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Dachshund vs. Beagle: Breed Differences & Similarities

Thinking about adopting a Beagle or a Dachshund but can't decide which breed is a better fit? We look at what you can expect when welcoming either breed into your home.

Kelly Wilson

Last Updated: February 6, 2021 | 9 min read

Are you comparing the Dachshund vs. the Beagle for your next pint-sized canine companion? Their affectionate nature, high intelligence, and small size make them excellent choices for families. In fact, because of their popularity, these two breeds have even started getting crossbred, creating a designer dog called the Doxle.

So how do the two breeds compare? While they do share some similarities when it comes to their size, they are actually quite different when it comes to their temperament, and food needs. Depending on how much spare time you have, or what you have going on in your life, one breed may be a better fit than the other.

In the article below, you’ll learn all about the Beagle and the Dachshund. We’ll compare what’s similar about them and what’s different. You’ll also find out which breed is better for you, depending on your needs and your lifestyle. Let’s jump in!

Breed Comparison

Beagle

  • Height 13-15 Inches
  • Weight 15-30 Pounds
  • Temperament Friendly, Loving, Inquisitive
  • Energy Average
  • Health Average
  • Lifespan 10-15 Years
  • Puppy Prices $1,000 and Up

Dachshund

  • Height 8-10 Inches
  • Weight 16-32 Pounds
  • Temperament Affectionate, Inquisitive, Protective
  • Energy Average
  • Health Average
  • Lifespan 10-14 Years
  • Puppy Prices $1,000 and Up

Breed History

Before welcoming either dog breed into your home, it’s very important to understand the history of each breed. Both the Dachshund and the Beagle were bred for different reasons. Their energy levels are different, and they have different instincts. Let’s learn a little bit about each breed’s background, so you can understand what each of these pint-sized pups will bring into your life.

Dachshunds

Small Brown Dog in Grass Outdoors
Dachshunds have a very unique history of hunting very small rodents and other vermin.

Dachshunds have been around for more than 500 years. Breeders in Germany needed small dogs to help them hunt badgers. Dachshund translates as “badger dog” in the German language.

They varied in size throughout the centuries, hunting everything from rabbits to foxes and even, in large groups, wild boar. Their unique size and shape also let them burrow into the ground, a trait which they still practice today. This makes the Dachshund a favorite for hunting vermin around the farm. They are popular as hunting companions, but today are also commonly seen as family pets.

Although Dachshunds were originally hunters, they have long since found a niche as a family dog. Small, intelligent, and highly affectionate, the breed tends to attach itself to one person in a family. They love to be with “their” humans and can be highly suspicious of outsiders. Dachshunds have also become popular show dogs.

Beagles

Small Brown Dog in Grass Outdoors
As a famous hunting dog and family companion, Beagles are quite pouplar across the world.

Beagles, or their ancestors, were bred as long as 2,500 years ago in ancient Greece. Records describing similar breeds surface in early medieval England, but these dogs were slow runners. However, they may have been ancestors of the modern Beagle.

This was introduced in 19th century England. Fox hunting had grown in popularity, prompting a need for a dog who could accompany hunters. The result was the ever-popular Beagle. They have become well known over the last few centuries as both a welcoming family companion and hunting sidekick.

If you think the Beagle looks familiar, it’s because they are also well known throughout popular culture and often star in Hollywood movies and cartoons.  Snoopy, is quite possibly the world’s most famous Beagle.

Appearance

Two Small Dogs Running in Grass
Both dogs are similar in size but have some very distinct differences in appearance.

Beagles have little consistency when it comes to their appearance. Breeders often say that “anything goes” when it comes to Beagle coloring and patterns. However, the most common combination is black or brown along their head and back with a white belly, legs, and tail. It’s not uncommon for this breed to have spotted patterns throughout their coats. They have heavy ears that hang down and a stocky, muscular body. They may stand either 13 or 15 inches tall.

Dachshunds, on the other hand, have a distinct, classic appearance. Often called “wiener dogs” or “sausages,” the Dachshund is characterized by its long body and stumpy legs. United States purebred dog standards divide them into three sizes: miniature, standard, and tweenie. Standard sized pups are 16-32 pounds, Tweenies are 11-16 pounds, and miniature Dachshunds are usually under 11 pounds. Dachshund coats may be smooth, wirehaired, or longhaired.

Temperament

Brown Dog Next to Tan White and Black Dog
Both breeds are very family-friendly, and get along great with children.

Beagles are intelligent, social dogs that love being a part of a family. They have a stubborn side, which means that training can be a challenge. But once trained, they are cooperative and obedient dogs. They do love getting into trouble and making mischief, something they continue throughout their lives.

Early socialization helps them learn to interact gently with human family members. But they remain sociable and love companionship all their lives, preferring company to solitude.

Dachshunds have a lively, social personality that is playful and affectionate. They may occasionally be stubborn, but they are also courageous — despite their small size. Their start as a hunting dog gave them an independent streak, and they are known for being confident and sure-footed. They may sometimes be a bit overconfident, especially for their size.

Dachshunds are affectionate and may become attached to one person in their family. This can lead to jealousy between pets or human family members. Dachshunds surprisingly are known for being aggressive when they become attached. You’ll want to address this by socializing this breed very early on.

Exercise

Two Small and Intelligent Dogs Exercising
Dachshunds are slightly less active of the two, but they both still need daily exercise outdoors.

As young dogs, Beagles are extremely energetic and need a lot of outside time. They love running and hiking with their owners. However, owners must never leave them outside without supervision. Their instinct for hunting makes them liable to go wandering.

With age, Beagles may become more lethargic and want to spend the day napping in the sun. However, it’s essential to continue providing them with a vigorous fitness routine. The breed is susceptible to obesity, which can cause many other health problems.

Dachshunds need regular, gentle exercise for several reasons. The breed is prone to becoming obese, so daily walks are essential. But it is also vital for another reason. Dachshunds need to build and maintain the muscles in their back to avoid injuring their spine or hips. Owners should never let their dogs jump from furniture or run downstairs if possible. Dachshunds don’t enjoy being outside on their own — they prefer to exercise with their owner.

Training

Two Very Small Intelligent Dogs Training
Both breeds can be headstrong and independent, making training a challenge.

Beagles are naturally headstrong, which can make training a challenge. However, it is a vital process to make sure they learn their place in a family. Beagles thrive when training involves mental stimulation and games. Positive reinforcement yields the best results. Scolding or punishment, on the other hand, can cause them to balk.

Dachshunds are naturally stubborn and independent, so training can be a challenge. The best way to do it is to take advantage of their affectionate nature, which loves games, praise, and rewards. Punishing them or using negative reinforcements is unlikely to be successful. Instead, it will hurt their feelings and make them lose interest in training.

Dachshunds are sometimes difficult to housebreak. Crate training can be an effective housebreaking method for them. Similarly, make sure that they get used to other people and animals from a young age. This will help temper their jealous nature.

When it comes to leash training, Dachshunds can be a little more challenging to train than Beagles, just due to their body shape. We recommend harness training for both breeds. Due to their elongated bodies, Dachshunds need harnesses that fit their bodies, while Beagles can use any harness for smaller dogs.

Health

Black Dog and White Dog Outdoors
Both dog breeds are healthy but have the potential for a few genetic health impairments.

Both Beagles and Dachshunds, like many purebred dogs, are genetically inclined toward certain health conditions. Some of these are easy to manage through medication, while others may require surgery to fix.

Beagle Health Issues

Because of their smaller gene pool and physical characteristics, Beagles tend to develop certain health problems. Not all Beagles have these issues, but they have a higher chance of developing them than most dogs.

The most common conditions beagles will face are eye diseases, neurological problems, and hypothyroidism. Each condition carries a different risk, and some are genetic.

Dachshund Health Issues

Dachshunds are generally healthy dogs with a long lifespan. They can live as long as 16 years, provided they have a healthy lifestyle. However, like many dog breeds, Dachshunds are prone to a few health conditions.

These most common health conditions include spine problems, cushing’s disease, and bloat (due to the Dachshund’s unique shape).

Common Health Issues in Both Breeds

Beagles and Dachshunds are also prone to some of the same health problems. This is due to their small size and constrained gene pool. These include ear infections, and obesity.

Because both Dachshunds and Beagles have stereotypical floppy ears, they are at a higher rate of ear infections. These occur when bacteria get trapped in the ear canal. Owners can usually manage these by cleaning their dog’s ears regularly.

Both Dachshunds and Beagles have a high chance of becoming obese, especially as they age. Obesity is serious since it can lead to other serious health problems like spinal malformations, diabetes, heart disease, and more.

Nutrition

Two Very Small Dogs Eating Dog Food
Both dog breeds will eat an age-appropriate high-quality dog food made for small breeds.

Owners should feed their Beagles according to their vet’s instructions. Each dog’s diet will depend on their individual health needs. However, in general, a good diet consists of high-quality dog food given in moderate amounts.

Beagles have a genetic tendency toward becoming obese, so moderation is key. They can be incorrigible with begging for table scraps, but resist the urge to give them regularly. When it comes to feeding, break up their feeding sessions to 2-3 different smaller feedings per day. Beagles will eat about 1.5 to 3 cups of dry kibble per day, depending on their activity levels.

The main issue with Dachshund nutrition is ensuring that they stay at a healthy weight. The breed also tends to become obese, which can lead to other serious health problems. Excess weight can strain a Dachshund’s spinal cord, leading to herniated discs. These can cause extreme pain or even paralysis. Similar to the Beagle, most Dachshunds eat around 1.5 to 3 cups of dog food per day depending on their size.

Owners should feed their dogs sparingly according to their vet’s instructions and help them exercise every day. Do not give your Dachshund table scraps, or do so only as a rare treat.

Grooming

Two Small Dogs Getting Bathed
Both breeds are fairly easy to groom but will need a regular bathing schedule.

Since they have short, water-resistant fur, a basic grooming routine is sufficient for most Beagles. Beagles shed fairly consistently, but their coats are not prone to carrying excess dirt or debris. However, because their ears hang down, it’s important to clean them frequently to avoid infection.

Dachshunds also need regular ear cleaning for the same reason. Both breeds benefit from having their nails trimmed, and teeth cleaned once a month or more often.

Dachshunds may have one of three different kinds of fur, which indicate different grooming needs. In general, Dachshunds have fairly clean fur and shed only a medium amount.

Smooth-haired Dachshunds need very little grooming. Owners may occasionally give them a wipe or a brush to keep their fur in peak condition. Longhaired Dachshunds, on the other hand, are likely to need more regular brushing.

Meanwhile, wirehaired Dachshunds need significant, regular grooming to stay sleek and comfortable. This includes not only brushing but also hand-stripping a few times each year. Owners may also want to have their wirehaired Dachshunds’ facial hair trimmed every few weeks to keep their eyes and mouth clear.

Puppy Prices

Two Small Breed Puppy Dogs Outdoors
Expect to pay north of $1,000 for a puppy of either dog breed.

It should come as no surprise that purebred puppies can be expensive. This price can vary based on the breeder you use and the puppy’s lineage, health, age, and physical characteristics. If you are adopting a dog with a unique color pattern, or longer hair, you may end up paying a little more as they are rarer. You’ll also spend more money if you are purchasing a puppy from championship breeding lines.

In general, for a Beagle puppy, you should plan to spend between $1,000 and $3,000. Dogs that are used for show or have come specifically from a hunting breeding line will usually cost on the upper end of that.

Buying a Dachshund puppy can range between $1,000 and up if you are adopting from a qualified breeder rather than a shelter. Long-haired Dachshunds are slightly rarer and are a little more expensive. Also, more expensive are merled or spotted coat pups.

Final Thoughts

If you are thinking of getting a dog, both Beagles and Dachshunds are both excellent choices. Their lovable natures and high intelligence have made them popular choices for centuries. However, there are many things to think about before making a decision.

Each breed has distinctive health needs, for example. Dachshunds are prone to developing problems with their spine, while Beagles are highly active. Both breeds are liable to develop similar health issues.

Beagles are more energetic and can be mischievous, chewing household objects, and getting into food. Dachshunds are easier to train but always want to be close to their owner’s side. Neither breed is better or worse than the other, but one might be better suited to your family.

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