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The Harrier Shop

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Harrier Breed Summary

Intelligent, Independent, Stubborn, Alert and Energetic

Harrier's are extremely lively hounds and were originally bred to hunt down hares and foxes as part of a pack. However, these dogs remain one of the rarest breeds in existence, with only four litters born in the whole of the USA. They are built for heavy work and they have well-developed muzzles and open nostrils. Their eyes are always alert and ready for action. They are however not the fastest breed, stamina is more important. Their tails are normally set high so that hunters had the ability to see them from a distance. Overall, they are out-going and playful in nature with very sweet personalities.

They are a very active breed, bred to have huge amounts of stamina and they love to be able to explore. For this reason, they do very well in dog sports and competitions, such as agility and rally. Around the house they are normally relaxed and fairly inactive, though their need for exercise means they aren't suitable for apartment living.

Kennel Club Group Hound
Lifespan 10 to 12 Years
Height (at the withers) Males and Females 19in - 21in
Weight Males and Females 45lb - 60lb
Coat Short, Thick and Shiny coats, with very Soft Ears
Color A Wide Variety of Colors, but the most common colours seen in the U.S. are Tri-Colours (Black, Tan & White) and Red & White.
Eye color Brown or Hazel Color in Darker Dogs, Lighter Hazel to Yellow in Lighter Dogs, though Darker Colors are always desired
Common health issues Epilepsy and Perianal Fistula, Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD).

These guys were bred to hunt in packs and so are used to being in a group. For this reason, they may benefit from living alongside a dog pal whom they can also spend time with. Although intelligent, these guys can be very independent and stubborn so training must be made fun and positive reinforcement must be used as opposed to harsh correctional methods. They make fantastic watchdogs and will often alert their owners to anything suspicious. However, if a burglar was to come in whilst your dog was home alone, they would be more likely to watch the burglar take off with all your possessions! As long as these guys receive lots of socialization, they mature into happy and well-rounded dogs and have the potential to make lovely family pets!

There are several stories regarding the origins of this breed so many are still unsure how they came to be. However, the word Harrier translates to 'hound' in Norman French, so our best guess is that the earliest versions of this breed were probably descendants of Bloodhounds, Talbot and even Basset Hounds, all of which originated in France and Belgium. The breed was then developed in the UK as early as 1260, making them an extremely old breed! It's thought they were originally bred to hunt hare alongside hunters, meaning they were quite slow however, as hunters adapted to using horses, they developed the speed of the Harrier as well. They were supposedly first imported to the USA in the early 1700s and although still a relatively unpopular breed, they were the 13th breed recognized by the American Kennel Club!