The Furry Critter Network

Harehound Breed Description

Back to Canine Breed Menu


Breed Organization

The Harrier Club of America

Native Country
Great Britain

Other Names

Life Expectancy
Approximately 12-15 Years

Litter Size
Average 7-8 Puppies

Breed Group

General Description

The Harrier is similar to the English Foxhound, but smaller. Harriers stand between 19 and 21 inches at the shoulder, and adults weigh between 45 and 65 lbs. They do shed, have short hair and hanging ears, and come in a variety of color patterns. A humorous description of a Harrier is that of "a Beagle on steroids", despite its resemblance to an English Foxhound. It is a muscular hunting hound with a small, hard coat. It has large bones for stamina and strength. The Harrier is slightly longer than tall, with a level topline. The tail is medium-length, carried high, but is not curled over the back. The skull is broad with a strong square muzzle. The rounded ears are pendant, and the eyes are either brown or hazel. The wide nose is black. The expression is mellow when the dog is relaxed and alert when he is excited. The teeth should meet in a scissors or level bite. The feet are tight and cat-like, and the front toes may turn inward.

Breed Standard

Head: Moderately wide, fairly long. Flat skull. Slight stop. Fairly long, pointed muzzle. Flews covering the lower jaw.
Ears: Set on high, V-shaped, nearly flat, fairly short.
Eyes: Medium-sized, oval, always dark.
Body: Powerful. Long, open neck. Chest taller than it is wide. Ribs not very rounded. Flank neither too full nor tucked up. Straight, muscular back. Strong, slightly arched loin.
Tail: Medium in length, slightly tufted and carried proudly.
Hair: Not too short and flat.
Coat: Usually white with black to orange shading. In France, generally tricolor with a black mantle covering the upper back.
Size: 48 to 55 cm (19-21.7 in).
Weight: approx. 25 kg (55 lb).


The Harrier is an ancient breed born in southern England and developed for hunting hare. He is a close cousin of other old English scenthounds, including the Talbot Hound (white, close-lying coat) and the Old Southern Hound (white with blue spots), himself descended from a strain of Gascon Saintongeois. He is also believed to have a splash of Foxhound blood and contributed to improving the Small Game Anglo-French Hound.


The Harrier is cheerful, sweet-tempered, tolerant of people, and it is excellent with children. This pack dog is good with other dogs, but should be supervised with non-canine pets unless it is raised with them from puppyhood. It prefers life in a pack with people, dogs, or both. This active dog likes to go exploring, sniffing, and trailing, so be sure to keep it on a leash or in a safe enclosed area. Some Harriers like to bay.

He needs space and exercise, as well as regular brushing.


Hunting Dog, Pet.


Hip dysplasia is known to occur in this breed.

Back to Canine Breed Menu

Featured Rescues

"Don't Shop ... Please Adopt"

laptop pro


The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.

Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.

The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

laptop pro


If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)

laptop pro

Rescue Me

Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network

Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.