Meet the Hunting Harrier Dog Why This Breed Makes Such a Great Pet

Harrier dog photo
Large Breed Hip Dysplasia Epilepsy Harrier

Is The Harrier Right For You?

  • 1 The Harrier dog breed is well known for their extremely playful and friendly nature.
  • 2 Harriers are sweet-tempered and great with children.
  • 3 Harrier puppies need to be socialized with non-canine pets to curb aggressive behavior.


Believed to be the descendent of hunting breeds like the Bloodhound, Talbot Hound, Basset Hound, Foxhound, Fox Terrier, and Greyhound, the Harrier was bred to be a smaller, more compact version of the common English hunting dog. Their size made them more adept in the tracking and hunting of smaller game, like hares or foxes. They became popular because of their slower pace, allowing hunters to keep apace with them on foot. Believed to have been first bred in the mid 1200s, the Harrier was first recognized by the AKC in 1885.

Quick Facts

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    10-12 years

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    Hair Length


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    Male Height

    19-21 inches at the withers

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    Male Weight

    50-60 pounds

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    Female Height

    19-21 inches at the withers

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    Female Weight

    50-60 pounds

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    Litter Size

    7-8 puppies per litter


An incredibly friendly and playful breed, the Harrier is a loving pack dog that craves being a part of a group. They are great with kids and other dogs, but need supervision when in the company of smaller animals, as their hunting instincts may kick in. They are energetic dogs and require plenty of exercise, as well as a daily pack walk, in order to become well adjusted. Being a pack dog, they require a solid leader, otherwise they may become unruly. .


The Harrier can be seen in the same types of coloration as the Foxhound -- they can be black, white and tan, red and white, black and tan, tricolor black, tan and white, lemon and white, tan, open-markings with lots of white, and white.

Health Concerns

Hip dysplasia and epilepsy are common problems with the breed.


Essentially the middleground between the Beagle and the Foxhound, the harrier has the same sleek, athletic, hunting hound body. Their broad head and square muzzle give them an angular, boxy look, extending down their muscular neck. They have long, droopy ears and a very expressive face. Their paws are small and almost cat-like in shape.

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