The Harrier: A Complete Guide

Dogs are an incredibly adorable species.Whether they are big and tall, or short and small, they are all beautiful creatures that you can’t help but to pat.

For generations, human and dog have worked side by side as companion.

Whether it was for hunting, working, rescuing or purely recreational purposes, human and canine, have always been the perfect match.

Like every friendship though, the process of owning a dog isn’t always the easiest. It can be incredibly stressful to have to fend for a completely other creature that can’t tell you what it wants.

The dog is an animal that thinks and feels, and we have to treat it as such. Therefore, as a dog’s guardian, you are responsible for feeding, cleaning grooming and training it.

Sounds like a lot of work right? But in reality? It’s a small transaction for how much love a dog can give.

Upon the first glimpse at a Harrier, you may think that it is a Beagle. However, this is a completely different dog in its own right.

The Harrier dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. However, it didn’t start to become popular until the year of 1260.

The Harrier over the years has garnered acclaim for its ability to hunt, and its effectiveness as a tracker.

Many in fact believe that the Harrier’s ability to hunt is a result of it being a cross between a Bloodhound and a Talbot Hound. However, this has yet to be proven.

In today’s age, the Harrier is more commonly found as a companion than a hunter.

However, there are still places around Britain and the United States where the Harrier is used to hunt hares and rabbits.

The Harrier is one of the oldest breeds to be recognized by the American Kennel Club and is the 165th most popular dog in the United States.

The Harrier is considered a rare breed nowadays. Numbers are lower, and the Harrier is not as common in households as it used to be.

However, if you can get your hands one, be prepared for a big, fluffy ball of love and loyalty.

I have designed this guide for you today in order to determine whether or not the Harrier is the right dog for you.

I will be detailing the life expectancy, behavioral traits and overall costs of the Harrier, for you to decide whether or not this is a canine you would like to purchase.

Choosing a canine can be a hard choice, but this guide will make it easier!

Read on to learn more about the fascinating Harrier!

Harrier Puppies – Before You Buy…

The Harrier is an affordable large breed.

There’s a slew of factors that go into purchasing a dog. So much even, that before you run off to a breeder to buy a Harrier, there’s a list of things you should consider.

You should aim to make designated areas in your household for the Harrier to be comfortable.

The Harrier wants to be a part of your family, and it needs to feel like it belongs. By giving it space to be independent amongst your family, it will feel settled and welcomed.

The Harrier is large breed, so it is not suitable for apartments.

You will also need to consider the amount of time you have to socialize the dog.

This may result in you having to adjust your schedule, which can be stressful but is needed for your dog’s mental health.

A Harrier without training can suffer from separation anxiety and depression.

You should also consider buying a frenzy of toys for your Harrier, so it can entertain itself when you are away from home.

Toys are also a good strategy to kickstart the training process, as they provide mental stimulation and enjoyment for the Harrier.

Other things you will need to decide before buying a Harrier is what gender you want, which color you prefer and whether you want your puppy spayed/neutered.

This may seem like a long, overwhelming line of decisions to make, but they nonetheless necessary.

What Price are Harrier Puppies?

The Harrier is a rare breed, and incredibly hard to find nowadays aside from a few breeders.

Usually, rarity equals a higher asking price, but the Harrier is still an incredibly cost-effective dog.

You can pick up a Harrier for around $300-$400 from a reputable breeder.

This is probably one of the lowest prices for a purebred puppy and is even lower than most crossbreeds.

This makes the Harrier an excellent choice for first-time owners, and people on a strict budget.

Where to Find Reputable Harrier Breeders?

Finding a reputable Harrier breeder may prove to be difficult in this day of age, as it is rarer than it once was.

However, there still are some Harrier breeders out there that are dedicated to revitalizing the breed; you just may have to travel a long distance to find them.

A good Harrier breeder will:

  • Have a large, designated area where the puppies are kept. The Harrier needs spaciousness in order to be comfortable.
  • Maintain clean, groomed and healthy Harrier puppies.
  • Provide information on raising the Harrier, as well as tips for training and socialization.
  • Recommend various foods and equipment to enhance the Harrier’s mood.
  • Has a copious amount of experience with Harriers.

3 Little-Known Facts About Harrier Puppies

  1. The Harrier is one of the more uncommon purebreds that can have eyes that range 3 different colors.
  2. The Harrier’s coat keeps it incredibly clean, and will only need to be bathed 2-3 times a year.
  3. The Harrier is believed to be related to the Greyhound, and the Foxhound.

Physical Traits of the Harrier

The Harrier has lots of love to give.

The Harrier has a lot of signature dog traits that people have grown to love over the years. Many people believe that it resembles a Beagle, but it is significantly larger.

The Harrier has a short coat that is dense and not known to shed.

It is often multicolored and ranges shades of black, gray, brown, tan, white, cream and pied. Its coat is harsh in texture, and designed so it can move swiftly through rough terrain.

Its legs are masculine and medium in length, and it has a large torso. Its ears tend to flop over its head, almost hiding its expressional eyes that are usually either brown, hazel or amber.

How Big is a Full-Grown Harrier?

The Harrier is a big dog that is built for hunting in a plethora of terrains. It will grow between 20-24 inches long and weigh up to 60 pounds in mass.

While the Harrier isn’t as large as its counterparts, it is fast and can often beat them regarding speed.

The male is generally bigger than the female by a few inches, and it is important that you supervise this breed around children.

What is the Harrier’s Life Expectancy?

Harrier’s have a slightly shorter life expectancy than regularly observed in larger breeds.

On average a Harrier will live between 10-12 years despite not being prone to many major health conditions.

The life expectancy for any breed can fluctuate depending on how well looked after the individual dog is, and how much care is put into their health.

Regular X-rays and health screenings may be essential with a Harrier puppy as they are predisposed to Hip Dysplasia, a condition where there are problems with the development of the pelvis and hip joints.

This can usually be determined early in the dog’s life and needs to be treated by a veterinarian.

The early identification of this abnormality can ensure your dog still lives to the fullest of its life expectancy.

Intelligence, Temperament, and Personality Traits of the Harrier

The Harrier needs daily runs and plenty of time outside.

Similar to other hounds, the Harrier is a pack animal and loves to socialize. They have a friendly and bubbly disposition and get along very well with other medium to large sized dogs.

It is not recommended to introduce a Harrier into a home with an existing small breed of dog or cat as they are a scenthound by nature and may chase and harass a smaller animal unless reared.

A very playful breed, the Harrier requires constant stimulation otherwise they may become destructive and restless, which is why they benefit from having another larger furry friend for companionship.

Like most dogs, the Harrier can be trained to understand some commands if given enough patience.

This breed especially responds well to positive reinforcement and loves to be rewarded for good behavior as they are stubborn and won’t react to punishment.

The Harrier’s Diet

The Harrier has a diet that will mirror most large breeds. However, it tends to eat a little less than say, a Saint Bernard.

Because of its history as a hunter and scenthound, the Harrier is a slim dog and has an incredibly fast metabolism.

The Harrier is most likely eat around 2.5 of dog food every day. Expect a regime that centers around sliced meats such as pork, beef, and chicken.

Also try incorporating kibble and dry dog food into the mix, as these are lighter ways for the Harrier to obtain nutrients.

How Much Exercise Does the Harrier Need?

The Harrier is an energetic dog and will need lots of exercise throughout its days.

Because it is a hunting dog, the Harrier needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation, and exercise is the perfect way to provide it.

The Harrier is going to need 90 minutes of high octane activity per day.

This target can be met throughout activities such as hiking, running and an old-fashioned game of fetch in the park.

The Harrier will love to explore and go on adventures, so it’s important that you change up the scenery every now and then. Remember, the Harrier is tough, and no terrain is off limits!

Harrier Health and Conditions

Serious Issues

  • Hip Dysplasia

Minor Issues

  • Eye Diseases and Conditions

My Final Thoughts on the Harrier

Overall, the Harrier is an affordable large breed with lots of love to give, and a need for lots of exercise.

If your the type of owner who is ready for daily runs and plenty of time outside, the Harrier is a dog that you should definitely consider purchasing.

 

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

OVERALL SUMMARY

9
Cost to Buy
9
Cuteness Level
9
Family Safety
8.5
Friendliness
5
Health Concerns
6
Life Span
3.5
Exercise Required
7.5
Food Required
OVERALL RATING 7.2 / 10

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