The Harrier is sort of like the middle sibling to the English Foxhound and the Beagle, but only in size. This breed has unique hunting abilities and temperament making it a wonderful and distinct breed. Read more about the Harrier in the BBS Breed Spotlight below!
History & Background: The Harrier has a cloudy ancestry, but more than likely this dog was developed from its close cousins, the English Foxhound. Since Colonial times, the Harrier has been a hunting dog for hare, thus it’s name, and fox as well. Slower than the Foxhound, hunters liked this dog because Harriers ran at a pace that was easy to keep up with, which is called a “drag” hunt. To this day English and Irish hunters still use Harriers to hunt. This dog was recognized by the AKC in 1885.
Height: 40 to 60 pounds
Weight: 19 to 21 inches
Coat: Hard in texture and short in length, the Harrier’s overall coat is dense and glossy. The exception is the dog’s ears where the fur is finer and softer. The underside of the tail has a slight fan of hair.
Color: Not seen as important by breed standards, the Harrier can be shown in any color. Eye color is hazel in darker dogs and lighter in lighter colored dogs. Nose is black.
Appearance: These dogs are well-built, strong and active dogs who in truth is looks simply like a miniature English Foxhound. The Harrier is longer from shoulder to rump than shoulder to ground. The head is proportional to the rest of the body and leads into a strong neck and then into muscular front legs. The eyes are medium in size and set apart. The chest is deep and ribs well-sprung for plenty of heart and lung room. Harriers have strong, straight backs which lead into a high-set tail carried high in the air, but never curling over the back.
Temperament: Harriers are outgoing, fun-loving dogs that are sweet, great with kids and other dogs. They’re even sometimes called “Beagles on Steroids.” These dogs love playing and sniffing new smells. The Harrier loves pack life and can suffer from separation anxiety if not exercise or socialized enough.
Health & Grooming: Because this dog was bred to run and work all day, exercise for Harriers requires long, daily walks or vigorous play. These dogs love playing in open spaces as long as there is a fence of some sort.
This dog usually lives 12 to 15 years. Hip dysplasia and epilepsy are not uncommon in this breed.
Product Suggestions: A great chew to wear out the Harrier, is the BestBullySticks 12 inch jumbo bully stick. This long-lasting dogchew will keep your Harrier gnawing for a good long while. And our free-range, grass-fed bully sticks have a flavor that your dog can’t refuse!
Do you know or own a Harrier? Tell us your Harrier story in the comments section below!
Curious about a dog breed? Check out our full list of Breed Spotlights to learn about some amazing dog breeds!