Everything about your Harrier - LUV My dogs

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Everything about your Harrier

  Harriers originally were bred to hunt hares and foxes. Today, the dog breed isn't especially popular, but his excellent sense of smell and tireless work ethic makes him a great fit for hunters.




History
  Sources have widely conflicting stories about the origins of this breed. According to one, the earliest Harrier types were crossed with Bloodhounds, the Talbot Hound, and even the Basset Hound. According to another, the breed was probably developed from crosses of the English Foxhound with Fox Terrier and Greyhound. And yet another, the Harrier is said to be simply a bred-down version of the English Foxhound. The first Harrier pack in England was established by Sir Elias de Midhope in 1260 and spread out as a hunting dog throughout the west of England and into Wales. Although there are many working Harriers in England, the breed is still not recognised in that country.
  In any case, today's Harrier is between the Beagle and English Foxhound in size and was developed primarily to hunt hares, though the breed has also been used in fox hunting. The name, Harrier, reveals the breed's specialty. The Harrier has a long history of popularity as a working pack dog in England. 
  The Harrier is the most commonly used hound by hunts in Ireland, with 166 harrier packs, 37 of them mounted packs and 129 of them foot packs, spread throughout the country. More commonly in Ireland it is used to hunt both foxes and hares, with some packs hunting mainly foxes.
  This breed of dog is recognized in 1885 by the American Kennel Club and is classified in the Hound Group.

Overview
  The harrier is a smaller version of the English foxhound, more suited for hunting hares. It has large bone for its size, and is slightly longer than tall. It is a scenting pack hound and should be capable of running with other dogs, scenting its quarry and hunting tirelessly over any terrain for long periods. It has a gentle expression when relaxed and alert when aroused. The coat is short and hard. 
  The harrier is somewhat more playful and outgoing than the foxhound, but not as much as the beagle. It is amiable, tolerant and good with children. Its first love is for the hunt, and it loves to sniff and trail. It needs daily exercise in a safe area. Most are reserved with strangers. It tends to bay.

Highlights
  • Some Harriers can be stubborn and difficult to housetrain. Crate training is recommended.
  • Harriers tend to be vocal and some love to howl.
  • Some Harriers like to dig and have been known to dig under fences to escape and chase after something.
  • Harriers are hunting dogs and will take any opportunity to pursue game or follow a scent. A secure fence is a necessity if you have a Harrier. Underground electronic fences are not effective with Harriers because they have a high pain threshold and the brief shock they get from crossing the invisible line does not deter them from chasing or investigating things beyond its boundaries.
  • Harriers are high-energy dogs and have a great deal of stamina. They are perfect for active families or athletic people who like to jog or bicycle with their dogs alongside (on leash so they don't take off on a chase), but they may become obese or destructive if living in a more sedentary home.
  • If not properly trained and socialized, your Harrier may see cats and other small furry animals as prey and act accordingly.
  • Harriers are good watchdogs who will bark if they feel that someone or something is threatening their territory, but they are not good guard dogs. After raising the alarm, they are likely to greet strangers as long-lost friends.
  • Harriers can stay outdoors if given adequate shelter from the heat and cold, but being pack animals, they are at their best when they are around other dogs or their family.
  • The Harrier's long ears prevent adequate air circulation to their ears and they may be prone to ear infections.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Breed standards
AKC RANKING: 149
FAMILY: scenthound

AREA OF ORIGIN: Great Britain

DATE OF ORIGIN: Middle Ages

ORIGINAL FUNCTION: trailing hares

TODAY'S FUNCTION: trailing hare and fox
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE: Height: 19-21 Weight: 45-60
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE: Height: 19-21 Weight: 35-45
OTHER NAME: none
COMPARABLE BREEDS: American Foxhound, Beagle

Personality
  As a typical pack hound,  a dog that's used to working as part of a group,  the gentle Harrier is outgoing and friendly, never aggressive toward other dogs.
  He's also a typical hound in that he's an independent thinker and can be stubborn. It's important to train him using methods that will persuade him that being obedient is his idea. Positive reinforcement ,  rewards for correct behavior , is the way to go with this breed. He's a good watchdog and will alert you to strange sounds or the approach of people. If you're not home, he'll watch the burglar come in and cart off your silver.
  Like every dog, Harriers need early socialization ,  exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences,  when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Harrier puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Health
  The Harrier, which has an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years, is prone to problems like epilepsy and perianal fistula. The major health issue affecting this breed is canine hip dysplasia (CHD). To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may recommend hip and eye exams for this breed of dog.

Is this breed right for you?
  Energetic and great with children, this dog is an excellent addition to the active family. Active both indoors and out, this breed is not recommended for apartment life. Instead, a large home with a large yard will fit this pet perfectly. In need of a lot of activity, he'll pair well with a runner or a distance walker.

Care
  Harriers have a lot of energy and stamina. They are great companions if they get enough exercise, but if not, they may become destructive. Harriers are not recommended for apartment dwellers. They do best in homes that have large yards or acreage for them to run. Yards need fences that your Harrier can't dig under or jump over.
  Harriers can live outside with proper shelter from the heat and cold, but prefer to be indoors, close to their family, whom they consider their pack. Harriers bay — a prolonged bark — when they're bored or lonely, so it's not a good idea to leave them alone in the backyard for hours at a time, especially if you have neighbors nearby.
  These are dogs who love to be with you, but do not demand attention. They are capable of entertaining themselves. Your job is to make sure that their idea of entertainment doesn't mean getting into mischief! Give your adult Harrier a long walk with lots of time for sniffing or take him jogging every day.
  Puppies have different exercise needs. From 9 weeks to 4 months of age, puppy kindergarten once or twice a week is a great way for them to get exercise, training, and socialization, plus 15 to 20 minutes of playtime in the yard, morning and evening.
  From 4 to 6 months of age, weekly obedience classes and daily half-mile walks will meet their needs, plus playtime in the yard. From 6 months to a year of age, play for up to 40 minutes during cool mornings or evenings, not in the heat of the day. Continue to limit walks to a half mile.
  After he's a year old, your Harrier pup can begin to jog with you, but keep the distance to less than a mile and give him frequent breaks along the way. Avoid hard surfaces such as concrete. As he continues to mature, you can increase the distance and time you run. These graduated levels of exercise will protect his developing bones and joints.

Grooming
  The short-haired coat of the Harrier is easy to groom. Brush on a regular basis with a firm bristle brush, and bathe once every two weeks in the warmer months and bathe once a month in the colder months.

Living conditions
  Harriers are not recommended for apartment life unless the owners are very active people who plan on taking them out daily for jogs, hikes or hunts. They are moderately active indoors and will thrive with acreage. They have a tendency to roam do to their hunting and tracking instincts. Do not let them off leash in an unsafe area.

Children and other pets
  The Harrier is described as being excellent with children. As with all breeds, that comes with some qualifications. Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
Being pack dogs, Harriers enjoy the company of other dogs, whether or not they're Harriers. They may view smaller animals, including cats, as prey, however. If they weren't brought up with them from puppyhood, closely supervise their interactions with cats and other pets.

Exercise
  Harriers will make excellent jogging companions and if not taken on a daily jog, they need to be taken on a long, daily, brisk walk. While out on the walk make sure the dog heels beside or behind the person holding the lead, never in front, as instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human.

A dream day in the life of a Harrier
  Waking up ready to play, this pup will make you smile early in the morning. After a game of tug of war, he's ready for his first walk of the day. Smelling a possible trail, he'll be easy to distract unless you lead him the right way. Back home, he'll wrestle and follow the kids around for the rest of the day. Once let back outside for a few laps around the yard, he'll be ready for dinner. After another long walk, he'll settle down for a relaxing evening with his family.


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