This section is from the book "The Dogs Of Great Britain, America, And Other Countries. Their Breeding, Training, and Management in Health and Disease", by John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge). Also available from Amazon: The Dogs Of Great Britain, America And Other Countries.
The true harrier is a dwarf southern hound, with a very slight infusion of the greyhound in him. Hence he is more throaty than the foxhound, and has also more ear, with a broader head, more fully developed flews, and altogether a heavier and less active frame. The night is usually at present under 20 inches, averaging about 18; but in the old times, when the dwarf foxhound was never used for the purpose, harriers were often 22 and sometimes 23 inches high, because even with that size they dwelt on the scent so long that they were not too fast for sport. But it is in tongue and in style of hunting that true harriers are chiefly remarkable, the former being melodious in the extreme, and a pack in full cry being heard for miles; while the latter is distinguished by excessive delicacy of nose, and by an amount of patience in working out the doubles of the hare which the old-fashioned hare-hunter considered perfection. Mr. Yeatman has, however, introduced a different style, and according to his system the hare is driven so fast that she is compelled to abandon her cunning devices, and to trust to her speed alone.
But as, following his example, most of the modern packs of harehounds are dwarf foxhounds, it is unnecessary to dwell upon the old-fashioned animal, and the modern harrier may therefore be described as a foxhound in shape, but of a size averaging about 18 or 10 inches, and kept to hare with great care, so that in some instances packs are known to refuse to own the scent of the fox; but these are rare exceptions, as most huntsmen will be ready to hunt one whenever they have the opportunity, and many regularly finish their season by shaking down a bag-fox, or by trying for one in some covert where they have permission. The fashion of the day is to demand pace in all kinds of hunting, and for this reason these dwarf foxhounds are selected, taking care to unite with it as fine and delicate a nose as possible, but altogether regardless of the music, which used to be a sine qua non with masters of harriers.
One chief beauty in hare-hunting is the proper packing of the hounds, and as this can not be done without having all nearly of the same size, shape, and breed, masters of harriers are very par-ticular in keeping the whole of their kennel of one strain; and when they cross their hounds it should be with great care, so as to avoid the introduction of blood very different to that which they already possess.