Beagle vs Basset Hound: Is there a difference?

Written by Megan Martin
Published: March 8, 2022
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When looking at the beagle vs the Basset Hound, it can be easy to see the similarities they share. Both are good potential family pets that can also be trained into strong hunting dogs.

However, these two breeds also have many fundamental differences, some of which we will be exploring in this article. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between the beagle and the Basset Hound.

Comparing the Beagle and the Basset Hound

Beagles were originally bred as scenthounds to track small game, mostly rabbits and hares.

Several differences set the beagle apart from the Basset Hound. Let’s compare some of them.

Key DifferencesBeagleBasset Hound
Size13 to 16 inches at the shoulders and between 20 to 25 inches body length
18 to 35 pounds
Up to 15 inches at the shoulders and between 26 to 35 inches body length
40 to 80 pounds
Coat/Hair TypeSmooth, dense double coatShort, tight coat
ColorsTricolor, usually brown with black and white markings or dual-colored with white and lemon or fawn markings Tricolor, usually white with brown or black markings
TemperamentEnergetic, playful, gentleLaidback, friendly, relaxed
TrainabilityA little difficult to trainStubborn to train
Life Expectancy12 to 15 years10 to 12 years
Energy LevelsHighLow
Beagle and Basset Hound Comparison

Beagle vs Basset Hound: 7 Key Differences

Both the beagle and the Basset Hound are tricolor hunting breeds and are about the same size. However, despite their similarities, there are an equal amount of differences to help set them apart. For instance, despite having the same shoulder height, the Basset Hound has an entirely different body proportion than the beagle. The Basset Hound is also about 46 to 89 percent heavier than the largest beagle. Due to their reduced number of health conditions, however, beagles are expected to live longer than Basset Hounds.

Let’s dive into an in-depth look at the 7 key differences between the beagle and the Basset Hound. 

Beagle vs Basset Hound: Size

dog goggles

Beagles weigh less than half the size of Basset Hounds.

©Marcel van den Bos/

At around 15 inches at the shoulders, both the beagle and the Basset Hound have a similar height. 

As for body length, the Basset Hound can be as long as 35 inches. That’s the same size as around four regular-sized pencils for reference. The beagle, however, has a much shorter body length and is only around 25 inches long at its longest.

The Basset Hound is also over twice the weight of the beagle.

Beagle vs Basset Hound: Appearance

Despite being around the same height, the beagle and the Basset Hound have entirely different body shapes.

The beagle has longer legs with a reduced body length. Also, while it has long ears, it’s not nearly as long as a Basset Hound’s.

Basset Hounds have short legs, like a Dachshund, and a long body. They also have a longer snout, which creates a more angled appearance for their head.

Beagle vs Basset Hound: Coat

basset hound

Basset hounds have similar colors to beagles.


Beagles and Basset Hounds are tricolored short-hair breeds. However, while the Basset Hound tends to only be black or dark navy with white or brown colorations, the beagle can feature these colors as well as a dual-coat that is only lemon or fawn and white. 

The Basset Hound also has a droopy appearance noticeable through its fur, much like a bloodhound. 

Beagle vs Basset Hound: Health and Life Expectancy

Search and rescue dogs - Beagle

Beagles have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, two to three years more than a Basset Hound’s.


Basset Hounds are more likely to suffer from skin-related conditions. This is due to their long ears and wrinkled skin. The beagle is also at risk, though not nearly to the extent as the Basset Hound is. To reduce the likelihood of infection or irritation, time is taken to properly clean and dry a Basset Hound often. 

Beagle vs Basset Hound: Energy

Because both dogs are used for hunting, it would seem they have the same energy levels. However, when it comes to beagles vs Basset Hounds, this isn’t the case.

While beagles may not be as athletic as some breeds, they are highly energetic. This breed is active and requires plenty of exercises to stay healthy. From fetch to long walks to jogs, the beagle loves to play and explore with its owner.

Beagle vs Basset Hound: Noise Levels

Whether they’re in hot pursuit of a rabbit or lounging at home, one thing is sure: these dogs know how to bark. You may even want to consider them a smaller version of a husky or a Shiba Inu.

Both the beagle and the Basset Hound are known for their high noise levels. This is because both are bred to be hunting dogs, and their barks are how they communicate with each other and their owners. Most of the time, their barks indicate that they have seen prey, which means they need the sound to travel far. 

However, if you plan on keeping them at home and not in the woods, it’s essential to work on proper barking behavior – especially if you live in an apartment.

Beagle vs Basset Hound: Personality

While these dogs share a lot of similar traits, they differ in their personality. Some people consider beagles the “puppy” of the dog world. Even as adults, they burst with energy and life and are more than happy to play. They’re more gentle than other breeds and can be a great addition even to a family with kids.

While the Basset Hound is just as gentle, it is far more aloof. Basset Hounds prefer slow activities and may not have a personality best suited for younger children. However, they’re also patient, which means they would fit in great with children who know and respect the breed’s boundaries. 


Beagle laying on the floor

Beagles rarely grow more than 30 pounds.

©Sopon charoensuk/

The beagle and the Basset Hound are very similar breeds. Both are on the smaller side with a shoulder height of just over one foot and a similar variety of coat colors. However, they’re not identical. The Basset Hound is heavier with more unique potential illnesses and a more relaxed and laid-back personality. The beagle is more energetic and requires a higher level of activity. However, since they’re equally trainable and share a common noise level, either can be a good fit for a family ready to meet their needs.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © GPPets/

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About the Author

Megan is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is birds, felines, and sharks. She has been researching and writing about animals for four years, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in biology and professional and technical writing from Wingate University, which she earned in 2022. A resident of North Carolina, Megan is an avid birdwatcher that enjoys spending time with her cats and exploring local zoological parks with her husband.

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