Ibizan Hound

Also called the Ibizan Podenco or the Balearic Dog. In Germany it is called the Balearen-laufhund. Its main function is rabbit-hunting, but it also pursues other game.


What the Pharaoh Hound is to the small island of Malta, the Ibizan Hound is to the small island of Ibiza, in the Spanish Balearics. With its tall, pricked ears and its elongated body, it is clearly a closely related breed, and its ancestors were probably brought to Ibiza by the Phoenicians at about the same time that they introduced the Pharaoh Hound to Malta, nearly 3,000 years ago.

In France, where it was used for hunting in the Provence and Roussillon regions, it became so strongly identified with poaching that it was eventually banned. Its special value to the poachers lay in the fact that it was unusually silent when engaged in hunting and therefore enabled them to work in secrecy.

In the 1950s, a famous Spanish dog breeder, took this breed under her wing and began a controlled breeding programme. (This is why it is sometimes referred to as the Podenco Mallorquin, or simply the Mallorquin.) From there it spread to the show-rings of Europe and later the United States. In 1958, some of these handsome dogs were imported into Egypt, the land of their ancient ancestors.


The Ibizan Hound has a typical streamlined greyhound-type body, and the beautiful bearing of an ancient dog. Its body is also extremely sturdy, with a tucked-up abdomen; a long, narrow head; prominent erect ears set on level with amber or camel eyes; a pink nose; and a long tail that hangs naturally. There is a characteristic white mark between the ears that is called the ‘axe mark’. The coat comes in two variations: rough and smooth. The typical Ibizan Hound is short-haired, but occasional wire-haired specimens are encountered. The coat color includes red, white, and red and white. The most common colour form is white with red patches.


Agile and renowned for its distance vision, this dog does not weigh much, and is good-mannered and friendly with its family and other dogs. An obedient family dog, the Ibizan Hound is not a breed for a kennel, though it will adjust well to other environments. It is healthy and easy to raise.

Care and Exercise

The coat of this breed needs to be massaged thoroughly, followed by a light brushing and wiping with a damp cloth. The ears and nails must be checked occasionally. Drafts should be kept away from this dog's bed. Ordinary dog food is acceptable, but not cheap, low-quality food. An occasional long walk on a lead is required.

Gallery of Ibizan Hound