Harrier At a Glance
Country of Origin:
AKC (Hound); ANKC (Hounds); CKC (Hounds); FCI (Scenthounds); UKC (Scenthound)
Medium to Large. Weight: 40–60 lbs Height: 19–21.5 inches
Any color; Any recognized hound color; Usually White as base color, with shades of Black to Orange
10 to 12 years
Cold Weather Tolerance
Hot Weather Tolerance
Did You Know?
Because of their resemblance with Beagles, Harriers are sometimes jokingly called "Beagles on steroids".
Related to the English Foxhound, some speculate that the Harrier is actually just a small Foxhound and from the same scenthound stock as Foxhounds just mixed with smaller dogs such as Beagles. The job of this breed was to follow hares while hunters followed the dogs on foot. However, as horseback hunting became more popular, the dogs were then moved to being followed by hunters on horseback, much like the Foxhound.
The Harrier features a similar shaped body to the Foxhound, long, tall and lanky, just in a smaller package. They have the same tri-color markings, blocky head and dropped ears of other Scenthounds. However, they are more playful in personality than Foxhounds, although not as mischievous as the Beagle.
Harriers are playful and outgoing, and love people. They are also good with other dogs, but should be socialized if interacting with other pets due to their hunting instincts. They also tend to be very vocal, and will often bay and howl similar to his Beagle cousins.
This breed lives 10 to 12 years, about average for their size. They have few health problems, however hip dysplasia is a genetic disorder that runs in the lines. Their ears should also be checked and cleaned regularly to prevent any ear infections.
The short coat of this dog is easy to maintain with regular brushing. Using a curry comb or glove brush can also help stimulate the skin, allowing it to renew and preventing skin related issues. Their short coat also prevents them from getting as many burrs or other debris caught in it when out hunting.
Like other hound dogs, they can be stubborn. They have a natural instinct to follow their nose, and when on the scent of potential prey may not listen to anything else. They should be trained using positive reinforcement and a lot of patience. The breed should also be well socialized as a puppy, especially if smaller pets are present in the house.
As an active breed, this dog should have access to large open spaces where he can freely run around and exercise both his body and his nose. Scent tracking activities, hunting and other long, outdoor activities that tire the breed out are best.