Beagle Harrier – General Description
A Beagle Harrier is a medium sized scent hound that was developed in France. This dog is often times mistaken as a rather large Beagle or a smaller Harrier. This is due to the fact that the Beagle Harrier also takes the colors of the Beagle or the Harrier. Because of these similarities the Beagle Harrier is very often not recognized as a breed.
Classification and Standards
- FCI Group 6 Section 1.2 #290
- UKC Scenthound Group
Character & Temperament
As mentioned, a Beagle Harrier possesses the agility, the speed and the excellent scenting ability of the Beagle and the Harrier, its progenitors. Because the outstanding abilities of these two breeds were inherited by the Beagle Harrier, one can surmise that this breed is a much better hunter. These dogs are still seen in France hunting in packs. Because these dogs are vivacious, highly intelligent and basically possess a good temperament, they are most suited to be good home companions.
These dogs form a strong bond with the human family, generally good with children and other pets. Used to hunting in packs these dogs would prefer to be in the company of other dogs. These are very affable dogs; nevertheless, socialization and obedience training must be commenced at an early age as the dog is a scenthound. This breed can be very challenging to train as most would turn a deaf ear and resist the training. An untrained Beagle Harrier would surely be a problem to recall once it has found an interesting scent. Many accidents befall to pets because they are not trained to follow the master’s commands. Training should be done in a gentle manner. The dog is highly intelligent and a quick learner. The challenge would be on how to entice the dog to follow the commands. Incorporating games and treats with the training and making every session short would build the interest of the dog for the training.
A Beagle Harrier would show tremendous vigor and agility while hunting but the dog is relaxed and calm at home. The dog is relatively inactive indoors and being a scenthound it would need to be taken on long walks to provide for the needed exercise of the dog. Being used to working the field, owners must at least replicate the extensive exercise the dog is accustomed to.
The Beagle Harrier is not a suitable dog for people living in apartments. Of course the dog can be taken on long walks but they would be most happy if they will be allowed to roam unrestricted by a leash. A home in a suburban area with a well fenced yard would be a most suitable living arrangement for the dog.
The Beagle Harrier is still considered to be a rare dog these days. The breed is seldom seen outside of France. The name Beagle Harrier was taken for the progenitor of this breed – the Harrier and the Beagle.The Beagle Harrier could be a mixture of the two breeds, the Beagle and the Harrier,or the midpoint in breeding between the two breeds.
The Beagle and the Harrier are both very ancient breeds of dogs. The Beagle’s origin dates back to the early 1300s and the Harrier is speculated to have existed in the 1200s. Both breeds are known to be excellent scenthounds.
There were two conflicting theories on the origin of the Beagle Harrier. One is that the breed has originated in France during the later part of 19th century. Baron Gerard Grandin had wanted to create a dog that would have the physical attributes of the Harrier and the outstanding hunting traits of the Beagle. He mated the Beagle with the Harrier and the progeny is the Beagle Harrier, a dog that has inherited the outstanding qualities of the parent breed. The Harrier Beagle has a well muscled compact body and is noted for its par excellence hunting ability.
The second theory states that this kind of crossbreeding between the Harrier and the Beagle is already a common and established practice in Britain. It was speculated that puppies resulting from this breeding were exported to France and gained recognition thru the efforts of Baron Gerard Grandin. Of course this theory was refuted by dog enthusiast in Britain who wanted to preserve the purity of the two breeds.
Dog experts gave more credence to the first theory, more so when Baron Gerard Grandin authored the first standard for the breed. The standard was recognized by the FCI in 1974. In 1987, the Beagle Harrier became a well established breed. The Beagle-Harrier is also recognized by the Continental Kennel Club in their Hound group.
The Beagle Harrier is an excellent hunter of wild boar and deer, a specialization it has inherited from the Harrier as well as an outstanding hunter of foxes and deer, a trait handed down to the dog by the Beagle. In France these dogs can be seen hunting in packs. Because this breed has a mild temperament, very affectionate and friendly it has found a place in the heart of dog lovers as a devoted home companion.
Size & Appearance
A Beagle Harrier is a medium sized dog. A mature dog stands from 18 to 20 inches at the withers and weighs from 42 to 46 pounds. The dog may be small but it is well muscled and considerably big boned. With the stocky appearance and the strong bones, it is very evident that this is an agile and vigorous breed.
The dog has a strong head; the skull is broad though the stop is not very prominent. The muzzle that is equal to the length of the skull tapers to a well developed black nose. The dog is known for its lively and at times comic temperament. When the dog looks at you with its well opened dark eyes, you will know at once that it is an intelligent and cheerful dog. Broad ears with rounded tips hang down close to the sides of the dog’s head.
The back is short but well supported and muscled, the chest is deep, ribs are well sprung, and the belly is filled out. This gives the dog a compact body. A Beagle Harrier’s hair is thick and lies flat against the body. The coat is short and smooth. The predominant colors are fawn, black and white. Black blankets are most common as well as tan markings. Some specimens have grey tricolored coats.
Health & Maintenance
The Beagle Harrier is generally very healthy and has a life span of 12 to 13 years. Hip dysplasia could cause a problem.
The Beagle Harrier is a good choice for an owner who does not have much time to devote for the maintenance and care of the pet. Brushing or combing the coat once every few days would remove dead hair and maintain its good condition. The coat must be regularly groomed when the dog is shedding. Avoid bathing the dog very often as it will remove the natural oils that make the dog’s coat weather resistant. Additionally, ears must be regularly checked to prevent infection.
- FCI standards Size section.
- Continental Kennel Club Weight.
- FCI standards Coat color section.
- FCI standards Body section/Coat section.
- Beagle Harrier Health Problems section.
- Beagle Harrier History of the Beagle Harrier.
- Breed History Background information section.
- Beagle Harrier (FCI) History section.
- Beagle Harrier rarity Background information section.
- Continental Kennel Club CKC
- Grzes1966 (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- K. Kendall (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kkendall/4885966770/) [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
FCI-Standard N° 290
TRANSLATION: Mrs Peggy Davis.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD: 18.05.1988.
- Group 6 Scenthounds and related breeds.
- Section 1.2 Medium-sized Hounds.
With working trial.
Dog of medium proportions, balanced distinguished, agile and vigorous.
Skull : Rather broad and quite voluminous. Occipital protuberance hardly marked.
Stop : Not pronounced.
Nose : Developed, black.
Muzzle : Its length is roughly equal to that of the skull. Never square, but in profile tapering without being pointed. Nasal bridge rather straight, never arched.
Lips : Covering the lower jaw.
Eyes : Well open, dark in colour, of a frank, lively and intelligent expression.
Leathers : Quite short and medium-broad; they are set at eye level; they are slightly rounded in their medium part; they come down flat against the skull to turn slightly in their lower part in a slight oval.
Free although well attached to the shoulders, slightly arched in profile in its upper part.
Back : Short, well sustained and muscled.
Loin : Strong and muscled; can be slightly arched.
Chest : Well set down, but ribs never too flat, which could reduce the thoracic cage too much. Sternum well extended to the rear. The false ribs, without being cylindrical, must nevertheless be long and sufficiently well sprung so as to provide an ample thoracic cage.
Belly : Never very tucked up, rather filled out.
Strong, straight and parallel.
Shoulders : Long, oblique and muscled.
Hips : Well detached, oblique and strong.
Upper thigh : Well let down, fleshy and muscular.
Hocks : Close to the ground and vertical.
Neither too long nor slim, but tight with thick and hard pads.
GAIT / MOVEMENT:
Supple, lively and sure.
Rather thick, not too short but flat.
Tricolor (fawn with black blanket, and white); not too much importance should be given to the blanket, with markings more or less bright tan, or pale, or with black overlay. Because there exist grey Harrier, the grey tricolors or the white-greys would not be either disqualified or penalized only because of their color.
Height at withers : From 45 cm to 50 cm.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
- Head too heavy.
- Stop too pronounced.
- Butterfly nose.
- Muzzle too short and square; muzzle too pointed.
- Nasal bridge arched.
- Over- or undershot mouth.
- Curled ears, recalling and infusion of French blood.
- Feet flat and splayed.
- De-pigmented scrotum.
- Frightened appearance, soft or unintelligent.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
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