Are you considering adding a hunting dog to your household but finding it challenging to choose between the Foxhound and the Beagle? Fret not! These two breeds share remarkable similarities but also possess distinctive traits that can aid your decision-making process. Read on to determine which one suits you better!

Hunting dogs, especially if you have a penchant for hunting, make excellent additions to your family. Even if hunting isn’t your forte, their intelligence and loyalty are admirable qualities. While both Foxhounds and Beagles share a common ancestry, they’ve evolved over time to specialize in different games, each with unique characteristics. If you’re contemplating adopting one of these breeds, it’s imperative to consider both their commonalities and disparities.

Despite their striking physical and behavioral similarities, these two breeds harbor notable distinctions. It’s crucial to shed light on these distinctions for those seriously contemplating the adoption of either one.

Both breeds are fantastic choices for families, yet they exhibit marked differences in temperament, size, personality, and trainability. Let’s delve into the specifics of these two breeds, highlighting their differences and similarities. Both are exceptional breeds capable of enriching any family.

Beagle Foxhound Breed Comparison

beagle size comparison

Foxhound And Beagle Breed History

Foxhounds and Beagles have been trusted companions in various hunting endeavors since as early as the 14th Century. Even royalty utilized them for hunting hares and rabbits. Over the centuries, these breeds underwent strategic breeding and crossbreeding to refine their hunting attributes. Let’s explore their intertwined histories.


Beagles were among England’s original hunting dogs.

During the 1300s, Beagles gained popularity as small hounds in England, with even the royal family employing them for hunting small game. The term “Beagle” originated from the Old English word “beagle,” signifying “small.” In that era, Beagles were even smaller than their current size. Historical records suggest that Queen Elizabeth I possessed a pack of six-inch Beagles primarily used for hunting hares and rabbits.

As time progressed, Beagles and other hunting dogs like Foxhounds underwent deliberate interbreeding to enhance their genetic diversity and overall capabilities. Between the 1600s and 1700s, numerous Beagles and Hounds were crossbred, resulting in some of the most exceptional Foxhounds of that era.

Breed History Of Beagle & Foxhound

American Foxhound

Today, Foxhounds are more frequently employed in hunting than Beagles.

While Beagles continued to excel in small game hunting and on-foot pursuits, Foxhounds became the preferred choice for hunting large game, often from horseback. In the 1600s, both breeds found their way to America. Even George Washington himself favored the American Foxhound. It’s noteworthy that the American Foxhound differs slightly from its English counterpart, warranting a separate comparison.

Since then, many enthusiasts have perpetuated the traditional use of these dogs in hunting, though the Foxhound has become more prominent than the Beagle, which often assumes the role of a family pet rather than a specialized hunter. Crossbreeding also involved Foxhounds with Greyhounds and Spanish Pointers, further enhancing their scenting abilities and mobility, making them exceptional hunting companions.


The most conspicuous difference between these two breeds lies in their size.

Undoubtedly, the most evident commonality between the Foxhound and the Beagle is their appearance, a testament to their shared hunting heritage. Both possess short, straight coats with similar color patterns, featuring shades of white, black, tan, brown, and red. Their grooming requirements are low, and they both fall under the hound category, akin to the Dachshund.

However, the primary distinction in physical appearance centers on size. While their fur color closely aligns, the Foxhound dwarfs the Beagle in terms of stature. A Beagle typically stands at 13 to 15 inches in height, whereas a Foxhound can reach an imposing 21 to 25 inches. Similarly, Beagles weigh a modest 20 to 30 pounds, while Foxhounds can tip the scales at a substantial 60 to 70 pounds.

It’s worth noting that Beagles come in two size categories, with the more common variety being larger. Referred to as “Pocket Beagles,” these diminutive canines measure 13 inches or less and weigh under 20 pounds, making them even smaller than Foxhounds. If space constraints influence your choice, the Beagle emerges as the more suitable option.

Strength-wise, Foxhounds hold the upper hand, boasting additional muscle mass. Their athletic appearance contrasts with Beagles, which can sometimes become overweight due to a sedentary lifestyle. Overweight Foxhounds are a rare sight.


While both breeds are known for their friendliness, Beagles tend to exhibit greater affection.

Overall, both Foxhounds and Beagles tend to be amicable, exhibiting well-mannered behavior around families, children, and other pets. Despite their shared tendencies toward stubbornness, impatience, and independence, they are loving and affectionate animals, making them suitable for most family settings, provided the family aligns with their needs.

Historically, Beagles specialized in small game hunting, while Foxhounds tackled larger prey. Today, Foxhounds are more frequently employed in hunting activities. Beagles are renowned for their friendliness, affection, and love, rendering them better suited as household pets for most families. The average family may find it challenging to meet the exercise requirements of Foxhounds.

Both Foxhounds and Beagles thrive in spacious environments, where they can freely roam and run. Another shared characteristic, albeit not always appreciated, is their tendency to bark and howl. Both breeds excel with children, and Beagles are frequently crossbred with other breeds to create designer dogs.

Foxhounds tend to exhibit greater independence and caution toward strangers, though they are not inherently aggressive. While they may lack the same level of cuddliness and affection as Beagles, they are eager to please their owners. Nonetheless, neither of these breeds excels as guard dogs.

In summary, both the Foxhound and the Beagle are friendly dogs with ample loyalty. However, Beagle hound tend to be more sociable and affectionate, readily approaching strangers and displaying affection. They thrive on attention and companionship, disliking solitude. Foxhounds also dislike being alone but require more activity and attention than Beagles, as their boredom can lead to destructive behavior.

beagle foxhound


Foxhounds possess higher energy levels than Beagles.

Both breeds have exercise requirements typical of most dogs, yet the Foxhound demands significantly more physical activity due to its boundless energy. Foxhound owners should provide ample open space for their dogs to run freely, making them suitable for active families with outdoorsy children. Foxhounds necessitate daily exercise lasting 60 to 90 minutes.

Beagles exhibit a more moderate energy level, rendering them more adaptable to apartment living compared to Foxhounds. They easily adjust to their environment and fare well with regular walks or a moderately sized yard enclosed by a hidden fence. Approximately 45 minutes of exercise suffices for Beagles, making them a better match for the average working family.


Both breeds display high intelligence, but Beagles generally prove easier to train than Foxhounds.

Despite their differences, Foxhounds and Beagles share remarkable intelligence, a necessity for their roles in hunting. They boast exceptional senses and demonstrate unwavering loyalty to their masters. However, both breeds also exhibit stubbornness, impatience, and independence, making training a unique endeavor. They are not inclined to be constant shadows to their owners but neither do they tend to assert dominance.

Surprisingly, among their shared traits, Beagles are often regarded as slightly more intelligent than Foxhounds, which possess an average level of intelligence. Consequently, Beagles emerge as a preferable choice for novice pet owners, while Foxhounds typically thrive with experienced dog owners.

Given Beagles’ ease of training, initiating basic obedience lessons early is advisable. As they progress in their learning, teaching them basic tricks and commands becomes viable.

Beagles generally prove more amenable to training than Foxhounds. Although they might initially appear independent and obstinate, they respond favorably to positive reinforcement techniques. Foxhounds are undoubtedly intelligent and trainable but may require more effort compared to Beagles. Both breeds benefit from early socialization to ensure they mature into well-behaved adults.

While you can train Beagles to hunt, you might achieve superior results with Foxhounds, given their inherent tracking instincts and suitability as hunting companions.


Beagles tend to be more susceptible to health issues compared to Foxhounds.

On the whole, Foxhounds are regarded as robust and healthy dogs. Both English and American Foxhounds lack specific recommendations for health tests. However, it’s important to note that Foxhounds could potentially face risks such as bloat, ear infections, dental problems, hip dysplasia, and thrombocytopathy, albeit the likelihood is not high.

Regular veterinary visits are crucial, and as with any breed, diet, and lifestyle play significant roles in maintaining their health. Responsible pet ownership involves prioritizing your Foxhound’s well-being.

Beagles, while boasting a longer life expectancy, tend to be more prone to health issues compared to Foxhounds. The National Breed Club recommends specific health evaluations for Beagles, including ophthalmologist assessments, hip evaluations, and MLS DNA tests. Health concerns for Beagles may encompass hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, luxating patella, epilepsy, eye disorders, ear infections, and dental problems.

beagle activity level


Beagles have voracious appetites and require careful monitoring of their food intake.

A dog’s nutritional needs correlate with their activity level, with more active dogs necessitating greater nourishment. Beagles, however, stand out in their propensity to continue eating beyond satiety. They are renowned as “food thieves,” constantly seeking out additional food sources. Beagles will eagerly consume any food placed before them. Consequently, meticulous food measurement and scheduled feeding (twice a day) are essential to prevent overeating.

Foxhounds also possess hearty appetites, but unlike smaller breeds, they benefit from a well-balanced diet rich in minerals and vitamins. Their propensity for bloating and stomach issues necessitates a careful selection of dog food that is nutrient-dense without causing digestive upset. Smaller, more frequent meals can help mitigate stomach problems. Foxhounds should be fed specialized large-breed dog food.

Expect a slightly higher monthly food bill for a Foxhound, which is expected given their larger size. On average, a Beagle consumes approximately two cups of food daily, while a Foxhound typically requires around three cups. Opt for high-quality kibble with meat as the primary ingredient, enriched with healthy omega fats for optimal well-being.


Both breeds shed quite a bit, necessitating regular brushing.

Beagles and Foxhounds share the tendency to shed regularly, though Beagles, with their slightly thicker coats, may leave more noticeable fur on sofas and carpets. Establishing a routine brushing regimen is the key to managing shedding for both breeds. Brushing them approximately twice a week throughout the year is advisable. During shedding seasons, more frequent brushing can help control the seasonal shedding.

Bathing should occur once every 8 to 12 weeks. Avoid excessive washing, even if they accumulate mud during their daily adventures. In such cases, rinsing with water suffices. When bathing, opt for doggy shampoos crafted from natural ingredients like oatmeal, which are gentler on sensitive canine skin.

The primary difference in grooming lies in the size of the dog. Grooming a Foxhound, given its larger stature, may take slightly more time. Nonetheless, the difference in grooming requirements should not significantly influence your decision between these two breeds.

Puppy Prices

Foxhound puppies are typically more affordable than Beagle puppies.

On average, Foxhound puppies from reputable breeders range from $1,000 and upward, representing a reasonable price for a proficient hunting dog. Beagles, on the other hand, usually fall within the price range of $1,000 to $1,500. Prices may vary depending on factors such as bloodline prestige or early hunting training.

It’s crucial to exercise caution regarding puppy pricing. Prices that significantly deviate from these ranges may indicate red flags. Overcharging is an evident concern, but undercharging could suggest inadequate breeding practices, neglect, or subpar care. Be aware that a considerable number of purebred dogs are available for adoption in shelters, including Beagles and Foxhounds, amounting to around 30% of shelter dogs.

When contemplating puppy acquisition, consider your location, the puppy’s age, registration status, and the source (breeder, shelter, or puppy mill). Adoption should always be a viable option, as many Beagles and Foxhounds await loving forever homes in shelters.

Final Thoughts:

Both Foxhounds and Beagles make exceptional pets when their unique needs are accommodated. Understanding the specific requirements of each breed is paramount. While these two breeds share many similarities, they thrive in different family environments. The Beagle has embraced a life of playfulness, affection, and leisure, while the Foxhound demands ample open space and vigorous exercise. If you’re considering one of these dogs for hunting, be prepared for the commitment required in training these intelligent but occasionally stubborn breeds.

Ultimately, your choice should align with what you can provide for the breed, considering their distinct characteristics. While Beagles and Foxhounds appear quite similar, they thrive in different contexts. So, the question remains: Are you Team Beagle or Team Foxhound?

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