Harrier Dog Breed: Understanding the English Foxhound


As you flip through the pages of history, you might not expect to find the Harrier, a canine breed that predates the smartphone by centuries, still thriving in the modern world. Yet here you are, considering this lesser-known cousin of the English Foxhound, as you ponder the addition of a four-legged companion to your life.

With their amiable temperament and sturdy build, Harriers are more than just a picturesque addition to the countryside—they’re versatile and energetic companions that can suit various lifestyles. However, their need for exercise and companionship isn’t a commitment to take lightly. As you weigh the joys and challenges of welcoming a Harrier into your home, it’s crucial to fully grasp their nature and needs.

What follows will guide you through understanding their traits, from the wag of their tail to the depth of their bark, and reveal how well this breed might fit into your tapestry of daily life.

  • Noise Level
  • Energy
  • Sociability
  • Trainability
  • Care
  • Health


The Harrier Dog Breed is known for moderate noise levels, high energy, excellent sociability, moderate trainability, moderate care requirements, and good health.

Harrier: Traits, Temperament, and Care Guide

Diving into the world of the Harrier, you’ll discover a breed that exudes a joyful spirit and a friendly disposition, making it an exceptional companion for those who can match its high energy and love for exercise.

Standing proud between 19 and 21 inches at the shoulder, this active dog boasts a sleek coat of short hair that requires minimal grooming.

Originally bred for hunting hares, the Harrier’s stamina is legendary. Their sweet-tempered nature makes them fantastic with children and other dogs. They thrive in a pack, so you’ll never feel alone with a Harrier.

However, don’t underestimate their need for daily, vigorous activity; it’s essential to channel their zest for life and keep your home from turning into a playful disaster zone!

Exploring the Characteristics of the Harrier

Building on the Harrier’s endearing qualities, let’s uncover the characteristics that make this lively breed both a delightful companion and a skilled hunter. As a descendant of the English Foxhound, the Harrier is superbly crafted for hunting. Its blend of stamina and strength and sweet-tempered nature endears it to families and hunters alike.

Height at ShoulderWeight Range
19-21 inches45-65 lbs
Life ExpectancyExercise Needs
12-15 yearsDaily vigorous walks/runs
Good With ChildrenProne to Conditions
YesHip Dysplasia

Embrace this dog breed for their history, companionship, and unwavering dedication to the hunt. In doing so, you’re not just adopting a pet but welcoming a storied tradition into your home.

Harrier: A Comprehensive Profile and Guide

Now, let’s turn your attention to the Harrier, a breed that embodies stamina and friendliness in a compact and agile package.

You’re looking at a dog as affectionate and good-natured with kids as it’s spirited in the field, demanding a fair share of your time outdoors to stay fit and happy.

With its rich history and recent resurgence, the Harrier’s adaptability and joyful demeanor make it a remarkable companion for active families and those seeking a loyal friend with a touch of English heritage.

Everything You Need to Know

Delving into the world of the Harrier, you’ll discover a breed that combines the endurance and strength of a traditional hunting hound with the affectionate nature of a family companion. Descended from the sturdy Talbot Hounds and refined with the speed of the Fox Terrier and Greyhound, Harriers are adept at tirelessly pursuing their quarry. Historically used for hunting, specifically to hunt hares, they’re equally at home within the heart of your family circle.

Here are three essential aspects to know about the Harrier:

  1. Size and Build: Stands 19-21 inches, weighs 45-65 lbs, with a muscular frame built for stamina.
  2. Temperament: Cheerful, sweet-tempered, great with kids, ideal for active families.
  3. Care: Requires daily exercise and occasional brushing; watch for hip dysplasia.

Embrace the Harrier, a true blend of vigor and companionship.

Discovering the Temperament


When you bring an English Foxhound into your home, you welcome a companion whose cheerful disposition and sweet nature make them a delightful addition to any family dynamic. Known as the Harrier, this breed is your soon-to-be best friend with a long history of loyalty and love. Their temperament is joyous energy and affectionate playfulness, perfect for those with children or other dogs. They crave companionship and thrive when part of your ‘pack’, needing early socialization to ensure they’re comfortable around all household members, furry or otherwise.

Your Harrier has a vocal and determined spirit, requiring consistency and positivity in training. Remember, they’re an active bunch, needing daily exercise to channel their boundless energy and avoid any mischief from boredom. Keep them engaged, and they’ll be the happiest of companions.

Harrier: Is It a Good Fit for Families?

You’re in for a treat if you’re considering an English Foxhound as your next family member. This breed’s affectionate nature and playful spirit make it an excellent companion for kids. Its love for activity aligns perfectly with the dynamics of an energetic household.

However, keep in mind that their need for exercise and potential health issues, like hip dysplasia, mean you’ll have to commit to regular active routines and consider long-term care.

Assessing Harrier’s Compatibility with Families and Kids

With their cheerful disposition and sweet temperament, Harriers make ideal companions for families with children. They embody tolerance and friendliness in a pet well-suited for a lively household. You’ll find that a Harrier’s presence strengthens the sense of belonging within your family, bringing joy and companionship to both young and old.

Here’s why Harriers could be the perfect addition to your family:

  1. Social Butterflies: Thriving in a pack, Harriers love company, be it human or canine, making them social stars at any club or Kennel Club show.
  2. Active Lifestyle Match: Their daily exercise needs align with kids’ energy, ensuring fun-filled walks or runs.
  3. Historic Companions: Traditionally used to hunt, they’ve a strong bond with humans, fostering a loyal and protective relationship with family members.

Embrace a Harrier, and you’ll find a heartwarming, sprightly soul ready to become an integral part of your family tapestry.

Harrier Adjustability Insights

Delving into the world of the Harrier, you’ll discover a breed whose adaptability to home life is as remarkable as its storied history in English hunting packs. Developed primarily to hunt, the Harrier’s robust build gives it the stamina and strength for long pursuits, yet it easily transitions into family life.

Their cheerful disposition makes them sweet-tempered companions, especially for children and other dogs. However, don’t underestimate their need for daily exercise; without it, they may turn your home into a playground of chaos. To keep your Harrier’s adventurous spirit in check, always use a leash or provide a safe enclosed area for exercise.

Embrace this breed’s versatile nature, and you’ll find a loyal friend eager to belong in your world.

Harrier Training Essentials

You’ll find that your Harrier thrives on consistent, positive training methods. Their natural intelligence and eagerness to please can shine in this environment.

Remember, their boundless energy and sharp mind require physical exercise and mental challenges. This will help keep them from becoming bored and potentially destructive.

When training your harrier, it’s crucial to strike the right balance between firmness and affection. This will ensure they know who’s in charge while feeling cherished and motivated.

Effective Training Strategies

Harnessing the eager spirit of a Harrier requires a blend of positive reinforcement and consistent command training, ensuring your furry friend is mentally stimulated and well-mannered. It’s essential to start them young, introducing them to the Kennel Club’s guidelines and preparing them, perhaps, for their first time at a Dog Show.

Here’s a table that breaks down effective training strategies:

Strategy TypeBenefitExample
Positive ReinforcementEncourages good behaviorTreats for obeying commands
Consistent CommandsFosters understandingSame word for ‘sit’ every time
Mental StimulationPrevents boredomPuzzle toys and scent games
Structured ExerciseChannels energyDaily walks and play sessions

Exercise and Grooming Needs

How can you ensure your English Foxhound stays healthy and content? Regular, vigorous exercise combined with meticulous grooming is key.

Your Harrier thrives on daily physical activity; long brisk walks or runs are essential to curb hyperactivity, prevent weight gain, and avert destructive tendencies. They’re part of the Dog Breeds renowned for stamina and a zest for life, so keeping them leashed or in a secure space while exercising is crucial to manage their exploratory instincts.

Regarding exercise and grooming needs, weekly brushing with a rubber curry brush will keep their coat in top condition. Remember to trim nails, clean ears, and brush teeth regularly.

Your devotion to their care fosters a deep sense of belonging and ensures a happy, well-adjusted companion commonly used to an active lifestyle.


Health Considerations

As you embrace life with your English Foxhound, staying informed about their health is critical. Although they’re a hearty breed, like any dog, they face their share of health challenges and have a typical lifespan of 10-13 years.

Prioritize regular vet check-ups to catch any signs of hip dysplasia early, and keep them fit and happy with daily exercise to ward off obesity.

Common Health Issues and Lifespan

When considering an English Foxhound as your potential canine companion, you must be aware of their health challenges and average lifespan to ensure you’re prepared for the commitment.

With a hearty life expectancy of 12-15 years, these hounds bring enduring joy to your kennel. However, be vigilant for signs of hip dysplasia, a health hiccup that can affect these spirited dogs.

The American Kennel Club recognizes the importance of regular exercise to stave off hyperactivity, obesity, and potentially destructive behavior. If your family includes non-canine pets, early socialization is key, as Harriers may need guidance to coexist peacefully.

Alternatives for Harrier: Energetic and Sociable Medium-Sized Hounds

For those who love the Harrier’s energy and sociability, these medium-sized hounds offer a similar blend of enthusiasm and friendliness.

Similar DogsShort Description
BeagleA popular breed known for its keen sense of smell and amiable personality.
English FoxhoundA breed appreciated for its stamina in hunting and genial nature.
American FoxhoundCelebrated for its speed and good temperament, suitable for active families
Plott HoundKnown for its hunting ability and loyalty, great as a companion and working dog.
Treeing Walker CoonhoundFast and intelligent, great for hunting and as a family pet.

Is Harrier the Right Dog for You?

If you’re seeking a loyal companion that thrives on energetic outdoor activities, the Harrier may just be the perfect addition to your active family. With their cheerful and sweet-tempered nature, Harriers bond deeply with children and fellow canines. However, remember to introduce them early if your home hosts non-canine pets.

As descendants of the first Harrier packs, these dogs possess an innate zest for life and require daily exercise to maintain their happiness – think long, vigorous walks or spirited runs alongside you.

Their short coat, which sheds seasonally, needs only occasional brushing, making grooming a breeze. While they’re generally healthy, Harriers are predisposed to hip dysplasia, so regular check-ups are necessary.

If you’re ready to commit, joining the ranks of the Association of Masters and Masters of Harriers, you’ll find an incredibly rewarding, life-long friendship.


In the end, the Harrier is like a well-worn glove—it effortlessly fits into the hustle and bustle of family life.

Embrace their joyous spirit and ensure they get the daily romps they crave.

Brush their coat occasionally, stay vigilant about their health, and you’ll have a loyal companion for years to come.

If you’re seeking an affectionate soul with boundless energy, the Harrier might just be your match made in heaven.



Michelle is a knowledgeable content writer at Dogwondersworld, specializing in canine behavior and nutrition, and is responsible for creating informative and engaging articles for the site. Her expertise contributes significantly to the depth and quality of the content.

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