Home Breeds Harrier



What a loquacious dog. Here comes Harrier, this talktive breed can bark longlasting if not trained well. Stubborn as Harriers are, they can be perfect at hunting. Active owners’ll be happy to have good athletic companions. However, it takes some efforts to groom them as they shed alot.

Other Names Non
Color Black, White & Tan, Lemon & White, Red & White
Height Males: 19-21 inches. Females: 19-21 inches.
Weight Males: 40-65 pounds. Females: 40-65 pounds.
Life Span 12-15 years
Personality Friendly, Outgoing, People-Oriented
Exercise Needs Lots of Activity
Popularity #186
Groom Needs Weekly Brushing and Occasional Shedding
Kids Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes
Watch Dog
Family Dog Yes
Litter Size 2-8 puppies

Harrier Pictures

Harrier Video


The cheerful and good-natured Harrier is a medium-sized dog used for hunting hare, hence the name. Due to their resemblance to the Beagle, Harriers have been humorously described as Beagles on steroids since they appear quite bigger than Beagles. It is a muscular dog endowed with large bones, enhancing its strength and stamina. They are generally friendly and accommodating. They are playful around children but should be monitored around other household pets. Harriers appear longer in the back than they are tall. The short, dense coat is usually harsh to withstand harsh weather conditions except for the extreme cold. They come in almost any color.

A standard Harrier stands 19-21 inches from shoulder to paw and weighs around 45-60 pounds, regardless the gender. They have an average life expectancy of 11-15 years.

Living with Harrier

Thanks to Harriers’ short and dense coat, it takes little efforts to groom them. Responsible owners will choose to brush them every other week. Hound mitt and rubber curry can be both applicable to them. Actually owners could choose to use any grooming tools with dense, cone-shaped teeth. If owner find dogs have dirty and greasy coat, it’s advisable for owners to bath them beforehand. Owners need to make the bathing period happy and joyful, which contribute to a successful grooming of the Harriers. And the Harriers will hardly feel any sense of resistance when owners brush them in the years that followed. Compared with the skin of dogs who are taken out for brisk walks, the skin of an energitic and playful dogs are more likely to produce oil. Owners need to use the brush and comb to distribute skin oils. The more dead hairs of dogs get removed, the fewer efforts owners will take to clean up the floor. This breed shed moderately, which is a good thing. However, inappropriate diet will contribute to hair-loose, such as food with salt and oil. If owners feed them on food which contain many salt and oil, the Harriers are prone to loose many hairs on floors, furniture and clothing. If owners delay in cleaning the ears of the Harriers, they are prone to suffer from infections, irritations and wax build-up. Basic care is of great importance. It takes owners little efforts to trim their nails, staying away from dirt and dust. Once-a-week nail-trimming can be applicable to them. For a overall health and fresh breath, owners can use a veterinarian-approved pet toothpaste to brush dog’ teeth.

Harriers are fond of exercising and playing. As one of the hound breeds, Harriers are instinct to enjoy all-out running for hours in the field. So an experienced owner will choose to take them out for some vigorous walks or runs. So an unexperienced and novice owner need to concern about their amount of exercise to maintain overall health. The leash of Harriers shouldn’t get loose in any open areas, making sure that they’re under control. Secure fenced area can be more applicable to them. One-hour daily exercise will meet Harriers’ needs. The Harriers will become hyperactive and destructive if the amount of exercise is insufficient, bringing troubles to home funiture. Some fetch, catch, taggames or other interactive activities will contribute to dogs’ mental health. Daily happy exercise can contribute to good mental and physical health. Active hiking lovers will be happy to get a companion to do outdoor activities together, adding more pet-owner emotional connections. Though Harriers are calm after getting familiar with indoors living, bringing no troubles to home furniture, owners still need to take them out for moderate exercise. The average home will be suitable for the raising of the Harriers. 

Harriers are not critical about food, yet they should be fed on nutrient and premium food afterall. An unexperienced or novice owner should know that puppy, adult, and senior dog should be fed on different amount of food. If an inappropriate amount of food are fed on, dogs are prone to get either overweight or hungry. If they suffer from overweight problems, it’s advisable for owners to check the calorie consumption and weight level regularly. Owners should know certain human food are dangerous to dogs. And dogs are prone to get bloat, so owners should know the measures and symptoms of bloat in advance. If owners still find it difficult, it’s a good idea to ask vet for advice. Owners need to feed them high quality food. Dry kibble that contain nutritional formula can be perfectly applicable to them. Wet food are not suitable for the Harriers, as they are likely to have dental issue. Canned food is also not appropriate to them, adding risks of cavities, gum infections and overall bad breath. Last but not the least, fresh and clean water should be available anytime.

Harriers are basically in good health. Thanks to careful breeders, many Harriers have done some health screening tests. Hardly will health issues occur among the Harriers. A new puppy buyer need to learn about some certain notes for better care of this breed. Some human food can be dangerous to all dogs. For example, chocolates can do harm to dogs’ brain, threatening their life in a worse case. People will think of dogs as a bone fanatic, however, some chicken bones can be harmful to intestine, stomach and throat. Other sharp poultry bones might pose swallowing risks. The kidney and liver of the Harriers are under a massive burden when fed on human food, which contain many salts and oils. When fed on rice, dogs are prone to suffer from tetter. This breed’s lifespan is generally 12–15 years. Hip dysplasia is known to occur in this breed. Some specific food was expressly forbidden, such as onions and high-fiber food. Owners need to spend some time to learn about these basic knowledge. Owners need to make them out regularly to keep them in good physical health. Owners can choose to ask for vet for some advice if owners find it difficult in picking up food or overweight issues. And vet can help check the health condition regularly to make sure their health during the course of their lives. Hip and ophthalmologist evaluation can be suitable for owners to rest assured the health situation of their favorite dogs.

Total Annual Cost: $2770

Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.

Independent and smart as Harriers are, it takes much efforts to train Harriers well. Harriers are stubborn sometimes. So it’s necessary to make some emotional connections between dog and trainers. When it comes to hunting activities, this breed are instinctive to learn very quickly. These hunting commands are a piece of cake to Harriers. The Harriers are hounds, and they were bred to chase and hunt hares and foxes. They enjoy all-out running, hounding, tracking, rally, coursing ability tests, and other activities. However, trainers will find it difficult to have Harriers obey certain household commands. Owners can guide them with some cooked meat, which can be good aids in training process. Owners need to be calm yet firm, making dogs emotionormal. Lessons should be given repetitively, offering them short intervals between each lessons.


The Harrier is often mistaken for a Beagle or an English Foxhound due to its appearance, but its size is somewhat likened to a large Beagle or a small Foxhound. In fact, some accounts have described the Harrier as a bred-down version of the English Foxhound. The origin of the Harrier has brought historians out in an array of conflicting stories. A popular opinion claims that the Harrier descended from a cross between the Greyhound and the Southern Hound. Another theory links the Harrier to Talbot Hounds, Bloodhounds, and Basset Hounds. Still another theory traces the Harriet to a possible cross between English Foxhounds, Greyhounds, and  Fox Terriers. In any case, it is widely believed that the ancestors of the Harrier were probably dogs brought into England during the Norman invasion of 1066.

The Harrier is mainly used as a hound dog for hunting hare and foxes and is popular as a pack dog. During hunts, the Harrier is released after the quarry, while the hunter follows closely behind by foot, unlike hunts with the English Foxhound where hunters rode on horsebacks. It was one of the earliest breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). It had existed in America since colonial times, although, in recent years, the Harrier breed has become a very rare one. In 1885, it gained an AKC recognition alongside 14 other breeds. It is not popular amongst Americans. Although the Harrier had existed in England probably as far back as the 1200s, it is still not recognized in the country.

Helpful Information

Breed Club: Harrier Club of America

Breed Club Link: http://www.harrierclubofamerica.com/

Breed Club Rescue: Harrier Rescue

Breed Club Rescue Link: http://harrierclubofamerica.squarespace.com/rescue/