The Gentle Ibizan Hound (Balaeric Dog)
Podenco Ibicenco Ca Elvlssene

DescriptiveDog breed info
Ibizan Hound
(Podenco Ibicenco)(Ca Elvlssene)
Balaeric Dog
Weight: 45 — 50 lbs
Height: 22” — 27”
AKC Rank 2008 #132
Lifespan: 12—14 yrs
Group: Hound

Dog Breed Info - The Ibizan Hound

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Breed Overview

Origin: Ibiza (Balaeric Islands,
(Off the coast of Spain)
Ancient times. Original function: Hunting rabbits. Today, Lure coursing, hunting rabbits, companion. Colors: White or red—solid or any combination.

This breed is named after the Balaeric Island of Ibiza, near the coast of Spain. It is an ancient purebred that may have originated in Egypt. The Ibizan resembles dogs depicted in Egyptian tombs. The Ibizan may have the same roots as the ancient Pharaoh Hound. The dogs ended up on the Balaeric Island of Ibiza where they lived in relative seclusion, unable to cross-breed with any other dogs. Spanish farmers on the island used them for hunting. Harsh conditions on the island created a fairly tough hunting dog. The first Ibizan dogs came to America in the 1950’s and were registered by the AKC in 1979. The breed was striking and caught a lot of eyes but never became very popular in the States for some reason and remains an uncommon breed even today, in spite of it’s desirable features as a family pet and companion.


The Ibizan Hound is a sensitive breed that is intelligent and responsive but can not tolerate physical handling. The dog learns fairly well for most commands. Never use a harsh tone of voice and don’t train if you are irritated about something. The dog will sense it. Be firm and authoritative, but kind and pleasant. The only truly effective training method is clicker training with positive reinforcement which we explain at this site. Please give it high consideration. Clickers are very inexpensive and highly effective.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Ibizan puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Most Ibizan Hound puppies are fairly easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

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This dog is gentle, mild-mannered, even-tempered and very loyal to family and is a quiet, calm house pet. The breed has great hearing, sight and scent senses for hunting. The Ibizan was used mostly for hunting rabbits and small game. The dog will chase anything that moves so must be kept on leash or in a close yard at all times. Unlike most sighthounds, this dog barks while chasing prey. These dogs can be timid and reserved around strangers and are generally quite sensitive to loud noises or harsh words. The Ibizan is independent and athletic with moderate energy and exercise needs. The dog is somewhat playful and gets along well with children but can not be trusted around household animals such as cats, rabbits and any rodent-looking creature, as their instinct is to chase and kill such things. The Ibizan is a strong pack animal and the family becomes his “pack.” Thus, if he’s raised with cats, rabbits and other animals, they will ALL be part of his “pack” and he’ll not chase or eat them. This breed makes a good all around house pet and family companion. The dog comes in a smooth or a wire-coat version.

The main thing to remember about the Ibizan is that they are very sensitive and get upset at loud, sudden noises, harsh words and being yelled at and pushed around. They must be treated in a dignified manner and if not, they are capable of crying. Literally. This breed must be handles with love and kindness, played with at length, and given plenty of affection.

If you happen to get an Ibizan Hound with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."


Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Usually gets along well with dogs. If raised with the dogs, even better. If introduced slowly to other dogs on common ground, okay too.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

If raised with cats, dogs and other animals, okay. If introduced to other household dogs slowly with outdoor walks on common ground, generally okay.

Remember, this breed’s instinct is to chase and kill rabbits and it will do the same with cats and other small animals, UNLESS raised with them as a puppy.

Friendly Toward Strangers

The Ibizan may start out wary and stand-offish with strangers, but is quick to warm up once the fear or threat is gone. This dog can be very timid.


Quite playful. They like to run, fetch balls, romp with older kids and go hiking, among other things.

This dog can be trained in a number of doggie sports for her own and your entertainment.


Fairly affectionate. Rate this about 5 bars out of 10. They are loyal and devoted family “pack” animals that stick close to their humans, but rolling over for tummy rubs and giving sloppy kisses may be something else. It depends on the individual dog. Some are VERY affectionate.

Good with children

Older, well-mannered kids 6 or 7 and up are fine. The Ibizan Hound loves to play and romp and run with kids but have little tolerance for the antics of very small children.. This is a clean, organized, polite dog and shrieking, silly, rambunctious kids don’t fit her style.

Good with Seniors over 65?

MAYBE. IF the senior is into jogging or biking for health, and plans to live another 14 years or so, getting an Ibizan Hound might be a good idea. They make wonderful, loyal, affectionate companions for seniors that can provide the exercise every day. I have 85 year old friends who bike and jog daily with their dogs so I know it’s possible.

Living environment

House with a large fenced yard or farm or ranch..

This dog physically needs a soft bed that is cushioned in some way, much the same at the Greyhound and Whippet. Either your bed or hers. Blankets and a small air cushion or pillows might work. Just as long as she has padding between the floor and her ribs.

The Ibizan Hound is an accomplished jumper, so any fence needs to be high enough to prevent the dog from jumping over it.

Ibizan puppy
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Energy level

Moderate to fairly high. Rate this 7 bars out of 10.

Exercise needs, daily

Fairly high. Needs several long walks. PLUS some jogging or bicycling, on leash.

Needs a chance to fully stretch out his legs and RUN for a period of time, then slow down and walk for some mental rejuvenation. When the Ibizan Hound is well exercised and a bit tired, he will settle down in the house and is the near-perfectly behaved pet.


Good watchdog. He will announce visitors at the door and maybe a disturbance in the basement

Guard dog

No. Not a guard dog. Too friendly to kill intruders!


Moderate shedding.


The smooth coat Ibizan Hound needs brushing several times a month. Use a stiff bristle brush.

The wire-coat dogs need brushing weekly.



Suggested Reading - The Ibizan Hound
Click on the cover photos for more book information and reviews.

2nd book from left - "A Dog Who's Always Welcome" shows how to train your dog way past normal obedience and into the THERAPY DOG world of focus and polite manners.

3rd book from left - "101 Dog Tricks" is stimulating mental exercise for your dog. There are things in this book I had no idea existed!

The book on the far right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog illness, emergencies and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners.


Ibizan Hound Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for an Ibizan Hound Rescue Group in your state, here are several links that might help you adopt one:
Petfinder - Ibizan Hound Rescue - (Nationwide) At this time, Petfinder is showing only 33 Ibizan’s available for the entire USA. That number is subject to change, of course. These dogs are not too popular and are scarce in the USA!
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but based on what we just saw with Petfinder above, going online and searching for Ibizan Hound Rescue Groups and various Rescue Kennels or Clubs would be in order.

Dog Health Issues For The Ibizan Hound
Below: List of dog illness / illnesses or medical problems identified for the Ibizan Hound by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Epilepsy—A serious seizure disorder that usually shows up at around 2 to 4 or 5 years of age in dogs.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, hind/back leg acts lame, can't move, weak legs. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing the Ibizan Hound great pain, weakness and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

    Glaucoma—Painful pressure builds in one or both eyes and if not treated early, will lead to total blindness.

  • Cataracts—Hazy or cloudy vision that needs early treatment or it can lead to total blindness.

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy—A serious heart disease. The muscle of the heart loses it’s ability to pump blood properly causing a backup of blood, an enlarged heart, and an improperly functioning heart. Prognosis is generally 4 weeks to 2 years, depending on the Ibizan Hound and how advanced the problem is. The vet may try medications to alter the heart function, but this one is a killer.

  • Retinal dysplasia—Caused by trauma, hereditary or damage from an infection.. Abnormal development of the retina with folds in the outer layers.. The folds are small and may not bother the dog, however, larger obstructions can lead to blindness. Retinal dysplasia is a congenital problem that does not necessarily worsen with age.

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the dog's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

  • Hair loss and dry skin - Treating - There can be a number of causes for a dog losing hair. Hair loss and dry skin are common. See a vet to find out the CAUSE of the hair loss, such as hypothyroidism, flea allergies, dust or mite allergies and so on. Hair loss is usually treated with a topical ointment if it's a fungal infection, ringworm, pyotraumatic dermatitis or other forms of dermatitis. Dry skin problems are often associated with hair loss so look at both together with your vet. The vet should look for food allergies or Atopy, Demodectic or sarcoptic mange and so on. Once the SOURCE is determined, you can treat the hair loss and/ or dry skin on the dog effectively, sometimes with medicated shampoos, creams. diet changes, oral medication, disinfecting the house or whatever is needed.

  • von Willebrand"s Disease—A deficiency in clotting factor in the blood. The affected Ibizan Hound does not properly utilize the blood-platelets for blood-clotting. Thus, the dog is prone to excessive bleeding if in an accident or surgery.

  • < Deafness—Hereditary or caused by: Excessive loud noise, Intolerance to anesthesia, drug toxicity, and Otitis (middle ear infection), In some cases, one ear can have no hearing from birth and the other ear can be losing the ability to hear over time, undetected, then suddenly one morning the hearing is totally gone. There is no reversing once that happens.

  • Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia—Autoimmune disease. The immune system begins to destroy itself and the red blood cells that are supposed to carry oxygen throughout the dog’s body. Damaged red blood cells collect in the blood stream and are called spherocytes. With the shortage of red blood cells, oxygen and spherocytes in the body, hemolytic anemia is the disease in charger. Symptoms are weakness, lethargy, pale gums, eyelids, ears (lack of oxygen), rapid heart rate, possibly vomiting and abdominal pain and in some cases blood in the urine or stool.

Other health problems could occur with your Ibizan Hound. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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