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Harrier

Harrier
  • Hair: Short and Soft
  • Personality: Bright
  • Size: Small
  • Temperament: Fiesty, Fun and Energetic
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Harrier

Known for his strong nose, the Harrier, a scent hound, was developed in England to hunt hare in packs. Although the Harrier is a smaller version of the English Foxhound, he is still a sturdy, large-boned dog. The breed will work tirelessly, no matter the terrain, for long periods. Today, they serve as family companions and excel in tracking and agility. The coat may be any color.

A Look Back
The Harrier’s popularity in England rose due to his slower hunting speed – the pack could be followed on foot! Despite the stories about the ancient origins of the Harrier, most believe that the dogs were bred down in size from English Foxhounds. Harriers have existed in the United States as long as any of the other scent hound breeds and have been used for hunting since the Colonial times.

Right Breed for You?
Outgoing and friendly, the Harrier is a pack dog, so he generally gets along well with other animals. He is also very people-oriented and will want to be near his family. The Harrier requires some form of daily exercise, but must be kept on leash or in a fenced area due to his desire to run and follow his nose. Very intelligent, Harriers can be trained easily. Their short coats do not require much grooming, but regular brushing can keep shedding down.

If you are considering purchasing a Harrier puppy,learn more here.

  • Hound Group; AKC recognized in 1885.
  • Ranging in size from 18 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Hare hunter.

© The American Kennel Club, Inc.


Harrier Breed Standard

Hound Group

General Appearance
Developed in England to hunt hare in packs, Harriers must have all the attributes of a scenting pack hound. They are very sturdily built with large bone for their size. They must be active, well balanced, full of strength and quality, in all ways appearing able to work tirelessly, no matter the terrain, for long periods. Running gear and scenting ability are particularly important features. The Harrier should, in fact, be a smaller version of the English Foxhound.

Size, Proportion, Substance
Size--19 to 21 inches for dogs and bitches, variation of one inch in either direction is acceptable. Proportion is off-square. The Harrier is slightly longer from point of shoulder to rump than from withers to ground.Substance--Solidly built, full of strength and quality. The breed has as much substance and bone as possible without being heavy or coarse.

Head
The head is in proportion to the overall dog. No part of the head should stand out relative to the other parts. The expression is gentle when relaxed, sensible yet alert when aroused. Eyes are medium size, set well apart, brown or hazel color in darker dogs, lighter hazel to yellow in lighter dogs, though darker colors are always desired. Ears are set on low and lie close to the cheeks, rounded at the tips.

The skull is in proportion to the entire animal, with good length and breadth and a bold forehead. The stop is moderately defined. The muzzle from stop to tip of nose is approximately the same length as the skull from stop to occiput. The muzzle is substantial with good depth, and the lips complete the square, clean look of the muzzle, without excess skin or flews. A good nose is essential. It must be wide, with well opened nostrils. Teeth meet in a scissors bite or they may be level. Overshot or undershot bites faulted to the degree of severity of the misalignment.

Neck, Topline, Body
The neck is long and strong with no excess skin or throatiness, sweeping smoothly into the muscling of the forequarters. The topline is level. Back muscular with no dip behind the withers or roach over the loin. Body--Chest deep, extending to the elbows, with well sprung ribs that extend well back, providing plenty of heart and lung room. The ribs should not be so well sprung that they interfere with the free, efficient movement of the front assembly. The loin is short, wide and well muscled. The tail is long, set on high and carried up from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock, depending on attitude. It tapers to a point with a brush of hair. The tail should not be curled over the back.

Forequarters
Moderate angulation, with long shoulders sloping into the muscles of the back, clean at the withers. The shoulders are well clothed with muscle without being excessively heavy or loaded, giving the impression of free, strong action. Elbows are set well away from the ribs, running parallel with the body and not turning outwards. Good straight legs with plenty of bone running well down to the toes, but not overburdened, inclined to knuckle over very slightly but not exaggerated in the slightest degree. Feet are round and catlike, with toes set close together turning slightly inwards. The pads are thick, well developed and strong.

Hindquarters
Angulation in balance with the front assembly, so that rear drive is in harmony with front reach. Well developed muscles, providing strength for long hours of work, are important. Endurance is more important than pure speed, and as such, the stifles are only moderately angulated. Feet point straight ahead, are round and catlike with toes set close together, and thick, well developed pads.

Coat
Short, dense, hard and glossy. Coat texture on the ears is finer than on the body. There is a brush of hair on the underside of the tail.

Color
Any color, not regarded as very important.

Gait
Perfect coordination between the front and hind legs. Reach and drive are consistent with the desired moderate angulation. Coming and going, the dog moves in a straight line, evidencing no sign of crabbing. A slight toeing-in of the front feet is acceptable. Clean movement coming and going is important, but not nearly as important as side gait, which is smooth, efficient and ground-covering.

Temperament
Outgoing and friendly, as a working pack breed, Harriers must be able to work in close contact with other hounds. Therefore, aggressiveness towards other dogs cannot be tolerated.

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