Beagle vs Harrier- A Detailed Comparison

Beagle and Harrier both belong to the hound group, and they both look quite similar too. However, there are notable differences between the two breeds. So let’s compare them and find out which breed is better.

Beagle Overview

beagle sitting

Beagles were bred to be our hunting companions. Their duty was to track the scent of small animals like rabbits and chase them for their owner. They have an extraordinary sense of smell, incredible tracking skills, and high energy.

The exact origin is unknown but their history goes far back to the 11th century. Back then, they were smaller than what they are right now.

Modern beagles are known for their affectionate and friendly personality. They are one of the most popular dog breeds around the world.

Harrier Overview

harrier dog

Just like beagles, Harriers are hunting dogs. Their origin is not confirmed, but many believe they were bred in England.

According to some sources, Harriers are crossbreeds of English Foxhound, Fox Terrier, and Greyhound.

Being hunting dogs, they are energetic and have a great sense of smell.

Beagle vs Harrier Size: Which is Bigger

Beagles come in two variants. The small ones grow no more than 13 inches at withers, and the bigger ones stand between 13-15 inches at withers.

Harriers are larger in size. They stand between 19 to 21 inches at withers.

On average, adult Beagles weigh around 22 to 24 lbs. Whereas adult harriers weigh around 45 to 65 lbs. They are bigger, powerful, and more muscular than beagles.

Due to their visual resemblance, harriers are often joking called ‘Beagles on steroids‘.

Beagle vs Harrier Appearance

Beagles are small but muscular dogs. Their legs are shorter in proportion to their body. Their front legs are straight and rear legs are a little bent.

They have a strong jaw with perfectly aligned sharp teeth and a flexible neck that is ideal for picking up scents from the ground. Their ears are large, droopy, and fold around the cheeks. They multiply their cuteness with large and soulful eyes.

Overall, beagles are muscular dogs with a short coat and a tail standing straight. Commonly they are found in tri or bicolor. In short beagles are a perfect mix of strength and cuteness.

While Harriers are much bigger than beagles. However, both the breed looks quite similar.

They, too, have a broad skull and a square nose, with a thick and short coat. They have round large eyes with drooping ears and a strong jaw. They have a strong bone structure, which provides them tremendous stamina and strength.

Beagle vs Harrier Personality and Characteristics

Beagles are described as merry, they are neither timid nor aggressive. They are very friendly and social. They love being around their human companions. They get along with other dogs too. Here are some of the best companion dog breeds for beagles.

But their friendly nature makes them poor guard dogs. So do not expect them to guard your house against intruders.

Just like beagles, Harriers are social and affectionate too. They get along well with their human family. They are always excited about walks and meeting new people.

They are a loving and happy going breed who will stand beside their owners no matter what.

Beagle vs Harrier Intelligence

Beagles, as well as Harriers, are considered smart. However, beagles can be a little more stubborn than harriers. You can read this to know why beagles are stubborn.

Being the hunting breeds, they both have an independent mind and great working intelligence.

Both of them have excellent problem-solving skills, also known as adaptive intelligence.

Apart from that, they have high instinctive intelligence too. It includes skills that the breed has inherited like the sense of smell and tracking ability.

You can read this article to know more about beagle intelligence.

Beagle vs Harrier Exercise Needs

beagle out for his daily walk

Hunting Dogs have high energy, and it’s no different for beagles and harriers. Both of the breeds require lots of daily exercise. To keep them happy and healthy, you will need to drain their energy every day.

Harrier being a larger and more muscular breed have a higher exercise requirement than beagles. A full-grown harrier will require long walks twice a day. Apart from that, you will have to give them space to do heavy exercises like running.

Beagles are a playful and energetic breed. They need regular exercise too.

Even after being smaller in size, they have high energy. And by the end of the day, you will need to make sure they are tied. Apart from daily walks, they need to have playtime too.

Lack of exercise can make them overweight, hyperactive, or even destructive.

Beagle vs Harrier: Training

Beagle's training session

Both of the breeds are known for being stubborn. Owners must remember to be extremely patient with them while training.

Both breeds have a strong sense of smell. They can catch a new smell and easily get distracted. Due to this, training can become challenging.

Beagles are quite smart which is a blessing and a curse in itself. They easily learn naughty behavior if you fail to discipline them.

Harriers have slightly more obedient than beagles. They are better at following commands.

Beagle vs Harrier Life Span: Life Expectancy

An average lifespan of a healthy beagle is between 12 to 15 years. And the life expectancy of Harriers is around 10 to 12 years.

As you can see, the average lifespan of beagles is more than harriers. This is because small dog breeds live longer than larger breeds.

However, the life expectancy of a dog highly depends on how they were raised. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and proper care can extend the dog’s age. I have seen a beagle as old as 17 years.

Beagle vs Harrier Health: Are They Prone to Health Conditions?

Beagle lying down

Beagles are prone to health conditions like epilepsy and hip dysplasia. These conditions can often be controlled by medications and proper care.

They often suffer from separation anxiety, in which they become anxious when left alone. This is because they are pack animals and they do not like being on their own.

Harriers are also prone to hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition in which there is a malfunctioning in the hip joint. This can cause extreme pain in the hip joint but can be corrected through surgery. Hypothyroidism is another common problem among them.

Beagle vs Harrier Grooming Requirements

Grooming brush of a beagle

Both the breeds have low grooming requirements when compared to some other dog breeds.

Harriers require less grooming compared to beagles. They have short velvet hair which is easy to maintain. They don’t shed that often.

On the other hand, beagles need a little extra care compared to Harriers. They have a short velvet coat too, but they shed more often. However, having a short coat makes it quite easy to manage their shedding. If you have a beagle, then here’s a complete guide for grooming a beagle.

Apart from that, both the breed will need regular nail trimming, baths, and ear cleaning.

Final Verdict: Which Is Better?

Both breeds have their pros and cons. On one hand, Beagles are affectionate, loving, social, and cuddle-friendly but they are stubborn and need a lot of attention.

On the other hand, Harriers are easy to maintain and train, but they have higher exercise requirements and they are not easily available.

But I can say that both the breeds are loyal and love their owners. So now it’s up to you who you prefer.