Often confused for a large Beagle or a small Harrier, the Beagle Harrier fits somewhere in between the two breeds in weight, height, and look.
The Beagle Harrier is a docile and well-mannered dog that cherishes the company of its owners and family members.
History of the Beagle-Harrier dog
There is much debate surrounding the history of the Beagle-Harrier dog. Some claim that it was not developed until the early 19th century by painter Baron Gerard, while others say that it may have existed in France since the Late Middle Ages or Early Renaissance.
There is also substantial disagreement about how the Beagle-Harrier developed with some saying that the breed was developed by crossing Beagles with Harriers and others saying that the dog was developed directly from the mutual ancestor of both the Beagle and the Harrier.
The trouble, in part, stems from the fact that both the Harrier and the Beagle also have largely undocumented histories that are open to interpretation.
Although the Beagle-Harrier became established in France, the breed never obtained much popularity as most French hunters strongly preferred native French scenthound breeds. Despite this, the breed was still a highly skilled and adaptable hunting dog, primarily used for hunting small game.
Like nearly all European scenthounds, the Beagle-Harrier population was dramatically reduced during the World Wars, although it does not appear that this breed was as affected as many others.
In 1974, the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) granted full recognition to the Beagle-Harrier for the first time but the breed to this day remains very rare.
Only a handful of Beagle-Harrier's have been introduced outside of France. It's unclear if any have been imported to the USA but the breed has nevertheless been granted full recognition with the American Kennel Club (AKC).
The Beagle-Harrier is virtually identical in appearance to both the Beagle and the Harrier, and unless placed next to a feature that allows for size comparison is essentially indistinguishable from them.
They are a medium sized dog, usually standing between 18 and 20 inches. While most Beagle-Harrier's have a taller, slightly leaner build reminiscent of the Harrier, many have a shorter, slightly stocky build similar to the Beagle.
The Beagle-Harrier's tail is long, high-set, and usually carried in an upright position. While the head is somewhat broad, it is still proportional to the rest of the body.
The head and muzzle are distinct from each other but still blend in quite smoothly. The Beagle-Harrier's muzzle tapers slightly towards the end but never enough to appear pointed. The nose must always be black, regardless of their coat colour.
The ears are medium in length and width, drooping down closely to the cheeks. The eyes of the Beagle-Harrier are dark in colour and well-open with their overall expression being described as lively, intelligent, friendly, and slightly pleading.
Source : 101 Dog Breeds
The coat of the Beagle-Harrier is described as being flat, thick, but not too short. It is very similar to a Beagle's, possessing a normal tricolour range that covers black, white and orange/brown.
While all tri-color markings and patterns are acceptable, many of these dogs exhibit the black saddle shaped marking on the back common to so many scenthounds of English descent.
While their history is limited, there is more than enough recent evidence to suggest that Beagle-Harrier's are just as loveable and affectionate as their namesake counterparts. These dogs want nothing more than to be in the constant company of those they love, and this breed can develop severe separation anxiety.
As a hunting dog, the Beagle-Harrier had to work with strange hunters with no problems meaning that they are generally very tolerant of strangers and other dogs, exhibiting very low levels of aggression.
They are an intelligent yet strong-willed breed meaning that early socialisation and training is key. Once they decide they don't want to do something, no amount of treats can change their mind.
The Beagle-Harrier's hunting nature also means that are quite an energetic breed, ideally having 30-45 minutes of exercise a day. If they unable to exert themselves in this way, this may lead to hyperactivity and behavioural problems.
They are also an extremely greedy breed that loves to eat. This means that you must keep an eye on their diet and weight to stop them from becoming obese.
Health and care
As with their history, not much is known on the Beagle-Harrier's health. Most fanciers seem to believe that the Beagle-Harrier is in relatively good health, which is the case for most similar breeds.
However, the Beagle-Harrier may be at risk of developing a number of health conditions due to their very small genetic pool.
Although health studies have not yet been conducted on the Beagle-Harrier numerous ones have for closely related breeds such as the Beagle. The results show that the Beagle-Harrier may be susceptible to a number of inherited disorders such as ear infections, hip and elbow dysplasia, reverse sneezing, demodectic mange and progressive retinal atrophy.
The Beagle-Harrier's short coat means they only require basic maintenance with a weekly brush sufficing. They need almost no trimming in terms of their coat and should be washed only at the owner's discretion if they've gotten into something.
An area that does need more active monitoring is their ears, which are prone to moisture buildup and therefore may potentially develop ear infections. Their nails will also need watching, as if they are not used for regular hunting, may grow to unnatural lengths and cause discomfort by cracking or breaking.