The Wire-Haired Ibizan Hound | No Stripping Allowed

Wire-Haired Ibizan Hound

 

The number of wire-haired Ibizan Hounds being shown across the country has increased by leaps and bounds. I think their adorable fuzzy faces are irresistible; in fact, my latest canine acquisition is a lovely little wire puppy named “Alba.” I couldn’t resist. At five months of age, she sports a furry coat, a beard, and tufts of hair on her ears. Once she’s mature, Alba’s wild locks might even make “Simba” jealous. But once she steps into the show ring, it won’t be Alba’s length of coat, or the fullness of it, or the fact that she is just so darn cute that will make her different than many of the other wire Ibizan Hounds in the ring. Alba’s uniqueness will be the fact that she won’t have been trimmed or plucked or thinned to make her wild locks appear more manageable. It’s not because I lack talent when it comes to stripping coats. (Oh, all right, I do, and if I stripped her she would end up looking like she had mange.) But the real reason that Alba will be shown in all of her glorious fuzziness is that there is a line in the breed standard that states that the coat is “untrimmed.”

Untrimmed. No scissors, no plucking, no turning a fuzzy into a smooth.

Wire-Haired Ibizan Hound
The Wire-Haired Ibizan Hound

Years ago, if those of us who worked on the committee that revised the current Ibizan Hound breed standard could have seen the amount of hair pulling going on today, we might have been stronger in our terminology. “Trimming: Don’t even think about it.”

The fault for all of this coat tampering lies with both the owners and the judges who are seeking a certain look for the show ring. According to the breed standard, a coat that is one to three inches inlength is a wire coat. It can be long and thick and evenly scattered over the body or shorter and sparser with longer hair appearing more abundantly in certain areas.

And if one type of wire coat is not to one’s liking, this does not make it improper.

Wire-Haired Ibizan Hound
The Wire-Haired Ibizan Hound

The Ibizan Hound is a hunting breed that has been informally bred wire-to-wire coat, short-to-short coat, and wire-to-short coat for generations; evidence of this goes back to the earliest recorded breed pedigrees. Thus, variations in coat have been a part of the breed. Our goal is to preserve the breed, not change it. Short is good. Long is good. And in-between is just fine too.

Wire-Haired Ibizan Hound
The Wire-Haired Ibizan Hound

What are the faults in a wire coat? The key to a wire coat is in the texture. Both the short coat and the wire coat are harsh in texture. A soft, silky coat is not correct and can be considered a fault. Keep in mind that puppy coat can be softer than the adult coat, and allowances should be made for this.

Breeders and judges alike, please learn to appreciate and celebrate the fabulous wire-haired Ibizan Hound—with all of its variations.

Vive le différence!

Can. Ch. Ria USA El Gallinero, Can. Ch. Muerdago.
A Look Back: Can. Ch. Ria USA El Gallinero, Spanish import, with her daughter, Can. Ch. Muerdago. These two won the first IHCUS matches in the US in 1986 and 1987.

The Ibizan Hound is a hunting breed that has been informally bred wire-to-wire coat, short-to-short coat, and wire-to-short coat for generations; evidence of this goes back to the earliest recorded breed pedigrees. Thus, variations in coat have been a part of the breed. Our goal is to preserve the breed, not change it. Short is good. Long is good. And in-between is just fine too.

The Wire-Haired Ibizan Hound – No Stripping Allowed
By Lisa Puskas

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  • My husband, step-children and I currently share our home with six beautiful Ibizan hounds that come from unique pedigrees preserved in the United States (US). We reside in Sterling, Connecticut and we are a Navy family, changing our location throughout the country once every three to four years. We have been involved with the Ibizan Hound for 11+ years, bringing home our first Ibizan, Kalos, in June 2011.

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