Physical characteristicsThe Harrier is a sturdy hunting hound with good boning and strong muscles. The body is slightly longer than tall, with a deep chest extending to the elbows. The head is in good proportion to the body. The muzzle is moderately long, square, and ends with a wide black nose. The bite can be scissor or level. The rounded ears are pendent. The medium size eyes are either brown or hazel. The tail is long and set high. It tapers to a point and should not be curled over the back. The feet are round and cat-like, with toes set close together and turning slightly inwards. The pads are thick, well developed and strong. The gait reveals perfect coordination between the front and hind legs.
Harriers weigh 40 to 55 pounds. Their height is 19 to 21 inches.
TemperamentOutgoing and friendly, the Harrier is a pack dog, so it generally gets along well with other dogs but had better be supervised with non-canine pets because of its hunting instincts. It is also very people-oriented and will want to be near its family. Cheerful, sweet-tempered, and tolerant, the Harrier is excellent with children. Active and inquisitive, the Harrier likes to go roaming, exploring, sniffing and trailing. Some individuals like to bay. Country living would be best.
This breed requires patient, firm obedience training and proper socialization. Very intelligent. The level of dominance varies from dog to dog, but the owners must ensure they become good pack leaders. The Harrier can become a handful if it doesn't have enough outdoor space, exercise, and mental work.
Coat and groomingHarriers have a short, hard, and glossy coat that requires very little grooming. It comes in any colour. The most common colours are tri-colour (black, white and tan), red and white, or lemon and white. Shedding is average.
HealthThe Harrier is a naturally healthy breed with no serious genetic diseases, although some instances of hip dysplasia have been reported.
The lifespan is 12 to 15 years.
Other interesting factsThere are two types of the Harrier: field lines and show lines (bench). The field type is bred for hunting and field trial work. The bench type is bred for conformation shows. Both types are energetic and need vigorous daily exercise, but field lines have a higher energy level and need even more exercise.
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