Choosing between these two equally wonderful dog breeds i.e. Beagle Vs Basset Hound, can be stressful and overwhelming for some. For one, they have tons of similarities. Both are friendly, quirky, and highly suitable as a furry companion for a family. But the question remains: which one is right for YOUR family: beagle or basset hound? In this article, we will draw a comparison between the two to help you decide which breed fits perfectly to your own happy human pack.
But before that, let’s have an overview of each breed.
Beagle: The “Walking Nose” Dog
The Beagle’s name came from the French word “beugler” which means to bellow–probably a reference to its unique and distinguishable vocalizations. If you want a visual, combine the sound of a bay and a frantic bark in your head. Others believe that it came from another French word, “begele,” because of its stubbornness and difficulty to housetrain (more on this later). As for its country of origins, his happy-go-lucky pup’s original location is unknown, although some historians discovered Greek artifacts dating back at 400 BC that show beagle-like dogs accompanying humans in their daily activities.
Today, most people put the Beagle in high esteem because of its strong sense of smell－thus the nickname “Walking Nose.” The US Department of Agriculture was able to discover their ability to detect contraband in airport luggage and human clothing when they experimented it in 1984. Why the Beagle Hound? Its cute and friendly nature makes it look non-threatening to potential terrorists and criminals who aim to smuggle illegal stuff in airports. No one would mind the pup from sniffing through their stuff. Because of the success of the experiment, the Beagle becomes a fixture in different airport locations, using its nose to find potential convicts and dangerous substances in hidden places.
Despite being a formidable sniffing dog, the Beagle can still become a fun, loving companion for big and small families. They are a fan favorite among American households, ranking #6 in the most popular dog breeds in the US. This is clear evidence of how amazing they can be as a family friend.
Basset Hound: The Kid-friendly Bloodhound
If you know the brand Hush Puppies, then you surely have a clear picture as to what a Basset Hound looks like. But don’t think that they are just display models for a clothing brand. They are more than just a “sitting pretty” dog. The name “basset” is a French word that means low. This is most likely as a reference to its unconventionally stunted appearance. Basset Hounds are low in stature thanks to their tiny legs in proportion to their meaty body.
Some believe that they birthed from a genetic mutation that came from breeding two St. Hubert Hound－an ancestor of the modern-day Bloodhound. Because of their “pretty ugly” look, dog breed enthusiasts end up keeping and propagating them.
Just like the Beagle, the Basset Hound is a true-blue scent dog. Their sense of smell is second only to the Bloodhound, the breed that has the strongest sniffing ability. However, unlike the Beagle Hound, the Basset Hound came to the public’s attention not because of its ability to sense a scent from a hundred miles away, but because of a TIME magazine cover that featured a photo of them as the face of 52nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
After that gig, endorsements featuring the Basset Hound came pouring in. Still, it couldn’t beat the Beagle’s popularity in the US since it only ranked at #39.
Beagle And Basset Hound: The Difference
Now that we have differentiated the two, it’s time to compare them using the criteria below.
|Guard Dog Abilities|
|Intelligence and Trainability|
|Price and Availability|
- HOUSE SIZE
The Beagle stands at around 1 foot and 3 inches tall when measured from the shoulder down and weighs typically between 18 to 30 pounds. While the Beagle may seem small enough to become suitable for apartment living, you must take note the fact that Beagles are highly active pups. They need ample space, preferably a backyard to drain their energy out. Otherwise, they may end up destroying your furniture when they become too bored. On the other hand, the Basset Hound has a height of 1 foot, 2 inches from the shoulder down and a weight of 50 to 65 pounds. Yes, they are relatively smaller than the Beagle.
Compared to the energetic Beagle, Basset Hounds are “couch potato” dogs. They are happy just to sit still and sleep until dinner, making them a suitable companion for apartment dwellers. However, because of their somewhat lazy disposition, they are highly prone to obesity. As they grow older, their propensity to gain weight goes up, making it difficult for them to climb up the stairs.
Beagle or Basset Hound? If you live at an apartment that has limited space and no stairs, Basset Hound is the better choice for you. But if you want an outdoor dog AND a backyard that can accommodate it, try a Beagle.
- ENERGY LEVEL
As previously mentioned, Beagles have high energy levels. They need at least an hour of exercise to become a healthy, happy dog. The good news of this is that if you and your family is the outdoorsy type of household, a Beagle is undoubtedly a good companion. It can easily keep up to your family activities－maybe even outshine your energy level. But once they get older, they will slowly transition to being couch potatoes, more so if they are indoors all the time. Because Basset Hounds are generally reserved and subdued, they are the perfect companions for homebodies and introverts. Their breed loves just to cuddle and be in the constant presence of their human pack.
But this doesn’t mean that they can’t be taken outdoors for a daily exercise. Basset Hounds still need the long walks to keep their leg joints strong and healthy. Because of their short legs, you can quickly catch up with them during jogging sessions or when they catch an interesting scent while on the road.
Basset Hound Vs Beagle? If your family loves having fun outdoors, a Beagle is a perfect furry companion for the activities. But if you prefer snuggling under the blanket, the Basset Hound’s warmth can certainly keep you comfortable.
- GUARD DOG ABILITIES
Beagle hounds are friendly to everyone, whether kids, adults, and animals alike, which makes them suitable for large, close-knit families. They love being coddled and played around by others especially if the activity includes running and playing Fetch. The bad side of their friendliness, however, is that they are so friendly that they make terrible guard dogs. A Beagle has a higher chance of being friends with a burglar rather than attacking him or her with its bare teeth. Not to mention that the Beagle’s over-friendliness makes them a favorite victim of dog-napping so you might have to put a microchip in it if you plan to have one.
While Basset Hounds are friendly to both humans and animals as well, they are generally aloof and would rather keep to themselves. If an unfamiliar face comes barging in, they won’t hide their discomfort－they will bark incessantly until you notice them.
Beagle and Basset Hound? Basset Hound is unarguably the best guard dog between the two.
- KID SAFETY
As previously mentioned, both the Beagle and the Basset Hound are friendly towards small children. However, this doesn’t mean that you are free to leave them all alone unsupervised. Little children, when left untrained, can annoy the living hell out of any dog regardless of breed. While Basset Hounds are generally more patient than the Beagles, both breeds have a limit, especially if they are concentrating on something else, such as eating or following a scent.
Beagle or Basset Hound? Both are suitable companions for households with small children as long as they are not left unsupervised with them.
Beagles are moderate shedders, and they shed more during the spring. But because their fur is short, you could barely notice the difference. Most owners resemble them into a cat due to their weird ability to keep themselves clean. Because of this, they do not need baths that much, unless of course, they rolled over into something stinky and dirty. On the other hand, Basset Hounds are constant shedders, so if you or any of your family member is highly allergic to dander (the protein found in a dog’s hair and saliva that can cause allergic reactions), then you might have to think twice before adopting a Basset Hound. Also, because of their shedding tendencies, they need more frequent baths than most dogs. Not to mention that you need to clean your house as often as you can to get rid of all the excess hair and dander on your furniture and floor. Aside from shedding, Basset Hounds are constant droolers. If you don’t clean their facial folds frequently, it may start harboring bacteria which can lead to infections and illnesses. Both breeds have long, flappy ears that can become a breeding ground for bacteria because of the moist environment. Thus, the ears need to be kept clean at all times.
Beagle or Basset Hound? If your family is sensitive to allergens preferably with dog’s fur, a Beagle is a better option for you than the Basset Hound. Plus, the cleaning time is less of a hassle.
- HEALTH CONDITIONS
Beagles are generally healthy as long as they maintain their daily exercise routine even as they grow old. Most Beagle owners (at least those that got theirs at a reputable breeder) pride in having a breed that takes fewer trips to the vet because of their low propensity to diseases. Because of their short legs in proportion to their body, Basset Hounds are prone to back and joint problems. These issues grew worse as they age and gain more weight. To avoid surprising events, Basset Hounds must have regular check-ups especially concerning their bones and joints.
Beagle Vs Basset Hound? Both still need to be subjected to a routine checkup with the vet at least once or twice a year. But out of the two, Beagles are generally healthier and less prone to preventable diseases.
- INTELLIGENCE AND TRAINABILITY
This is where both breeds become indistinguishable. Generally speaking, both the Beagles and Basset Hounds are challenging to housetrain. That is unless you bribe them with treats. The more enticing the smell of the treat is, the more they would consent to follow you. Because they can be stubborn during training, most recommend that you get a trainer who knows how to deal with such tenacity instead of doing it yourself. Some trainers think that the Basset Hounds are more tenacious and more challenging to command than the Beagle, making them a second choice between the two for novice owners.
Beagle and Basset Hound? Beagles are a wee bit more intelligent and tolerable than Basset Hounds when it comes to training. But regardless of what you choose between the two, you need to have a truckload of treats to keep them going.
As previously mentioned, both breeds are highly prone to obesity. That is why they must only be given portioned food at about 2-3 times a day. That doesn’t yet include the treats and biscuits you may unconsciously provide them during training. Most often, too much of the latter is the exact reason why both breeds grow overweight.
Also, because of their keen sense of smell and their bottomless stomach, both breeds may tend to scavenge through your trash, fridge, or pantry when you’re not looking. This could contribute to further weight gain.
Beagle Vs Basset Hound? Both seem to have the same food expenses (and the same tendency to steal food), so this criterion is kind of moot.
Both breeds are not happy to be left alone all day. Beagles are especially LOUD and destructive without a companion to cheer him or her up. In time, this can annoy neighbors, mainly because their unique half-howl sound can sound drilling to nearby ears.
Basset Hounds are loud too, but relatively not as annoying as the Beagle. Yes, they cannot tolerate being left alone for a long time. But since they love sleeping and lounging around all day, their barking and howling is not always an all-day affair.
Beagle and Basset Hound? When it comes to noise tolerance, Basset Hounds are definitely more bearable to hear than a Beagle. This fact is essential especially if you live in an apartment complex where walls are the only partition between households.
- PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Because of their popularity, Beagle breeders are easier to find and come into contact with. However, because of their too-active disposition, they are one of the most abandoned breeds in animal shelters as well. If you can, adopt one from a shelter instead of purchasing one from a new litter. Because of the high health standards needed to raise one, Basset Hounds have relatively few breeders available all over the US. It may be a bit difficult to find one that can give you the perfect credentials.
Despite the fact that they are too available, a typical Beagle puppy that is bought from a reputable breeder can already cost around $800 to $1,500 depending on the credentials involved with it. On the other hand, Basset Hound puppies may only push you to shell out about $300 to $500 each.
Beagle or Basset Hound? If you need a new dog right away, you might have a better chance of finding a Beagle. But if your family is willing to wait a little longer (and you don’t have that much budget to begin with), then Basset Hound is definitely worth the wait.
Here is a video of difference between Beagle and Basset Hound by AnimalWised