Harrier

Harrier

Harriers are an old English breed valued for their sweet temperaments and devotion to their masters. Bred originally as hunting dogs, there is a good deal of debate on how this simple hound came to be. It is likely that they are a mix of English Foxhounds and Greyhounds, though some people insist that there is also some Bloodhound in the mix. In either case, their true ancestry will likely always remain a mystery, as the first record of them dates to 1260.

Illustration courtesy of the American Kennel Club

Quick Facts


Height

Male: 22-24in

Female: 21-23in

Weight

Male: 45-60lb

Female: 42-57lb

Fun Fact

William Somervile, an 18th century English poet, wrote an entire poem about Harriers describing them as having a “courtly grin” and “sloe-black eyes.” How many dogs can say that they have entire poems written about them?

About this Breed

Harriers are an old English breed valued for their sweet temperaments and devotion to their masters. Bred originally as hunting dogs, there is a good deal of debate on how this simple hound came to be. It is likely that they are a mix of English Foxhounds and Greyhounds, though some people insist that there is also some Bloodhound in the mix. In either case, their true ancestry will likely always remain a mystery, as the first record of them dates to 1260.

Although they were originally bred in the United Kingdom, Harriers are actually not recognized as a breed in England—though there are plenty of them there, and they are still used on the hunt. They are, however, far more common in Ireland, where they are still used as hunting dogs.

Given their history as hunting dogs with astounding stamina, it’s no secret that they are a breed that requires a lot of exercise. If prospective owners live in the city or in an apartment and can’t take their Harrier out for long, brisk walks a few times a day, then this certainly isn’t the breed for them. If given enough exercise and enough space to run, Harriers will thrive as house pets. If not, they can become destructive and bored. A Harrier might be a fabulous choice at a suburban home or a farm, especially if a large fenced in yard is available. As a breed, Harriers are excellent with children thanks to their patient and sweet demeanors. They do well with other dogs precisely because they are used to working in packs—there should be no problem bringing a Harrier into a multi-dog household.

Harriers are crafty dogs and can be stubborn—especially if their instincts take over. Because they are still hunting dogs at heart, they really shouldn’t be left unsupervised with smaller mammals, like rodents or cats, because they may perceive them as something to chase rather than a member of the family. They also need to be closely supervised on walks, and they should never be left off leash unless there is a fence to contain them. If they smell something interesting or see something fun, they are likely to run off to chase it no matter how many times owners call them back. Early training will help this tendency, but abandon dreams of them walking obediently off leash.

Harriers on Embark

Explore some Embark dogs that share Harrier ancestry.

  • HARTSHIRE WESFORD DODGED A BULLET

    HARTSHIRE WESFORD DODGED A BULLET

    Purebred

    chance

    chance

    Purebred

    Stella

    Stella

    Purebred

Most Closely Related Breeds

Favorite Names

For Males

  1. BLYTHMOORS SPORTING CHANCE AT BRIGGCASTLE
  2. chance
  3. HARTSHIRE WESFORD DODGED A BULLET
  4. Vinny

For Females

  1. Bluhils Sakura Luck Be A Lady
  2. CELEBRATION AT SAKURA BY BRGCSTL
  3. Stella

Common Locations

  1. California, United States

Discover Your Dogʼs DNA Story

Embark Dog DNA Test for Breed Identification

Breed Identification Kit

Breed ID Kit

Learn about your dogʼs breed, ancestry, and relatives.

$129

LEARN MORE

Breed + Health Kit

Breed + Health Kit

Learn about your dogʼs breed, health, traits, ancestry, and relatives.

$169

LEARN MORE

What's your primary interest in dogs?

Help us get you the most relevant information.

What kind of dogs are part of your family?

Help us get you the most relevant information.