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Harrier Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Thinking about getting adopting a new dog?  Why not get one that can help you lose a ton of weight!  Because if you decide to adopt a Harrier, there’s a really good chance that is exactly what’s going to happen!

You see…

The Harrier dog breed is one of the most active and energetic dogs out there that is always on the move and will most definitely make you want to get out there and move around too!

That is of course…

If you’re the right “kind” of owner for one of these guys.  The kind of owner who loves to go running, walking, riding or hiking a lot.  This is because the Harrier loves to run and loves to lead the way!

And while…

We’ll be the first to tell you that we love these kinds of dogs, we here at IndulgeYourPet understand that a super active dog isn’t the “perfect” fit for everyone.  This is why in this article we hope to shed some light on what it might be like to own one of these awesome dogs so that if you’re ever given the opportunity to actually own one, you’ll know for sure if it’s going to be a good idea.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Harrier Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin: England

Original Purpose:  Trailing rabbits

Height: 18 to 22 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 40 to 60 pounds

Life Span: 12 to 15 years

Dog Breed Classification:  Hound group

Harrier Dog Breed Origin

Whenever you’re talking about an old dog breed, you’re almost always going to get a variety of theories explaining how they came to be, and the Harrier dog breed is no exception to this rule.

What is known…

Is that these guys are one of the oldest scent hounds in existence today and are likely the product of interbreeding between the Greyhound dog breed and a now extinct dog breed called the Southern Hound that existed several hundred years ago in England.  You see, these guys have been around since at least the early 13th century.


That’s at least one theory that’s out there.  Another theory is that the Harrier was brought to England by the Nordics when they invaded the country in 1066 AD. They say that the Harrier is a descendant of the Penistone pack.

What is known…

That once these guys did come into existence, they have always proven to be quite useful.  And while they may not have always been as popular as some of his larger and faster cousins, these guys have always proven to be great companion animals who also have a great talent of tracking down a target.

These guys…

Were also some of the first dogs brought to America, and while they may not be the most popular dog breed today, they were still “officially” recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) very early (1885) and it appears like their numbers may be on the rise ever since the Harrier Club of America was started back in 1992.

Physical Characteristics of the Harrier

The Harrier is a medium-sized dog. And while he may be small enough to live comfortably in a small apartment or condo please remember that these guys are going to require a ton of exercise so unless you like going on long walks or have access to dog parks nearby, this may not be the right dog for you.

The good news…

Is that if you do choose to adopt on of these guess, you’re definitely going to like the fact that the Harrier has a short, dense coat, which is easy to care for and does not shed much.

Amazing stamina

Now one reason why some hunters have favored other “hound dogs” is because these guys aren’t necessarily the fastest dog in the world, but what they lack in speed, they more than make up with tremendous stamina.

In fact…

These guys can basically run, run and run, and keep running without ever getting tired.  Which in truth makes him a perfect hunting dog provided that you’re not looking for him to take down an animal in a sprint.

You see…

These guys prefer to hunt foxes and hares for hours till they drop out of complete exhaustion. And when we say “prefer” we mean it because these guys can be quite relentless while on the hunt!

One other thing…

That you’ll likely notice about the Harrier dog breed is that he has a dark, small, brooding and intelligent eye and long, dropped ears which when all meshed together seem to give you a look like…

“Is it time to go yet?”

His feet…

Are also covered with thick pads, which allow him to run for hours through any terrain.

Comparison Dog Breeds

The Harrier Dog Breed is a medium-sized dog that may be compared to other dog breeds such as the:

  • Flat-Coated Retriever, American Foxhound, Griffon Vendeen, Curly-Coated Retriever, Portuguese Podengo, Shepherd Dog, Entlebucher Mountain, Chinese Shar-Pei, Basset Griffon Vendeen, Labrador Retriever, English Foxhound, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Cocker Spaniel, Welsh Corgi, Basset Hound, Springer Spaniel, Basset Griffon, Water Spaniel, German Shepherd, Border Collie, Black And Tan, Coonhound, Treeing Walker Coonhound, and the Canaan Dog.

 Harrier Dog Breed Personality and Temperament

The Harrier has a very playful personality. He loves being around people and is very loyal to his human family and really gets attached to all family members.  Which is one reason why we’ll often recommend these dogs to families that have children because they will never tire playing with them and will protect them till the end.

In fact…

Kids adore him.  Mainly Because he is so sweet and funny. He is very kind and generous with children and doesn’t snap back even when a child does something stupid such as trying to mount him.

They’re also…

Eager to look upon you as your leader and will follow you everywhere. But the do tend to have a bit of an independence streak so you will want to begin your obedience training early and be sure to use positive reinforcement techniques so that your Harrier looks to you as a loving yet firm owner.

Apart from that…

He is a very stable breed, and friendly with everyone. He is a great pet to introduce to friends or interesting new people you meet in the park and elsewhere.

But be warned…

The Harrier dog breed is a very vocal dog breed, always chirpy, always barking. He barks all the time, especially when he is bored. He howls whenever he suspects something.  Now those living with close neighbors know that this can be an issue, but as long as he gets enough exercise, he should be fine.

Harrier Health Problems

Harriers are among the healthiest dog breeds in the world – no kidding. This is a very strong, muscular and robust dog with tremendous stamina that almost never gets sick.

That said however…

Hip dysplasia is one major health issue with this breed. This is mostly a genetic problem and the number of Harriers getting afflicted by this condition is on the decline.  Which is great!

You’ll just want…

To be sure to discuss this issue with any Harrier breeder you work with and or Harrier rescue program you have an opportunity to adopt from.  Because remember, even though the Harrier dog breed is a health one, the medical treatment for hip dysplasia can cost anything from $1,500 to $6,000!

Which is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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