The Beagle Harrier is a pack scenthound that originated in France. They are capable of hunting a wide variety of game, from small animals such as rabbit and hare to larger prey like deer and wild boar. Hunters generally follow the Beagle Harrier on horseback, however, they can be followed on foot.
Never a popular breed, the Beagle Harrier is quite rare. What dogs are surviving are kept by hunters. The French tend to prefer native breeds, keeping their numbers low. Additionally, the Beagle Harrier is very similar to the popular Beagle.
History of the Beagle Harrier
There are two views regarding the creation of the Beagle Harrier. The first is that it was created from the ancestors of the modern Beagle and Harrier in the Middle Ages. However, the more popular opinion is that it was created in the 1900s by Baron Gerard Grandin de l’Epriever. It is said he combined the Beagles and Harriers imported from England to create the Beagle Harrier. Either theory would have included crosses with some French hounds and would have come from the same root English stock. We do know that the Baron kept a pack of these dogs, and at minimum was influential in them surviving today.
Like many European breeds, the Beagle Harrier suffered greatly after both World Wars. Never a popular breed, its numbers remain low and it has not gained a following outside its homeland. It was recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1974, but may always be on the brink of extinction due to its similarity to the Beagle.