The Ibizan possesses a deer-like elegance and expression, with movements that reflect these qualities. A lithe build enables this dog to perform a double-suspension gallop with great speed, agility, and endurance. The Ibizan is a superb jumper, able to spring to great heights from a standstill. The dog has a racy build and is slightly longer than tall. The trot is light and graceful. The coat can be hard, and either short or wire-haired. A wire coat can be from one to three inches in length.
The Ibizan Hound probably shares the same roots as the Pharaoh Hound, bearing uncanny resemblance to the dogs depicted in Egyptian tombs and to the jackal god Anubis. Ancient Phoenician sea traders may have taken the dogs to the Balearic island of Ibiza, where they remained in relative seclusion. Ibiza saw many rulers through the ages, coming under the auspices of the Egyptians, Chaldeans, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Arabs, and, most recently, Spanish. Spanish farmers on the island used them for hunting. With little outside influence, the dogs of Ibiza remain uncontaminated by crosses to other breeds. The hard conditions on the island imposed stringent selection by islanders because only the best rabbit hunters could be allowed to procreate or, for that matter, survive. These factors produced a hardy, true-breeding dog, little changed from ancestral stock. The first Ibizan Hound came to America in the 1950s. The breed’s striking appearance aroused much attention but the dog is not a common pet. The breed gradually gained enough popularity to gain AKC recognition in 1979, however the Ibizan Hound remains one of the rarer breeds.
The graceful Ibizan Hound retains great hunting instinct, using its acute senses of hearing and smell, and still relishes the opportunity to chase anything that moves. For this reason, the Ibizan should be exercised in safe areas or on-leash. Unlike most sighthounds, this dog will often bark when chasing and playing. The Ibizan Hound is reserved with strangers and some can be timid. A gentle, mild-mannered, even-tempered dog, the Ibizan is a quiet and loyal house pet.
An independent and athletic dog, the Ibizan Hound needs daily exercise in a safe area. Ideal exercise allows the dog to stretch out at full speed, but exercise needs can also be met with long walks or jogs on leash, combined with an occasional chance to run full out. The Ibizan is a skilled jumper, and this should be taken into consideration when designing an enclosure. The smooth coat requires only occasional brushing, whereas the wire coat requires weekly brushing.