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Quick facts

Harrier AKC Group: Hound
Height: 19-21 inches
Weight: 40-60 pounds
Colors: Black, tan, and white; red and white
AKC recognized in: 1885

The Harrier, otherwise known as the Hare Hound, first originated in the United Kingdom. The word Harrier itself means hare hunter, and hare-hunting happens to be its specialty.

A medium-sized breed, it is smaller than an English Foxhound but larger than a Beagle. A large-boned and muscular dog, it is characterized by a square muzzle, a wide nose, a short coat, and hanging ears. Strong and sturdy, it will work tirelessly regardless of rough terrain or long hours.

There are conflicting versions on the origin of this breed. Some accounts say that the earliest Harriers were created from a cross between and among the Bloodhound, the Basset Hound, and the Talbot Hound. Other accounts insist that the breed arose from a cross between and among the English Foxhound, the Greyhound, and the Fox Terrier.

What's been verified so far is that the first pack of Harrier dogs was established in England in 1260 by Sir Elias de Midhope. The passion for this breed of hunting dogs spread from England to west of it and as far as Wales.

As far back as the colonial times, Harriers have co-existed along with other scent hounds in the United States. Today, the most number of Harrier hound clubs exist in Ireland.

What makes the Harrier popular then and now is that it can be followed on foot. It hunts at a slower speed, enabling hunters to cope with its pace.


Harrier Summary
Affection three paws
Cold Tolerance three paws
Ease of Training two paws
Energy level four paws
Exercise Requirements four paws
Friendliness : Children four paws
Friendliness: Other Animals four paws
Friendliness: Other Pets three paws
Grooming Requirements one paw
Heat Tolerance three paws
Playfulness three paws
Protection Ability one paw
Watchdog Ability five paws

Well-reputed for its good nose, the Harrier makes a reliable scent hound. An excellent tracker and an agile hunter, it is guided by strong hunting instincts. Thus, you have to train it with a calm but firm hand.

With eyes brown or hazel, the expression in a Harrier's eyes is quite mellow. From a mellow expression when it is relaxed, it turns to an alert one when it is excited.

In general, the Harrier is a sweet-tempered and cheerful type of dog especially when you've raised it from puppyhood. It is more tolerant of people, friends and strangers alike. It also works excellently with families and children.

There are Harriers which love to bay, and that's usually when they're restless or bored. They're saying they're raring to go trailing, exploring, and sniffing around so keep them busy and active!

Health and Exercise

Because being a trailer and explorer is essentially built into a Harrier, it is always safest to keep this dog on a leash. Otherwise, you must provide a safe and enclosed area where it can live and play. It is a pack dog which relates well with fellow dogs but it should be supervised when with other non-canine pets.

If you're quick to recognize this dog was bred to work and run, then you mustn't confined it to a sedentary lifestyle. Keep it satisfied by giving it enough activity.

Caring for a Harrier requires some amount of daily exercise. It will enjoy long walks and vigorous runs. Deprive a Harrier of the right exercise and it can become either hyperactive and destructive or lazy and overweight.

A Harrier lives for a long as 12 to 15 years. Like most dogs, one of its most common health problems would be hip dysplasia.

Visitor Comments

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