Beagle vs Foxhound: How Are They Different?

beagle sitting in middle of the road with tongue out
© iStock.com/Przemys┼éaw Iciak

Written by Megan Martin

Published: March 20, 2022

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When it comes to comparing hound dogs like the beagle vs foxhound, do you know which is which? Since beagles, foxhounds, and even other hunting dogs originate from a common lineage, they have a lot of features in common. However, these are two completely separate dog breeds with their own genetics, behaviors, and temperaments. 

Comparing Beagles and Foxhounds

Beagles and foxhounds differ in health concerns, size, level of affection, energy level, dietary needs.

There are many differences between the beagle and foxhound. From size to life expectancy to personality, here are some of the top distinctions between the two breeds. 

BeagleFoxhound
Size13 to 15 inches at the shoulder
20 to 25 pounds
Around 24 inches at the shoulder
60 to 75 pounds
Coat/Hair TypeShort, coarse coat with little to no textureShort, dense coat with a glossy appearance
ColorsTricolor, usually brown with black and white markings or dual-colored with white and lemon or fawn markings Tricolor, usually white, tan, and black. May include small spots of grey or yellow
TemperamentEnergetic, playful, gentle, affectionateEnergetic, playful, talkative, independent
TrainabilityMediumModerate to medium
Life Expectancy10 to 15 years10 to 13 years
Energy LevelsHighHigh

The 5 Key Differences Between Beagles and Foxhounds

The key differences between beagles and foxhounds are health concerns, size, level of affection, energy level, dietary needs.

At a glance, the beagle and the foxhound are very similar. Both are tricolor hound dogs that originate from England, and they have similar energy levels and life expectancies. However, foxhounds can be as tall as twice the height of beagles, and they easily triple the beagles’ weight. Both the beagle and the foxhound also have different dispositions and temperaments, with the beagle being more affectionate and more likely to bond with its owner.

Ready to learn more? Here’s an in-depth look at the five key differences between the beagle and the foxhound.

Beagle vs Foxhound: Health Concerns

Oldest Dog: Butch, the Oldest Beagle

Beagles are susceptible to about a dozen health conditions.

©iStock.com/androsov58

Surprisingly, the beagle is much more prone to health issues than the foxhound.

Typically, larger dogs are more prone to a variety of health conditions when compared to their smaller counterparts. However, the foxhound is mainly at risk for only three conditions: epilepsy, hip dysplasia, and renal disease. 

In comparison, the beagle is susceptible to as many as a dozen health concerns. One of the most notable of these conditions is beagle dwarfism. Beagle dwarfism is the condition responsible for pocket beagles, a smaller version of the beagle that only reaches a maximum height of around 12 to 13 inches. 

Other conditions that the beagle is especially vulnerable to that the foxhound isn’t include cherry eye, glaucoma, hypothyroidism, intervertebral disk disease, patellar luxation, and progressive retinal atrophy.

Beagle vs Foxhound: Size

One of the most noticeable distinctions that help set these breeds apart is their size. Because their appearances are so similar, the foxhound looks like a larger version of the beagle (or the beagle a smaller version of the foxhound!).

On average, the foxhound can reach heights of around 24 inches at the withers (the point of their shoulders). Since the beagle can be as short as 13 inches (or even shorter if they are pocket beagles), this means that the foxhound can be the same height as two beagles stacked together!

Weight is also a noticeable difference, with the foxhound weighing a significantly larger amount than the beagle. At their smallest, the foxhound is more than double the weight of the largest beagle. At their largest? A single foxhound can balance the scale with three of the largest beagles!

Beagle vs Foxhound: Levels of Affection

Four English Foxhound Puppies

Foxhounds are more independent than beagles.

©Angela Lock/Shutterstock.com

Both the beagle and foxhound have the potential to be affectionate pets. However, beagles are more likely to indulge in this affection more often. They spend time playing and cuddling with their owners, and they’re more likely to be affectionate towards children and even other pets.

Foxhounds are known for being more independent. While they’re not standoffish or aggressive, their bursts of affection are often much less common than with the beagle.

Beagle vs Foxhound: Playfulness and Energy

Just as with levels of affection, beagles and foxhounds also have different levels of energy and playfulness.

To preface this, both breeds are considered high-energy dogs due to their hunting roots. However, because foxhounds are larger, they require more exercise than beagles – around 15 to 30 minutes extra each day on average.

The beagle is also more prone to playfulness with its owner than the foxhound, which tends to be more independent. While the beagle may initiate games or playtime with its owner, the foxhound is more likely to find ways to burn its energy on its own. However, that isn’t to say that your foxhound won’t ever play with you.

Beagle vs Foxhound: Dietary Needs

American Foxhound in a public park

Foxhounds need almost three times the amount of food that beagles need.

©Olga Aniven/Shutterstock.com

Because of the similarities in their appearance and behavior, it’s easy to think that both the beagle and foxhound need the same amount and type of food. However, just as foxhounds can be around three times the size of beagles, they can also need as much as three times the amount of food.

Beagles are also more prone to obesity or other diet-related disorders than foxhounds. This means that you may need to pay more attention to what they eat and how often compared to their larger counterparts.

Conclusion

While the beagle and the foxhound have many similarities, they’re not the same. This beagle vs foxhound comparison shows just a few of the characteristics that make each breed unique. At just a glance, the beagle is nearly half the size of the foxhound and can be as small as a third when comparing weights. Beagles are also known for being more dependent than foxhounds, and they’ll develop deeper connections to their owners faster.

If you’re trying to decide which breed may be the best for you and your family, beagles are easier to train and tend to get along better with children and other pets. However, foxhounds can make a great addition to an experienced family.

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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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