October 04, 2020 5 min read



As part of our ongoing section regarding the Beagle in comparison to other dog breeds, here we will take a look at the Beagle vs the Basset Hound. With so many dog breeds in the world (over 300) and many of them with vastly different appearances, no doubt you already can see that these two breeds do have some similarities. 
But to what degree and in which ways are they different? Let's take a look as we explore this interesting side-by-side analysis. 
Basset Hound Overview
The Basset Hound is a scent hound, developed in France for the purpose of hunting hare. They are second only to the Bloodhound in tracking ability. 
'Basset' is derived from a French word, 'bas' which means low. The second syllable of 'et' adds the distinction of being 'very low'; and this term was given due to this breed's body structure.  
They are sturdy dogs with large pendulous ears, short legs, long tail, long body & typical hound coloring. 
The Basset Hound is considered to be very friendly with both children and other dogs, and makes for a great canine family member. 
pair of basset hounds
Beagle Overview
The Beagle is a scent hound, developed in England for the purpose of hunting hare. His sense of smell is not quite as keen as the Basset Hound, however it is considered to be excellent and is one reason why this breed is used as detection dogs, including sniffing out bed bugs.
It is only theorized where the name 'Beagle' came from. Some say it is a derived from the French word 'begueule', which means 'prudish'. However, the name may have carried over from the Kerry Beagle, which is one oldest Irish hound breeds.
The Beagle is known for his hound dog colors, large ears (certainly not as large as the Basset Hound), and white tipped tail. 
The Beagle is very friendly with both people and other dogs; though he may have a tendency to chase after small animals if not trained for tolerance. In general, he makes for a wonderful family companion. 
Side-by-Side Stats
Basset Hound
Country of Origin:
Date of AKC allowed registration:
Date AKC officially recognized:
Males: 22–24 lbs (10–11 kg);
Females: 20–22 lbs (9–10 kg)
Males: 51–64 lbs (23–29 kg); Females: 44–60 lbs (20–27 kg)
Males: 14–16 inches (36–41 cm); Females: 13–15 inches (33–38 cm)
Males: 12–15 inches (30–38 cm); Females: 11–14 inches (28–36 cm)
Life span:
12 to 15 years
10 to 12 years
AKC's 5th most popular
AKC's 40th most popular
Curious, friendly, happy, easy-going, companionable
Charming, low-key, patient, laid-back, easy-going
Average sized litter:

A Common Ancestor But Diverse Histories

As with all dog breeds that exist today, development and refinement was due to pairings of other breeds. It often takes centuries for a breed to stand out as its own breed, at which time no other bloodlines are introduced. 
The Beagle was developed from several other breeds which are thought to include the Talbot Hound which was derived from the St. Hubert Hound, North Country Beagle, Southern Hound, and possibly the Harrier. After many decades of development, by 1830, Reverend Phillip Honeywood established a Beagle pack in Essex, England and is credited as this being the basis for all modern Beagles going forward from that time. 
With the Basset Hound, one of the ancestors is also the St. Hubert Hound, as mentioned above in regard to the Beagle, so it is here that it makes sense that these two breeds are similar in several ways.  With the Basset Hound long body and short legs, it is believed that a mutation in litters of a breed called the Norman Staghound was also involved, and that breed was also a descendant of the St. Hubert's Hound.
Quite a bit of refinement took place in the 1870's in France with additional development later taking place in England. 

More Specifics

In regard to health, both breeds are prone to certain issues. The Beagle is considered a rather healthy breed. Common health concerns include epilepsy, allergies, eye issues, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia and back problems. While rare, Steroid Responsive Meningitis (SRM), also referred to as Beagle Pain Syndrome is a serious issue that can be tricky to treat. 
With the Basset Hound, common health issues seen with the breed include osteochondrosis, Dissecans (OCD), bloat, elbow dysplasia, thrombopathy, eye issues, von Willebrand's Disease (vWD), and hip dysplasia (CHD).
In regard to leading causes of death, you may be surprised to learn that based on a 20-year study conducted by the University of Georgia, both the Beagle and the Basset Hound's top 3 leading causes of death were identical.
Cancer was the #1 cause with neurological issues (this includes diseases and tumors of the brain and spinal cord) and trauma (being hit a car, fatal injury as a passenger, dropped as a puppy, etc.) switched for #2 and #3. 

Beagle: Cancer 23.1%, Trauma 16.0%, Neurological 13.0%.
Basset Hound: Cancer 37.8%, Neurological 15.2%, Trauma 8.5%. 

Personality Similarities & Common Misperceptions

Both the Beagle and Basset Hound are known for being fantastic pets due to their friendly nature and aptness for getting along very well with children and other dogs.
Due to their strong scenting abilities, both may tend to take chase after small household pets (rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs) and may bother cats (but not so much if raised alongside them from a young age).
One of the biggest misperceptions about Beagles is that they bark, howl, and bay near constantly Yes, they are pack animals and they do howl on occasion, however they are not vocal around the clock. 
And one of the biggest misperceptions about Basset Hounds are that they are lazy; this is due mostly to their laid-back appearance; however, they can jot around rather quickly, they require regular walks and exercise just like any other dog, and due to their relatively long body can really surprise their owners with what they are capable of reaching out of curiosity. 

Would a Beagle and a Basset Hound Get Along?

With both of these breeds being pack animals, generally very tolerable of other dogs and maturing at close to the same rate, a Beagle and a Basset Hound would be a pretty good fit. Beagles are a bit more hyper, though this can be good for a Basset Hound that is in need of some extra stimulation. 

Fun Facts

The Basset Hound has had his fair share in the spotlight, with a Basset Hound named Sherlock famously sitting by while Elvis Presley sang 'Hound Dog' on the Steve Allen Show in 1956. 
There was also Axelrod who starred in several Fly A Service Gas Station magazine and newspaper ads in 1965, Cleo who appeared on The People's Choice TV show from 1955 to 1958, Henry the Dog who appeared on Columbo from 71 to 78, and Flash, a Basset Hound that was the sidekick of Sheriff Roscoe Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard from 1979 to 1985.
Elvis and his Basset Hound
The most famous Beagle of all is a cartoon; it's Snoopy of course. However, real life Beagles have also appeared on TV such as Porthos who was Captain Archer's dog on Star Trek: Enterprise (he was on both the first and the last show). 
Two Beagles, a 4.5 year old female named Reba and a 5 year old male named Cooper took turns playing the role of Buckley, in the movie The Royal Tanenbaums.
Famous people who have owned Beagles include:
  • President Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th President of the United States (1963–1969)
  • Barry Manilow
  • Frankie Muniz from Malcolm In The Middle 
  • KayCee Stroh from High School Musical
  • Hélio Castroneves, an IndyCar driver
  • Andy Cohen
And famous people who have owned Basset Hounds, (aside from Elvis) include:
  • Doris Day, who was a strong animal rights activist
  • Clint Eastwood
  • David Arquette
  • Jamie Chung
  • Joshua Jackson
  • Shakira
  • Jennifer Lawrence
  • Betty White
Jan Helge Mathisen
Jan Helge Mathisen

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