Harrier Hound

Xenophon around 400 BC describes a hound that was used with great success in the hunting of hares, called the 'Castorean'.

Although not referred to as a harrier its description bears a remarkable similarity to the harrier. It is thought that the harrier in Britain is of Greek descent and has been known as a distinct breed since 1130. The first recorded pack of harriers in England was in 1260.

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 Terier and Greyhound . And yet another, the Harrier is said to be simply a bred-down version of the English Foxhound.

In any case, today's Harrier is between the Beagle and English Foxhound in size and was developed primarily to hunt hare, though the breed has also been used in fox hunting. The name, Harrier, reveals the breed's specialty. Neither hare nor fox can escape its exceptional sense of smell, its cunning, and its unequaled boldness. Prey chased by the inexhaustible Harrier have been known to collapse from sheer exhaustion. The Harrier is still fairly rare in the United States, but has a long history of popularity as a working pack dog in England.

See Also

Dog Breeds : Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5 (Usb only)

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