The Harrier Dog

There was a time when the Harrier was a distinct breed of dogs used in England to hunt the hare, and there exists today an Association of Master Harriers who keep a Stud Book and have done everything they could to keep up a distinct strain. Their efforts in a way, however, have proven in vain, for it is the usual practice in making up a pack of Harriers to simply go to Foxhound kennels, choose a number of undersized Foxhounds, and call them Harriers.

If the pack is to be hunted on foot, they will do very well, if averaging 16 inches at the shoulder. If they are to be followed on horseback, 20 to 22 inches is a more popular size. For these reasons the Harriers, while resembling the Foxhound in many points, lack the uniformity in size and type that distinguishes that breed. There are packs of Harriers that will average in weight as low as 40 or 45 pounds; others run up to 70 or 75 pounds. They also vary in appearance, some as a result of crosses to that breed, resemble the Beagle in type and character, and there are other old packs that take after the Bloodhound. Some are low-set and sturdy, others light and racy; consequently there is no established type. There are, however, certain leading features common to all, and these are: Long heads, free from “stop;” square muzzles; sloping shoulders; straight forelegs; round, catlike feet; short backs; well-sprung ribs; strong loins; sound hindquarters, with well-bent stifles. Height about 18 inches, weight 56 pounds, and any hound color.