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Ibizan Hound
Podenco z ibizy 645.jpg
Ibizan Hound.
Other names Ca Eivissenc
Podenco Ibicenco
Ibizan Warren Hound
Country of origin Spain
Traits

The Ibizan Hound, pronounced "I-bee-zan" or "I-beeth-an", is an agile, deer-like dog of the hound family. There are two hair types of the breed: smooth and wire. The more commonly seen type is the smooth. Some consider there to be a third type, long, but most consider the longhair to be a variation of the wire.

Contents

Description

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Appearance

The Ibizan Hound is an elegant and agile breed with an athletic and attractive outline and a ground-covering springy trot. Though graceful in appearance, it has good bone girth and is a rugged/hardy breed. Its large upright ears - a hallmark of the breed - are broad at the base and frame a long and elegant headpiece. The neck is long and lean. It has a unique front assembly with well laid back shoulders and straight upper arm. In this way it is different from most other sighthound breeds in construction. It comes in both smooth and wire coated varieties. It is either red or white or a combination of red and white. Its nose is flesh colored, as are its ears, eye rims, and pads of feet. Its eyes are a striking amber color and have an alert and intelligent expression. The Ibizan may range in height from 24 to 29 inches (61 to 74 cm) and weigh from 45 to 65 pounds (20 to 29 kg), males being larger than females.

Temperament

Ibizan Hounds are moderately intelligent, active, and engaging by nature. They rank 53rd in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs, being of average working/obedience intelligence. They are true "clowns" of the dog world, delighting in entertaining their people with their antics. Though somewhat independent and stubborn at times, they do take well to training if positive methods are used, but will balk at punitive training methods. They are generally quiet, but will alarm bark if necessary, so they make good watch dogs. They are sensitive hounds, and very good around children and other dogs alike. They generally make good house dogs, but are active and athletic, therefore need a lot of daily exercise. They do not make good kennel dogs.

Ibizan Hounds are "escapologists." They are able to jump incredible heights from a stand still. As such, they need very tall fences. They also have been known to climb. They have a strong prey drive, therefore they cannot be trusted off lead unless in a safely enclosed area.

Health

The Ibizan Hound is typical of the Hound Group in that it rarely suffers from hereditary illness. Minor health concerns for the breed include seizures and allergies; very rarely, one will see axonal dystrophy, cataract, retinal dysplasia and deafness in the breed. Ibizan Hound owners should have their dogs' eyes tested by a veterinarian before breeding. Ibizan Hounds are sensitive to barbiturate anesthesia, and typically live between 12 and 14 years.[1]

History & Use

This breed originates in the island of Eivissa and has been traditionally used in the Catalan speaking areas of Spain and France to hunt rabbits and other small game. The Ibizan Hound is a fast dog that can hunt on all types of terrain, working by scent, sound and sight. Hunters run these dogs in mostly female packs, with perhaps a male or two, as the female is considered the better hunter.

The Ibizan hound authority Miquel Rosselló has provided a detailed description of a working trial which characterises their typical hunting technique and action,[2] strikingly illustrated with action photos by Charles Camberoque[3] which demonstrate hunt behaviour and typical hunt terrain. While local hunters will at times use one dog or a brace, and frequently packs of 6-8 or as many as 15, the working trial requires an evaluation of one or two braces. A brace is called a colla. The couples should be tested on at least 2 to 5 rabbits (not hares) without the use of any other hunting aid. An inspection and evaluation of the exterior, fitness, character and obedience of the dogs is recommended prior to the hunt. The trial is qualified as having 5 parts. The dogs should show: (1) careful tracking and scenting of the rabbit, without being distracted in the least, 0-30 points.(2) correct signalling of the game, patient stand, strong jump into the air, obedience 0-10 points. (3) chase, giving tongue, speed, sureness, anticipation 0-30 points. (4) putting the game to cover at close quarters, listening, waiting, obedience, correct attack 0-10 points. (5) good catch, or correct indication of the game’s location, retrieval, obedience 0-20 points. Individual dogs are expected to show a great degree of discipline, obedience and co-operation. They should be extremely agile, have good speed and a powerful vertical jump from a stationary position in rough and often heavily covered ground. They should have excellent scent-tracking abilities, give tongue at the right time when approaching the game closely, and otherwise be silent so that they can locate the game by sound.

Female Ibizan Hound

The Ibizan Hound is similar in function and type to several breeds such as the Pharaoh Hound, the Cirneco dell'Etna, the Portuguese Podengo, and the Podenco Canario. The Ibizan Hound is the largest of these breeds, classified by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale as primitive types.

This breed is considered by most experts one of the most ancient dog breeds. It is believed the Ibizan Hound evolves from the tesem, the ancient Egypt hunting dog. Representations of this dog on the walls of ancient tombs show a striking similarity to the modern Ibizan Hound.[4] These dogs would have been brought to the island of Eivissa by the Phoenicians, who founded settlements there as early as the VIII Century BC.[5] A recent DNA analysis[6] did not find support for this opinion and did not include the Ibizan Hound among their identified ancient dog breeds. A more recent article[7] argues that continued trait selective breeding may be behind this lack of support. Heidi G. Parker, the lead author of the original study has stated recently that indeed their original findings do not imply that the Ibizan Hound is not an ancient breed and that with better tools they would in all likelihood be able to trace a continuous lineage of thousands of years for many dog breeds and add them to their group of ancient dogs.[8]

The Ibizan Hound breed is recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, Continental Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, Kennel Club of Great Britain, Canadian Kennel Club, National Kennel Club, New Zealand Kennel Club, Australian National Kennel Council, America's Pet Registry, and American Canine Registry. It was fully recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1979.

In folk culture

According to journalist Norman Lewis, when an owner no longer wants to own one of these dogs (having too much of an appetite, for instance), it is considered very bad luck to kill the dog. Instead, they release the dog on the other side of the island, so that someone else might 'adopt' the animal.[9]

References

  1. ^ Coile, Caroline, Ph.D., Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds, Barron's Educational Series, 2005. Page 80.
  2. ^ Cà Eivessenc: l’Alternativa/Podenco Ibicenco: La Alternativa. Palma de Mallorca: Caixa de Balears Sa Nostra 1987
  3. ^ http://www.camberoque.net/site/page.php3?serie=Podencos+Ibizencos&debut=1
  4. ^ http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Dogs_of_ancient_Egypt
  5. ^ http://www.eivissaweb.com/reports/archaeological-sites/phoenician-settlement-of-sa-caleta/
  6. ^ Parker, H.G.; Kim, L.V.; Sutter, N.B.; Carlson, S.; Lorentzen, T.D.; Malek, T.B.; Johnson, G.S.; DeFrance, H.B.; Ostrander, E.A.; Kruglyak, L. (2004-05-21). "Genetic structure of the purebred domestic dog". Science 304 (5674): 1160. doi:10.1126/science.1097406. PMID 15155949. http://www.britainhill.com/GeneticStructure.pdf.  
  7. ^ Quignon, Pascale; Herbin L.; Cadieu, E.; Kirkness, E.F.; Hédan, B.; Mosher, D.S.; Galibert, F.; André, C; Ostrander, E.A.; Hitte, C.; (2007-12-19). "Canine Population Structure: Assessment and Impact of Intra-Breed Stratification on SNP-Based Association Studies". PLoS ONE 2 (12): e1324. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001324. PMID 18091995.  
  8. ^ http://www.bostonterrierclubofamerica.org/boston-terrier-health/genetic-structure-purebred-dog.htm
  9. ^ Lewis, Norman (1986). "7" (2nd ed.). London: Eland Publishing Ltd.. pp. 83–90. ISBN 0-907-871-43-7.  

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