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History There are various theories regarding the origins of the Harrier breed. One theory is that the earliest Harrier types have been developed by crossing Bloodhounds with the Basset Hound and the Talbot Hound. Another theory is that the breed was created by interbreeding the Greyhound with the English Foxhound and the Fox Terrier. There's also a theory stating that the Harrier is actually a bred-down English Foxhound version. In England, the first Harrier pack was established in 1260 by Sir Elias de Midhope. The dogs spread out to Wales and to the west of England. Although there is quite a large number of working Harriers in England, the breed is still not officially recognised in that area.
Today's Harrier, though, has a size that is between that of the English Foxhound and the Beagle. This breed was developed mainly for hunting hares, although these dogs have also been used for hunting foxes. Dogs of this breed are still relatively rare in the United States.
Appearance The Harrier looks like a smaller version of the English Foxhound. Harriers are compact dogs that are speedy and hardy. These dogs are muscular and have large bones for strength and stamina. They are slightly longer than they are tall, and they have a level topline. The tail of these dogs is medium in length and is carried high, although it isn't curled over the dog's back. These dogs have a broad skull and a square, strong muzzle. They have pendant, rounded ears, and eyes that may be hazel or brown in colour. These dogs have teeth that meet in a scissors bite. Their feet are similar to that of a cat's, and their front toes may turn inward.
Colours The short coat of these dogs is usually lemon and white, white and tan or red and white. These dogs may also have black markings.
Temperament The Harrier is slightly more outgoing and playful than the Foxhound, but the Beagle is even more so. Harriers are sweet-tempered, tolerant and cheerful, making them excellent pets for children. Being a pack dog, the Harrier can get along well with other dogs. It should not, however, be trusted with non-canine pets that weren't raised with it from puppyhood.
Weight Harriers have a height that ranges from 19 to 21 inches and a weight that falls between 40 and 60 pounds.
Problems Dogs of this breed have no known serious genetic health concerns. They may, however, be afflicted with hip dysplasia. Some lines of this breed are also susceptible to getting afflicted with epilepsy.
Living Conditions Although these dogs can be moderately active when indoors, it's still not suitable for them to be kept inside apartments. It's best for these dogs to be provided with acreage so that they'll have plenty of space where they can run around and do various physical activities.
Requirements As active dogs, Harriers need much exercise. Without adequate exercise, these dogs may become a nuisance. It's advisable for these dogs to go on jogs and walks on a daily basis.
Training Requirements It's important for Harriers to undergo obedience training at a young age. These dogs can also be single-minded and stubborn, so owners must make sure that they train these dogs using firm, consistent methods. Early socialisation for these dogs is also advisable.
Life Expectancy The life span of these dogs is approximately from 10 to 12 years.
Grooming The short-haired coat of these dogs is easy to groom and maintain. Owners just need to comb and brush the coat of their dogs occasionally to get rid of loose and dead hair. Bathing and dry shampooing these dogs should be done only when necessary.
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More Harrier Information: Check out our Harrier Clubs and links to more informative websites dedicated to the breed.
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