Basset Hound vs Beagle: Pros & Cons of Both Breeds
by Jessi Larson
Let’s compare the Basset Hound vs Beagle – two similar yet distinct dogs that both make excellent pets.
To fully understand the similarities and differences between the breeds, we’ll review their appearance, temperament, training and grooming needs, and overall health.
This will give you a full picture of the Basset Hound vs Beagle.
Basset Hound vs Beagle
Both Beagles and Basset Hounds were originally bred as hunting dogs. Although the Beagle breed stretches as far back as ancient Rome, modern Beagles were bred in Great Britain in the early 19th century.
Similarly, modern Basset Hounds were bred in France in the latter half of the 19th century, raised to be hunting companions to royalty and nobility.
The Basset Hound’s nose is second only to the Blood Hound, but Beagles are not far behind, which is why you’ll find these dogs in airports as bomb sniffers and drug detectors.
The “bas” in Basset Hound is the French word for low, seeing as their bodies are low to the ground.
As for the word “Beagle,” some say it comes from begueule, the French word for “prudish.” But as you’ll see, prudish is the last word someone would use to describe these wonderful pups!
Let’s take a deeper dive into the Basset Hound vs Beagle to learn more.
The Basset Hound vs Beagle appearance is very distinct. To start, the Beagle is slightly taller in comparison to the more low-riding Basset Hound.
Beagles are around 13-16 inches high and weigh 22-24 pounds for males and 20-22 pounds for females. The shorter Basset Hound stands 11-15 inches tall and weighs in at a heavier 51-64 pounds for males and 44-60 pounds for females.
As far as their body structure goes, the Basset Hound has short legs relative to their height and a very squat build. The Beagle has a slimmer, more proportioned body.
The Basset Hound boasts long, hanging ears and droopy eyes that give them a sad but sweet look. In comparison, the Beagle has shorter ears and perkier eyes.
When comparing the Basset Hound vs Beagle, both have similar coat colors. Beagles tend to be tricolored (white, black and brown) with a white-tipped tail. Basset Hounds also have black, brown and white coats, but they can also have reddish colors in their fur, too.
Both Beagles and Basset Hounds are loving, loyal dogs with kindly personalities.
Charming and low-key, the Basset Hound is a patient pup with legions of fans around the world.
They can be stubborn at times, much more so when they’re outside, so they benefit from a strong leader. This is due to their instincts as pack animals where they worked together to hunt on their own.
They may howl when they are bored, so keep them active and engaged to ensure their best behavior.
Based on common Basset Hound stereotypes, you might think that they’re lazy and sit around all day. In reality, the breed is used to working hard as a hunter and needs almost as much exercise as the Beagle – around an hour or two a day.
Happy and curious, Beagles are intelligent dogs with a lot of energy. These dogs are easy going and get along great with everyone, which is perhaps why they’re consistently in the top 10 most popular dog breeds.
Beagles are prone to separation anxiety if left alone too long since they’re a pack dog and enjoy company. Lots of exercise and time with family and other pets will help.
Also, it’s thought that Beagles are constant barkers, but this is a common misconception. They bark (and bay) as much as the average dog.
Both the Basset Hound and Beagle get along well with children and other dogs if properly socialized.
Also, it’s important to note that both these breeds can each be classified as escape artists. They love to run off looking for the latest scent, so make sure your property is secure.
Both Beagles and Basset Hounds are fiercely independent and love following their nose wherever it leads. They are hunting hounds, after all!
It can be difficult to wean them off of this “Squirrel!” instinct, but positive reinforcement training goes a long way. Both dogs respond well to training that’s firm, patient and persistent.
Because of their strong nose, you’ll definitely want a fenced-in yard should one of these puppies smell something alluring and want to bolt.
House training can be a little tricky with these dogs, so you’ll need to be patient. We recommend crate training as a workable solution to this since dogs won’t soil what they see as their own den space.
Both breeds require regular exercise. Beagles tend to have slightly more energy than Basset Hounds and need a little more activity.
As a rule of thumb for all dogs, one of the best ways to ensure your dog’s happiness and healthiness is to keep them active and sufficiently tired out at all times. This will also help them focus during training sessions.
Both Basset Hounds and Beagles have short coats, but they do shed. Beagles shed mainly in the spring, but Basset Hounds shed all year long, so have your vacuum ready!
Short coats don’t require a ton of maintenance. Just a good brush every couple of days.
Basset Hounds will require a little more bathing since they are so rumply and droopy and have extra folds to attend to. (Here are some tips for bathing a basset.)
Also, long ears on dogs always equals prone to ear infections, so make sure to keep your Basset Hound’s ears nice and clean.
On average, Basset Hounds live around 10-12 years, while Beagles live around 10-15 years.
The Basset Hound vs Beagle health outcomes are slightly different. Both can suffer from similar health conditions, such as intervertebral disc disease (back pain and spinal paralysis), hip and elbow dysplasia (wearing down of the joint sockets), and various eye diseases such as glaucoma, cherry eye and renal atrophy.
However, Beagles usually spend less time at the vet than Basset Hounds, which are prone both to overeating and eating too quickly, leading to bloat.
Dividing their food into 2-3 smaller meals throughout the day will help avoid this.
Conclusion: Basset Hound vs Beagle
You really can’t go wrong with either a Beagle or a Basset Hound. They’re loving, loyal, intelligent, well-tempered creatures.
A less active family may be better off with a Basset Hound, but a family looking for a more bustling breed may find a Beagle a better fit.
It’s also important to keep in mind the different grooming requirements for these two breeds. Basset Hounds do shed more and require more baths.
Whichever you choose, you’ll have a wonderful four-legged friend!
Basset Hound vs Beagle Bonus Tip: How to Pick the Right Dog
When you’re looking for a dog but don’t know what breed to get, these nine easy questions can help quickly narrow down your search and find a four-legged friend who perfectly fits your lifestyle.
This guide will help you in the Basset Hound vs Beagle debate and give you a clearer idea of which one is for you.
1. Why Do You Want a Dog?
First things first, let’s talk about why you want a dog. This will guide you more than you realize!
For example, do you love cuddling up on the couch and want a furball to curl up in your lap and keep you company? Or do you want an energetic and enthusiastic dog who fits your active lifestyle?
Stop for a minute, close your eyes and think about it.
2. What Type of Dog Did You Have Growing up?
Believe it or not, the dog (or dogs) you grew up with often have an impact on what type of dog you want when you’re older.
That’s certainly not to say you couldn’t pick a different type of dog by any means. It’s just that people often have a comfort level with the type of canine they were conditioned to growing up.
3. Do You Have Any Allergies?
Dogs can be awful for allergies. But fortunately, there are many hypoallergenic dog breeds that make it easier for allergies sufferers.
Always learn more about the breed before bringing it into your home.
4. Who’s in Your Household?
Another important thing to think about is who is in your household.
Is it just you? Or do you have a partner? Roommates? Children?
This is incredibly important to consider. Especially if you have little ones in the household.
Fortunately, in the Basset Hound vs Beagle debate, both are good dogs in different ways.
5. Where Do You Live?
As you think about which dog breed is right for you, where you live is incredibly important.
It goes without saying that certain breeds just aren’t cut out for small spaces. For example, a Great Dane in a tiny apartment would be a disaster!
The Beagle and Basset Hound both do well in most living environments. They do, however, need a fenced in space if let outside off their leash.
6. How Much Time and Energy Do You Have?
Dogs are A LOT of work. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But some dogs require much more effort than others.
Potential pup parents should always make sure they have the time, energy and resources to care for a dog, no matter what the breed. But that level of care can increase depending on the dog.
Before making a decision regarding the Basset Hound vs Beagle, make sure you understand their instincts and how much mental and physical stimulation they’ll each require.
7. What is the Dog’s Temperament?
Just like appearance, a pup’s temperament can vary greatly by breed. And it’s absolutely critical to find out how a dog will act based on their breed instincts.
Both the Basset Hound and Beagle have great personalities. The Basset Hound is a mellow, charming pup with a little bit of a stubborn side. The Beagle is a happy, curious canine who loves to stay active.
8. How Much Does the Breed Cost?
Owning a dog isn’t cheap, but some breeds are more expensive than others. Especially for some of the rarer canines.
Cost is a consideration, and it’s always a good idea to understand the full picture before making a commitment.
Things to consider include the initial expense, vet bills, food, grooming and other expenses like daycare or boarding.
9. Breed Finder
And finally, try out our online breed selector and get a list of the best breeds for you and your lifestyle.
It allows you to enter details like where you live, who’s in your house, your climate, what size of dog you’re looking for and more. You’ll receive a list of breeds that will work for you.
This could settle the Basset Hound vs Beagle debate once and for all.