Description: Harriers are a smaller version of the English Foxhound. They’re muscular, sturdy and most commonly have a tri-color coat which is short and firm. These hunting hounds are pack dogs with a reputation for being swift, having great stamina and an incredibly keen nose.
The origin of the Harrier breed is disputed, but in England where these dogs were widely used and popular, there are detailed records of the first pack dating back to 1260. Harriers were bred to primarily hunt hare and they were also used at times for fox hunting.
It is believed Harriers were brought to America during Colonial times. The American Kennel Club recognized the Harrier in the Sporting Group in 1885. These dogs are considered a rare breed in the United States.
Height: The height for a Harrier is between 19-21 inches (48-50 cm)
Weight: The weight of a Harrier is between 40-60 pounds (18-27 kg)
Coat Type: The Harrier’s coat is short, dense, glossy, firm and weatherproof. The coat requires very little grooming – an occasional brushing or combing is sufficient to rid of dead hairs.
Color: Harriers can be of any colors – this is not regarded as important in this breed. There are, however, two main groups of colors: tri colors which is black, tan and white and red and white. There are many variations of these colors and patterns.
Temperament: Harriers are friendly, cheerful, affectionate and very intelligent. These dogs make an excellent family pet and are very good with children. This breed needs to be part of the family and should not be left alone or outside for long periods of time. Harriers are pack dogs and get along very well with other dogs, however, they need to be supervised with non-canine animals. These dogs have a very strong hunting instinct, therefore need to be in a securely fenced yard or on a lease when out as they will eagerly follow a scent. Harriers are easily trained, but sometimes can be stubborn. Owners must realize time and devotion are involved when it comes to training. Harriers love to eat, so food portions must be controlled. Some Harriers like to dig, and some are very talkative. These dogs need regular, daily exercise such as a long walk or run. They should also be given ‘free play’ in a large, secure area.
Health Problems: Harriers are generally a very healthy breed and have very few genetic issues. The most common health issue is hip dysplasia. Other less common health issues include allergies and cancer. The average life span is between 10 – 12 years.
• The Harrier is a smaller version of the English Foxhound.
• Harriers have a long history as a popular, working pack dog in England.
• Harriers are still rare in the United States.
AKC: Hound Group
ANKC: Group 4 – Hounds
CKC: Group 2 – Hounds
FCI: Group 6 Section 1 Scenthounds