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
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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.
They may have to chew on things, simply to pass the time and release any additional energy.
Greedy / Gluttony
This dog is not greedy and is often considered too thin, although their athletic physique is what makes people think this.
Rather distant and reserved when among strangers, this dog is not a good guard dog or even good at raising the alarm, should a problem arise.
Although they meet plenty of the criteria for a first dog, the Canary Islands Hound remains a restless and nervous breed that needs lots of attention, especially when considering the high levels of exercise and physical activity they require.
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Ibizan Podenco in a flat
Although their intelligence allows them to adapt easily to life in a city apartment, they still require space to release all of their energy and exuberance.
If they live indoors, they will require several daily walks and not just a quick walk around the block.
Of course, they will be much happier in the countryside, in a house with a large, well fenced off garden. However, this should not be considered as a replacement for walks.
Need for exercise / Sporty
As they are very active, they are best suited to an active master or someone who regularly hunts. They must be able to fully exert themselves through a variety of both physically and intellectually stimulating activities.
Untiring, they must be able to benefit every day from activities to let off steam and satisfy their desires, this is the case for their physical and mental health.
Travelling / easy to transport
A good level of social interaction is required so that this dog can accompany its owner wherever they go. Particular care should be taken to channel their energy to keep them calm, especially on public transport or in the car.
Ibizan Podenco and cats
Their very strong hunting instinct coupled, with their fierce nature can make living with a cat very complicated, even if the two have grown up together.
Ibizan Podenco and dogs
If they have been subjected to social interaction from an early age, they generally appreciate dogs who show them respect.
Ibizan Podenco and children
They know how to adapt to most family dynamics and they can easily integrate into a home with children as long as they are old enough to learn to respect their dog and to not consider them a toy.
Ibizan Podenco and the elderly
This dog is absolutely not recommended for the elderly, who are likely to have limited movement as they will become far too agitated.
The price of a Canary Islands Hound varies according to its origin, age and gender. It is a less well known breed and they are widespread outside their country of origin, so it is difficult to know the fair price to pay.
On average, the recommended budget to support a dog of this size is around £35/month.
These short-haired dogs do not require any grooming, except an occasional brushing to maintain their well groomed coat.
Hair loss is minimal for this breed and moulting is very light and insignificant.
Nutrition of the Ibizan Podenco
These active dogs are not difficult at all, they can easily be satisfied with daily feeding consisting of a high quality meal.
Although, these meals should not be too large, as to avoid an upset stomach, but also to avoid the risk of overfeeding. It is very harmful for this active breed to become overweight.
Veterinary follow-ups are necessary, especially during the development period as a puppy in order to ensure healthy growth.
Health of the Ibizan Podenco
The average life expectancy for this breed is 11 years.
Strong / robust
These dogs are hardy, robust and enjoy being healthy.
Given their origins, these dogs are used to high temperatures and adapt very well to occasional extreme weather conditions.
Rough climates, on the other hand, are much less appreciated by this southern breed. Even considering they are tough dogs, it is better not to leave them outside for too long when temperatures are too low.
Tendency to put on weight
Thanks to their dynamic nature, they rarely gain weight.
As this is the case, it is important to pay close attention to their need to exercise as they must keep their lean and athletic look.
No particular disease affects this breed.