The Harrier dog initially was bred to hunt foxes and hares. The dog breed is not especially famous today, but his excellent tireless work and sense of smell attract the hunters.

harrier dog

Crucial Stats:

Dog Breed Group: Hound Dogs

Height: 1 foot, 7 inches to 1 foot, 9 inches tall at the shoulder

Weight: 45 to 60 pounds

Life Span: 10 to 12 years


Harrier dog breed every so often is mentioned as “Beagles on steroids.” This active and lively scent hound was initially bred to hunt foxes and hares in huge packs, but he is a wonderful companion for a family as well.

however, don’t expect to find one in your neighborhood. He is one of the few and far between breeds that the American Kennel Club has registered. There were only four Harrier litters were born in the entire United States in 1994.

Harrier has got a lot of substance and bone for his size to built work. His mouth is long with open nostrils and well-grown nose. His eyes are dark, intelligent and watchful, speed isn’t as important as stamina for this dog breed.

The harrier dog breed has long, dropped ears. His feet have quite thick pads that make him able to run through the rough ground for hours. He has got wide chest to provide a lot of room for his lungs and heart. His high tail is carried upright, making it easy for hunters to see him from enough distance.

Harrier has got a friendly and jolly personality. He isn’t quite as friendly as the Beagle, but he certainly loves to be around other animals and people.

You should keep an eye on him. However, around the other pets, he is not a dog. Because he is a pack dog, he normally manages nicely with other dogs. But he can attack hamsters, cats, and other pets who don’t belong to the canine as prey.

One thing you must always keep in mind that your Harrier is an extremely active dog who loves to track and explore. You ought to have a firmly fixed fence. Make sure your dog is not able to crawl under to jump over. When you take your Harrier to areas like a park which is a quite insecure area, be sure to keep your dog on a leash. Otherwise, he may run off, chasing a rabbit or a squirrel.

The Harrier is an excellent watchdog because they will alarm you to any visitors or strange noises. However, do not anticipate him to be a guard dog. He is really friendly that usually greets strangers as though they were old friends.

Although he is a calmly composed and sweet dog, Harrier is not recommended for the owners who are getting this dog breed first time because of his exercise and training needs.


Harrier Dog Breed Need to Know

Harrier is a hunting dog and will take any chance to follow a scent or practice game. He has got great energy dog as well as a great deal of stamina. He is ideal for athletic people and active families who like to bicycle or jog along with their dogs. But if he doesn’t do anything except sitting home, he can get destructive or obese.

Your Harrier can attack cats and other small animals as prey and act accordingly if he doesn’t get appropriate socialization and training. If you give Harrier enough shelter from the cold and heat, he can remain outdoors. But as a pack animal, when his family or other dogs are around him, he is at his best.

The Harrier has got long ears that prevent sufficient air circulation to his ears and he can be vulnerable to infections of the ear.

In order to get a healthy dog, never ever buy a puppy from a puppy mill, backyard breeder or pet store. Always look for a breeder who has got reputation to get her breeding dogs tested to make sure they haven’t got genetic diseases.


Harrier Dog Breed History

There are various incompatible stories regarding how the Harrier dog breed got his developement. The word Harrier comes from Norman French which means dog or hound. The best guess or idea might be that the very first this type of dogs originated from a cross of Talbot hounds, Bloodhounds, and maybe even Basset Hounds.

The Harrier dog breed was developed in England, a pack of dogs like Harrier was established as early as 1260 around more than 800 years ago! Sir Elias Midhope established the Penistone pack, that remained for at least five hundred years, well into the 18th century.

These packs were originally utilized to hunt hare by the hunters following on foot. So in that era, they were a more methodical and much slower type of hound than Harriers we have today. Harriers got changed to have more speed when foxhunting turned out to be fashionable with the hunters on horses.

Although the American Kennel Club, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (the world canine club), and the Canadian Kennel Club as well as others have recognized Harriers. Interestingly, the England’s Kennel Club hasn’t recognized the dog breed since 1971.

Although he is a phenomenal companion for a family, Harrier has never been a popular breed. The American Kennel Club registered only 949 Harriers From 1884 to 1994.

The AKC did not register a single Harrier from 1940 to 1958, although the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America registered some. Most of the Harriers in America have historically hailed from hunting packs just like England, and aren’t registered with the AKC.

Most of the Harriers in the U.S. are excellent companions for the family; some of them are used to hunt rabbit and game that is comparatively fast.


Harrier Dog Breed Health

You can find Harrier dog breed normally healthy, but just like all breeds. He can also have certain health conditions. Not every Harrier will have any of these diseases, but it is really crucial to have awareness of each of them if you are about to buy this breed.

If you are planning to buy a puppy, find a responsible breeder who can show you clearances of health for both parents of your puppy. Health clearance proves that the puppy has been tested for and cleared of a specific condition.

As far as Harrier s are concerned, you are supposed to expect to have health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia (with a score of better), hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand’s disease; from Auburn University for thrombopathia; and from the CERF (Canine Eye Registry Foundation) certifying that eyes are normal. You can also visit OFA web site ( to confirm health clearances.


Harrier Dog Breed Care

Harrier has a lot of stamina and energy. If he has sufficient exercise, he is a great companion; otherwise, he can become destructive. Harrier is not regarded as apartment dwellers. He does his best in a home that possesses large yards for him to move around. The yard must need fences that your dog breed cannot jump over or dig under.

This is the dog that likes to remain with you but never asks for attention. He is pretty much able to entertain himself. Let your adult Harrier have a long walk with enough time for sniffing or take him outside for jogging daily.

The puppies have the needs of different exercise. The puppy kindergarten (from 9 weeks to 4 months of age) once or twice a week is a good way for them to have training, exercise, and socialization, in the morning and evening there should be playtime in the yard about 15 to 20 minutes.

He requires daily half-mile walks, obedience classes weekly and playtime in the yard from 4 to 6 months of age. When he is between 6 months to a year of age, he also needs to play for up to forty minutes during cool evenings or mornings, not in the heat of the day.

The Harrier can start to jog with you after he is a year old, but always keep the handsome amount of distance around less than a mile and let him have frequent breaks along the way. You can increase the time and distance of your running as he continues to mature.


Harrier Dog Breed Feeding

Recommended daily amount: 1.5 to 2 cups of good quality dry food every day that is divided into two meals. Puppies can also eat as much as 4 cups in a day, divided into three meals.

NOTE: How much your adult Harrier eats, depends on his size, build, age, metabolism and activity level. The dogs are individuals, just like a human, and they do not want the same amount of food. In simple words, a highly agile and active dog will, of course, need more than a dog who is a couch potato. When you buy the quality food for your dog also makes a difference — the better the food for your dog, the further it will go towards nourishing the dog and the less of it you will need to shake into your dog’s bowl.

If you are not sure, whether he is overweight or not look down at him first and then you will be able to see his waist. Now keep your hands on his back and your thumbs on his spine, along with the fingers that spread downward. You will be able to feel his ribs but not see without pressing hard. If you can’t, he definitely will need more exercise and less food.


Harrier Dog Breed with Children And Other Pets

The Harrier is excellent and friendly with children like other dog breeds. Always teach your children how to touch and approach dogs, and the interactions between young children and dogs must always be supervised to prevent any biting or tail or ear pulling.

Being a pack dog, Harrier really enjoys being around other dogs, whether they are Harriers or not. However, he may see smaller animals like cats, and hares as prey. He should grow up with smaller animals from puppy-hood.


Harrier Dog Breed Size

Harrier is a medium-size dog. He stands between 19 and 21 inches tall and his weight is from 45 to 60 pounds.