Harriers were bred as scent hounds for hunting. This means that they were bred for stamina, endurance, and independence. These traits are the most difficult parts to deal with as a dog owner. They have a strong prey drive and while they get along well with other pets, they can view them as prey, if not socialized properly. Because of the stamina built into the dog, it requires regular, prolonged exercise, so this is not for an apartment dweller. A large yard is helpful, however, Harrier’s may bay when bored, so the neighbors may complain. The endurance of the dog is legendary, a Harrier has been known to track a rabbit or a fox till the prey basically gives up and lies down! This independence and singlemindedness can be an issue when training the dog. The owner must also find a way to keep the Harrier occupied mentally as well as physically. The good news is that they enjoy playing, jogging, running along as you bike, or hiking.
A sturdy dog, the Harrier stands about 19 to 21 inches tall, weighs between 45 to 60 pounds, and has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years. They love children and have a sturdy bone structure that allow them to interact without fear of the dog being hurt. In fact, the only problem commonly reported is hip dysplasia and this is rare. As with all breeds, the dog should be socialized to interact with children and other pets. This is a pack dog, so the family become its pack. Harriers are comfortable being with you, but do not demand attention. They can tolerate hot and cold, if protection is provided, but they are much happier in the house with the family (pack). Due to the hunting nature of the dog, it should remain on a leash when in open areas to prevent it from chasing squirrels and rabbits. If you plan taking your Harrier jogging, start after they are a year old and gradually increase distances. this protects the developing bones and joints. Once done, you will have a happy companion on those jogs!
The Harrier coat is smooth and relatively short. They do shed, but not excessively. Taking care of the coat requires brushing and an occasional bath. As with all breeds nails may need to be clipped, if these are not worn down during activity. Teeth should be brushed a couple times a week. The ears should be checked for redness or foul smell on a regular basis. Because of the flop over hound ears, there is limited air circulation and this can lead to ear infections.
Harrier’s make good watch dogs, but poor guard dogs. Don’t expect to protect your valuables, but it will let you know someone is in the driveway. They are welcoming of strangers, children, and other pets. They will not demand attention, but love to play a good game of fetch or chase! You will need a good fence about 6 feet tall to keep the dog enclosed. The more time you spend with the dog, the more it will be a happy family member and not be destructive.
Source by Doug Fabick