´╗┐Harrier History

Among major dog show organizations, Harriers are registered with the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI), American Kennel Club (AKC), and Canadian Kennel Club (CKC). A few small groups like Scottish Kennel Club (SKC), and American Rabbit Hound Association (ARHA) also register Harriers. Notably absent is the Kennel Club in the Harrier's primary country (UK) although they originally did recognize Harriers from 1851-1971. The last known Harriers to be shown at a Kennel Club show or entered in their stud book were in 1915. In England Harriers are owned only by Hunting organizations and are registered with the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles (AMHB). Generally Harriers must be "entered" into a pack, hunting with them for a season, to be registered with the AMHB.


Harriers and the AMHB

Harriers have a long history in England with detailed records of individual packs existing from 1260 to the present. In March of 1891, the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles (AMHB) was formed and published a Stud Book. Harriers were at that time much more popular than Beagles. The 1891 - 1900 volumes list 107 registered packs of Harriers. They also began to run the Peterborough Harrier and Beagle Show in 1892. Records of Peterborough Shows and photos of the winners are published annually in the Stud Book. The foundation stock for the 1891 edition were admitted based on individual pack records or by committee. Hounds continued to be added by committee for several years. Harriers can also be registered in the appendix of their stud book if only one parent is registered. Offspring of appendix hounds appear in the regular stud book. Many of these "foundation" Harriers were in fact small Foxhounds with parents from recognized Foxhound kennels. Some of these foundation Harriers appear in top winning Beagle pedigrees, so "Harrier" often defines type of hunting and size of hound rather than pedigree in AMHB packs. The practice of breeding to Foxhounds still occurs in England and is reflected in the pedigrees which follow later in this Volume.


Early US Harriers

Several sources mention "colonial" imports of Harriers. The first specific reference I can find is from the first entry of the Craven pack in the first AMHB Studbook. The Craven history mentions Harriers being shipped to America in the 18th Century (unfortunately they did not specify where). Several organized packs of Harriers hunting in the English style were established early in this century. Some were recognized by the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America and at least two joined the AMHB in England. Many Harriers still hunt in various styles in this country, but the days of large packs with mounted riders appears to be over.