Hi, my name’s Irena and I live on the sunny island of Crete with my three cats and four crazy but lovable dogs.
I love all animals, but today I’m going to talk about Basset Hounds and Beagles. I’ve never owned either of these dogs, but a friend had a Beagle and what a fantastic and loving dog she was.
Introduction to the Breeds
Both Basset Hounds and Beagles belong to the hound family. Because they are scent hounds their nose is the most important part of their bodies.
They are always sniffing and following smells, so you have to keep an eye on them if you let them off the leash otherwise they can wander off.
Despite their similarities, they are very different in appearance. The Beagle is a slightly taller dog than the Basset Hound although the Basset Hound is heavier.
In addition, Beagles always look happy while Basset Hounds seem to have a soft sad look on their faces. Beagles are usually tri-color while Basset Hounds can just be two colors.
Overview of the Beagle
Beagles go as far back as the 14th century when they were bred to be hunting dogs in the United Kingdom.
At that time they were mainly used to hunt hares, but today they are still used to hunt foxes even though this is now illegal.
However, because they are such friendly dogs, they are now often just kept as pets. They have masses of energy so need plenty of walks and stimulation.
Overview of the Basset Hound
The Basset Hound also has a history going back centuries when they too were used for hunting purposes in the United Kingdom.
They might be a little slow on their feet, but their noses don’t let them down and they can follow a scent brilliantly.
As a breed they were first presented at a Paris dog show in 1863. They are characterized by their long droopy ears.
Basset Hound vs Beagle: Which is Bigger?
There are two types of Beagles; those that are less than 13 inches and then those that are between 13 and 16 inches.
Basset Hounds are 11 -15 inches in height so are a little smaller than the larger Beagle.
However, they are heavier and weigh between 45 and 65 pounds in comparison to Beagles who are between 18 and 35 pounds.
Basset Hounds are characterized by their short legs in comparison to their length.
Basset Hound vs Beagle Temperament: How do They Behave?
Both Basset Hounds and Beagles are gentle and loving dogs and fit in well with a family. They love being cuddled and my friend’s Beagle was more than keen to jump on my lap.
However, because they are scent hounds, they can wander off, not because they don’t want to be with you, but because there is something to explore and a scent to be followed.
Beagles are so good with their noses that they are often used in airports to sniff out contraband.
Basset Hounds are usually well-behaved, but they are not timid. They can be a little stubborn so they do need to know that you are head of the pack.
A fun thing about them is that they enjoy doing tricks if there is a food reward.
Both breeds need daily exercise as they have plenty of energy, especially Beagles, but be sure to keep them on the lead unless you are certain that they will come back when called.
Playtime in the yard is also good for both these breeds as they love bonding with their humans. Play fetch or tug on a rope with them and they will love you for life.
Basset Hound vs Beagle Life Span: What’s Their Life Expectancy?
The life span of a Beagle is 10 to 15 years and that of a Basset Hound is 10 to 12 years.
They are both smaller dogs so their life expectancy is going to be greater than larger dogs who usually reach 7 to 10 years.
There is no rhyme or reason for this except that larger dogs seem to age faster than smaller dogs.
Basset Hound vs Beagle Health: Are They Prone to Health Conditions?
All dogs are prone to health problems just as we are, but what are the most common health issues with Beagles and Basset Hounds?
Beagles can get intervertebral disc disease which can cause back pain or in its’ worst form, paralysis.
They are also prone to hip dysplasia which can lead to arthritis. There are some eye conditions that Beagles can suffer from like cherry eye, glaucoma and progressive renal atrophy.
In addition they can get hypothyroidism. You need to find a good breeder who can show you the health credentials of the parents of the pup you intend to adopt.
Basset Hounds aren’t so much different. They too can suffer from intervertebral disc disease and eye problems such as glaucoma.
Because of their short height and long body length they can get spinal problems. In addition, they can get elbow dysplasia where their joints are affected and they can get arthritis like Beagles.
Basset Hound vs Beagle Appearance: What do They Look Like?
The eyes of a Basset Hound are sad-looking, while those of the Beagle are large and round. They always look happy, but this doesn’t mean that Basset Hounds are sad; far from it, it’s just the look they have.
Both dogs have a large head and a strong muzzle. However, Basset Hounds have loose hanging skin unlike Beagles.
The skin of Basset Hounds hangs like elastic and falls in folds on the head. Beagles on the other hand don’t have any loose hanging skin.
The dewlap is very pronounced in Basset Hounds, while not at all in Beagles.
Basset Hound vs Beagle: What Type of Coats do They Have?
Both dogs have a hard coat which has a smooth outer layer. Surprisingly, despite their short coats, they do shed.
Beagles shed mainly in the springtime to get rid of their winter coats. However, Basset Hounds shed all year long and even more in the spring and the autumn.
Beagles can come in all sorts of different colors, but tricolor is the most common, that is white, tan and black.
They usually have a white tip to the tail, convenient for hunters to spot them. Basset Hounds also come in black, tan and white, but also in red and white with chestnut or sand-colored markings.
Basset Hound vs Beagle Grooming; How Much do They Require?
Both breeds need the same amount of grooming because they are short haired. All you need to do is comb and brush with a firm bristle brush every few days.
You don’t need to shampoo them very often, only if they get particularly dirty.
Basset Hounds need to have their ears cleaned quite often as they are long and droopy and both breeds need to have their toenails trimmed regularly.
Basset Hound vs Beagle: Can They be Trained Easily?
Both Beagles and Basset Hounds aren’t difficult to train. They love their owners so just want to please.
However, they are scent hounds so can be distracted by smells and can go a little crazy when they smell something worth following.
You will have to train them to come back even when they are hot on the trail of something they want to catch.
However, neither dog is easy to house train so you will have to persevere. It could take as long as a year for you to house train your Beagle or Basset Hound.
You might have to resort to crate training as most dogs think of a crate as their den and won’t defecate in it.
Want to train your Basset Hound or Beagle to do some amazing new tricks, we have created a great article here about brain training!
Basset Hound vs Beagle Availability: Are They a Rare Dog Breed?
Both Basset Hounds and Beagles are easily sourced. They are widely available and can be found in most countries.
If you live in the United Kingdom or the United States you should not find a problem getting one of these dogs. Make sure however that you go to a reputable breeder.
Basset Hound vs Beagle: What Do They Eat?
Both breeds should be fed ¾ cup to 1 ½ cups of dry food per day. It should be divided into 2 or 3 meals to help stop them getting bloat which is very common with dogs who eat too quickly.
Beagles and Basset Hounds love their food and get stuck in very quickly. Bloat can easily kill dogs so you obviously want to avoid the chances of this happening.
Basset Hound vs Beagle: Are They Good With Children?
Both Basset Hounds and Beagles get on very well with children. They love to be a part of the family and enjoy rough and tumble play, especially Beagles.
Young Beagles are full of energy and it’s a good idea to let your kids walk these dogs so that they bond.
However, make sure that the dogs are kept on a leash unless they have been trained to return when called.
Basset Hound vs Beagle Environment: Where are They Best Suited?
Both dogs are small so can quite happily live in an apartment as long as they get plenty of exercise. If you have a yard, make sure that it is secure.
Both Beagles and Basset Hounds are escape artists and if they get bored they could dig their way out of the yard. It is best for you to go outside with them and play.
Basset Hound vs Beagle Running Costs: Are They Expensive to Look After?
As both Basset Hounds and Beagles are small dogs their food bill is not that high.
They don’t really need professional grooming because of their short hair so as a result they are not too expensive to look after.
Of course you might want to treat them to a nice comfy bed and some toys to play with.
Final Thoughts: Basset Hound vs Beagle
There are a lot of similarities between Basset Hounds and Beagles. For a start, they are both hounds and love to sniff and hunt.
They are also small dogs with shorthaired coats who originated in the U.K. However, Basset Hounds are generally heavier dogs.
They also have long drooping ears and dewlaps, unlike Beagles. Beagles also have a bit more energy than Basset Hounds so will suit people who enjoy going out on long walks.
What I love most about both dogs are their facial expressions. Basset Hounds look sad while Beagles look happy all the time, but both looks are great.