Let’s Talk Breed Education!
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Official Standard of the Ibizan Hound General Appearance : The Ibizan's clean-cut lines, large prick ears and light pigment give it a unique appearance. A hunting dog whose quarry is primarily rabbits, this ancient hound was bred for thousands of years with function being of prime importance. Lithe and racy, the Ibizan possesses a deerlike elegance combined with the power of a hunter. Strong, without appearing heavily muscled, the Ibizan is a hound of moderation. With the exception of the ears, he should not appear extreme or exaggerated. In the field the Ibizan is as fast as top coursing breeds and without equal in agility, high jumping and broad jumping ability. He is able to spring to great heights from a standstill. Size, Proportion, Substance : Size - The height of dogs is 23½ to 27½ inches at the withers. Bitches are 22½ to 26 inches at the withers. There is no preference for size within this range. Sizes slightly over or under the norms are not to be regarded as demerits when other qualities are good. Weight - Average weight of dogs is 50 pounds; bitches, 45 pounds. Proportion - Slightly longer than tall. Substance - The Ibizan possesses clean, fine bone. The muscling is strong, yet flat, with no sign of heaviness. Head : Long and narrow in the form of a sharp cone truncated at its base. Finely chiseled and extremely dry fleshed. Expression - The Ibizan has an elegant, deer-like look. The eyes are oblique and small, ranging in color from clear amber to caramel. The rims are the color of the nose and are fully or partially pigmented. The appearance of the eye is intelligent, alert and inquisitive. The ears are large, pointed, and natural. On alert the ear should never droop, bend, or crease. The ears are more wide open than just a tall triangle. The inner edge of each ear is not a straight line but has an obtuse angle or curve between the base and tip which gives the ear a slight inside corner. The overall shape resembles an elongated geometric rhomboid with its bottom third cut-off. Highly mobile, the ear can point forward, sideways, or be folded backward, according to mood. Ears that do not show the ability to be erect are a serious fault. On alert, the lowest point of the base is at level of the eye so the ears are positioned above the eyes, neither off the side of the head nor too high set and coming close to each other. On frontal examination, the height of the ear is approximately 2½ times that of the widest point of the base. Skull - Long and flat, prominent occipital bone, little defined stop; narrow brow. The muzzle is elongated, fine, and slender with a very slight Roman convex. The length from the eyes to point of nose is equal to the distance from eyes to occiput. The muzzle and skull are on parallel planes. The nose is prominent, extending beyond the lower jaw. It is of a rosy flesh color, never black or liver, and tends to harmonize with that of the coat. Pigment is solid or butterfly. Any pigment color which is not as described is a disqualification. Nostrils are open. Lips are thin and tight and the color of the nose. Flews are tight and dry fleshed. Bite - The teeth are perfectly opposed in a scissors bite; strong and well set. Neck, Topline, Body : The neck is long, slender, slightly arched and strong, yet flat muscled. The topline , from ears to tail, is smooth and flowing. The back is level and straight. Body -The chest is deep and long with the breastbone sharply angled and prominent. The ribs are slightly sprung. The brisket is approximately 2½ inches above the elbow. The deepest part of the chest, behind the elbow, is nearly to or to the elbow. The abdomen is well tucked up, but not exaggerated. The loin is very slightly arched, of medium breadth and well muscled. The croup is well-sloped with bone structure visible. The tail is set low, highly mobile, and reaches at least to the hock. It is carried in a sickle, ring, or saber position, according to the mood and individual specimen.
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Forequarters : Angulation is moderate. The shoulders are elastic but never loose with moderate breadth at the withers. The shoulder blades are well laid back. At the point of the shoulder they join to a rather upright upper arm. The elbow is positioned in front of the deepest part of the chest. It is well held in but not so much as to restrict movement. Legs -The forearms are very long, strong, straight, and close, lying flat on the chest and continuing in a straight line to the ground. Bone is clean and fine. The pasterns are strong and flexible, slightly sloping, with well developed tendons. Dewclaw removal is optional. Feet: hare-foot. The toes are long, closed and very strong. Interdigital spaces are well protected by hair. Pads are durable. Nails are white or red. Hindquarters : Angulation is moderate with the hindquarters being set under the body. Legs: The thighs are very strong with flat muscling. The hocks are straight when viewed from the rear. Bone is clean and fine. There are no rear dewclaws. The feet are as in front. Coat : There are two types of coat; both untrimmed. Short-shortest on head and ears and longest at back of the thighs and under the tail. Wire-haired can be from one to three inches in length on all or part of the body with a possible generous moustache. Both types of coat are hard in texture and neither coat is preferable to the other. Color : White or red, (from light, yellowish-red called "lion" to deep red), solid or in any combination. No color or pattern is preferable to the other. Disqualify any color other than white or red. Gait : An efficient, light and graceful single tracking movement. A suspended trot with joint flexion when viewed from the side. The Ibizan exhibits smooth reach in front with balanced rear drive, giving the appearance of skimming over the ground. Temperament : The Ibizan Hound is even-tempered, affectionate and loyal. Extremely versatile and trainable, he makes an excellent family pet, and is well suited to the breed ring, obedience, tracking and lure-coursing. He exhibits a keen, natural hunting instinct with much determination and stamina in the field. Disqualification : Any color other than white or red and any pigment color which is not as described.
Approved February 8, 2022 Effective May 4, 2022
THE IBIZAN HOUND ERIC LIEBES, JEC for the Ibizan Hound Club of America, Breeder judge
I bizan Hound history has its roots in the time of the Pharaohs where both paintings and sculptures of the Anubis represent an ances- tor to the Ibizan Hound, the Pharaoh Hound and the other Podenco breeds. These go back as far as 3400 BC. A paint- ing on a sarcophagus showing a red and white prick eared dog is unmistakably this breed. The various Podencos were spread throughout the Mediterranean by Phoenician sea traders. The Ibizan Hound is named for the island of Ibiza, one of the Balearic Islands off the east coast of Spain. There and on neighbor- ing Majorca the breed stayed pure for more than 2000 years, honed its rabbit hunting ability and worked to put food on the table. The dogs still hunt on their native islands and elsewhere. Since our first imports in the 1950s Ibizan Hound popularity has grown in the United States. They achieved full AKC recognition in 1979. Ibizans are loving pets, sweet with each other and their families. Even adult Ibizans are known for their clownish behavior although the highest titles of obedi- ence competition have been reached. They particularly excel in lure coursing where strong prey drive, speed and ath- leticism are rewarded. For judges our breed standard does a good job of guiding your choices in the ring. “Clean–cut lines, large prick ears and light pigment give it a unique appearance”, “bred for thou- sands of years with function being of prime importance”, “Lithe and racy”, and “deerlike elegance combined with the power of a hunter”. These phrases from the General Appearance section of our Standard give the impression you should get when a great example walks into your ring.
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“CHARACTERISTIC OF IBIZAN HOUND TYPE IS OUR UNIQUE FRONT CONSTRUCTION AND THE MOVEMENT THAT RESULTS FROM IT.”
Characteristic of Ibizan Hound type is our unique front construction and the movement that results from it. Here are the key statements in our Standard: • A rather upright upper arm. The shoulder blades are well laid back. • The elbow is positioned in front of the deepest part of the chest. • The deepest part of the chest, behind the elbow, is nearly to or to the elbow. • The chest is deep and long with the breastbone sharply angled and prominent. • The brisket is approximately 2 ½ inch- es above the elbow. • A suspended trot with joint flexion when viewed from the side. “Joint Flexion” and a “rather upright upper arm” are not an excuse for lack of efficient movement or for unsound- ness. The Ibizan is an athletic hunter. Its front is designed to gallop and trot high, an adaptation to hunting effective- ly in high brush and rough terrain. Our breed still has good reach in the front, they just do it with lift. At first we only had smooth coated dogs in the United States but now we have handsome wire coats as well. Our standard describes the wire coat
as 1 to 3 inches in length and (like the smooth coat) hard in texture. We run the full range from smooth, to a mix of smooth and wire, to fairly tight wire coats and out to lush coated examples. All are just fine. Our coat just needs to protect the dogs in its hunting activities in high brush. Part of why we have a range of coats is because we breed one breed, mixing wires and smooths with the goal of producing the most athletic, soundest and most attractive hounds. Ibizans have amazing ears, stunning eye color and striking self–colored pig- ment. We want an ear which is more wide open than simply triangular. Our old standard described the ears as an “elongated rhomboid truncated at 1/3 of its longer diagonal”. That was per- haps a little too much like a high school geometry lesson but it did describe an ear which was more than simply “large and pointed.” Our Standard asks for an ear which is 2 ½ times as tall as its width at the base. Those are the big ears we want to see! On the other hand, it does our breed a disservice when judges make the competition into seeing who can hold their ears up the longest. We need judges to judge the athletic hunter under the ears.
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JUDGING THE IBIZAN HOUND By Dr. Eric Liebes IHCUS Judge’s Education Coordinator & Breeder-Judge (Photos by Ky Boe Photography & Erica Kasper Photography)
M ore and more judg- es are getting the opportunity to evaluate high qual- ity entries of Ibizan Hounds. Since the entrance of the breed into AKC regular competition in 1979 overall consisten- cy, soundness, head and body type, and size have improved as our breeders have worked to produce exhibits who can func- tion in the field and fit our standard in the show ring. “Clean-cut lines, large prick ears and light pigment give it a unique appear- ance”, “bred for thousands of years with
function being of prime importance”, “Lithe and racy”, and “deerlike elegance combined with the power of a hunter”. Th ese are from the General Appearance section of the Ibizan Hound Standard. If this is the impression you get from an Ibi- zan in front of you, you are likely looking at a good example. Th e Ibizan is a moderate sighthound with exceptional ears. After the ears, the Ibizan’s front construction and character- istic movement make the dog unique. Th is is described in statements throughout our standard. Here are some of them: • A rather upright upper arm. Th e shoul- der blades are well laid back.
• Th e elbow is positioned in front of the deepest part of the chest. • Th e deepest part of the chest, behind the elbow, is nearly to or to the elbow. • Th e chest is deep and long with the breast- bone sharply angled and prominent. • Th e brisket is approximately 2 ½ inches above the elbow. • A suspended trot with joint flexion when viewed from the side. Th is construction is unique to the Ibi- zan Hound. Th e Ibizan’s return of upper arm does not match its shoulder lay back, so the elbow is properly placed further forward than on a “normal front”. Th e deepest point of the chest, at or to the
“AFTER THE EARS, THE IBIZAN’S FRONT CONSTRUCTION AND CHARACTERISTIC MOVEMENT MAKE THE DOG UNIQUE.”
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“IBIZAN EARS ARE CERTAINLY A DISTINCTIVE FEATURE.”
elbow in depth, is therefore set behind the elbow. At the elbow, the chest is rising to the prominent sternum and is 2 ½ inches above the elbow. Th is front produces our special front movement, described in our current standard as “with joint flexion”. What we want is to see the wrist joint flex with each reaching step in the front. Th is has also been described as “lift”. “Joint flexion” and a “rather upright upper arm” are not an excuse for lack or reach or unsoundness. Th ey help our breed trot and gallop high, an adaptation to hunting in high brush and rough terrain. Ibizan’s still get good reach in front, they just do it with joint flexion. Ibizan ears are certainly a distinctive feature. Our old standard described the ears as an “elongated rhomboid truncated at ⅓ of its longer diagonal”. Th at was a little too geometric but it did describe an ear which is more than simply “large and pointed”. Th at is what we want in ear shape
rather than just triangular. One good description is that the ear should be wide open. Our standard asks for ear height 2 ½ times the width at the base. Th ose are some big ears. We want that! We don’t want judges to make the com- petition into a test of who can hold their ears up the longest. See them once, at the end of the down & back, or as I do in the first line-up, and then judge Ibizans by their overall type and their function as the powerful hunter they are. Also please remember our described size range: 23 ½ to 27 ½ inches for dogs, bitches 22 ½ to 26 inches. 80% or more of our current exhib- its are near or over the top of these mea- surements. While sizes just over the norms are OK, be sure not to fault what may be the only properly sized dog in your ring, the smaller one. Most of our Standard is excellent in its descriptions. It emphasizes that we have 2 coat types, smooth and wire (one to
3 inches in length) and that neither is preferable, also that any combination of red and white in the coat is equally desired. Th e Ibizan head, described in the standard as “a sharp cone truncated at its base” adds to the elegance of the breed. Th is description is in contrast to the Pha- raoh Hound head with “the foreface rep- resenting a blunt wedge”. When examining the Ibizan (or any sighthound) always approach from the front with your hand underneath the dogs head. Coming down from the top will cause any sighthound to lean back. See the erect ears and evaluate expres- sion at least once during the dog’s time in the ring. Strength and balance are part of characteristic Ibizan movement along with joint flexion. Emphasize those aspects of the breed which character- ize our unique, elegant, powerful hunt- ing hound, bred with function being of prime importance.
“See the erect ears and evaluate expression at least once during the dog’s time in the ring. STRENGTH AND BALANCE ARE PART OF CHARACTERISTIC IBIZAN MOVEMENT ALONG WITH JOINT FLEXION.”
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LEAPS OF KNOWLEDGE
‘Ratja’ takes a vertical jump to try and hear or see the fleeing rabbit.
LEAPS OF KNOWLEDGE
THE IBIZAN HOUND
I n Spring 2012, I traveled to Mallorca to deliver a puppy of my breeding to a local breeder and hunter, Toni des Clos, an adventure that was described in my article in the previous issue of Sighthound Review . A generous host, Toni arranged for my traveling companion, Erica Kasper, and me to fulfill a dream: watching the ca eivissenc —as the Ibizan Hound is called in its homeland—hunt in the purest traditional way in its original terrain. Toni is a proud steward of rural Mallorcan traditions; his family has been hunting with Ibizans for generations. We went out with seasoned hunting packs; first, Toni’s pack of four, and then with his friend Tomeu Roca’s larger pack of seven to eight. Tomeu’s dogs won the national hunting championship in 2011, and Toni’s “Dama” and “Clenxa” won an island pairs competition, suggesting that we were in for an unfor- gettable experience, which Erica Kasper has captured in her wonderful photographs. To improve my understanding of what I saw in the field, I drew heavily from the description of the breed’s unique hunting style in the 1987 book, Ca Eivissenc: L’Alternativa , by Miquel Elena Rossello and Charles Camberoque. Those desiring an original, authoritative account are directed to that matchless source. Many are familiar with the spectacular leaping so important to this breed’s hunting style, but there are some perhaps less dramatic aspects that are just as important. Ibizans are primitive hunting hounds, appropriately placed in that category under the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). They detect, capture, and retrieve rabbits to hand with little substantial interaction with the huntsmen. In the United States, the Ibizan Hound is placed in the Hound Group and described as a Sighthound, which is not the same thing as being a Sighthound in the sense of a coursing hound, although they do share significant traits. The terrain, which the rabbit has perfectly adapted to, is varied and challenging: stands of trees, dense vegetation, and stone walls; remnants of a bygone time, interspersed with rugged, semi-open areas at best.
BY TEDDY BURKE ARBECA IBIZAN HOUNDS
PHOTOS BY ERICA KASPER
Reprinted from Sighthound Review with permission from the publisher.
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LEAPS OF KNOWLEDGE
Tomeu Roca and his dogs won the Spanish national hunting championship in 2011, and he has the trophy to prove it.
The dogs are released to hunt. Leashes are not used to control or gather them.
than being right on a rabbit. Capture frequently occurs in close proximity to cover, not just when in full open pursuit. The dogs hunt as a team with clearly defined roles. The drama ends with a dog retrieving the rabbit to the hand of the huntsman. Tomeu and Toni hunt in the areas of Santanyi, Ses Salines, Sa Punta, and Campos in the southwest region of the island, which are a heartland of hunting tradition for the breed. Hunting lands are sometimes owned but are often leased, and most of the hunting occurs on familiar areas that the hunters and their dogs know well. We met Toni and his older son at their home and drove to Sa Punta to hunt on his friend “Tia Sa Punta’s” land. Toni’s pack is an average size of five, with the typical single male, “Rapit.” Ages ranged from around two to eight years. The matriarch of Toni’s pack is 8-year- old “Dama,” who, along with 4-year-old “Clenxa,” he deemed his best. Dama is the dam of the siblings Rapit and his sister “Turque.” Then there was the Irish red wire “Ratja.” All of the dogs we saw were unregistered, and it is still true today that the vast majority of cans eivissencens throughout their homeland are unregistered. The Ibizans exported from Spain to the United States are generally closely related, coming from the few breed- ers whose three-generation pedigrees have the L.O.E. ( Libro de Origenes Español , or Book of Origins) number issued by the Real Sociedad Canina España (R.S.C.E.), a member of the FCI, which means registrations are acceptable by AKC. The coats ranged from smooth and wire to a suggestion of a mix of these. Toni said the most important selection quality was hunting ability, but he admired the short, hard coat, though not all hunters agreed. The wire and longer smooth coats of his dogs he attributed to their ancestor “Faro,” the handsome Irish-marked red wire male featured in Alternativa photos. Young and impetuous Rapit, the typical single male in the pack, was not present on this hunt. He had been vocalizing—or not—at inappropriate times, a distraction to the other dogs that can result in loss of the rabbit. Since then, Toni told me Rapit has rejoined his team. Ibizans do not bark simply to release the stimulation of the excitement; even in the heat of the pursuit, it is the lead dog who signals with the voice. The bark or call conveys information by the dog with the best information. It is doubtful that a highly excitable or reactive temperament would work in this context.
The selection of traits to function in such dense terrain, where the rabbit goes quickly to cover, has evolved over hundreds of years: “Principal breed characteristics are a keen sense of hearing, ability to leap, and above all a great sense of smell,” said the early Spanish standard of 1930. Scent is foremost in detection, then hearing for stirrings in the dry vegetation and pack interactions; finally, sight steps up in the “senses triumvirate.” It could be argued that the importance of scent in Ibizan function has largely been overlooked outside the land of origin, and perhaps more emphasis should be placed on tracking and nosework in performance activities here. The rabbit is easily unsighted, disappearing into the dense veg- etation, in which case the dogs add vertical jumps to their arsenal. Briefly suspended in air, they listen and look in order to continue pursuit. While suspended in this way, the dogs can actually change direction in mid-air. This is in addition to spectacular leaps and jumps to overcome obstacles during pursuit. At times, stillness and silence are key components in captures from close cover. At all stages, which dog vocalizes and when is regulated by a strict protocol. In photos showing the dogs in full speed, they may be responding to the cry of “Come here!” rather
‘Clenxa,’ an example of a mixed coat. Her name means “parting of the hair.”
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LEAPS OF KNOWLEDGE
Toni maneuvered his little sedan as deeply into the area as pos- sible, opened the trailer, and at that moment the hunt began. We saw no leashes; the dogs are controlled verbally. Methodical and tenacious use of scent is highly appreciated—and Dama was a pro. The dogs spread out in an animated but not excited manner. They may begin with a dry, cold trail until a fresh one is revealed, lead- ing to where the rabbit may be in deep cover, or in walls, not so much burrows, in this terrain. The Alternativa states that the alert bark is for hearing or seeing the rabbit and is disruptive and never desired for just finding a hot trail. If the rabbit is detected in or pressured into cover, the lead dog will alert and then attract its pack mates, not by continuing with a specific alert vocal sound but rather by its body language. While awaiting help, the lead dog maintains a still, high-alert, “point- like” pose, with the exception of the wildly expressive, high tail. The pack then arrives to assess the situation and take strategic posi- tions around the cover area, remaining still with the exception of extreme tail movement. Otherwise, the dogs are all silent. We wit- nessed this repeatedly on our outings. If the rabbit decides to bolt, the dog nearest the exit point will assume the lead. If it remains in cover, I will use the term “honor” in the sense that the pack honors the lead dog that will initiate the next move. This is a suspense- ful and entertaining part of the hunting and one where the dogs are listening for any movement of the rabbit within the dry cover. Throughout all of our outings, all humans were careful not to be talking loudly or walking too heavily through the dry vegetation so as not to distract the dogs.
If the rabbit remains in cover, usually the lead (but perhaps another—but only one—who is confident of the position of the rabbit) will attempt to seize. Failing that, he will startle it from cover—a technique that those who live with this breed I think will recognize right away: The dog rises up and “punches” (my term!) down into the cover with its forelegs, and then may pin down and/ or seize the rabbit with its jaws. If unsuccessful, a strategically posi- tioned pack member will try to take the startled and pressured rabbit just as it exits cover. Alternativa states that about 25 percent of the captures occur right at the surrounded cover in this manner. If the rabbit escapes without the dogs’ knowledge, they abandon that area and begin to search again by trying to pick up the scent. I gained a deeper understanding that there is so much more to these amazing hunters than spectacular jumping and dramatic chases. When the pursuit becomes more open, the pack assembles stra- tegically to flank the lead dog, and the lead will alternate as the rabbit dodges or feints. From Alternativa , italic emphasis mine: “In chase the dogs do not run barking as hearing is still a significant factor.” A further point regarding hearing: Jumping over brush rather than attempting to go through or around is less likely to hide the noise the rabbit makes in running away. “The chase is the most spectacular phase of the hunting because high jumps of more than two meters over bushes or walls are very frequent,” the Alternativa reminds. Two meters is more than six feet, and this may account for the height of the dogs we saw, the smallest being mid-standard and most near the top. This may not be representa- tive of the breed throughout its range in its homeland, but it was the norm here.
Once the rabbit is found, great care is taken not to make a sound (above). While ‘showing’ and awaiting the pack, the dog stands shock still, except for an excitedly moving tail (below).
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LEAPS OF KNOWLEDGE
A typical working Ibizan Hound: Lean, moderate and white (left) . But as this bitch in the field shows, that does not mean the dogs can’t be elegant (right) .
The dog is expected to promptly deliver the captured rabbit still alive, or at minimum undamaged, to the hand of its huntsman who usually dispatches it by breaking its neck and then rewards the dog with water and praise. We saw no deviations from Tomeau’s excellent pack, such as mauling, stealing or dropping the rabbit. In a memorable sequence, Tomeau’s sole male was proudly pro- ceeding to him with a capture. While he was still some distance away, the pack picked up another rabbit directly behind this dog and took off in hot pursuit. The arrest of a prey drive is no slight matter, but despite demonstrating temptation to follow, in the end the dog submissively retrieved the rabbit to Tomeau and immedi- ately rejoined the pack. We felt we could read his mind as he made his decision: the right one. This really impressed me. This was the pack’s single male and he was a stand-out, with multiples of the five captures that afternoon. The exciting afternoon concluded with a return to the van, con- veniently parked by a source of water. Again, without leashes, the dogs were directed back into the vehicle at the end. My good fortune in meeting our generous cultural guide and host, Toni des Clos, is only equaled by my gratitude to him. Watching these dogs demonstrated to me what the Mallorcans have known all along: That a performance-based breeding pro- gram without papers, written pedigree or conformation champion- ships can produce correct type and aesthetically pleasing dogs with proven working ability. The dogs are so perfectly adapted to their unique environment and primary prey, the rabbit (not hare), that, at best, we who are outside of these regions can only approximate selection based on working traits. It is humbling.
Teddy Burke of Greenwood, Delaware, (pictured with her generous Mallorcan host, Tony des Clos), acquired her first Ibizan Hound after retiring from the U.S. Navy in 1994. Her first litter was in 2004, initiating the Arbeca prefix. From the outset, an important goal was learning about the breed as it functions in its homeland, the Balearics and Catalunya, which she has visited on two occasions. Her breeding program has included offspring from both wire- and smooth-coated imports from active hunting kennels, and her Ibizans have competed successfully in lure coursing and conformation. She has served the Ibizan Hound Club of the United States in various roles, including Treasurer and Secretary, and judged their National Specialty Sweepstakes in 2011. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Persuit requires acute hearing as well as sight when leaping.
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THE Wire-Haired IBIZAN HOUND NO STRIPPING ALLOWED
BY LISA PUSKA
T he number of wire-haired Ibizan Hounds being shown across the country has increased by leaps and bounds. I think their adorable fuzzy faces are irresistible; in fact, my latest canine acquisition is a lovely little wire puppy named “Alba.” I couldn’t resist. At five months of age, she sports a furry coat, a beard, and tufts of hair on her ears. Once she’s mature, Alba’s wild locks might even make “Simba” jealous. But once she steps into the show ring, it won’t be Alba’s length of coat, or the fullness of it, or the fact that she is just so darn cute that will make her different than many of the other wire Ibizan Hounds in the ring. Alba’s uniqueness will be the fact that she won’t have been trimmed or plucked or thinned to make her wild locks appear more manageable. It’s not because I lack tal- ent when it comes to stripping coats. (Oh, all right, I do, and if I stripped her she would end up looking like she had mange.) But the real reason that Alba will be shown in all of her glorious fuzziness is that there is a line in the breed standard that states that the coat is “untrimmed.”
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THE WIRE-HAIRED IBIZAN HOUND: NO STRIPPING ALLOWED
THE IBIZAN HOUND IS A HUNTING BREED THAT HAS BEEN INFORMALLY BRED WIRE-TO-WIRE COAT, SHORT-TO-SHORT COAT, AND WIRE-TO-SHORT COAT FOR GENERATIONS; EVIDENCE OF THIS
GOES BACK TO THE EARLIEST RECORDED BREED PEDIGREES.
THUS, VARIATIONS IN COAT HAVE BEEN A PART OF THE BREED. OUR GOAL IS TO PRESERVE THE BREED, NOT CHANGE IT. SHORT IS GOOD. LONG IS GOOD. AND IN-BETWEEN IS JUST FINE TOO.
Untrimmed. No scissors, no plucking, no turning a fuzzy into a smooth. Years ago, if those of us who worked on the committee that revised the current Ibizan Hound breed standard could have seen the amount of hair pulling going on today, we might have been stronger in our terminology. “Trimming: Don’t even think about it.” The fault for all of this coat tampering lies with both the own- ers and the judges who are seeking a certain look for the show ring. According to the breed standard, a coat that is one to three inches in length is a wire coat. It can be long and thick and evenly scattered over the body or shorter and sparser with longer hair appearing more abundantly in certain areas. And if one type of wire coat is not to one’s liking, this does not make it improper. The Ibizan Hound is a hunting breed that has been informally bred wire-to-wire coat, short-to-short coat, and wire-to-short coat for generations; evidence of this goes back to the earliest recorded breed pedigrees. Thus, variations in coat have been a part of the breed. Our goal is to preserve the breed, not change it. Short is good. Long is good. And in-between is just fine too. What are the faults in a wire coat? The key to a wire coat is in the texture. Both the short coat and the wire coat are harsh in texture. A soft, silky coat is not correct and can be considered a fault. Keep in mind that puppy coat can be softer than the adult coat, and allowances should be made for this. Breeders and judges alike, please learn to appreciate and celebrate the fabulous wire-haired Ibizan Hound—with all of its variations. Vive le différence!
A Look Back: Can. Ch. Ria USA El Gallinero, Spanish import, with her daughter, Can. Ch. Muerdago. These two won the first IHCUS matches in the US in 1986 and 1987.
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THE IBIZAN HOUND
A TEMPERAMENT THAT WORKS
T he Ibizan Hound’s temperament is often misunderstood among its more dignified fellows within the Hound Group. This energetic, comical breed is truly a “Peter Pan” among other Sighthounds, and appreciating his personality is a vital part of his function as well. Spanish Podencos hunt in mixed packs of seven or more dogs. These dogs are generally easygoing, and quarreling among them is rare. Hunt- ers do not desire overly sharp dogs because it is very important that the dogs work together to track, flush, give chase, and retrieve their prey. These are not solo hunters—they are social ones. Quarreling among a hunting pack reduces its take in the field. Breeders are generally mind- ful of the need for this breed to function well within a social pack, and breeding choices should, and typically do, consider temperament.
BY MEEGAN PIEROTTI-TIETJE
This article first appeared as the August 2021 Ibizan Hound Breed Column in the AKC Gazette and is reproduced here with permission.
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THE IBIZAN HOUND
“As social as these dogs typically are, it is not uncommon to see them trying to play with each other. Smacks, play bows, and leaps are frequent gestures that their handlers manage with a grin and a tight grip on the show lead.”
a Sighthound, after all. It is better to approach the dog from the side, ask the exhibitor to show the bite, and then begin examining the animal. It can be better to save expression and the headpiece until the end of the exam. Extreme shyness should be approached carefully in order to give the dog a good ring experience, but if the judge cannot appropriately evaluate the dog, an award may not be warranted. Some dogs will also exhibit a more laid-back tempera- ment, both in and outside the ring. This is an equally acceptable trait within the breed and is sometimes connected to their experi- ence with other performance events. In a breed as versatile as the Ibizan Hound, it is to be expected that there are variations in temperament as well. That being said, these variations should all still encompass the idea of the ideal function of the dog in the field as a hunting pack animal.
Ringside with a large Ibizan Hound entry is often quite comi- cal. As social as these dogs typically are, it is not uncommon to see them trying to play with each other. Smacks, play bows, and leaps are frequent gestures that their handlers manage with a grin and a tight grip on the show lead. When in the ring, exhibitors may find that their dog wishes to continue the social party. Ibizan Hounds can get “bored” in a large entry, especially if they can’t chat with friends. This is a great opportunity for exhibitors to employ small focus exercises to keep things in the ring fun for the dog. When judging the breed, it is still necessary to use the typi- cal gentle approach as with other Sighthound breeds. Young dogs that are unsure of ring procedure should not be penalized, but should stand for exam. Some young dogs will back up or roach when evaluations begin from the front of the animal; this is still
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By Teddy Burke (Photos by Ky Boe Photography & Erica Kasper Photography)
Living With T he Ibizan Hound is an even tempered and engaging breed and a joy to live with if provided with a suitable home environment providing energy outlets and closeness to its owners. When provided these they will settle down and enjoy home life or they can be depend- ed upon to find their own entertainment. Th ose who heed the requirements of breed traits become loyal devotees of the breed.
Lifestyles where an Ibizan is regularly expected to be alone for extended periods of time are inappropriate for their energy level and need for social contact. An unsu- pervised Ibizan left alone for hours in the yard can be counted on to try its security and dig amongst the landscaping. House Manners Th ey are exuberant, curious and busy youngsters (some adults also) and require constant supervision until they “learn the ropes” and mature a bit, usually at
around three or four years of age. Until then nothing of value such as food, digi- tal devices, eyewear, or toys should be left where they can be reached. Ibizans are adept jumpers and have demonstrated the ability to snatch items from the top of refrigerators. Other Animals Ibizans will appreciate the company of other dogs, particularly of their breed and will accept other animals in its household when properly introduced.
“THEY ARE EXUBERANT, CURIOUS AND BUSY YOUNGSTERS (SOME ADULTS ALSO)...”
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Barking Although not protective guard dogs they notice everything and will react with barking to typical neighborhood activity. Energy Level Th eir high prey drive results in tire- less e ff orts to reach small mammals like squirrels, opossums, groundhogs, strange cats etc. which when combined with their remarkable leaping ability dictates a secure fenced yard (five feet depending on the dog, maybe higher). For the same reason it is strongly recommended Ibizans never be permitted o ff leash. Children Ibizans are powerful dogs and although generally calm and sweet can be di ffi cult to restrain when prey drive is activated. Th ey are friendly to responsible children but do not always appreciate rough hous- ing. When standing on its rear legs an Ibizan can easily place its front feet on an adults shoulders and care should be taken with exuberant dogs and young children. Activities Popular activities with this breed include dog shows (conformation) and lure coursing (AKC and ASFA). Lure coursing is a sport involving chasing a mechanically operated lure and is a most enjoyable outlet for the Ibizans natu- ral hunting instincts and energy. Other chase venues include oval (LGRA) and “THE IBIZAN POSSESSES A SENSITIVE, GENTLE TEMPERAMENT that responds best to patience and positive training techniques.”
Care & Health Ibizans normally live eleven to fourteen years. While not plagued as a breed with a high level of specific health problems, sei- zures and autoimmune illness are seen. Cataracts and deafness do occur but can be tested for at a young age. Th is is a clean breed with little odor and only moderate shedding. Weekly brushing, nail trimming, teeth and ear cleaning with occasional bathing are all that is required for a well-groomed hound. For more information contact the Ibi- zan Hound Club of the United States. Website www.ihcus.org.
straight (NOTRA) racing. Agility, Obe- dience, Rally and other activities are a rewarding way to build a relationship with your dog but the Ibizan should not be the first choice for those whose goal is national level all breed success in these venues. Long walks or jogging (after physical maturity approximately 14 months) are appropriate outlets to main- tain fitness and temper the energy level for these athletic hounds. Th e Ibizan pos- sesses a sensitive, gentle temperament that responds best to patience and posi- tive training techniques.
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THE ELEGANT IBIZAN HOUND
2. The biggest concern you have about your breed, be it medical, structural, temperament-wise, or what? KC: Responsible breeders utilizing BAER testing have proven to nearly remove bilateral deafness from the gene pool, but we still have some occurrences of unilateral deaf- ness. Some breeders exhibit faulty, messy, egg-beater front assemblies citing that they are appropriately “elas- tic”. Sloppy is not correct. This breed is truly elegant and graceful—seasoned with a sense of humor. EL: Since I started showing Ibizans in 1981 our tem- peraments have vastly improved. Our dogs were often untouchable back then. Some of this is due to good breeding, some to better training and certainly some is because we expect our showdogs to be strong in the field as well. That promotes intolerance of insane dogs and also dogs who are asked to perform their function gain confidence and the ability to deal with new situa- tions through that activity. We are on a good track here and should continue to insist that our dogs are dual purpose. AM: My biggest concern in Ibizans is with the front assem- bly. Our breed has a unique trait in that we want a rather upright upper arm. This creates a lifting action as the dog is reaching forward at the trot. Sometimes too much emphasis is put on this lifting action and the upper arm without taking into consideration the layback of shoul- der. The standard calls for a well laidback shoulder. I often see dogs with little layback which when coupled with the upright upper arm creates a more hackney gait with little reach. 3. The biggest problem facing you as a breeder. KC: Ibizan Hounds are appropriately on the low-entry-breed list which implies that not very “popular.” Popularity obviously influences the demand (or lack there of) for stay-at-home pets well as show prospects. Responsible breeders need to take reservations in advance of con- summating litters to assure that they will have enough quality, vetted homes to support their breeding aspira- tions. Meanwhile, no one wants to disappoint committed homes, either. Combine those realities with the fact that this breed commonly whelps two to fourteen puppies
I live in Seattle, Washington. Professionally, I’m a partner in a commercial real estate firm. I enjoy ballroom dancing, especially in the autumn and winter months. During the spring and summer months, when I’m not at dog shows, I tend to my organic garden and then prepare and preserve the bounty. ERIC LIEBES Joan and I live outside of Colorado Springs with two Samo- yeds, a Komondor, an Ibizan Hound and Joan’s two horses. I retired two years ago after 30 years with Chevron as a geo- physicist, doing oil exploration and research ALICE MIRESTES I live in Northwest Arkansas and I am a practice manager at a veterinary clinic 1. Your opinion of the current quality of purebred dogs in general, and your breed in particular. KC: In my opinion, Ibizan Hounds are riding higher than before with the deepest quality we’ve collectively seen in the USA since their acceptance to the AKC. Ibizan Hounds are excelling in a variety of dog sports, as the breed particularly shines in lure coursing, agility and rally. EL: I think too many winning dogs are sound and are good “showdogs” and that the important details of type are in danger of fading. It is the responsibility of judges to reward type above showmanship. In other words, they have to know the details of type in all the breeds they judge. In Ibizan Hounds this danger is expressed when judging our breed becomes a contest of who can hold their ears up the longest or who can move the fastest around the ring. Both are a disservice to our breed. Style of move- ment in Ibizans is unique, it must be athletic, efficient and include “joint flexion” expressed as some lift in the front at a trot. AM: My opinion of quality overall and in my breed, people are striving for mediocrity instead of understanding what makes a great dog great. People seem to think they should win because they put in the effort to show up.
per litter and that makes striking the appropriate balance of responsible supply and puppy demand rather challenging.
EL: When I bred several litters in the 80s and 90s we had a tragic neurologic issue which has now gone away. It turned out to be a vaccine reaction which we can now avoid. We still have food sensitivities and because of that I am feeding my dog raw food.
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4. Advice to a new breeder? Advice to a new judge of your breed? KC: Carefully study the Ibizan’s unique front assembly as it is so different that you have to pause to wrap your thoughts around it. The points that make the Ibizan’s front assembly absolutely correct is completely incorrect in every other breed. The Ibizan’s unique front assembly is required to leap and hunt properly as the breed has functioned for thousands of years. Striving for a conven- tional front assembly in the Ibizan Hound would be a tragedy and should be highly penalized. EL: To the breeder: Breed a strong functional athletic hunter, with our deer-like elegance. Focus on dual purpose dogs who function in the field and show Ibizan Hound type movement in the ring. The the judge: Look for and reward the typical Ibizan who looks like it could bring home the meat for your rabbit stew. Also help us retain size, within our standard. Giant Ibizans (more than two inches above Standard) are not correct. AM: Here are a few words of advice I give to anyone new to the sport of dogs. Don’t join Facebook groups thinking you will learn. Often the people posting on them have no basis for their information and are attention seeking. There are exceptions like training and rearing groups. If you truly want to learn hang out at the show, attend other events even if they don’t pertain to your breed, attend kennel club meetings, and read the great old books. Build a foundation of friends and mentors in many breeds. Stay all day at the dog show and go outside your comfort zone to talk to people. If people are negative or trash dogs/ breeding programs unfriend and walk away. Life is better without that negativity. Don’t let anyone bully you. For new judges of Ibizans, please learn how to approach them. They usually do best with someone with confi- dence in their approach and aren’t huge fans of having their heads handled from above. Any one of us on the judge’s education committee would be happy to show you if you ask. 5. Anything else you’d like to share—something you’ve learned as a breeder, exhibitor or judge or a par- ticular point you’d like to make KC: We (the parent club) have spent several years carefully composing an Illustrated Standard in a PowerPoint for- mat. Although it is intended for use in conjunction with a live presentation, I believe that anyone judging Ibizan Hounds (regular, provisional or candidate status) owes it to themselves and the exhibitors to have a look at: http:// ihcus.org/judges-education/jepresentation/ . Also, the Ibizan Hound is now offered in the AKC Canine College program which should be helpful for anyone looking to find unbiased quality education on this low-entry-list breed. Another consideration for judge candidates is that the parent club national show is generally held at Purina Farms in mid-September in cooperation with a handful of
other parent club nationals. IHCUS always offers parent club approved Judges Ed at our national with wide variety of quality hands-on opportunities. Our web site is robust and offers more information and contacts: www.IHCUS.org EL: The most unique aspect of Ibizans is our unique front, with a well laid back shoulder attached to a rather upright upper arm. That assembly is placed on a chest whose depth goes to or close to the elbow, though the deepest part is under the withers, behind the elbow. Some breeders misunderstand this and just produce shal- low chested dogs. That is wrong. The dogs need chest volume for lungs and heart which give them the ability to function. We don’t want the chest too deep because that would limit flexibility and turning ability. 6. And for a bit of humor, what’s the funniest thing that you ever experienced at a dog show? KC: Some 20 years ago, I traveled to a cluster of shows with just one of my Ibizan Hounds and two of my Basenjis to show. The shows were being held inside a retired airplane hangar. Arriving at the shows in the parking lot, I loaded the three hounds up on a rolling cart in appro- priately sized wire crates with the Ibizan on the bottom, and two wire crates on top for the Basenjis nice and tidy. Since Ibizans and Basenjis were showing in differ- ent rings, I planned to wheel to each ring separately to gather my armbands. While I was requesting my Basenji armband from the ring steward, my Ibizan discovered a new trick: She used her paw to slide the latch effec- tively releasing herself from her crate. It took me a full two seconds to realize what had occurred, but that was enough time for my Ibizan to exhibit what she was built to do: Leap. And leap she did, into the closest ring and then in just a couple of strides, cleared the opposite side of the ring into the next ring and then the next, and the next and the next ring unable to be caught by anyone. As soon as anyone reached for her she leaped into the next adjacent ring! As you can imagine, everyone who wasn’t panicked, was laughing hysterically. After my girl made her way around the ring configuration, we were finally able to catch her, and the dog show carried on. But I didn’t live that one down for years! EL: Not the funniest thing but related to Ibizans and their brother Podenco breeds: In Ibizan Hound education we point out that the Ibizan Hound is just one of the Poden- co breeds with a similar ancient history going back to the times of the Pharaohs. Then the Portuguese Podenco Pequeno and their active club gets their act together and gets into Miscellaneous and then Group competition first of the remaining crowd. So for the past five years we’ve been asked, “How is that little dog like an Ibizan?” I’m glad to see the Medio and Grande version coming along in AKC competition so that that question will be better answered!
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VIEWS ON A SIGHTHOUND: IBIZAN HOUNDS
HEIDI CLEVENSTINE I live in Bella Vista, Arkansas, just a ½ mile south of the Missouri border. I am the Accounts Manager for an auto insur- ance agency and I manage the bank accounts for 24 offices in five states. Pretty mundane, but can get interesting and quite stressful. I became interested in purebred dogs when I was six. My mom took me and the family Pug to our first match in 1960 and I was hooked on dog shows from then on. My mom regretted that for the rest of her life. I got really serious about showing in my teens with Collies, but was also introduced to my first Ibizan Hound then (1972). I finally got my first one in 1979 and was involved with the breed through the 80s and early 90s. After taking time off for family, I rejoined the dog world and got my provisional judging license for Collies and Ibizans several years ago, but only sent in for full judging privileges a year or so ago. ERIC LIEBES Joan and I live outside
pedigree award-winning dog that was also a Field Champion and Best in Field dog. His littermate, also a FCh and BIF dog, was Winners Dog at the first Ibizan National. I am the Judges Education Coordinator for the Ibizan Hound Club of the US and often give Ibizan Hound seminars on their behalf. NANCY LIEBES I live in New Castle, Indiana. I’m a retired corporate train- er; now a potter. I’ve had 44 years in dogs, 42 showing and 28 years judging.
RUSSELL L. MCFADDEN
I live in Espanola, New Mexico which is located about 25 miles northwest of Santa Fe. I’m a retired Computer Systems Administrator that now works part-time in a couple of jew- elry stores and a fine linens store. In my spare time I write short stories and make jewelry. I got my first purebred dog in 1959 when I was seven years old. However, I didn’t actively start showing until 1973. I was first approved to judge in 1987 at which time I was given Whippets and Afghan Hounds. GARRY NEWTON I currently reside in
of Colorado Springs with our three Samoyeds, two Komondors, Greyhound, Ibizan Hound and Joan’s two horses. I retired last year after 30 years with Chevron as a Geophysi- cist, sometimes doing oil exploration, sometimes research. I got my first dogs, an Ibizan and a Komondor, in 1981. The Ibizan got his Champi- onship and a CDX; the Komondor still holds the
Richmond TX. I continue to be multi-faceted in my work which includes being the Director of Nursing for a Pediatric Home Health Agency, continue to pro- duce sculpture in both bronze and alabaster, com- pete and teach practical/ combat handgun proficien- cy as a 6 gun IDPA Master classified shooter and pres- ently working on my sec- ond novel for publication. I grew up with dogs for all
all-breed BIS record for the breed at 7. I’ve had good success breeding both of those breeds since. I’ve been judging since 1992 and am approved for all Hounds, Working and Herd- ing breeds and 16 Sporting breeds. In the 80s and 90s, I had several Ibizan litters and produced a National Specialty and
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