People looking for the perfect pet often compare the Beagle vs. the Pug, and it’s no wonder why! These two types of dogs are renowned for their distinctive looks, and people all around the world find each pup both lovable and charming. In fact, many people decide to adopt the best of both worlds when these breeds are crossbred into a dog known as the Puggle!
Of course, it takes more than being charmed to decide which type of dog is right for a given person. The Beagle and the Pug are two separate breeds, and as such, they have their characteristics and needs. Both Breeds are both loving animals, but they vary in crucial ways, such as looks and temperaments.
If you are trying to decide between these two family-friendly pups, you’ll need to know exactly what to expect before welcoming either dog into your home. Below, we will dive into the history of each breed, as well as their temperament, health concerns, and nutritional needs. Discover which breed is best for any way of life!
- Height 13-15 Inches
- Weight 18-30 Pounds
- Temperament Friendly, Headstrong, Active
- Energy High Energy
- Health Average
- Lifespan 10-15 Years
- Price $1,000 and Up
- Height 10-14 Inches
- Weight 14-18 Pounds
- Temperament Warmhearted, Steadfast, Fun
- Energy Average Energy
- Health Average
- Lifespan 12-15 Years
- Price $1,000 and Up
Both of these pups have fascinating storybook histories. It’s worth your while to explore them. Knowing these stories gives people an insight into why these dogs act and look the way they do. That, in turn, will help inform any decision you make about purchasing or adopting either breed!
The Beagle’s history is shrouded in mystery, records show dogs of their ilk lived in BCE Greece. Beagle forerunners also have their places in 700s-1000s era Britain. Whatever the case, hunters bred these pups for sniffing out and chasing down wild game.
About 800 years later, the dog we know formally as the Beagle made its way to the United States. It didn’t take long for the American Kennel Club to recognize this breed, and they consistently rank highly on the Club’s popularity lists.
Most people don’t look at the Beagle and think of a fearsome hunter, though. They’re just as likely to think of the beloved comic strip character Snoopy. Airports rely on their keen senses and unintimidating nature for luggage screening.
The Pug is a dog breed with a more easily-traced history. They were initially bred centuries ago in China as domesticated animals. Allegedly, pet owners treasured the dogs for their wrinkles, especially if their wrinkles seemed to spell out the word “prince.”
The Dutch were responsible for making the Pug popular in Europe. After a Pug allegedly saved Prince William of Orange by alerting him to oncoming intruders in the 16th century, this breed of dog was dubbed the House of Orange’s official canine.
From there, the breed won the hearts of European royals throughout the centuries, including Marie Antoinette. Queen Victoria of England was especially fond of these creatures and was a Pug breeder herself! Back in China, the breed continued to hold similar regal status.
As for the United States, Pugs were officially recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club in the mid-1880s. Though their popularity went back and forth through the years, the dogs always had their cult following. The Pug Dog Club of America was formed in 1931 and received American Kennel Club approval the same year.
Though not everyone might be able to properly name either breed, they’d assuredly be able to tell them apart! Beagles have their signature floppy ears, while Pugs are notorious for their wrinkled and smooshy faces. Of course, though, there’s a lot more that sets these two breeds apart physically.
Beagles come in all sorts of colors. For the most part, they’re tricolored: black on the back, tan on the head, shoulders, and hindquarters, and white on the stomach, legs, chest, and end of the tail. Some Beagles have white and red speckles on parts of their bodies. Others have a complete set of entirely different colors! Whatever the case, Beagles have short, shiny coats and tend to have hazel or brown eyes.
Meanwhile, Pugs are a little more predictable in their coloration: they usually come in black or fawn. That doesn’t mean two fawn dogs will look the same, though. These doggies can have all kinds of complexions, from silver to apricot. Regardless of their shade, though, Pugs have black ears and muzzles and deep brown eyes. They also have short, velvety coats.
One thing that both of these lovely companions have in common is that they’re relatively short in comparison to other dog breeds. Healthy Beagles can weigh twice as much as a healthy Pug, though. In the end, they’re both excellent for petting and loving.
Temperament is always an important question when trying to pick out a pet. For potential pet parents, temperament can be the deciding factor. Thankfully, as you can tell by now, both breeds make for excellent companions.
They both love playing around with their families. They’re both docile, too: they aren’t mean unless someone has provoked them. In these respects, both dog breeds are ideal for families with children. Both dogs have the potential to be headstrong, which isn’t the most straightforward attribute to work with—but with a lot of love and persistence, you’ll be able to train them to live cohesively in your situation.
Now, those are the bulk of the similarities. Both dogs naturally have a gamut of distinct characteristics that make each perfect for different people. Let’s take a closer look!
Hunters bred Beagles for their sport. This history means they’re quite active and full of energy! They need a lot of play and a lot of stimulation, or else they might get into some mischief you won’t find endearing, like trying to escape. Beagles are actually closer in temperament to a Labrador than the Pug is, which means these two aren’t really close with how they interact with their human owners.
Pugs are quite the opposite in terms of energy. These creatures are lap dogs by nature. You can sit down with them and call it a day. They need a lot of quality time, though, and they will react poorly if you don’t give them the attention they crave.
All of that said, of course, each dog will have an individual personality. A Pug can have a rough-and-tough attitude (for a Pug, at least), while a Beagle might have a rather meek temperament. A lot of it comes down to what type of socialization they got as a pup. If you have any concerns about any dog’s potential (or current) behavior, talk with the breeder or adoption center.
Both breeds are most starkly different in their energy levels. Whereas Beagles want to get physical at every chance they get, Pugs are more inclined to stay put unless their friends are moving around, too.
It is optimal that a Beagle gets an hour’s physical activity daily. If you can manage it, multiple walks per day are best. Make sure your Beagle has a comfortable harness for their daily walks to make them as enjoyable as possible.
However you give your Beagle active time, it’s necessary that your doggy not be left alone. They are pack animals, which means they need other members of their pack (i.e., you and any members of your family) with them. Left alone, Beagles can and will act out in ways you’re bound not to like—like tearing up your yard in search of a good scent. If you must be alone, you will be well served by getting your Beagle a secure crate to act as a den and safe spot for their anxious tendencies.
Pugs have lower exercise needs, though they must get adequate exercise. This need is essential due to their predisposed ability to become obese quickly. To keep your Pug fit, all you need to do is take it on walks around the neighborhood or play around in the backyard. We also recommend harness training your Pug. Pugs need an adjustable harness for walks, due to their irregular body size.
Pugs love attention. If you direct your attention outside, they are sure to follow. Be careful on hot and cold days, though. Extreme temperatures are detrimental to Pugs, particularly hot temperatures where they are prone to overheating.
Neither breed is easy to train. They’re very determined to do things their way, so be prepared for a lengthy learning curve with either of these dogs. Indeed, Beagles can take up to a year to housetrain properly. Crate and obedience training are musts for both breeds. If you’re a new pet parent, you may want to consider going for a more-easily trained pup altogether.
If you are planning on crate training, make sure you purchase a properly sized dog crate. The Beagle will grow into a small or medium-sized dog, while the Pug will stay small in stature. This means you should be planning for a crate that’s 30 inches in length for the Beagle, and 24 inches in length for the Pug.
Of course, if you’re willing and able to train either breed, that’s great. You’re going to notice the two diverge in a critical aspect here. While they both love food, you’re better off saving food-based rewards for Beagles.
Pugs should not be given treats very often due to the risk of overeating and subsequent related health issues. However, you shouldn’t overindulge Beagles, either. Keep track of what food your dog is eating, both during training and during mealtimes.
The good news here is that both dogs can live long, healthy lives if cared for properly. The bad news is that due to each breed’s breeding history, both are prone to various diseases and health conditions. One such condition for which they’re both at risk is epilepsy. While epileptic dogs can still live otherwise healthy lives, you must take your dog to the vet if they have a seizure.
There’s a neurological condition that only appears in Pugs, known as Pug Dog Encephalitis. Like epilepsy, it causes seizures, but it also results in blindness and, ultimately, death. Unfortunately, this disease is only diagnosable post-mortem: there’s no way to test for it in living Pugs.
Meanwhile, a condition unique to Beagles is Chinese Beagle Syndrome, also known as Musladin-Lueke Syndrome, where the skull is wider than typical, and the eyes are slanted. While Beagles with this syndrome can live normally, they’re also likely to have problems with their hearts and toes.
The Beagle breed is prone to certain medical ailments including hip dysplasia, diabetes, Hypothyroidism, ACL tears, cataracts, and heart conditions.
Common health concerns that can affect Pugs include eye and skin conditions as well as Brachycephalic Syndrome (BOAS).
This part is relatively simple, as both dogs prefer the same types of food. Both breeds do well on dry kibble. Typically, a Beagle should be fed 1-1.5 cups of dry dog food per day, while Pugs only need about a cup. Either way, this amount should be split into two meals each day.
Those are just guidelines, though. Be sure to take your dog’s health and needs into account when feeding them. Keep track of how much food they eat, as both breeds are at risk of obesity. Watch out for allergies, too: you would hate for your dog to have a bad reaction. Always speak with a vet if you’re unsure about your dog’s specific needs.
Anyone looking to get a dog needs to consider the dog’s grooming needs. One of the first things to come to mind here is shedding. Despite having similar coats, each breed sheds in different amounts. Beagles are moderate shedders, and Pugs shed a ton. You’ll need to brush either breed at least once per week and possibly more often, depending on your dog’s personal needs.
Bathing, however, can happen less often, about once per month. When you’re bathing a Beagle, make sure the water doesn’t get in its ears because this can lead to infections.
One thing to keep in mind is that Pugs require routine facial cleanings. Because of the folds in their skin, bacteria are more likely to become trapped. It’s important to clean underneath these folds to avoid risking infection.
Both dogs are in the same general price bracket: both of them run around $1,000 and up for a purebred puppy. Trustworthy breeders will charge more for their pups; while prices do dip below average at times, anything too low is a sign of an irresponsible breeder. If you want to avoid breeders altogether, try adopting your next furry friend!
We hope you’ve determined that they’re both such lovely dog breeds, each with their own unique set of traits that make them both optimal additions to a family.
The significant difference between the two breeds is their energy levels. Whereas Beagles are fantastic if you want someone to get active with, Pugs are delightful for anyone who’s looking to kick back and enjoy a quiet evening. All in all, whomever you choose, you’re sure to have a friend for life.
June 12, 2022 at 3:04 pm
I find it highly concerning that you consider these breeds to have “similar” health conditions. If you are not aware of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome I implore you, as a vet, please do not write any articles regarding canine health.
Pugs suffer from a multitude of health conditions much more frequently than encephalitis - atopy, corneal ulceration, spinal deformities and myelopathy, before we even start to consider their dramatic respiratory abnormalities that impair their ability to exercise and increase their risk of heat stroke.
Whilst beagles do suffer from MLS, I would consider them at a more likely risk of IVDD or SRMA. At these occur at a considerably reduced frequency compared to the frequency of diseases in pugs.
Please don’t include health in your articles if this is how you perceive breed related health issues.
June 13, 2022 at 11:18 am
This is just a brief overview but you can find far more details on Pug health concerns, including BOAS, in our Pug breed profile.