Beagle vs Coonhound Breed Comparison

beagle vs. coonhound

Two of the most popular breeds of dogs in the hound family are the beagle and the coonhound. Both the beagle and the coonhound are a purebred dog breeds.  While beagles and coonhounds have similarities, they also have some notable differences. 

We compare the two breeds over several main categories:  Size and Appearance, Temperament, Physical Activity, Grooming Needs, and Health and Life Expectancy. 

There are also other varieties of hounds with similar characteristics, check out the end of this article for more information on these different breeds.

Beagle vs Coonhound Breed Comparison

Size and Appearance of Beagle vs Coonhound

Beagles are small to medium-sized dogs, typically weighing 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, known as pocket beagles or mini-beagles, that stand less than 13 inches tall at the shoulder.

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

Coonhounds are medium to large-sized dogs with a healthy weight range of 50 to 70 pounds.  With their long legs they can stand up to 25 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder. They have short coats that come in a range of colors, including tri-colored, black, red, and brown. Coonhounds have long, droopy ears and a muscular build that gives them an athletic appearance and expertise hunting a variety of animals.  

Due to their tricolor coat, Treeing Walker Coonhounds are the only coonhound breed that resembles a beagle.

beagle vs coonhound

Female Treeing Walker Coonhound – Notice similar tricolored coat to at beagle, but on a tall, slender frame.

Temperament of Beagle vs Coonhound

Beagles are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. They are social dogs that love to be around people and other animals, 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. 

They are highly trainable, especially as puppies, and make great pets for families with young 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.

Coonhounds are a strong-willed breed known for their independence and stubbornness. Similar to the beagle breed, they are intelligent dogs that are often used for hunting and tracking. Coonhounds also make a loyal companion and are protective of their families. They can be educated, but proper training requires a firm hand, consistency and patience. Coonhounds have a high prey drive and can be challenging to stay on track during training sessions and hunts.

Physical Activity of Beagle vs Coonhound

Both beagles and coonhounds have a high energy level that requires regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Beagles are active dogs that enjoy walks, runs, and playing outdoors. They are also great at playing fetch and other games. As small dogs, beagles should get at least 30-60 minutes of exercise each day to stay in shape.

Coonhounds require even more exercise than beagles. They are highly active dogs that need plenty of outdoor space to run and play. Coonhounds are often used as a hunting dog, so they need plenty of training and a lot of exercise to stay in top physical shape. Coonhound breeds are highly energetic and need at least two hours of exercise each day to stay happy and in top condition.

Grooming Needs of Beagle vs Coonhound

Both beagles and coonhounds have short coats that require minimal grooming. 

Beagles shed moderately throughout the year, with heavier shedding events twice per year. They should be brushed once a week to keep their coats healthy and clean. Beagles also need their floppy ears cleaned regularly to prevent infections and mites.

Coonhounds shed heavily twice a year, and their coats require regular brushing to keep them healthy and shiny. Coonhounds also need their long ears cleaned regularly to prevent infections. 

Coonhounds can develop a distinctive hound odor that can be reduced by bathing them regularly.  Be cautious not to give baths too frequently, this can lead to dry and irritated skin.

Health and Life Expectancy of Beagle vs Coonhound

Good news!  Both beagles and coonhounds are generally healthy breeds, but they can be prone to certain health issues. 

Beagles are prone to obesity, epilepsy, and back problems such as intervertebral disc disease.

Coonhounds are prone to hip dysplasia, ear infections, and bloat. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and routine veterinary checkups can help prevent many health problems in both breeds.

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?

Coonhounds have a typical lifespan of 12 to 13 years.  This is a normal range for a dog of their size.

Similar Hounds to The Beagle vs Coonhound

The American Kennel Club recognizes hounds with their own group.  Most breeds within the hound group share a common genetic trait of being bred for hunting and tracking purposes.  

With their very strong sense of smell, coupled with a desire to stay on the trail of an animal, they excel in the field or woods searching for both small game and large game.

English Foxhounds – A Scent hound with the stature of a coonhound but with the coloring and markings of a beagle.  Originally bred to hunt foxes.  Many of the American coonhound varieties are descendants of Foxhounds.

American Foxhound – Very similar to its in English cousin, but with longer and more finely boned legs.  They look like a tall, lanky beagle.

Basset Hound – A short and droopy breed of hound originally bred to hunt rabbits.  They have a superior sense of smell and make great tracking dogs standing so close to the ground.  They are stubborn yet charming and make great family pets.  Also read:  Beagle vs Basset Hound

Dachshund – They come in a variety of sizes, coloring and types of coats, but are best know for their very short stature.  Dachshunds are loyal and make great family pets.

Types of Beagles and Color Variations

Pocket Beagle – A petite 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.

Beagle Coonhound Mix – A hybrid between a beagle and typically a Treeing Walker Coonhound.  Resulting colors are dependent on parents and grandparents, but they often are tri-colored and resemble a mid-sized tricolored beagle.

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

White Beagle – Similar to a lemon beagle but with more white.  White beagles are fairly rare.

Types of Coonhounds and Color Variations

Black and Tan Coonhound – Originating in the United States, a cross between a Bloodhound and a Black and Tan Virginia Foxhound.  These are the largest type of coonhound, weighing up to 100 pounds.

Bluetick Coonhound – A quality hunting dog with a long, drawn out bark.  They have a beautiful coat with blueish ticking on the white portions of their coat.  They are fast, muscular, and athletic for agility in the woods.  They also make a fine house pet and are devoted to their owners.

Redbone Coonhound – Gorgeous short, reddish-brown, coat on a medium-sized frame.  Like the other coonhounds, they excel in hunting, especially larger game such as bear, boar, cougar and deer.

Plott Coonhound – Descendant from the German ‘Hanover Hounds’, Plott Coonhounds have a distinct dark brown marbled coat.  They have a short coat, tight skin and are also excellent hunting companions.

Treeing Walker Coonhound – Originating as descendants of the English and American Foxhounds, they look and behave much like the American Foxhounds.  They have traditional tri-colored coat coloring and look much like a taller, sleeker, beagle.

What's Next?

Both beagles and coonhounds are great breeds of dogs that have their own unique personalities, temperaments, and physical traits.   Both breeds are members of the hound group and have a strong lineage of being excellent scent hounds and hunting partners.

Beagles are small to medium sized, a more 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.

Coonhounds are medium to large-sized dogs with higher energy levels and strong hunting instincts. Coonhounds also have a friendly personality and a desire to please, but they can also be a little more stubborn and independent minded than a beagle.

Regardless of which breed you chose as a pet or hunting companion, it is a good idea to find a reputable breeder 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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