Showsight Presents The Ibizan Hound

ibi֍an ;ound Q&A


my life but started in the sport of pure bred dogs in 1975. I started showing at that time. I started my AKC Conformation judging in 1997.

reach and extension in front. I have only seen one bitch recently that had the proper lift and reach combined with great drive from the rear. Of course I also want to see a sound, pretty dog with balanced movement. RLM: Although not typically a head hunter, this breed must have (what I consider) a correct head with proper ears and ear set, a proper front assembly (well-laid back shoulders with a long upright upper arm) that allows for correct movement (“a suspended trot with joint flexion when viewed from the side”) and also a smooth, moder- ate outline when viewed from the side. A good example of this breed should exude both elegance and strength at the same time. GN: Like the standard says, “deer-like elegance... power of a hunter... strong, without appearing heavily muscled... a hound of moderation... rather upright upper arm. The elbow is positioned in front of the deepest part of the chest.” Additionally it must have that unique head and expression that cannot be mistaken for any other breed. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? HC: Yes, the rears. Too many people think the exaggerated rear to be attractive, especially in the American show ring. What it does though is throw the balance of the dog off and reduce the functionality, especially when paired with the rather straight upper arm of the Ibizan front. Too many times I see dogs in the ring overstepping because their fronts have nowhere to go when that rear is pushing. Speeding them up only exacerbates the issue. Remember, the standard describes the rear as moder- ate in angulation and set under the body, not extended behind. A quick note about the Ibizan front: we ask for a well-laid back shoulder, but the upper arm is rather upright to be able to absorb the force from the leaps and bounds this breed makes while hunting. “THE IBIZAN FRONT IS LIKE NO OTHER, WITH A WELL-LAID BACK SHOULDER ATTACHED TO A RATHER UPRIGHT UPPER ARM.”

1. Describe the breed in three words. HC: Elegant, athletic and moderate. EL: Elegant, strong and unique. NL: Elegant, athletic and sweet. RLM: Elegant, functional and intelligent. GN: Clean-cut, lithe and functional.

2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? HC: When you look at the Ibizan outline, there are sharp points—at the ears, the nose, the breastbone, the brisket and the hips. This is not a smooth, rounded outline like a Whippet or Borzoi—there are angles. This is not to say the Ibizan is an angulated breed, but one should see edg- es in the outline. The correct upright ears are part of this as is the correct sharp breastbone, which allows for good reach from the relatively straight upper arm and laid-back shoulder and the croup. One should see the hipbones in the Ibizan outline. Also, the bone is fine and bladed with flat muscling so I look for a lean fleshless skull and do not want to see any bulkiness to the body. And let’s talk about the Ibizan’s ears a second—it’s the only trait that seems a slight exaggeration in an otherwise very moder- ate breed. I’ve had people say I put too much emphasis on this but the correct ear is unique to and sets the type of the Ibizan breed. The standard calls for a pointed ear, but it is so much more than that. There’s a unique trun- cated rhomboid shape that was called for in our original AKC standard. This was changed some years ago, yet, because the parent club still believes it important judges be taught this aspect of our breed, it is included in our judges education material. EL: The Ibizan front is like no other, with a well-laid back shoulder attached to a rather upright upper arm. This leads to our special front movement with joint flexion (or lift). This front, along with our prominent ears and great athleticism, define the Ibizan Hound in the ring. NL: There are a few features I always expect to see in my winners, beside soundness—ear shape, correct move- ment and good condition. A correct ear was described historically as a rhomboid truncated at a third of its longest diagonal. Because this was too “complicated” for some to understand, the standard was changed and we lost the characteristic shape. In short when looking at the ear from the front, it should have an upper inner corner and a lower outer corner. All too often we are seeing straight-sided ears that are too small. Losing this key char- acteristic has hurt our type. Also lacking in most exhibits these days is correct movement. The standard used to call for front legs lifting almost to the horizontal and then reaching. This doesn’t mean hackney, but rather a high

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