Harrier dogs have their origin in 13th century England. They were bred to hunt in packs for hare, fox and rabbit. These dogs were commonly called the “poor man's foxhound.” They moved up in the world by the 17th and 18th centuries when the aristocracy kept them because of their talent to run along with mounted hunters. Harriers have long been popular in England but are still pretty rare in the United States.


Harriers shouldn't live in apartments or the city. They need a large amount of exercise, stimulation and interaction. These dogs are happiest when living in the country where they have a lot of room to run and play.


Harrier dogs only need minimal grooming. They do need to be brushed regularly to remove dead and loose hair. Only bathe them when absolutely necessary. Their ears, nails, and paw pads must be checked regularly. Health concerns with Harriers are hypothyroidism, cataracts, and hip dysplasia.


The Harrier is an excellent scent hound with a very heightened sense of smell. Built strong, they're also intelligent and have a very curious nature. These dogs are intense, focused and a bit independent. These are athletic and well-built and have phenomenal stamina.


The coat of Harriers are short, hard, glossy and dense. Hair on their ears has a finer texture than you'll find on their body. These dogs are average shedders.


Harriers are cheerful, tolerant and good natured dogs. Since they're pack dogs they do well with other dogs but shouldn't be part of homes that also have non-canine pets. They do get on well with kids. Don't let them get lonely or bored or they'll destroy things while howling continuously. These are very sociable dogs, but they typically bond closer to other dogs instead of humans. They're often reserved around strangers.


Harriers are smart and obedient but they can also be stubborn. They're naturally social dogs and they stand out in tracking, agility and obedience. Training must be conducted with firmness, consistency and fairness.