The Foxhound and the Beagle may look very similar, but they are not the same.
Yes, they share some similarities in grooming requirements, appearance (as implied), suitability, and instincts; however, they also have distinct personalities (the Beagle is more affectionate than the Foxhound) and different sizes (the Foxhound is larger than the Beagle), among other differences.
In this article, we will evaluate the differences and similarities between these two hunting breeds. But first, let’s take a brief look at their histories:
The Beagle and the Foxhound are scent hounds whose keen sense of smell was utilized for hunting.
The Foxhound was mainly used for hunting big quarry like foxes, as its name spells out, while the Beagle was used in hunting smaller animals like rabbits.
Their origins can be traced to Great Britain and America, and it should be noted that these breeds have been interbred to produce hunting dogs with improved senses and abilities.
Complete Breed Comparison
As mentioned earlier, the Foxhound and the Beagle have several similarities and significant differences. Below are the major areas of comparison:
When their appearances are compared, the Foxhound and the Beagle share some glaring similarities: they have remarkably similar coat patterns; comparable short coats; they both have floppy ears; they also come in similarly patterned tricolors: brown, white, tan, black, grey, etc.
Nonetheless, while both breeds have similar short coats, the beagle’s coat tends to have little to no texture, while the foxhound’s coat is denser and more textured.
The most easily observable physical difference between the Beagle and the Foxhound is the difference in size.
The beagle, on average, grows to a height of 13-16 inches.
On the other hand, the Foxhound grows to an average height of 19-25 inches. Also, the Beagle has an average weight of 20-25 pounds, while the Foxhound’s average weight is 45-75 pounds.
Essentially, the foxhound looks like a taller and larger version of the beagle. Also, an average foxhound can weigh as much as two beagles put together.
Accordingly, if you have a relatively limited living space, the beagle is the better choice for you, as you won’t have to give up much space. Both breeds need yards to roam and play, but we’ll get to that.
Both breeds are fiercely loyal and energetic.
Due to their hunting roots that required them to live in packs, they are social breeds with no problems being in households with other pets.
As a consequence of their drive to be in packs, they can develop separation anxiety when they are far away from their owners for too long.
Although they are both affectionate pets, the Beagle is touchier and more playful than the Foxhound.
The Foxhound is independent and has no issues roaming and playing on his own, while the Beagle is known to try and initiate playtime with his owner.
This doesn’t mean the Foxhound is reserved, as he will happily play with you if prompted.
Their hunting instincts make them primarily scent-driven, and they can get fixated on scents that will make them excitable and energetic. With this in mind, they are best left to play in a safely fenced yard to prevent them from wandering too far from home.
These breeds are used in hunting, and like most hunting dogs, they are intelligent and capable of learning various commands. Regardless, they share some similarities and have differences in their trainability; let’s compare them:
Generally seen as one of the most intelligent breeds around, the Beagle possesses a very high level of intelligence, and this makes him a prime breed for being taught all sorts of commands.
However, he is incredibly stubborn, impulsive, and scent-driven (as mentioned in the personality category).
Once he catches onto a scent, nothing will keep him from seeking it, so indoor training may serve you best. Also, the Beagle is a selective listener, so training him can be pretty frustrating for a first-time dog owner.
However, staying firm, patient, and consistent will help immensely.
While not as intelligent as the Beagle, the Foxhound is just as stubborn, independent, and impulsive.
Training your scent-driven foxhound will prove to be a challenge, especially when done outdoors; however, foxhounds are food lovers, so having treats for him as positive reinforcement will work wonders (the same goes for the Beagle).
Essentially, they are both impulsive breeds, but the Beagle is significantly easier to train due to his higher level of intelligence. Nevertheless, first-time owners may have issues training either of them.
What are household types perfect for these breeds?
Do they get along with other dogs?
Which breed is ideal for guarding the family?
All these are some of the questions we answer in this category, so let’s compare them:
Do they get along with other dogs?
The Foxhound and Beagle are similar in this regard. They are both pack breeds, so they don’t like being alone for too long. They will get along with other dogs, provided they aren’t aggressive breeds.
Which of them makes the better guard dog?
The Foxhound makes the best guard dog. Foxhounds are generally more cautious and aggressive than Beagles; also, they tend to bark more.
Accordingly, they make effective guard dogs and watchdogs when appropriately trained. The Beagle breeds are naturally friendly, so they make poor guard dogs seeing as they are rarely wary of strangers.
What households are they best suited for?
They are affectionate and loving, so they make great family dogs. Although both breeds are great with kids, they should not be left alone with little children.
Due to their high energy levels, they are suited for families with older kids who can engage in physical activities.
Generally, both breeds like having enough open space to roam; however, the Beagle breeds can adapt to apartment living as long as they are frequently taken outdoors for regular and stimulating exercise.
Conversely, the Foxhound breeds are not suited for apartment living due to their proclivity for howling and a deep-seated need for open space.
Also, the Foxhound breeds are a better fit for hunters as they make brilliant hunting companions due to their love for the outdoors, their tirelessness in the pursuit of prey, and their keen hunting instincts.
Yes, the Beagle can be trained effectively as a hunting partner, but the Foxhound is more naturally inclined.
Grooming and Feeding
Regarding grooming, these breeds are low-maintenance breeds with short coats that need regular brushing (once a week, at least). The Foxhound and the Beagle have similar grooming needs; the only distinction is the Foxhound is larger, so you will spend more time on him.
Furthermore, both do not require frequent bathing as long as they are brushed regularly (they should be brushed more during shedding seasons to reduce the hair around your home).
To prevent dental issues and ear concerns, their teeth should be brushed as often as possible, and their nails should be trimmed frequently.
On feeding, the larger Foxhound needs more food than the Beagle; however, the Beagle breeds are compulsive eaters and food thieves, so food should be kept far away from the paws of these little guys.
Also, both species should have their meals and meal plans measured and planned carefully to prevent short-term overfeeding and long-term obesity.
Beagle breeds should be fed twice daily, while Foxhound breeds should be fed thrice.
Generally, due to his larger size, you will have to break the bank more to feed a Foxhound than a Beagle.
What dog doesn’t have exercise needs? Surely, you’d be hard-pressed to find one.
These two breeds have exercise requirements, so a scheduled period of 1-2 hours per day of high-level activities like running, walking, and fetching is a vital requirement.
They have relatively high energy levels and huge appetites, so if they aren’t regularly exercised, they can get restless or, worse, overweight (this will lead to a host of health problems).
Furthermore, the Foxhound tends to have higher energy levels than the Beagle, and consequently, they need more physical activity and playtime. Walking your beagle daily will serve his exercise needs, but a foxhound requires more exercise.
Health Concerns and Lifespan
Like other breeds, the Foxhound and the Beagle have some health issues that they are prone to; below are some of these issues:
As mentioned earlier, The Beagle breeds love food, and this puts them at risk of becoming obese, which will, in turn, cause hip dysplasia and other joint problems.
Also, Beagles have sensitive ears causing them to be highly prone to ear infections, so their ears need to be cleaned frequently and dried when wet.
Other diseases that they may face are heart diseases, eye infections, epilepsy, dental issues, and a few others.
On average, the Beagle is more prone to health issues than the Foxhound.
Similarly, the Foxhound breeds suffer from ear infections. They are also prone to bloating, so their meals should be carefully chosen.
However, the Foxhound is a very healthy breed that will be fine as long as their exercising and feeding requirements are met appropriately.
Although they can be at risk for thrombocytopathy and bloat, consistent vet visits will ensure they are in the best possible health (the same goes for the Beagle breeds).
Generally, smaller dogs tend to live longer than their bigger counterparts, which is the case in this situation.
The Foxhound has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years, while the Beagle lives longer with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. It is essential to know that conditions such as genetics, nutrition, care, and exercise will impact a dog’s lifespan.
Generally, $500 to $1000 is the typical price range for either breed when purchased from a registered breeder.
Still, many factors can cause the price to spike to as high as $1,500 to $2,000. If the puppy you’re purchasing has a high-quality lineage or you are planning to show him, you will have to break the bank a little more
Final Words: Beagle vs. Foxhound: Complete Breed Comparison
Some similarities between breeds are their penchant for hounding scents, great potential for being family dogs, and other similar dispositions.
However, they share enough differences (e.g., Foxhounds being larger, Beagles being more dependent and affectionate, Beagles being easier to train, etc.) to make you pause and consider which breed will be the best fit for your household.
Ultimately, the most significant difference is their sizes, and you may need to gauge how accommodating your living situation will be for each breed.