Beagle vs Basset Hound Breed Comparison

beagle vs basset hound

Beagle vs Basset Hound

The Beagle and the Basset Hound are both scent hounds and members of the same dog breed group – the hound family. They share many similar characteristics but are fairly easy to distinguishable visually. 

Let’s compare the two breeds, beagle vs basset hound, over the following main categories:  Size and Appearance, Temperament, Physical Activity, Grooming Needs, and Health and Life Expectancy.

But first, a brief history lesson on each of these purebred dogs.,

Beagle Breed History

The Beagle is a breed of small hounds which originated in the United Kingdom during the 16th century.  Beagles were bred for hunting small animals, such as rabbits and hares.  By the 1800s, Beagles began arriving in the United States, where they were also used for hunting. The breed became very popular in America, so much that several Beagle clubs were formed throughout the country.

The American Kennel Club recognized the Beagle as a purebred dog breed in 1885.  Present day, modern beagles are one of the most popular breeds in the United States in part due to their friendly personality, cute appearance, quality hunting instincts as well as being great family dogs.

Basset Hound Breed History

The name Basset is derived from a French word, ‘bas’ which means low. The end of the word – ‘et’ – adds the detail of being “very low”.

The Basset Hound originates as a scent hound dog, bred in France for the purpose of hunting rabbits and hares. Many believe their sense of scent is second only to their larger cousin, the Bloodhound.  Both the Bloodhound and the Basset Hound are members of the hound group and have lineage tied to the St. Hubert Hound.

They are small to medium-sized, sturdy dogs with large floppy ears, short legs, a long tail and a long body with the typical tri-colored hound coloring. Like the Beagle, Basset Hounds are considered to be very friendly with both children and other dogs, and make great family pets.

Beagle vs Basset Hound Characteristics

Size and Appearance of Beagle vs Basset Hound

Modern beagles are small to medium-sized dogs, which typically weigh between 20 and 35 pounds and with different sizes generally standing 13 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder.  There are also smaller sized beagles, referred to as pocket beagles or mini-beagles, that stand less than 13 inches tall at the shoulder.

Beagles have a smooth and short coat that comes in a variety of colors, including black, white, tan, and brown. Beagles have shorter noses compared to a Basset Hound, with long floppy ears that hang down, giving them a cute and friendly appearance.

Basset Hounds are typically larger than Beagles but still small to medium-sized dogs with a healthy weight range of 40 to 65 pounds.  With their short, compact legs they usually stand around 14 inches tall at the shoulder.  Basset Hounds have short hair, forming dense coats that are smooth and most commonly found in tricolored – which is a combination of black, white and brown or tan. 

Basset hounds have a compact, sturdy body with short and strong legs. Their back is long and level, and their chest is broad and deep. They have a large, rounded belly and a powerful tail that is carried high and curved. They have very long ears and their skin is loose and wrinkled all over their body, which can sometimes lead to skin problems if not properly cleaned and cared for.

beagle vs basset hound

Basset Hounds look slow and lethargic, but are full of energy and fun-loving!!

Temperament of Beagle vs Basset Hound

Beagles are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. They are social dogs that love to be around people and other dogs, and have an affectionate nature. Beagles are also known for their loyalty and intellect; although their stubbornness can sometimes be confused for a lack of intelligence. 

Beagles are very much trainable, especially as puppies, and make great pets for families with small children. Beagles have a keen sense of smell and are often used as hunting dogs – specifically rabbit hunting. Beagles are also a great dog breed for tracking and detecting scent, often times used in the United States as drug sniffing or cadaver dogs.

Related:  Are Beagles Good Watchdogs?

Basset Hounds are very friendly and love to be around people. They are known to be gentle and patient with children, making them a good fit as a family pet. They are known for their laid-back personality and relaxed nature. They are not extremely high-energy dogs and are often content to spend much of their time lounging around the house.

Basset Hounds are independent and can be stubborn at times. They can be difficult to train, but with patience and persistence, they can learn basic obedience commands.

Basset Hounds are social pack animals and enjoy the company of other dogs. They are not typically aggressive and are known to get along well with other pets.

Basset Hounds are scent-driven and have a strong desire to follow their nose. They are known for their exceptional sense of smell and are often used for hunting and tracking.

Both Beagles and Bassets have the pack animal mentality and benefit a great deal from early socialization with other dogs and humans.  Whenever possible get your pet out to play and explore the world with others.

Physical Activity of Beagle vs Basset Hound

Both Beagles and Basset Hounds are somewhat high-energy breeds during their younger years that require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Beagles are active dogs that enjoy walks, runs, fetching and playing outdoors. As small dogs, beagles should get at least an hour of exercise each day to stay in shape and bring down their high energy levels when in the house.

Basset Hounds have a distinctive and unique gait, which is often described as a shuffle. They have short legs and long backs, which can make it challenging for them to move quickly or run for extended periods. However, they are incredibly agile and can maneuver themselves through tight spaces with ease.  Bassets don’t require a lot of exercise, but a nice long walk once a day is recommended to keep their weight in check.

Grooming Needs of Beagle vs Basset Hound

Both Beagles and Basset Hounds have short, compact, coats that require minimal grooming. 

Beagles shed moderately throughout the year, with heavier shedding twice each year, typically during the months before and after summer. 

Beagles should be brushed at least once a week to keep their coats healthy and clean. Beagles also need their large ears cleaned regularly to prevent ear infections and mite infestation.  With plenty of walks and playtime your Beagle will keep their nails tidy; however, check monthly to see if any additional nail trimming is needed.

Check out our favorite brush for both Beagles and Bassets:  

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Basset hounds shed moderately throughout the year, so regular brushing is essential to remove loose fur and prevent matting. A slicker brush or a grooming glove can be used to remove loose fur and dirt from their coat. Brushing should be done at least once a week to keep their coat shiny and healthy.

Basset Hounds only need to be bathed as needed, which can vary depending on their activity level and lifestyle. Over-bathing can dry out their skin and lead to skin irritations, so it’s best to limit baths to once every two to three months unless they get particularly dirty or smelly.

Both Beagles and Basset Hounds have long, floppy ears that can trap dirt and moisture, which can lead to ear infections if not properly cared for. Ear cleaning should be done once a week to remove dirt and excess wax from their ears. A damp cotton ball or a soft, clean cloth can be used to clean their ears gently.

Teeth Cleaning: Basset Hounds and Beagles are prone to dental problems, so regular teeth cleaning is essential to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Brushing their teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and dog-specific toothpaste once a week can help keep their teeth healthy and their breath fresh.

Health and Life Expectancy of Beagle vs Basset Hound

Both Beagles and Basset Hounds are generally healthy breeds, but like most breeds they can be prone to their own particular health issues. 

Beagles are prone to obesity, epilepsy, and back problems such as intervertebral disc disease.  Regular veterinary checkups are encouraged to keep your Beagle happy and avoid health problems.

Basset Hounds are prone to obesity, which can lead to a range of health problems, including joint and back issues, diabetes, and heart disease.  

Additionally, Basset Hounds can be susceptible to genetic conditions such as elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia  Routine vet visits will help ensure their long-term health is a top priority.

Beagles have an average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years – this is typical for a smaller and relatively healthy breed of dog.  

Related:  How Long Do Beagles Live?

Basset Hounds have a typical lifespan of 11 to 13 years.  It is important to provide a high-quality and balanced diet, plenty of exercise and routine health checks to ensure they reach their maximum life expectancy.

Other Types of Beagles and Color Variations

The stereotypical standard beagle is 13 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder with a tri-colored coat – black, brown and white. However, there are fun variations any prospective beagle owners should consider.

Pocket Beagle – A mini beagle, 7 to 12 inches in height at the shoulder and weighing 7 to 15 pounds as an adult.

Bluetick Beagle – A color variation of a purebred beagle, blueish ticking or mottled spots on the white portion of their coat.

Basset Hound Beagle Mix (aka Bagle Hound) – A hybrid between a Beagle and a Basset Hound. Cute dogs that are typically a combination of white with black, brown or both.  They maintain both breeds excellent ancestral hunting instincts and fun-loving personalities.

Reliable and friendly, this newer crossbreed combines many of the best qualities of both breeds into one package.  Learn more about the mixed breed here: Bagle Hound

Lemon Beagle – A purebred beagle with unique white and light tan coloring.

White Beagle – Similar to a lemon beagle but with more white.  White beagles are less common.

Types of Basset Hounds and Color Variations

The most common color for Basset Hounds is tri-color, which is black, white, and brown.

They come in a variety of colors, including black, tan, white, red, and lemon. Some basset hounds have a combination of two or more of these colors. 

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen – A Basset variety with a curly coat and beautiful tousled appearance.  They have a smaller build than the standard Basset with a similarly affable personality.

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen – Similar to the Petit cousin, but taller in stature – up to 18 inches tall at the shoulder.  Their longer curly coat requires more grooming attention and this breed can be relatively stubborn with some aggression.

Basset Artesien Normand – Imagine a cross between a Beagle and a Dachshund.  Generally a smooth and tight coat, often bicolored or tricolored.  They have the body shape of the Basset Hound, but with a more toned and athletic appearance.  They are affectionate around kids and families with plenty of enthusiasm to play and stay active for hours.

What's Next?

Both Beagles and Basset Hounds are great breeds of dogs that share a lot of similarities in their personalities, temperaments, and physical traits.   They both have a strong lineage of being excellent scent dogs and hunting partners.  Don’t let the small to medium size of either breed fool you, they are both full of energy and confidence.

Beagles are small to medium sized, a very social breed, and are known to be very affectionate dogs. Beagles are pack dogs that thrive in groups and a family environment.  

Although they can exhibit separation anxiety at times, there are several tricks and treatments to help ease a beagle’s separation anxiety.

Basset Hounds are slightly larger in size, but lower to the ground, and moderately high-energy dogs. Bassets also have friendly personalities and a desire to please. 

Regardless of which breed you chose as a pet or hunting companion, it is a good idea to find reputable and responsible breeders in your area.  Find breeder recommendations and always make sure they have a history of providing a caring and humane environment for their animals.

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