The Harrier is active, friendly, self-willed, energetic and independent. Harriers are natural pack dogs and can have a stubborn streak if they don't receive proper obedience training from an early age. They get along well with children and other dogs but need to be socialized with household pets from puppyhood to prevent difficulties once they are fully grown. Harriers make sweet-tempered pets and generally prefer life in a pack whether with other dogs or people.
Harriers need minimal coat care with their short hair. An occasional brush or rub-down with a rough cloth is sufficient to remove the loose and dead hairs. The ears should also be kept clean and the nails trimmed.
Regular exercise is very necessary for Harriers as they can become overweight and lazy if their physical needs aren't met. These dogs are likely to wander if they pick up an exciting scent and should be left on the lead unless within a controlled environment. They enjoy the outdoors and should be taken on daily walks.
The Harrier was developed at least 800 years ago in England and is believed to have evolved from the Bloodhound and ancestors of todays Beagle. This breed got their name from the Norman French word 'harier', which means hunting dog. They were developed specifically for hunting hares.
General Appearance: Distinguished, strong and alert.
Color: Commonly black, tan and white, but all hound colors are permitted.
Coat: Smooth, short and flat.
Tail: Carried high, of medium length and slightly curved.
Ears: Set high, V-shaped, almost flat, reasonably short and mobile.
Body: The back is straight and well-muscled and the chest is deeper than it is broad. The ribs are well-sprung and run well back and the shoulders are oblique and muscular. The loin is strong and slightly arched and the flank is neither too full nor turned up.
- The Harrier stands in height between the Beagle and Foxhound and has some of the characteristics of both.