Showsight Presents The Ibizan Hound

ibi֍a ;ound Q&A


HC: Yes, I don’t see nearly as many short upper arms as I saw 20 or more years ago. No, because fashion some- times seems to replace the standard. Overall, however, I believe the breed is in better shape than it was when we were first recognized in 1979. EL: Definitely better. In the 80s and 90s there were many dogs that exceeded our desired size by too much. The top desired size for dogs and bitches are 27 ½ and 26 inches respectively, with an allowance for slightly larger. In our past there were dogs over 30 inches tall in the ring. Some were quality animals, but too big to be balanced Ibizans. Without loss of a good range in breed type from differ- ent lines, Ibizan breeders in the US have converged on a much more functional and typical size and shape. Our show rings temperaments are much improved also. NL: It’s a mixed bag. There are some very beautiful dogs out right now that are as correct as there ever was. But for the most part the breed has suffered from the loss of the old breeders who knew what type really was. In general they are more sound now, but they also are less typey. It is difficult to breed a sound front with its complicated construction of a well laid back shoulder and rather upright upper arm that actually reaches out when in full gait. So we’ve settled on dogs of beautiful type with a common gait which is not typical of the breed. Happily I think I can report that the breed is healthier now. RLM: For the most part, I think the breed has improved greatly since I first started judging them in 1992. Breeders have made great strides in improving soundness in particular. GN: As with most breeds, the quality of a breed is often in flux with periods that are sometimes better and some- times worse. I think it is almost impossible to answer this from the typical entry shows. There will be entries where the classes are of great quality and the same with the specials but with very small numbers. Equally there will be entries where there is less quality either in the classes or in the specials, but once again with very small numbers. Only at the larger entry shows is there a better indication, but even this can be misinterpreted. With this said, I am very pleased currently with the depth of quality of the specials being currently shown across the

Additionally, though we look for a prominent breastbone, all it has to do is fill the palm of one’s hand, not jut out like the bow of a ship. We want lift and flexion, but they also have to reach. Choppy front action that goes up and down but nowhere fast is not what we are wanting. There has to be reach there, too. EL: Our standard asks for depth of chest to, or nearly to, the elbow, with the deepest point behind the elbow due to the rather upright upper arm. On mature dogs, to or nearly to the elbow means at or within an inch or two. Dogs with very shallow chests don’t have good room for heart and lungs. This trait is sometimes exaggerated in our breed. Similarly, the chest should not be too deep or it restricts movement and flexibility. NL: Regretfully I am seeing the opposite of exaggerated. Common generic movement has become the norm. This breed should not “daisy clip” in the front, but rather lift and reach out before placing its front feet. All I see now is plain, restricted movement with very little joint flexion and not much drive from the rear. RLM: There are a couple of traits that I think breeders always need to be cautious about. One is a front assem- bly that has lost the long upright upper arm that makes this breed unique from other sighthounds. I also think angulation in both front and rear assemblies is becoming a bit exaggerated in some Ibizan Hounds. Moderation has different meanings to different people, but an Ibizan with a lot of return of upper arm in the front and/or a long sweeping rear is to me an exaggeration of that for which the standard calls. GN: I do not believe that the traits have been exaggerated, but rather the unique front of the Ibizan with the more upright upper arm is being lost to the generic sighthound front or sometimes even worse, to the straight front. 4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? “...THOUGH WE LOOK FOR A PROMINENT BREASTBONE, ALL IT HAS TO DO IS FILL THE PALM OF ONE’S HAND, NOT JUT OUT LIKE THE BOW OF A SHIP.”


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