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The Spanish dog breed Podenco Ibicenco is also called Ca Eivissenc in Catalan and is listed by the FCI with the standard number 89 in group 5 of Spitz and dogs of archetype in Section 7 of archetype and dogs for hunting use. Other names for the Podenco Ibicenco are Balearic Dog, Xarnelo, Charnegue or Charnegui and Mallorqui or Mayorquais.

To this day, the Podenco Ibicenco is used in Spain for small game hunting. In most cases, these dogs hunt in packs. Typical of the Podenco is its ability to make high jumps, which is used for orientation when the dog has found prey. The pack can encircle and catch the prey.

Ibizan Hound Dog Breed Information

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Size: 60-72cm
Weight: 20-30kg
FCI group: 5: Spitz and archetypal dogs
Section: 7: Archetypal dogs for hunting use
Country of origin: Spain
Colours: white, red-white, fawn, red
Life expectancy: 12-14 years
Suitable as: hunting dog
Sports: –
Personality: Engaging, Independent, Stubborn, Active, Intelligent, Silly
Leaving requirements: high
Drooling potential: low
The thickness of hair: medium
Maintenance effort: low
Fur structure: smooth hair: strong and shiny/rough hair: hard, very dense/long hair: soft and at least 5 cm long
Child friendly: yes
Family dog: yes
Social: yes

Origin and breed history

The Podenco Ibicenco is very similar to a greyhound, so it may come as a surprise that the FCI classifies it in the group of primitive type dogs. The breed originally comes from the Balearic Islands. Although it is called the Ibizan dog, it is widespread throughout the Balearic Islands and also in some parts of Catalonia.

Only assumptions can be made about the origin of the Podenco Ibicenco. The father of this dog is said to be Tesem, from which the Maltese pharaoh hound is said to have descended. The tesem was a type of greyhound in ancient Egypt that is now extinct. The dog breed is said to have been spread throughout the Mediterranean by the Phoenicians. However, another theory says that the Podenco descended from pariah dogs. Pariah dogs are a type of strays that have naturally developed without breeders and have adapted to the living conditions of the region.

In 1929 the first Podenco arrived in northern regions of Europe. At that time, the breed was first bred in England under the name Pharaoh Hound. The name comes from Dr. Carl von Muralt, who described hunting in the Balearic Islands in 1906. In 1963, the FCI issued the first breed standard for the Pharaoh Hound, which also referred to the close relatives of the Podenco Ibicenco. However, at that time there had already been a breed standard in Spain for the Podenco Ibicenco for about 30 years. Therefore, the FCI standard was canceled in 1977 and redefined for the Maltese Pharaoh Hound.

Essence & temperament of the Podenco Ibicenco

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The Podenco Ibicenco is one thing above all: a very special dog. He is very sensitive, affectionate and in need of love. He also has a high need for cleanliness.

He can be stubborn and is a passionate hunting dog with a strong urge for freedom. They are independent and intelligent dogs who do not always listen to the first word and like to test their limits with people. Since these dogs hunted in packs, they are very social. They especially like to play and run with their fellow dogs and often act like clowns. When they’re done, they cuddle together.

Indoors, these dogs from Spain are very calm, which turns into the complete opposite as soon as they come outside. The joy of running these dogs should never be underestimated. All sighthounds have a high temperament and are true hunters. This means they kill their prey after catching it.

What is the essence of Podenco Ibicenco?

At home, the Podenco’s temperament is very calm, relaxed and reserved. This dog needs love and likes to sleep. His temperament shows itself outdoors. If the Podenco is allowed to move, it cannot be stopped.

The appearance of the Podenco Ibicenco

The Podenco Ibicenco can grow up to 72 centimeters, it is one of the large dog breeds. Its weight is not specified in the standard. Normally this dog weighs between 20 and 30 kilos.

There are Podencos with three different types of hair: long hair, smooth hair and rough hair. Most representatives of this breed of dogs have white and red fur, either combined or one color. The dog is very slim in its physique, at the same time muscular and has a pronounced chest. Its head is long and narrow. The ears are strikingly large in a triangular shape and stand upright on the head. The gait of the Podenco is typical: it moves forward in a sweeping, elegant trot. Most purebred Podencos have a white tip on the tail.

How big does the Podenco Ibicenco get?

The Podenco Ibicenco reaches a size of up to 72 centimeters.

Training and husbandry of the Podenco Ibicenco – this is important to note

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The Podenco Ibicenco is easy to keep because of its loving nature. He is a good family dog ​​and friendly with children. This affectionate dog definitely needs to be connected to his family. The Podenco should live in the country, not in a city apartment. He needs long walks in nature several times a day. It can be difficult to walk him off-leash as his senses are wide awake outdoors. Even as a small dog, a reliable recall should be practiced with the Podenco. However, in some cases the dog may still not be able to control its strong senses and live out its hunting instinct.

It is important for these dogs that they can run free and play with other dogs. For this purpose there are special fenced places where greyhound owners can meet and the dogs can roam freely. When the Podenco has exhausted itself, it is very quiet in the house and sleeps peacefully in its basket most of the time.

When well socialized, the Balearic Dog is easy to train because this dog wants to please its people. Due to his high intelligence, he is happy when he is allowed to learn new things. However, the training must be very consistent, because this dog uses every opportunity when it comes to wrapping its human around its finger with its charm. Since the Podenco Ibicenco can be quite stubborn, training requires a lot of patience. It should be done in a gentle manner with positive reinforcement as these dogs are very sensitive.

The Podenco is not a typical beginner’s dog, but if people can make friends with the special type of dog and pay attention to the right type of training, even beginners can be happy with them.

How much exercise does the Podenco Ibicenco need?

The Podenco Ibicenco has to go for long walks in the open air several times a day for at least 30 minutes each.

Diet of the Podenco Ibicenco

The most important thing when feeding the Podenco is to tailor the food to the individual dog and its needs. It should always be checked to see if the dog appears fit and active, if it is alert, if its muscles are firm, its coat is shiny and its eyes are clear and bright. The Podenco Ibicenco will rarely become overweight because he likes to move. If you observe your dog closely, you can also estimate its energy requirements.

Since the Podenco Ibicenco moves so much, it should be fed in several portions. In this way, the risk of stomach torsion can be avoided. It is best to feed the hunting dog after exercise so that it can rest afterwards.

A high-quality dry food is very suitable for the Podenco. It should be ensured that it does not contain any artificial additives and can also be mixed with wet food. Although every dog ​​likes wet food, it should not be given exclusively, as it is too soft for the dog’s teeth.

Of course, the Podenco Ibicenco can also be fed raw and with home-cooked food. This is a little more work for the dog owner than ready-made food, since he has to put it together himself. If you cook for the dog, you should make sure that the food is not seasoned, otherwise the dog can get stomach problems.

Health – life expectancy & common diseases

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The life expectancy of a Podenco Ibicenco can easily be 15 years. It is a very original and robust dog that was not bred for any special characteristics. The Podenco Ibicenco tolerates heat better than average due to its origin in the Mediterranean region. When it’s cold, he may need a dog coat for a walk in the snow, because he doesn’t have a warm undercoat and can freeze quickly due to his extremely slim build.

Normally a Podenco Ibicenco does not tend to be overweight. Being overweight would be very detrimental to this dog’s health as they are naturally lean.

Breed-typical diseases are not known in the Balearic dog. Basically, these are very healthy dogs. However, like many greyhounds, when the Podenco is placed under anesthesia it will require special treatment.

Since many Podencos are born in Spain and come to us later, it is important to know that these dogs can be affected by well-known Mediterranean diseases such as Leishmaniasis, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, Hepatozoonosis and Heartworm and must be tested for them. Most of these diseases are caused by parasites and are easy to treat if caught early. The specter of Mediterranean diseases is leishmaniasis. Although leishmaniasis cannot be cured, it can be easily controlled with medication.

How old does a Podenco Ibicenco get?

A Podenco Ibicenco can reach an old age of up to 15 years.

Care of the Podenco Ibicenco

The Podenco Ibicenco is very undemanding when it comes to caring for its coat. Loose hair can be detached from its fur simply by stroking it. In addition, it can be brushed from time to time. The dog generally loses very little hair.

The ears of the Balearic dog should also be cleaned regularly, as accumulations of dirt in the ears can lead to inflammation. Although the Podenco’s claws do not normally need to be trimmed, as the dog likes to move around a lot, they should still be checked regularly for length. In individual cases, it may be necessary to trim the claws of the Podenco Ibicenco in order to minimize the risk of injury.

Podenco Ibicenco – activities and training

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A Podenco Ibicenco is usually not particularly suitable for dog sports. This dog really only has to do one thing: run. That is why the Sighthound Association offers the opportunity to take part in regular sighthound races, which a Podenco will really enjoy. Possibly agility as a dog sport could also be considered for this breed. However, it takes a lot of patience to train the Podenco in it.

The Balearic Dog has to move freely and a lot, but due to its strong hunting instinct, it cannot be easily let off the leash. It is therefore advisable to take the dog to a special greyhound run where it can run free with other dogs.

Of course, the breed that loves to run is also suitable as a companion when jogging or cycling.

Good to know: Peculiarities of the Podenco Ibicenco

Next to the Podenco, the Galgo is the most well-known Spanish dog breed. Unfortunately, these dogs are often mistreated in Spain. They are kept as working dogs and have to perform well when hunting. If they don’t do this, they are often hanged by their owners. Since it is not customary to castrate dogs in Spain, puppies are often abandoned and left to their own devices. But even dogs that have an owner are kept in very bad conditions. They are often confined to cramped kennels for long periods of time, are malnourished and receive no medical care or attention.

Because of this, there are many Spanish-born Podencos Ibicenco who are picked up by animal rights activists and go abroad for adoption. Of course, it makes more sense to adopt such a dog than to buy a puppy. Anyone who adopts a dog from abroad should know, however, that these dogs often do not “work” as well as our classic breeding dogs, because firstly they are traumatized in many cases and secondly they do not necessarily depend on harmony and obedience between humans and dogs were bred. It takes a lot of patience and empathy to give these dogs confidence in life again.

Disadvantages of the Ibiza Podenco

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The disadvantage of the Podenco Ibicenco is clearly its strong hunting instinct. Since he is a real hunter, he may well cause problems for his owner if he sees other small animals as prey and kills them. For this reason, it is quite difficult to let the Balearic Dog off the leash. On the other hand, this dog in particular needs regular freedom of movement.

Is the Podenco Ibicenco right for me?

The Podenco Ibicenco is a dog that loves to lie on the sofa and thoroughly enjoys being stroked. He doesn’t trust easily and is a bit suspicious of strangers, so he also announces anyone who trespasses the house. The Podenco Ibicenco is very friendly with children and can also get along with cats once they are used to them. This dog has no problem with conspecifics because it is very socially compatible and sociable.

In any case, the Balearic dog must be given the opportunity to move around freely and play with other dogs. He should live in the country and be allowed outside several times a day. Ideally, its owner is sporty and moves extensively with the dog in the great outdoors. Raising the Podenco Ibicenco can take some patience as they can be stubborn at times. People who expect unconditional obedience from their dog should therefore look for another breed of dog. Beginners should only get a Podenco if they are willing to get involved with this dog intensively and to acquire the right kind of training.

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The Podenco Ibicenco can stay alone relatively well if he has been used to it from an early age and if the alone phases do not last too long. If the dog has been well exercised beforehand, it can lie down in its basket and do what it likes to do around the house: sleep.

The yard where a Podenco roams freely should be very well secured, as this hound loves to hunt alone and can easily jump over a fence two meters high. If the Balearic Dog is to accompany its owners on trips or outings in the city, it must be well socialized so that it is not afraid.

This dog may not be a good fit for seniors, as they may struggle to get him enough exercise. Too quiet a life should never be imposed on a Podenco.