Let's talk Beagle Harriers

Often confused with their ‘cousins’, the Beagle and the Harrier, Beagle Harriers are actually a cross between the two. Despite their distinctly British parentage, however, they are a native of France, where they were bred at the end of the 19th century. Accomplished scent hounds, Beagle Harriers are also very friendly and social dogs that are known for their lovely temperament. There are those who say they combine the best traits of the Beagle and the Harrier.

Official name: Beagle Harrier

Other names: Beagle-Harrier, French Beagle-Harrier

Origins: France

Black and white portrait of a Beagle Harrier
 Drooling tendencies  Very low Warm weather?  Medium
 Shedding level  Medium Suited to apartment living?   Medium
 Energy level * Medium to high Family pet? * 
 Very high
 Compatibility with other pets  High Can stay alone? *  

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age.  Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 
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Illustration of a Beagle Harrier
Male
45 - 50 cm Height
19 - 20 kg Weight
Female
45 - 50 cm Height
19 - 20 kg Weight

 

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 12 months
 Adult age  1 to 7 years
 Mature age  7 to 10 years
 Senior age  From 10 years

Two Beagle Harriers stood on a snowy track

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Get to know the Beagle Harrier

All you need to know about the breed

Perhaps not surprisingly, given their history as hunting dogs, Beagle Harriers like to live in a pack – whether that’s with animals or humans. So, if you’re looking for a dog that can be right at the heart of things and a central member of the family, this might just be the breed for you.

Originating in France, at the end of the 1900’s, Beagle Harriers were bred with the aim of hunting hare and deer. Today, though, they are just as content in the domestic home. With the same gentle, affectionate temperament as the Beagle, they form strong attachments to their human families. Their playful personality means the Beagle Harrier is also good with children, and other animals, once trained.

They also like nothing better than being out all together exploring – and if that’s in the countryside, where they can enjoy a good long trek, so much the better. In fact, that’s the one thing to consider with Beagle Harriers. These are energetic dogs with fairly high exercise needs. Their latent hunting instinct means they can also be a little bit stubborn if on the scent of something.

Halfway in size between the smaller Beagle and the larger Harrier, these tri-coloured hunting hounds nonetheless have all the finest features of both, including dark, expressive eyes, an intelligent expression and a loyal nature. Best not to set your heart on a Beagle Harrier just yet, though, as this is a dog breed that remains hard to come by for now. Think waiting list.

Beagle Harrier stood in front of a county house

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2 facts about Beagle Harriers

1. Call of duty

A bit like their ‘cousin’, the Beagle, the Beagle Harrier is a breed that has a distinctive baying bark. For that reason, they are not always best-suited to apartment living – unless you have understanding neighbours – though early socialisation can help with this.

2. On the right track

Be very careful when taking your Beagle Harrier for walks. Once on the scent of something, there’s little that will distract these former hunting hounds. So, unless in a safe, enclosed space, it’s best to keep them on the lead. On the plus side, their super-charged sense of smell means they can often do well as police, customs and rescue dogs.

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History of the breed

While accounts vary on their exact origins, it is generally agreed that the Beagle Harrier came into being in the late 1800’s. Around this time, a Frenchman by the name of Baron Gérard Grandin de l’Eprevier decided to try crossing the Beagle with the Harrier. The result was a breed that combined endurance and persistence with a strong pack mentality – in short, the perfect sporting hound.

Taller and faster than the Beagle, but with the necessary attributes of the Harrier, Beagle Harriers were originally used to track hares, foxes, roe deer and even wild boar in the French countryside. Nonetheless, they also had an excellent temperament. This made the Beagle Harrier a good companion animal too.

Recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1972, the Beagle Harrier received authentication from the United Kennel Club in 1996. At some stage, they were also imported into America with the aim of tracking rabbits.

Today, while they are now a much-loved family pet, the Beagle Harrier remains an exceptionally rare breed. Relatively uncommon even in their native France, there are very few of them outside of the country.

Close-up of a Beagle Harrier in front of lilacs

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Beagle Harriers

1. Head

Strong and broad head with a voluminous skull.

2. Face

Intelligent, dark brown eyes, large, floppy ears, and ‘super-strength’ nose.

3. Coat

Short, smooth coat, usually tricolour: fawn with a black ‘blanket’ and white.

4. Body

Body is lithe and muscular with fairly broad chest.

5. Tail

Medium-length tail normally held high.

Close-up of a Beagle Harrier in front of lilacs

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Beagle Harrier
Beagle Harrier sat in front of a blue sky

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Caring for your Beagle Harrier

Grooming, training and exercise tips

With their short, smooth coats, Beagle Harriers are fairly easy to care for when it comes to grooming. A weekly brush should more than suffice, along with daily teeth-brushing, clipping their nails when required and regular checks of their long, floppy ears. However, Beagle Harriers can be prone to a bit of shedding so they might need brushing more regularly during these times to avoid a hairy carpet. Exercise-wise, Beagle Harriers require at least an hour or more a day, ideally divided into two outings, to keep them contented – and in shape. Training is usually a pleasure, as Beagle Harriers are intelligent animals, though they can be a little stubborn at times – especially if they are on the scent of something. As with all dogs, early socialisation is also recommended.

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All about Beagle Harriers

Assuming they come from a reputable breeder, Beagle Harriers tend to be fairly healthy and robust animals. As such, these sporty scent-hounds have a good average lifespan of 12 to 13 years.

Although it can be a little confusing, Beagles and Harriers are two completely separate breeds – and the Beagle Harrier, which is a cross between the two, is a separate breed again. The main difference is their size, with the Beagle being the smallest, the Harrier the largest, and Beagle Harriers somewhere in the middle.

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/