Basset Hound vs. Beagle

What's the Difference?

Basset Hounds and Beagles are both popular breeds of scent hounds, known for their exceptional sense of smell. However, they differ in various aspects. Basset Hounds are larger and heavier, with long, droopy ears and a distinctive wrinkled face. They have a calm and laid-back temperament, making them great family pets. On the other hand, Beagles are smaller and more compact, with shorter ears and a sleeker appearance. They are known for their energetic and playful nature, making them excellent companions for active individuals or families. Both breeds are known for their friendly and sociable personalities, but Basset Hounds are generally more reserved and Beagles tend to be more outgoing. Overall, both breeds make wonderful pets, but their size, appearance, and temperament differ, allowing potential owners to choose the one that best suits their lifestyle and preferences.


Basset Hound
Photo by Casper Coomans on Unsplash
AttributeBasset HoundBeagle
SizeLargeSmall to Medium
Weight50-65 pounds20-30 pounds
CoatShort and denseShort and smooth
ColorTri-color or bi-colorVarious colors
TemperamentGentle, friendly, and laid-backFriendly, curious, and merry
TrainabilityCan be stubborn, but trainableIntelligent and trainable
Exercise NeedsModerateHigh
Life Expectancy10-12 years12-15 years
Photo by Milli on Unsplash

Further Detail


When it comes to hound breeds, two popular choices that often come to mind are the Basset Hound and the Beagle. Both breeds have their own unique characteristics and qualities that make them beloved companions for many dog lovers. In this article, we will delve into the attributes of these two breeds, exploring their appearance, temperament, exercise needs, trainability, and health considerations.


The Basset Hound and the Beagle have distinct appearances that set them apart. The Basset Hound is known for its long, droopy ears, wrinkled skin, and short legs. They have a heavy bone structure and a deep chest, giving them a low and sturdy appearance. On the other hand, Beagles have a more compact and athletic build. They have a sleek body, a slightly domed skull, and a medium-length tail that is often carried high. Beagles also have a distinct feature called the "Beagle expression," which is characterized by their large, expressive eyes.


When it comes to temperament, both the Basset Hound and the Beagle are known for their friendly and sociable nature. Basset Hounds are typically laid-back and easygoing, often described as gentle and affectionate. They are known to be good with children and other pets, making them a great choice for families. Beagles, on the other hand, are known for their curious and outgoing personalities. They are often described as merry and even-tempered, always ready for an adventure. Beagles are also known for their love of company, both human and canine, and they thrive in an environment where they have plenty of social interaction.

Exercise Needs

When it comes to exercise requirements, both breeds have their own specific needs. Basset Hounds are generally more laid-back and have a tendency to be lazy. They enjoy leisurely walks and are not particularly high-energy dogs. However, it is important to keep their weight in check as they can easily become overweight, which can lead to health issues. Beagles, on the other hand, are more active and require regular exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. They have a strong hunting instinct and love to follow scents, so a securely fenced yard or leash walks are essential to prevent them from wandering off.


When it comes to trainability, both the Basset Hound and the Beagle can present some challenges. Basset Hounds are known for their independent nature, which can make them a bit stubborn during training sessions. They have a strong sense of smell and can easily get distracted by scents, making it important to use positive reinforcement techniques and keep training sessions short and engaging. Beagles, on the other hand, are intelligent but can also be quite stubborn. They have a strong prey drive and can be easily distracted by scents, so consistent and patient training methods are necessary. Positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, can be highly effective in motivating both breeds during training.

Health Considerations

When it comes to health, both the Basset Hound and the Beagle are prone to certain breed-specific issues. Basset Hounds are known to be prone to obesity, which can lead to joint problems and other health issues. They are also susceptible to ear infections due to their long, droopy ears. Regular cleaning and proper ear care are essential for their well-being. Beagles, on the other hand, are prone to obesity as well, so a balanced diet and regular exercise are crucial. They are also more prone to certain genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia and intervertebral disc disease. Regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy lifestyle can help mitigate these risks for both breeds.


In conclusion, both the Basset Hound and the Beagle are wonderful hound breeds with their own unique attributes. The Basset Hound's distinctive appearance, laid-back temperament, and lower exercise needs make them a great choice for those seeking a more relaxed companion. On the other hand, the Beagle's compact build, outgoing personality, and higher exercise requirements make them a perfect fit for active individuals or families who enjoy outdoor activities. Regardless of which breed you choose, both the Basset Hound and the Beagle have the potential to bring immense joy and companionship to your life.

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