X
X

Harrier

brown-dog-cat-icon-01

A Tireless & Amiable Communicator

Vocal, playful, outgoing

Harriers are sweet, cheerful, and active medium-sized dogs. These pack-oriented dogs enjoy interacting with other humans and animals, so they get along with children. They're usually timid around strangers, and bark or bay when lonely. Ideal human companions for these dogs are outdoor enthusiasts, active singles, families with older children, and experienced dog handlers. Harriers love going on trails, sniffing, and hunting, and need plenty of daily exercise — a long walk, jog, or game in the yard every day is important for them.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:19-21 in. Weight:35-45 lb Lifespan:12-15 years

Size
3

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
1

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
4

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
2

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
3

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
4

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Harriers are smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active to prevent boredom. That's when the naughty stuff starts. Always walk your Harrier on a leash, they have a tendency to run off after interesting smells. They are athletic dogs who excel at dog sports like agility, tracking, and rally.

Grooming: They have low grooming needs. Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

Dental: Harriers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Make sure to keep their floppy ears dry. Don’t worry — your veterinary team will show you how!

Harriers are natural pack hounds, which makes them excellent jogging, bicycling, or hiking partners.

Positive Traits:

  • Always on the go, with a keen eye for adventure

  • Energetic, active, and athletic

  • Outgoing and friendly personality

  • Great with kids and other dogs: a true family pet

  • Plenty of stamina

  • Excellent hunting dog

Negative Traits:

  • May have a tendency to bark excessively

  • Sees cats and small animals as prey unless trained otherwise

  • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

  • Single-minded and determined, which can make training difficult

  • Has a tendency to escape, wander, and roam

  • Requires vigorous, frequent exercise and space to run


Whether you're considering adding a new Harrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, knowing the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed can prove to be helpful. Of course not every Harrier has these problems, but research shows that your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Harrier, you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet owner. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. Your pet is counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues a Harrier could encounter:

This scent hound was originally bred in England to hunt in large groups. The Harrier is an uncommon breed in the US, the last hunting pack disappeared in 1970. Harriers are social dogs who require a pack of either other dogs or their human family. Harriers are playful and sweet-tempered, but like all hounds, they tend to be stubborn and chase anything that runs. The Harrier was bred for stamina and does best with an active family and plenty of room to run. 

Consult with a veterinarian if your Harrier shows signs of the following: 

  • Leg stiffness, reluctance to rise, sit, use stairs, run, jump, or “bunny hopping” 

  • Cloudiness to eye lens 

  • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night 

  • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors 

  • Excessive incoordination, beyond normal puppy clumsiness 

  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

  • Care

    Routine Care: Harriers are smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active to prevent boredom. That's when the naughty stuff starts. Always walk your Harrier on a leash, they have a tendency to run off after interesting smells. They are athletic dogs who excel at dog sports like agility, tracking, and rally.

    Grooming: They have low grooming needs. Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

    Dental: Harriers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Make sure to keep their floppy ears dry. Don’t worry — your veterinary team will show you how!

  • Characteristics

    Harriers are natural pack hounds, which makes them excellent jogging, bicycling, or hiking partners.

    Positive Traits:

    • Always on the go, with a keen eye for adventure

    • Energetic, active, and athletic

    • Outgoing and friendly personality

    • Great with kids and other dogs: a true family pet

    • Plenty of stamina

    • Excellent hunting dog

    Negative Traits:

    • May have a tendency to bark excessively

    • Sees cats and small animals as prey unless trained otherwise

    • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

    • Single-minded and determined, which can make training difficult

    • Has a tendency to escape, wander, and roam

    • Requires vigorous, frequent exercise and space to run


  • Health Concerns

    Whether you're considering adding a new Harrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, knowing the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed can prove to be helpful. Of course not every Harrier has these problems, but research shows that your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Harrier, you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet owner. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. Your pet is counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues a Harrier could encounter:

  • History

    This scent hound was originally bred in England to hunt in large groups. The Harrier is an uncommon breed in the US, the last hunting pack disappeared in 1970. Harriers are social dogs who require a pack of either other dogs or their human family. Harriers are playful and sweet-tempered, but like all hounds, they tend to be stubborn and chase anything that runs. The Harrier was bred for stamina and does best with an active family and plenty of room to run. 

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Harrier shows signs of the following: 

    • Leg stiffness, reluctance to rise, sit, use stairs, run, jump, or “bunny hopping” 

    • Cloudiness to eye lens 

    • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night 

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors 

    • Excessive incoordination, beyond normal puppy clumsiness 

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

Harrier Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Harrier breed here!

Select Another Breed

processing
X

Thank you for visiting Trupanion.

pumpkin

Unfortunately, Internet Explorer 7 and earlier versions are not compatible with some areas of our website.

If you wish to enroll or activate a certificate, we encourage you to upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer, use Google Chrome or Safari browsers to access our website, or you can simply call us at 855.591.3100.

Otherwise, you may continue browsing the rest of our website.

opacity