Showsight Presents The Harrier

HARRIERS The Breeders’ Perspective DONNA SMILEY-AUBORN KINGSBURY HARRIERS 1. Why did you choose your breed & how long have you been involved? We were looking for a low-maintenance, medium- sized, active breed that required minimal grooming, plus no cropping or docking. Harriers fit that bill per- fectly. I’ve been actively involved in the breed since 1989, and have bred over 50 AKC champions. 2. Where did your breed originate & what was its main purpose? for a rare breed. But pretty consistently winning the Breeder’s Class at Nationals is also something I’m very proud of. It is also very rewarding for me to take Hounds that have been out hunting one day, to shows the next day, and win rather dependably with them. 7. Which dog not bred or owned by you, do you wish you could have owned and why? Ch. Mr. Reynal’s Monarch was the first AKC Champion Harrier. He also won BIS at the prestigious Morris & Essex show in 1936. From the few photos still around, plus the famous painting of Monarch in AKC’s collection, he looks to have had excellent breed type – as well as simply being a very handsome Hound. It would be fun to have him today; he would be very competitive with today’s Hounds. 8. What advancements in structure, health and/or temperament have you seen over the years?

Harriers were developed in England to hunt hares (not rabbits!) in large packs. Originally followed on foot, they have been hunted from horseback for over a century now. Hunting packs still exist today in England, Ireland, New Zealand & the US. 3. What is the most distinctive physical and mental characteristic of your breed? Physically, Harriers must be moderate in all things: size, angles, movement, etc. This moderation allows for them to have the unsurpassed endurance that is the hallmark of the breed. Mentally, they must be always willing to hunt, to go go go, to never quit or give up the chase. 4. Which kennel, domestic or foreign, has given the most to the breed, and how? The hunting packs from centuries back through today, keep the working aspect of the breed central to their breeding programs. This is crucial to maintain- ing correct Harrier type and should be of critical impor- tance to breeders today. 5. Which sire & dam have contributed the most to your breeding program? Three UK imports are the foundation of my breeding program: Chance (Ch. Vale of Lune Chancellor, ROM), Miller (Ch. Vale of Lune Miller, CD, ROM) and Lilac (Ch. Easton Lilac, ROMX). Linebreeding on various combina- tions of these three with a few other crosses, has given me all of my Hounds today. I can still see Lilac, Chance & Miller in all my Hounds, which makes me smile. 6. What is the greatest achievement you have had in dogs? Breeding three multi-Best-In-Show winners is good

When I started in the breed 20 years ago, wide fronts and out at the elbows were much more common than they are today. Breeders have really cleaned those up nicely for the most part. Health testing wasn’t done very much 20 years ago, and now most breeders do OFA & CERF prior to breeding. Temperaments are pretty much the same - outgoing, fun-loving, self-willed and full of mischief, as they should be! 9. Do you think the standard is adequate? If not, what areas need attention? While there are a few areas I might like to reword slightly, for the most part I can live with the current standard. It’s not perfect, but it’s not bad either. 10. What is the most common judging mistake in your breed? Judges need to really comprehend the incredible mileage required of these hunting Hounds, so that they can look for - and reward - moderation and endurance. Flashy fast movement in the group doesn’t necessarily mean correct Harrier movement. 11. What advice do you have for people wanti- ng to own your breed? Have a good sense of humor, as Harriers will always do something goofy to make you laugh! It’s a survival trait that keeps owners from killing them when they get into mischief as they invariably will.

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE • F EBRUARY 2010 • 95

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