The Ibizan Hound, pronounced "I-bee-zan", also called Podenco Ibicenco in Spanish or Ca Eivissenc in Catalan, 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.
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.
However, according to Elaine Ostrander, a geneticist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington, recent DNA analysis reveals that this breed is actually a recent construction, bred to resemble an older form. In a study directed by Dr. Ostrander, with the aid of her colleague, Dr. Leonid Kruglyak, "they have found genetic variations that allow them to distinguish among 85 dog breeds and to identify an individual dog's breed with 99 percent accuracy," according to Mark Derr, a science writer for the New York Times.
"We can assign a dog to a breed, but we can't tell what behavior it will have," asserts Ostrander. "There is huge variation in behavior between dogs within breeds." The results of the study, published in May 2004 in Science magazine, may help in the study of disease, both canine and human, because certain breeds are prone to some of the same genetic diseases as humans.
The breed is believed to have originated in Muslim Spain and was used to hunt rabbits and other small game on the Balearic Island of Ibiza. The Ibizan Hound is a fast dog that can hunt on all types of terrain, working by sight, sound, and scent. Spanish hunters run these dogs in mostly female packs, with perhaps a male or two, as the female is the better hunter. This breed is similar to the Pharaoh Hound, but the Ibizan Hound is larger and can have a multicolored hair pattern. The Ibizan Hound was fully recognized by the AKC in 1979.
Doggone! Gene Research Leads to Surprises for Dog Lovers; Breeds Thought to Be Ancient Are More Modern, Study Finds
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