Beagle Harrier

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tricolor (black, fawn & white); grey tricolour; white-grey
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The Beagle Harrier is a dog with amiable and cheerful character with its homeland in France. It is a skilful hunter with an excellent scent that practices truly conscientious attitude to its work. The breed is considered to be rare in its native country and stays almost unknown abroad.

There is considerable controversy about the Beagle Harrier’s origin. Some experts say that the breed was the result of crossing British breeds - the Beagle and the Harrier, but others suggest that it is descended directly from the mutual forefather of both the Beagle and the Harrier. Supporters of both hypothesise coincided that the Beagle Harrier has in its pedigree medium-sized French hunting dogs.

Disagreement also exists as to when the Beagle Harrier appeared initially. One theory claims that the dog was created in France between XI and XV centuries. In this period England was under Norman rule so the English and the French noble people kept in touch with each other and oftentimes exchanged hunting dogs. So the probability is high that the Beagle and the Harrier (or their common forefather) were introduced to France during this time. If it’s true, in development of the breed took part such old French hunting breeds as the Saint Hubert Hound (Bloodhound) and the Grand Bleu de Gascogne.

It’s even more probable that the Beagle Harrier was invented in the XIX century. Progress in transporting technologies enlarged opportunities for travellers as well as improved the speed and safety of travel. This meant that the breeders from the France and the United Kingdom could afford to bring the dog from even the most remote countries. It is believed that the Beagle or the Harrier (or their crosses) were imported in South-western France at this period. In this case more recently created French hunting breeds (for example, the Petit Bleu de Gascogne, the Braque Francais (Pyrenees), and the various breeds of Basset) also played a substantial role in development of the Beagle Harrier. There is a theory that the breed was developed by the French nobleman and sportsman baron Gerard, who had private kennels in the XIX century and decided to produce a hare-hunting breed.

The Beagle Harrier is a talented hunter, which can hunt on wide range of games. The French used this dog generally for hunting on small game, but it was also useful for hunting on deer and wild boar. It habitually works in packs and is preceded by a hunter on a horseback (seldom on foot). The breed didn’t acquire much popularity in its homeland not to mention the rest of the world. It’s predicted that it’s going to disappear altogether in the near future if some measures are not put forward to preserve it.

The Beagle Harrier was recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1974. The breed also has an acceptance of the United Kennel Club (UKC) since 1996 and was acknowledged by the Continental Kennel Club (CKC) and several other minor canine clubs.

The Beagle Harrier is a boisterous and friendly creature, which is able to form tight bonds with its master and his family. The dog is really open in expressing its feelings and emotions and loves to give kisses. It craves to the company of loved ones and can become uneasy and simply miserable if left alone for a long time. The dog will make an excellent friend for a child once correctly socialized. It can tirelessly play with a kid all day long.

As a hunter the Beagle Harrier must communicate with unknown people during the hunt. That’s why the dog gets along with strangers and manifests practically no aggression towards them. After passing proper socialisation and training it will treat every human being with respect and politeness. The most of the breed members will become a mediocre guardian dog since it’s too amicable and outgoing to effectively perform the guarding duty.

The Beagle Harrier lived in packs of few dozen other canines and was obliged to put down any issues of aggression. On the whole it is fine with other dogs and will enjoy cohabitation with one or more canine animals. The breed was designed to trace and catch different species of animals and it still retains much of it hunting drive. It will most likely pursue streets cats and other animals so the constant usage of the leash is highly advisable. Nevertheless, this breed is noticeably less animal aggressive if compared with other similar dogs. When it has been appropriately socialized with a home cat it won’t harass or in some other way bother it.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• ear infections;
• slipped discs;
• canine hip dysplasia;
• elbow dysplasia;
• reverse sneezing;
• demodex mange;
• eye problems;
• skin allergies;
• patellar luxation;
• obesity.

The Beagle Harrier is not demanding when things concern grooming. The owner should never take it to a professional groomer and should brush its coat systematically and carefully. The breed sheds from medium to heavy and exact amount of shedding differs from dog to dog.

The Beagle Harrier has big, prominent ears, which are prone to draw debris and dirt and consequently they get easily infected or irritated. They should be checked and clean regularly to avert these problems.

The training of the Beagle Harrier is a tricky task since it is a headstrong and wilful dog. It prefers to determine for itself whether it wants to follow the commands or not and no amount of coaxing is going to change its decision.

The best training method for this breed is the one based on reward and encouragement and especially on food incentives. As a scent dog, the Beagle Harrier can be easily carried away by some attractive smell so that nothing is able to turn its attention back to training. The dog is capable learner when it concerns such basics as good manners and socialization but it’s much harder to teach it some advanced tricks and commands.

The Beagle Harrier is pretty vigorous breed, which will gladly accept any amount of physical activity you can offer it. The absolute minimum for the dog consists in 30-45 minutes walk every day. This tireless dog is always happy to get job to do especially if it’s hunting. It is still used by sportsmen to hunt fox, deer, hare, or a wild boar.

The Beagle Harrier tends to be calm indoors once its exercise needs are met but the owner should be aware that this breed is disposed to obesity and proper physical activity is an essential part of its well being. Moreover without everyday walk it will manifest such undesirable behavioural patterns as over excitability, on-going barking, and destructiveness.