A medium sized Harrier
Harrier Quick Summary
Also Known As
OriginGreat Britain
Height (at withers)19-22 in (48-56cm)
Weight45-60lbs (20-27kg)
Hair Colour(s)Black, ten, white
Lifespan12-14 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size7-8
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingLow
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityLow
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftMedium

The Harrier is a medium-sized sturdy hunting dog that looks like a small English Foxhound. The body is muscular and well-boned with a level topline, long legs and a long curved upright tail. The head has pendulous ears, well set apart eyes, a strong, square muzzle and a black nose. The short coat is thick and glossy, and the colouring tends to be black, tan and white.


Harriers are friendly and good-natured dogs with well-balanced, outgoing temperaments. Having plenty of energy, they make fine family pets and companions but need adequate physical and mental stimulation in order to avoid boredom and destructive behaviour. Care is needed when off the leash because they are quite determined trackers and cannot be easily persuaded from a trail. These are eager and responsive dogs that are quick to learn, but they can also be stubborn, willful and independent, and some can be difficult to housebreak and train in general. Therefore they are best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership rather than novices. Harriers get along fine with older, more considerate children and with other dogs, but caution and early socialisation are required around smaller pets such as cats, which they may chase. They tend to be friendly around strangers and so do not make effective watchdogs.

History & Skills

Harriers originate from Great Britain, and were originally developed to hunt hare in packs and later foxes too, although its specialty in hunting hares gave rise to its name. Once considered a poor man's alternative to the Foxhound, they were developed from several different hounds and these dogs are excellent scent hounds that can work tirelessly regardless of the terrain. These days they make great family pets and show dogs.

Breed Specific Ailments

Harriers tend to live between 12-14 yearsand are a relatively healthy breed. Some of the health problems that have been noted in this breed includes hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, lens luxation and PRA.


Harriers are low shedders, which makes them suitable for those suffering with allergies. Their grooming reqiurements are low too, which is ideal for those that cannot commit too much time to this. The coat simply requires an occasional brushing and rubdown with a damp cloth, and the ears should be kept clean and dry in order to reduce the risk of any infections.

Exercise & Environment

Harriers are active dogs and are not suited to small homes such as apartments, as they thrive on areas with plenty of outdoor space and are most suited to rural life. Adaptable to most climates, they will need a daily walk plus access to a yard or garden areas. These areas must be secure and they should be walked only on a leash, because these dogs have strong tracking instincts and great senses of smell and may tend to roam. They are prone to being destructive when not provided with adequate exercise.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

Breed Clubs

Coming soon!

Owners Gallery

Pretty empy right now. If you would like to see you dog here please email a photo to BFD Photos along with your name, your dog's name & age, breed and rough location (please keep image file sizes reasonable!).