The short, hard coat requires just occasional brushing; an easy keeper.
Outgoing and friendly, the Harrier is a pack dog, so he generally gets along well with other animals. He is also very people-oriented and will want to be near his family. The Harrier requires some form of daily exercise, but must be kept on leash or in a fenced area due to his desire to run and follow his nose. Very intelligent, Harriers can be trained easily. Their short coats do not require much grooming, but regular brushing can keep shedding down.
Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds.
The Harrier is a large breed and has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years. What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Regular grooming also helps minimize shedding. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your pet. Their strong fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
Harriers are beautiful, affectionate, fun-loving dogs with many special considerations. These are pack hounds: They abhor solitude and thrive on the company of humans and other dogs—a lonely Harrier is a destructive Harrier. Their hunting instinct is powerful. Harriers will follow their nose into trouble; a fenced yard is a must. Harriers love to dig, they “sing” in a big, houndy voice, and obedience training these smart but stubborn dogs is challenging. But when the fit is right, Harriers make lovable, adaptable companions.
Like all breeds there may be some health issues, like hip dysplasia and eye disease. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Harriers are healthy dogs.
Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Harrier can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.