Harriers were originally bred to hunt hares and foxes. Today, this breed of dog is not particularly popular, but their excellent sense of smell and tireless work ethic make them a great choice for hunters.Although these are rare purebred dogs, some may end up in the care of shelters or rescues. Consider adoption if this is the breed for you.Harriers are sometimes described as “Beagles on steroids”. Active and playful, these dogs would not do so well in a flat. They need space to run and burn off their great energy. Still, they are quite affectionate, especially with children and other dogs. They are also a fairly healthy breed and easy to clean. For an active family, the Harrier can be an excellent companion.AniMall24 recommends a dog bed to give your medium-sized Harrier a good night’s sleep. You should also buy a dog water bottle for any outdoor adventures you have with your pup.


Cage training is recommended. Cage training is recommended.Harriers tend to be vocal and some love to howl.Some Harriers like to dig and have been known to dig under fences to escape and chase something.Harriers are hunting dogs and will take any opportunity to chase game or follow a scent. A secure fence is a must if you have a Harrier. Underground electronic fences are not effective with Harriers because they have a high pain threshold and the brief shock they receive when crossing the invisible line does not deter them from chasing or investigating things beyond their boundaries.Harriers are high energy dogs and have a great deal of stamina. They are perfect for active families or athletic people who like to jog or cycle with their dogs at their side (on a lead so they don’t get out of pursuit), but they can become obese or destructive if they live in a more sedentary home.If not well trained and socialised, your Harrier may see cats and other small furry animals as prey and act accordingly.Harriers are good watchdogs who will bark if they sense someone or something threatening their territory, but they are not good watchdogs. After raising the alarm, they are likely to greet strangers as if they were lifelong friends.Harriers can stay outdoors if given adequate shelter from the heat and cold, but being pack animals, they are at their best when surrounded by other dogs or their family.The Harrier’s long ears prevent adequate air circulation in their ears and they can be prone to ear infections.To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill or pet shop. Look for a reputable breeder who tests their breeding dogs to make sure they are free of genetic diseases that can be passed on to puppies and that they have sound temperaments.


There are several conflicting stories about the origin of the Harrier breed. The word Harrier comes from Norman French and means hound or dog. With this connection, the best guess may be that the first Harrier type dogs descended from a crossbreeding of Bloodhounds, Talbot hounds, and perhaps even Basset Hounds, all of which had their origins in what are now France and Belgium.In England, where the Harrier breed developed, a pack of Harrier type dogs was established as early as 1260 – over 800 years ago! The Penistone pack, established by Sir Elias Midhope, existed for at least 500 years, well into the 18th century. Originally, these packs were used to hunt hares with the hunters following on foot, so at that time they were a much slower and more methodical type of hound than today’s Harriers. When foxhunting became fashionable with hunters on horseback, Harriers were adapted to have more speed. The Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles was formed in England in March 1891. At that time, Harriers were much more popular than Beagles. The 1891-1900 volumes of the AMHB Stud Book list 107 registered herds of Harriers.Admission to the Stud Book in those days was based on the records of the herd owner or by committee. It appears that many of the founding Harriers were actually small Foxhounds. In addition, the names of some of these founding Harriers appear in the pedigrees of the more successful Beagles. Interestingly, although Harriers are recognised by the American Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (the world kennel club), as well as others, the Kennel Club of England has not recognised the Harrier breed since 1971. The reason for this could be that in England, Harriers are only owned by hunting organisations and registered with the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles. They are usually only registered with the AMHB if they are members of a pack and have been used for at least one hunting season. Several Harrier packs were established and some were recognised by the American Masters of Foxhounds Association. At least two American packs were listed in the AMHB in England. Although they are great family companions, Harriers have never been a popular breed. From 1884 to 1994, only 949 Harriers have been registered with the American Kennel Club. Although they have always been at or near the bottom of the list in terms of popularity, 182 Harriers have become AKC Record Champions, which is a very high percentage of champions to registered dogs.Despite their lack of popularity, they have been part of the American Kennel Club since its inception, being the 13th breed recognised by the AKC, and the 4th recognised breed of hound. Two Harriers from Baltimore, Maryland, were entered in the first Westminster Kennel Club show in 1877. Four Harriers from New York were entered in the second Westminster show, and Harrier registrations were scarce in the early 1900’s. In 1936, a dog named Monkey was entered in the first Westminster Kennel Club show. In 1936, a dog named Monarch became the first Harrier Champion of Record and also the first Harrier to win Best in Show. Monarch was owned by the Monmouth County Hunt, and was bred from dogs imported from England. There were several Harrier packs in the USA during the early years of the 20th century. George S. Patton, who was then a Colonel, was the Master of the Cobbler Harriers from 1936 to 1938. From 1940 to 1958, no Harriers were registered with the AKC, although some were registered with the Master of Foxhounds Association of America. As in England, most Harriers in the USA have historically belonged to hunting packs and are not registered with the AKC.Some Harriers began to be shown at AKC shows in the early 1960s. In 1965, Breezewood Chop Chop Chop became the second AKC champion after a gap of 30 years. In 1969, a Harrier named Naabeehos Harvey won Best in Show at the Superstition KC, and scored 5 points towards his championship. In 1970, Byron Mewes’ Lady Elizabeth and Johnson’s Pretty Boy Floyd received Best in Show honours. In 1978, Brentcliffe Jill won her first Best in Show and became the all-time winningest Harrier with 17 Best in Shows and 52 wins in the Hound Group.While most Harriers in the USA are family companions, some are also used to hunt rabbits and game that are too fast for most Beagles.

Breed Characteristics:
All Around Friendliness:
Health And Grooming Needs:
Physical Needs:
Vital Stats:
Dog Breed Group: Mixed Breed Dogs
Height: 21 to 24 inches
Weight: 60 to 100 pounds
Life Span: 10 to 12 years

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