Ibizan Hound Type: A Breed Apart

Type is the set of specific qualities that distinguish the breed, the embodiment of the standard. The Ibizan Hound is a dog of light frame, and deerlike to the point that the very deer are sometimes fooled. He is a dog built for agility and high leaps. The structure that allows for this unique ability sets him apart from closely related breeds, like the Pharaoh Hound. He has long, bladed bone and is narrow of body, lithe and upright.

Overly heavy and way-over-standard dogs are handicapped in being capable of the leaping style of hunting in rough, brushy cover. Muscling must be flat and sinewy, not round and bulging. The head is long, fine, and chiseled, but still wedge shaped. The ears are large, rhomboid, and set high, the base of the ear being on level with the eye. The rhomboid shape is unique to the breed, and a point almost lost. The leather should be strong, but thin. To look his best the Ibizan Hound must show them off in competition.

There is very little stop to the plane of the head; a heavy stop is a bad fault. To give proper expression and good peripheral vision, the eyes should be set obliquely. Round, staring eyes give the wrong look and lose the exotic aspect. In profile, a slight Roman convex is correct. In addition, the nose extends beyond the muzzle. A blunt muzzle is incorrect. Lips must be tight and puckered.

The long, arched neck is held high. The term arched implies upward carriage, otherwise the dog would be looking between his own front legs. The topline is slightly arched over the loin.

One of the most unique things about the Ibizan Hound is the long upper arm placed forward of the deepest part of the chest. This does not excuse an upper arm that drops straight from the point of the shoulder. Shoulders are laid back. This allows for the beautiful lift and reach of the suspended trot, not to be confused with a hackney gait.

Feet are oval as in the hare, not round. Hindquarters are sinewy and moderately angulated, with long second thigh. Coat is hard and slick in the smooth, and hard and coarse in the wire. Neither should be soft or silky.

The color of the Ibizan Hound is limited to all combinations of red and white, from almost pure red to pure white, no markings are preferred to another. The eyes should be amber, not pale yellow. Any dark brown or black is a disqualification and implies impurity.

The temperament is generally effervescent and friendly. Young dogs can be embarrassingly reticent, but they generally settle down with exposure.

An Ibizan Hound should stand out as a member of his breed to the informed. The Ibizan is not a red and white Doberman, nor a prick-eared Greyhound, not even a mismarked Pharaoh.

With the worldwide exchange of knowledge on the breed, it is exciting to see the many beautiful and typey Ibizan Hounds who are variations of the acceptable range of type. Particularly to stay grounded, there are the great images of the Spanish hunting packs. To understand type is to understand heritage.

N.K.L. (August 2013), Ibizan Hound Club of the United States