Other names: Canary Islands Hound
The Canary Islands Dog is better known as the Podenco Canario on their island of origin. They are a particularly brave, lively, enduring and very dynamic breed. Naturally quite nervous, they are active dogs that can only thrive with a sporty master who can give them time.
Key facts about the Ibizan Podenco
Origins and history
The Canary Islands Hound is one of the oldest known species : they date back about 7,000 years, as shown by the engravings, statues and carvings in which they appear. Originally from Egypt, they were most likely exported to the Canary Islands by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians and the Egyptians themselves. They are widespread in the Canary Islands, particularly on the largest of the islands (Gran Canaria and Tenerife).
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types
Section 7 : Primitive type - Hunting Dogs
Physical characteristics of the Ibizan Podenco
Female : Between 24 and 26 in
Male : Between 26 and 28 in
Female : Between 42 and 51 lb
Male : Between 42 and 51 lb
Their coat colour is a two-toned red (from orange to mahogany) and white.
Type of coat
They have a short coat.
Their coat is smooth and dense.
Their eyes are green.
The Canary Islands Hound, more commonly known as Podenco Canario, is an average-sized, slender and lightweight dog that is also very resilient. Their muscles are well developed and lean, without any trace of fat, to the point where you can see their ribs, spine and the bones of their hips. Their head is elongated and narrow, with a slightly accentuated stop. Their eyes are slanted, small and almond shaped, with an intelligent and noble look. Their rather large ears are raised when they are excited and thrown back when resting. They are broad at the base and come together at the tip in a slightly conflicting position. Their legs are perfectly straight, with an acute but solid bone structure. The tail is set low, it either hangs low or is raised in a rounded sickle shape and it does not extend beyond their hind legs.
Good to know
The Canary Islands Hound, much like their counterparts the Ibizan Hound and other Portuguese and Spanish hunting dogs, is often mistreated by the locals who use them for hunting. If they are deemed not efficient enough, these dogs are hung for disgracing their handler. Many associations are trying to fight against the use of these dogs as simple “slave dogs” that are quickly discarded and thrown out when they fail.
Despite its independence due to their primitive nature, Podenco Canarios are very attached to their owners and are sensitive and affectionate at home.
This high-spirited dog likes to play, especially games that stimulate their intellect and therefore their sense of smell. It is recommended to prioritise games that engage in the training of the dog's self-control to prevent this energy from becoming excessive and unmanageable on a daily basis.
The Canary Islands Hound is a very nervous and restless dog. They are extremely dynamic but this can only be seen when they are fully exerted.
This hunting dog is particularly intelligent and their senses are incredibly well developed. They have fine hearing, a formidable sense of smell and sharp eyes.
As a hunter, they have always been used for hunting rabbits, in which they excel thanks to their ability to adapt to any terrain. They can identify their prey in crevices, cracked walls or bramble bushes and in general they rely only on following trails with their senses, without catching them. On their native island, they are used in conjunction with a ferret, which is able to grab the rabbit by the throat.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Very attached to their master, the Canary Islands Hound is more reserved with people they are not familiar with and are never aggressive.
Like all primitive dogs, this breed is independent and they are often distant from people they do not know.
Behaviour of the Ibizan Podenco
As with most dogs, if they are used to being left alone from an early age, in a progressive and positive way, they will easily be able to deal with the absence of their masters.
However, you must be careful that any absences are not too prolonged and ensure that they have had everything they need beforehand.
Easy to train / obedience
They are generally easier to train if you start early and use a well balanced soft, yet firm approach. As puppies, they must be closely guided in order to prevent their natural excitement turning into uncontrollable energy.
It is important to gradually increase their social interaction, this avoids them being shy or even toxic towards strangers.
They bark very rarely but when they do it is always for a good reason.
Tendency to run away
If they are bored, not sufficiently walked or detect any prey to pursue, the Canary Islands Hound can run off. You must be aware of walks in open spaces and the strength of your fence if you live in the countryside.