Two different types of hound have been bred over several centuries for their working qualities related to the hare. They are the harrier and the beagle. Beagles stand between 14 and 16 inches and harriers up to 21 inches in height.
The qualities of a working hound are:
Scenting ability – 'nose'.
Stamina - which depends greatly on their conformation.
Bidability - their willingness to work and live as a member of a pack in and out of kennels
Steadiness - that they hunt the line required and no other
Voice - which is the sign that they are on the correct line.
All hounds are bred in kennels and are registered annually by their name in the AMHB Stud Book of their breed. Hounds bred from those which are not recorded in the stud book may later be so recorded through an 'appendix' system. Each hound is microchipped so as to provide its positive identification.
The AMHB each year approves shows during the summer months at which registered hounds may be shown. They are judged for their conformation by approved judges.
There are two distinct breeds of Harrier: the Stud Book Harrier and the West Country Harrier. The Stud Book Harrier is smaller and lighter than the West Country Harrier.
The Stud Book Harrier The West Country Harrier
Hounds have been purposely bred to hunt. They are prepared for hunting in all conditions and over a variety of countries, with speed, ease of movement and stamina.
A hound with good confirmation will move easily and effortlessly. It is no coincidence, that a hound which has speed, versatility and moves well would not only be a hound that would last many seasons hunting without injury, but also excel in the show ring. Alertness, bidability and intelligence are also factors which can influence the hound’s level of working and show ring success.
Nose, a hound’s scenting ability, another factor of breeding cannot be judged in the show ring.
Click here for diagram illustrating the confirmation of a hound – good and bad
One of the purposes of the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles is to oversee the promotion and proper management of Harrier and Beagle Hunts. The Association promotes the highest standard of horse and hound management in and outside kennels. A booklet, produced by the Council of Hunting Associations "The Code of Practice for the Welfare of Hounds in Hunt Kennels" describes best practice. All hunts hold a copy in kennels. The AMHB has a panel of inspectors who visit all kennels and undertake a formal inspection at least once every three years to ensure high standards. A formal report is sent to the Director of the Association following each visit. The current
panel of inspectors include two serving Masters of Hounds, a retired police inspector and a farmer and respected senior member of the NFU.
The Hunting Office is the administrative hub for the Council of Hunting Associations.
It represents and supports packs of hounds from fourteen hunting associations in England, Scotland and Wales, providing advice on all matters regarding hunting activities, hunt management and hound health and welfare.
The Hunting Office publishes guidance including "Competencies required within a Mastership" and "The Code of Practice for the Welfare of Hounds in Hunt Kennels".
The Hunting Office exists to help and advise Masters and its member Hunts. It supplies specialist legal advice on all matters concerning hunting, everything from employment to property law and animal-by products regulations, and a legal helpline. The Hunting Office liaises with the Police on a national and local level; negotiates licences to hunt with the Forestry Commission, Ministry of Defence, National Trust and other institutional landowners; and liaises with DEFRA and provides advice about collection and disposal of fallen stock.
The Hunting Office runs the Hunt Staff Registry for Hunts looking for staff, and for Hunt Staff looking for jobs. It also administers the Combined Public and Employers Liability Insurance Scheme for Hunts and the Personal Accident Scheme for Hunt Staff.
The toolbar above will guide you to some of those Hunting Associations and associated bodies and we hope you enjoy your visit to our website.
The AMHB has for sale scarves, ties and greeting cards all championing our traditional quarry - the hare
The AMHB DVD "IN KENNELS" shows life in kennels throughout the year
Leave your kennel coat on the peg and your boots by the door; this is a kennels tour you can make from your armchair. You'll experience the icy yards of winter and the summer heat of the puppy show; you'll be there in the small hours as a bitch whelps and up at dawn to exercise hounds. With this DVD you share the lives of three professional huntsmen.
�Seven modules celebrating skills in Harrier and Beagle Kennels
�Seven stories that glimpse life �In Kennels�
�£13.99 (inc P&P) - Overseas orders:�£25.00 each (inc P&P). �
Click below for information and order form for DVD and other Merchandise