The purebred 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.
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.
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 theirhandlers manage with a grin and a tight grip on the show lead.
When judging the breed, it is still necessary to use the typical 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 a Sighthound, after all. It is better to approach the dog from the side, ask theexhibitor 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 temperament, 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.
This article first appeared as the
August 2021 Ibizan Hound Breed
Column in the AKC Gazette and is
reproduced here with permission.
Purebred Ibizan Hound | A Temperament that Works
By Meegan Pierotti-Tietje