Canis lupus

Last updated: April 12, 2021
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff

Harriers used to be called hare hounds as they were originally bred to hunt hares.

Harrier Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Harrier Conservation Status

Harrier Locations

Harrier Locations

Harrier Facts

Fun Fact
Harriers used to be called hare hounds as they were originally bred to hunt hares.
Common Name
Cheerful, tolerant and sweet-tempered!

Harrier Physical Characteristics

Skin Type
10 – 12 years
27kg (60lbs)

Harrier Images

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These dogs are called hare hounds as they were originally bred to hunt hares. Since then, they have become the ideal first-time dog for families everywhere.

Harriers are affectionate and sweet, which is part of the reason that people love them as much as the Beagle or the English Foxhound. Their coats are strikingly similar, even though the breeds are incredibly different.

With their friendly nature as a pack hound, these dogs can be highly energetic. They love to run, making them ideal companions for individuals that like to jog and engage in different ports. However, they also like to freely follow any scent that might attract their attention, so keeping a leash on them while in public areas is crucial.

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The first pack of the harriers is believed to have been started to breed in the 1200s. Even though these dogs are known to have been originated in England, they are not recognized in England as an official breed. Harrier dogs are extremely popular in Ireland, but they are rare to find in the United States of America.

Harrier vs. Beagle

Though the Harrier and the Beagle look fairly similar, they are much different. While the pups both originate in Europe, the harrier typically is double the weight of the beagle, even though they are only 3-4 inches longer. Both animals have white, black, tan, and red in their coats, though Harriers have some yellow hues as well. While the Beagle has a dense coat, the Harrier has a thicker and shinier coat.

With similar personalities, families that want a quieter dog should adopt the harrier; the beagle can be quite vocal and noisy. Due to the need to train and acclimate the dogs to their surroundings, harriers are thought to be a better fit for individuals that have not owned a dog before. Beagles require a bit more experience to take care of properly.

Health and Entertainment for your Harrier

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3 Pros and Cons of Owning a Harrier

Before owning any pet, you would always need to establish whether or not they are right for you. Consider these pros and cons to determine if the Harrier is the right dog for your family.

Pros! Cons!
Affectionate: This dog breed is very affectionate and is loving towards the owner’s family. High exercise needs: Harriers has a very high need to exercise, which means that their owners will need to bring them out frequently to prevent destructiveness and boredom.
Good with kids: If you are looking for an infant-friendly pet, harriers are extremely gentle. Not good with other animals: These pups are usually not good with any other animal that you might have which would ultimately lead to compatibility issues
Running companion: These dogs are very athletic and can make great running and jogging companions. Stubborn: Harriers can be very stubborn which could turn out to be hard on the owner eventually.
Beagle Harrier dog on the grass

Harrier Size and Weight

The Harrier is a medium-sized dog, and their size is about the same for both males and females. This dog is about 19 to 21 inches in length, weighing about 45 to 60 pounds.

Height (Male) 19-21 inches tall
Height (Female) 19-21 inches tall
Weight (male) 45-60 lbs., fully grown
Weight (female) 45-60 lbs., fully grown

Harrier Common Health Issues

Like all the other living creatures, Harriers are generally healthy but still have some issues that could be potential concerns with regards to their health. Hip dysplasia is incredibly painful, due to the misalignment of the hip bone in the socket.

There are a few genetic diseases that impact the harrier, including hypothyroidism. Left untreated, it can cause weight issues and other hormonal concerns. However, this issue can be uncommon. These dogs sometimes face eye diseases, but the cases are minimal.

Overall , some of the common health problems that harriers are prone to include:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Eye diseases
  • Genetic disorders

Harrier Temperament

Temperament wise, the harriers are known to be very energetic and are often very playful. They love to be around people and other dogs. However, they might not get along too well with other pets that you might have. They do not feel warm towards any other animal and see cats and other small pets as potential prey to be chased and caught hold of.

These dogs are known to be great with children and are intelligent and independent. Harriers often make their own decisions.

How to Take Care of Harriers

For you to be able to know how to effectively take care of Harriers, it is essential that you know what needs to be done to extend proper care to them. Here are a few tips to ensure that any Harrier adoption is a good experience.

Harrier Food and Diet

Harriers should be fed premium dog food, including both wet and dry textures. If you want to feed them a fresh diet, they can safely consume bone-out chicken, turkey, and beef, as long as it is cooked without oils and has minimal fat. They’ll also willingly consume salmon and duck, if available.

Puppies need to be fed in a similar way, though their protein intake will increase as they get older. You would also need to check for any allergies and avoid feeding your harrier dog foods that could harm them.

Harrier Maintenance and Grooming

Harriers have a short and dense coat, decorated in red, tan, brown, yellow, and white. You would need to brush their coat once every week in order to remove any dead hair that they might have. The shedding is these dogs is usually moderate, but regular grooming helps exponentially.

Make sure to bathe the harrier if they become dirty, trimming their nails, and brushing their teeth to ensure their health. They’ll also need to have their ears cleaned out, but all of these types of grooming can be done with a professional instead.

Harrier Training

Harriers are stubborn at times, which could cause problems while training them. To ensure that this pup is kind with other animals, expose them when they are young to prevent conflict. Plus, early exposure to new people will reduce their anxiety and defensiveness, helping them to get used to the people that often visit their family.

Harrier Exercise

Harriers were originally bred for hunting purposes and, thus, need a lot of exercise on a daily basis. They can spend hours chasing after a potential prey.

A lack of a high amount of exercise daily could turn the dog’s behavior destructive. These dogs enjoy jogging, long walks as well as several other outdoor activities and games. It keeps them in check, and they are usually found happy after these exercises.

If their exercise requirements are met, the dogs can be very adaptable to any kind of environment. Keep them on a leash when they are in a heavy traffic zone as they can easily wander off if they find a desirable scent.

Harrier Puppies

Finding a purebred harrier puppy can be quite a task because they are very rare to find. The needs of the puppies are different from that of an adult.
You would need to give the harrier puppies adequate amounts of proteins which would be different from the protein requirements that an adult Harrier dog has.

Small cute harrier puppy sitting outdoors on snow in Swedish nature and winter landscape

Harriers and Children

Harriers are known to be great with children. They are tolerant of the excited and playful nature of kids, joining in their antics energetically. If you want a pup to keep in a big family, the harrier would be a great choice to make. However, you would still need to supervise them when they are around children.

Dogs Similar to Harriers

Since Harriers aren’t always the right fit for someone, here are a few other breeds that could blend well in the family.

  • Bloodhounds: These are large dogs that were originally bred in France. They are also helpful companions while hunting.
  • American Foxhound: American foxhounds were originally bred in the 1700s. These dogs are very muscular and have great stamina.
  • Beagles: This breed is both energetic and friendly. They are very loyal too. They make great family pets.

Famous Harriers

There is little known about any famous harriers in history or cinema. However, since the dog has only been recognized in certain parts of the world for the last few decades, it is possible that they’ve been mislabeled as beagles or foxhounds in the past.

Here are some of the popular names for harriers:

  • Molly
  • Tasha
  • Sammy
  • Cleo
  • Baby
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Harrier FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are Harriers herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

Harriers are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.

What Kingdom do Harriers belong to?

Harriers belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What class do Harriers belong to?

Harriers belong to the class Mammalia.

What phylum to Harriers belong to?

Harriers belong to the phylum Chordata.

What family do Harriers belong to?

Harriers belong to the family Canidae.

What order do Harriers belong to?

Harriers belong to the order Carnivora.

What type of covering do Harriers have?

Harriers are covered in hair.

What genus do Harriers belong to?

Harriers belong to the genus Canis.

What is an interesting fact about Harriers?

Harriers are cheerful, tolerant, and sweet-tempered!

What is the scientific name for the Harrier?

The scientific name for the Harrier is Canis lupus.

What is the lifespan of a Harrier?

The lifespan of the Harrier is usually 10 to 12 years.

How much does harrier cost to own?

Harriers can have a price of anywhere between $1,500 to $2,500 to adopt a purebred. You could expect an additional price of $2,000 for the maintenance and grooming of the harriers each year.

Is the harrier good with kids?

Yes, harriers are great with kids. They are affectionate and playful and energetic around them.

What's the difference between a harrier dog vs. a beagle?

Harriers are usually larger than beagles. Beagles also have a denser coat while harriers’ coats have thicker and shinier.

What is a harrier?

A harrier is a multi-colored dog that is friendly with children and incredibly intelligent, though it is sometimes mistaken for a beagle. Interestingly, a harrier is also a term to describe someone who gets involved in attacks on others or their land.

Do Harrier dogs make good pets?

Yes, Harriers make great pets. They are affectionate and loving. They are also very playful.

How big do Harrier dogs get?

Harriers are usually 19 to 21 inches in size.

  1. Vetstreet, Available here: http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/harrier
  2. American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/7-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-harrier/
  3. The Happy Puppy Site, Available here: https://thehappypuppysite.com/harrier-dog/
  4. Dogtime, Available here: https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/harrier#/slide/1
  5. Paw Diet, Available here: https://www.pawdiet.com/breeds/best-dog-food-for-harrier/

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