elegant, and athletic Ibizan Hound has a long, arched neck; a long wedge-shaped head; amber eyes; and very large, triangular ears that stand up when the dog is alert. The nose is rose or flesh colored. The body is fine-boned, but not as slender as in many other sight hounds. The chest does not reach to the elbow. The Ibizan Hound has flat, sleek muscles without any heaviness. The front legs are perfectly straight all the way from the elbows to the ground. Dewclaws may be removed or left natural. The tail is long and slender, hanging low when the dog is relaxed and carried a bit higher when the dog is alert. The Ibizan Hound is hare-footed, with long toes. The coat comes in two types: smooth and wirehaired, in red or white, or combinations of both colors. The Ibizan Hound has a graceful, floating gait.

Key Facts

  • Height:  23 1/2 to 27 1/2 in. (male); 22 1/2 to 26 in. (female)
  • Size:  Medium
  • Weight:  Averages 50 lbs. (male); 45 lbs. (female)
  • Availability:  Very difficult to find
  • Talents:  Hunting, sighting, racing, agility, and lure coursing


The Ibizan Hound can jump very high from a complete standstill, enabling him to easily jump most fences. Enclose this dog accordingly for his own safety with either a very high fence or roofed dog run. A very fast dog, the Ibizan Hound can be extremely difficult to recapture. The strong chase instinct and lack of caution in traffic can lead to disasters. A large fenced area is best for regular exercise. Male Ibizans might not get along. Be careful with small pets such as rabbits, cats, and rodents: the Ibizan Hound is bred to hunt these creatures! This breed tends to have large litters. The Ibizan Hound is hardy and strong, but can have allergic reactions to chemicals, including insecticides and flea powders. The breed is quite sensitive to cold, as his coat is not very protective. Some lines seem to be prone to seizures. The Ibizan Hound has a genetic propensity for axonal dystrophy, a nerve and muscle disease.


Quiet, clean, playful, and polite. Sensible and sensitive. Gentle. Trainable, but tends to be willful and gets bored easily. Somewhat independent and reserved, though many are friendly. Protective. Tends to be somewhat dog-aggressive, particularly with same-breed males.


  • Children:  Good with children
  • Friendliness:  Reserved with strangers
  • Trainability:  Slightly difficult to train
  • Independence:  Not particularly dependent or independent
  • Dominance:  Moderate
  • Other Pets:  Might be aggressive with dogs of the same sex; do not trust with non-canine pets
  • Combativeness:  Tends to be fairly dog-aggressive
  • Noise:  Average barker
  • Indoors:  Moderately active indoors
  • Owner:  Not recommended for novice owners


  • Grooming:  Very little grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  No trimming or stripping needed (Short); some stripping needed (Wire)
  • Coat:  Short or wire coat
  • Shedding:  Average shedder
  • Exercise:  Vigorous daily exercise needed
  • Jogging:  An excellent jogging companion
  • Apartments:  Not recommended for apartments
  • Outdoor Space:  Best with a large yard
  • Climate:  Prefers warm climates
  • Longevity:  Average (10 to 12 years)

Useful Links

AKC® Ibizan Hound Breed Standard


Ibizan Hound Breed Club


Search for a Breeder


Rescue Organizations


Books about the Ibizan Hound


Ibizan Hound Gifts