Harrier Photo

Harrier Dog Breed Info & Pictures

In terms of physical appearance, the Harrier can quite accurately be called a slightly smaller version of the English Foxhound. Built to hunt hare, the Harriers frame and muscular build provide it with the stamina and ability to run swiftly. They are sturdy and big-boned and are slightly longer than they are tall. Their head carries a gentle expression with the eyes dark and set well apart. The ears are round at the tip and are set low and close to the head. The muzzle is strong with a large, open nose and either a scissor or level bite. The tail is long and set high, but not curled over the back, with a brush on the end. The coat is short and glossy with a hard texture but it is soft on the ears. The Harrier can be of any color, though patters of black, brown, lemon, tan and white are most common.

Harrier Fast Facts

12 - 14 years
Middle Ages
45 - 60 lb
35 - 45 lb
20 - 21"
19 - 20"
Herrier, Harier or Hairier.


The Harrier is outgoing and playful....

It has a great temperament for children because it is tolerant and patient. Harriers naturally get along great with other dogs and can learn to tolerate other pets if they have been raised with them. While not the most social of dogs around strangers, the Harrier is typically friendly and accepting when meeting new people. Harriers should be kept on leash or in an enclosed area when exercising because they love to follow their noses. The Harrier will bay loudly if it gets bored or antsy; ideally, this dog should have other dogs and family members to keep it company.

Caring For a Harrier

Harriers are active both indoors and out and therefore are not good for an apartment; this dog is much better suited to a home with a lot of acreage....

Harriers need lots of daily exercise lest they become boisterous and destructive. They love going for runs with their owner. Do not leave your Harrier alone for long periods of time, as it is a social animal that thrives on interaction with humans and other dogs. Being an average shedder with a short coat, the Harrier is easy to keep well groomed. Only regular brushing is needed to keep this breed looking its best. A typical hound, the Harrier is a very healthy breed, and the only common health problem to really watch out for is canine hip dysplasia.

Harrier History

Breed History

The origin of the Harrier is a bit of a mystery, and while there are many theories as to the beginnings of this breed, no one can say for certain how it came to be....

Some believe the Harrier descends from a breed known as the Southern Hound, with a tinge of Greyhound blood. Others claim that the dog is an amalgamation of the now extinct Talbot and Saint Hubert Hounds, and possibly the French Basset Hound. Whatever its origin the Harrier has certainly existed in Britain for a very long time, entering the historical record definitively toward the end of the 12th century. By 1260 a man by the name of Sir Elias Midhope had established the first Harrier pack. These dogs trailed hare at a pace that humans could match, and the breed therefore became a kind of common mans hare hunter since those without horses could nevertheless follow the dog on foot. Evidence of the Harriers working class heritage can also be seen in the great popularity of Harrier scratch packs, in which several men each owning one or more Harriers combined their dogs to make a kind of makeshift pack. The Harrier was introduced to North America during colonial times, and has been used there as a hare trailer since that time. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885, but in all its long history in America it has never been a very popular breed. Debate still rages as to where exactly this dog came from, but more and more people are beginning to see the Harrier as simply a smaller version of the English Foxhound.