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Deconstructing the podenco, our favorite Ibizan breed

Ibizan born and bred, this beautiful dog has a majesty that merits it a place on flags and coins.
Ben Raworth

1. Podencos make the most wonderful pets. They are sensitive, hardy and tough and do not suffer from any inheritable conditions. The Ibizan hound is also a superb hunter, and is particularly expert in catching rabbits.

2. There are two hair-types of podenco hound: smooth and wire. If you see a longhair it is, in fact, simply a wire hair that has got a bit unruly. It arrived in Ibiza sometime around the eighth century BCE when the Phoenicians first settled the island.

3. Legend has it that if an owner no longer wants his dog (hard to imagine, but it happens), the dog must not be killed but released on the other side of the island so another person might find and adopt it.

4. The classic podenco look is a lovely combination of red, white and – take a look at those cute little paw pads – light tan. Almost all podencos’ eyes are a striking amber colour.

5. Sleek beasts, podencos range in height from 56cm to 74cm and weigh between 20kg and 29kg. Do not allow your podenco to carry extra weight. This is cruel and shows you don’t care.

6. In Stanley Coren’s (very informative) book The Intelligence of Dogs, the podenco places just above the Boston terrier and just below the whippet and shar pei for its intelligence. 

7. The podenco can be a bit of a Houdini of the dog world: they can jump incredible heights, escape from crates and are even known to have opened gates and locks. Rumours that they can walk up walls, however, are false.

8. An elegant and agile breed with an attractive look – like a sexier greyhound – the podenco is athletic and has a graceful, ground-covering trot. We think it would win out in a race with a hare.


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