Harriers


Harriers

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Breed Notes:

The Harrier is recorded in British literature as early as the thirteenth century. He is most likely a descendant of Bloodhound/Beagle crosses although there are those who contend that he is basically a small Foxhound. He almost became extinct by the nineteenth century so British breeders revived the breed by crossing existing specimen with Foxhounds. The name comes from the Norman French word, "harier," meaning hunting dog. He was bred to hunt in a pack after hare and fox.
Because he was bred to hunt in packs, the Harrier tends to bond more with fellow canine than with humans. But, if raised as a family pet, he is an excellent companion. He is slightly smaller than the Foxhound.
The Harrier's head is not quite as broad as that of a Beagle. The skull has a bold forehead with a moderate drop off (stop) to the muzzle. The length of the muzzle from stop to nose should be equal to the length of the skull from stop to the top of the skull. The muzzle is square shaped with a scissors bite. The upper lips hang over the lower jaw. The eyes are small, oval and brown in color. The chest is deep, extending to the elbow. The neck is long and strong. The topline is level. The legs are straight and the feet are catlike. The tail is of medium length, tapers to a point and carried high. The coat is short and flat over most of the body but slightly longer on the tail. Although tri-colors of black, tan and white are most common, he comes in a full range of hound colors. Average height is from eighteen to twenty-two inches and the average weight is between forty-eight and sixty pounds.


auborn@harriers.net of Inyokern, CA writes on 12/22/99:

Athletic, independent and not for everyone.
Harriers are every inch a hound - independent, energetic, gregarious, intelligent, & fun-loving. They require large amounts of physical and mental exercise in order to be content. Daily exercise, obedience training and a securely fenced yard are a must. A bored Harrier is adestructive, noisy Harrier. They are NOT a good choice for apartments.
The breed is a good choice for an active family that jogs, bikes, hikes etc. and wants a dog to participate with them. They are great kid dogs (but not recommended for toddlers since they tend to knock them over). Harriers are happiest in a group - either with the human family members
all day, or with another canine companion of similar energy and playfulness. From their pack heritage, Harriers require a strong leader that sets house rules and enforces them. If no leader is
evident, they will take charge, and that's not good - hence the obedience training requirement.
Health problems to watch out for are hip dysplasia and epilepsy. Be sure to only buy from breeders that have OFA certification on sire and dam (and also as many ancestors as possible). CERF is also
recommended. Contact the Harrier Club of America for a listing of breeders that have signed their extensive Code of Ethics.


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