Harriers are on the small side, compared with American and English Foxhounds, but they are sturdy and big-boned. Their long, slightly domed heads have dark, easygoing eyes and rounded V-shaped ears that hang close. They have thick necks and long tails that are carried horizontally or high. Their dense, short coats are often back, white & tan, but they can come in almost any color. Overall, Harriers look friendly, solid and strong.
Harriers are used to the rustic country life. In other words, some may have a hard time adjusting to the relaxed duties of a household companion. However, they are very friendly and outgoing, getting along famously with children, other pets and guests. Some can even be chatty, howling and baying occasionally.
Harriers crave human attention. They can get very lonely if left along for too long. If you can’t be home during the day, consider getting your Harrier a friend: They enjoy the company of both dogs and cats.
Harriers have strong hunting and fielding instincts. Make sure they get plenty of exercise and fresh air. If you can provide them with some time in a protected field, they will be very grateful. Not the best choice for an apartment dog, Harriers need room to roam and run. Make sure your backyard fence is solid, and be warned: They like to dig.
Harriers can live as long as 12 years. Generally healthy, some can develop hip dysplasia. Harriers are very easy to groom. Brush their short coats regularly, but increase the frequency during shedding seasons. These canines tend to gain weight if overfed. Portion control will keep them slim and trim.
The Harrier first appeared in 13th century England. Believed to be a cross between the Greyhound and various English hounds, modern Harriers are more likely the descendants of the English Foxhound. Originally bred to hunt rabbits in packs, today they are known as determined hunters and lovable friends.