Info about Beagles
Beagles are one of the most popular companion dogs in the USA. Their small size and great temperaments make them well-suited as family pets. They are smart, outgoing, loving dogs. Much has been written about Beagles and there is no need to repeat it all here. Please contact us or visit the following sites for more specific information:
Beagles on the Web
Beagle Resource Center
Columbia Willamette Beagle Club
Info about Harriers
Harriers are a medium-sized scent hound, standing 19-21 inches at the shoulder, with some variation in either direction. Most weigh between 40 and 55 pounds. They have short coat which sheds a little bit all the time, with a bigger shed in the spring. Harriers are, for the most part, active, curious, outgoing, gregarious hounds with a sense of humor. They generally get along with other dogs and other animals if raised with them. They are also mischievous and sometimes ingenious in their efforts to entertain themselves. Although they can, and are, just fine living as a single pet, they are happiest when they have another dog to play with. They can be vocal, which can become a problem if you are not on top of noise.
They are smart and can be trained, but they can also have their own agendas. They are a trailing scent hound, which means they love to follow their noses. Their job in fact, is to find a hare scent and follow it! For this reason, they need a securely fenced yard or to be walked on leash. Harriers don't want to run away from you, they just want to find out what's over the next hill. Fenced in dog parks are a great place to take a Harrier as they can sniff to their hearts content. While Harriers certainly can be trained to be reliable off leash, it takes a lot of effort on the owner's part.
Puppyhood can be a challenge. Harriers are active, engaging puppies that need lots of playtime. While it is true for most breeds, it is absolutely essential that you be willing to dedicate a good deal of time to raising a Harrier puppy. Raising a puppy into a well-behaved dog is a serious commitment and you need to make sure you are ready for it. If you put in the time and effort in the first year, you will have a great companion for the next 12-15 years. Some Harrier owners, including us, like to compete in competitive obedience, agility and tracking and the hounds do quite well at it, with time and practice. For more information on competitive obedience, agility and tracking, please visit the American Kennel Club at www.akc.org. You will find lots of information there about these fun sports you can do with your dogs.
Overall, Harriers are a healthy breed, with few known issues. They generally live to be 12-16 years of age. Hip Dysplasia is one of our biggest concerns. Hip Dysplasia is a genetic disease that, in brief, causes malformation of the hip joint. Although we do know that it is genetic, the mode of inheritance is not yet known. We screen our Harriers for hip dysplasia by using OFA (Orthopedic Foundation For Animals) www.offa.org. At age two, each dog is x-rayed and the films are sent to the OFA for evaluation. At Wynfield Hounds, we follow the OFA's guidelines for breeding. We require that *ALL* of our puppies, show or companion, to be x-rayed at age two, and the films sent in for evaluation. It is important to know the hip status of the whole litter, not just the dogs you are breeding. For more information about this, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to talk about it. We also screen for eye diseases through CERF http://www.vmdb.org/cerf.html and again require that all puppies be checked at age 2. In 2005, we began screening for elbow dysplasia as well and will be gradually getting all of our dogs' elbows certified as well as hips. We will be requiring this from our puppy homes along with the hip and eye certifications for all future litters. You can see all of the clearances on our dogs listed on either the OFA website or the CERF website, all you have to do is insert their registered names. If an individual dog or test is not there, it is because the test has not been done. Although we have yet to have a dog fail any test, we believe in sharing negative results and will do so should the occasion arise.