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Harrier

 (other names: Harehound)

Harrier
origin:Great Britain
date origin:13th century
life expectancy:12 to 14 years
classification:Hound
height:46 to 56 cm
weight:22 to 27 kg
exercise: Demandingtraining: Reasonableclimate: Temperatefeeding: Medium
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History [ edit ]

The harrier is an English breed, develop in the 13th century, mostly to hunt hares, but these dogs were also used to hunt foxes. It was common that the chase ended not when the Harrier caught the prey but when this one gave up running due to exhaustion.

The Harrier was the foxhound of the poor, because it was used by those who wanted to hunt but couldn’t afford a horse and had to follow the dog on foot.

Harrier is a Norman Saxon word that means “hunting dog” and it is believed that this breed is one of the oldest scent hounds still existing.

The origins are not established for the Harrier and there´s still a lot of controversy.  Some theories are:
- Crossings between Bloodhounds, the Talbot Hound, the Basset Hound and ancestors of today´s Beagle;
- Crossings between the Greyhound, the English Foxhound and the Fox Terrier;
- A smaller version of the English Foxhound.

Theories aside, the Harrier seems to be somewhere in the middle of the English Foxhound and the Beagle, both in appearance and in temperament.

This breed is quite popular in it´s country of origin. It was introduced in the United States during the Colonial days, but it never reached the status that it had across the Atlantic. 
editing: History [ close ]
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General appearance [ edit ]

A smaller version of the English Foxhound is probably the description that fits this breed the better. Active, well balanced and always ready to run and hunt, the Harrier never lets a hare escape alive. His sense of smell and speed are his best traits.

This breed is medium sized, 46 to 56 cm, and weights between 22 to 27 Kg.

The coat is short, hard and glossy and it may be in any color, since it is not regarded as a particularly important aspect.

As a heritage from the Beagle one of his ancestors, the Harrier is slightly longer than tall. It has a lot of muscle and large bones that give him the power for great runs. Being a scent hound the nose is extremely important feature: it must be wide, with well opened nostrils and it´s usually black colored.

The tail is medium-length, carried high, but not curled over the back.
editing: General appearance [ close ]
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Temperament [ edit ]

Friendly and easy-going, the Harrier becomes very attached to his family. As a pack dog, is goes well with other animals, especially dogs, it should be supervised with cats, and should never be in the same house with rabbits.

This breed is excellent with children that like to play; he is tolerant but should never be tested to the limit.

They aren’t good guard dogs, since any stranger is a friend of him, however they can be good watchdogs because they like to bark. They are also very alert, always looking for the next thing to explore. The Harrier is a very active dog that needs a lot of exercise and it´s not suitable for life in the city. Country, that’s his style.
 
Stubborn, but intelligent they may not be that easy to train, unless they are properly motivated which isn´t that difficult.

The Harrier needs a lot of exercise, a daily walk just isn´t enough. They are excellent jogging buddies and are always ready to play. 
editing: Temperament [ close ]
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Health [ edit ]

The Harrier is generally a healthy breed with no serious genetic defects. Hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, epilepsy and PRA/Cataracts occur occasionally.

Brushing is only required occasionally. 
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