Beagle vs Labrador – which popular pet is the best?
And how do they differ?
It will not be an easy choice.
After all, these are two of the most beloved pet dog breeds on the planet today!
The Beagle is currently the fifth most popular pet dog.
And the Labrador retriever is, of course, the most popular pet dog in the country!
Beagle vs Labrador – how do they stack up?
Beagle vs Labrador – which pet to choose?
As we compare the Beagle vs Labrador, you will notice important differences in areas like size, health, grooming, and cost.
These differences may help you decide which one of these popular pet dogs is the best fit for you.
What’s the difference between a Beagle vs Labrador?
One of the major differences between a Beagle vs Labrador is that each breed has been developed for a different purpose.
The Beagle is a hound in the scent category.
The Labrador is a sporting dog in the retriever category.
For a Beagle, following an intriguing scent may well prove irresistible.
For Labradors, their desire to retrieve things may lead them into some pretty interesting places!
There is also a noticeable difference in their voices. The Beagle doesn’t bark so much as howl and bay.
While you might think this is adorable, your neighbors might have a different opinion.
The Labrador is a traditional barker but is not known to be particularly noisy unless bored or startled.
Size difference between Beagle vs Labrador
A Beagle is classified as a medium-sized dog breed.
The Beagle typically weighs less than 20 pounds and stands 13 to 15 inches high.
The Labrador is classified as a medium-to-large dog breed.
The Lab typically weighs 55 to 80 pounds depending on gender and will stand around 21.5 to 24.5 inches tall.
Beagle vs Labrador shedding and grooming
The Beagle has a short but thick double-layer coat.
A Beagle will shed year-round, especially in the spring when the heavier winter coat sheds out.
The Labrador also has a short, thick, double-layer coat. The Lab’s top coat is water-resistant.
The Lab will also shed year-round, especially in the spring and fall.
Beagle vs Labrador temperament and personality
The Beagle is often described as “merry” – these cheery, sturdy dogs rarely meet a stranger.
Beagles have been bred to hunt with other dogs in packs which means they typically do well in multi-dog households.
The Labrador’s friendly personality is what keeps this dog breed at the top of the popularity charts year after year.
Both the Beagle and the Lab need to be with their families and crave lots of interaction, play time, and affection.
Difference between Beagle vs Labrador as a family pet
Both the Beagle and the Labrador are known to be good with children and make great family pets.
Beagle vs Labrador exercise needs
Both the Beagle and the Labrador need plenty of exercise and activity to stay healthy and happy.
Both dogs have been bred for specific types of work and have the high energy and drive you would expect from a working dog breed.
You can expect these smart, curious dogs to find ways to entertain themselves if left to their own devices!
The Beagle loves to run and jump and dig.
This dog can be an amazing escape artist, so be sure your yard is dog-proof!
Beagles are natural athletes and excel at scent work and field trials.
The Labrador loves to swim and retrieve.
These dogs are definitely athletes and typically excel at canine sports.
Like dock diving, agility, tracking, and retriever field trials.
Beagle vs Labrador intelligence
The Labrador retriever is one of the smartest dog breeds and is ranked in the “top tier” of canine intelligence.
The Beagle, in contrast, is ranked in the sixth tier of canine intelligence.
Here, however, it is important to know there are all different types of canine intelligence.
This particular research focused on how quickly dogs from different breeds were able to learn and retain obedience commands.
Sometimes, a dog breed is actually too smart to reliably do well in obedience training, which may well be the Beagle’s issue!
Beagle vs Labrador training
The Labrador, as you would expect from this breed’s top tier intelligence ranking, excels in training courses.
The Lab is a top pick for a service dog, therapy dog, and K-9 work for this same reason.
You may see some differences based on the breed line.
English Labs can be slower to mature and a bit more challenging to train when they are young than American Labs.
The Beagle, on the other hand, has a bit of a reputation for stubbornness, especially if there is an interesting scent to explore!
Luckily, the Beagle tends to think with his stomach.
This means you can get a lot of training done if you have some tasty treats on hand!
Beagle vs Labrador life expectancy
Beagles have a life span of 10 to 15 years.
Labradors can live 10 to 12 years.
Health problems: Beagle vs Labrador
Like many purebred dog breeds, both the Beagle and the Labrador can inherit certain health weaknesses.
For both Beagles and Labs, health testing parent dogs can prevent passing along heritable health concerns to puppies.
Health testing: Beagle vs Labrador
The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends testing Beagles for hip dysplasia, Musladin-Lueke Syndrome, eye issues, cardiac issues, and thyroid dysfunction.
CHIC-recommended Labrador health tests include hip and elbow dysplasia, exercise-induced collapse, eye issues, D-Locus (dilute), and centronuclear myelopathy.
Beagle vs Labrador puppy price
The average price for a purebred Beagle puppy ranges from $600 to $1,500.
The average price for a purebred Labrador puppy ranges from $600 to $1,200.
Beagle vs Labrador – which dog is right for me?
We hope this focused comparative article has helped you choose between the Beagle vs Labrador for your next pet dog!
Want to Read More?
If you’re looking for more breed comparisons to read, we’ve got plenty for you!
Check out some below.
References and Further Reading
- Eichler, C., “Overview,” National Beagle Club of America, 2018.
- Nagakawa, K., et al, “Effect of Diet on the Cardiovascular System in Healthy Beagles,” J-Stage Internal Medicine, 2009.
- Smith, F., DVM, PhD, “Breed History” The Labrador Retriever Club of America, 2018.
- Pugh, C.A., et al, “Dogslife: A cohort study of Labrador retrievers in the UK,” Preventative Veterinary Medicine, 2015.
- Lubin, G., “These Are The ‘Smartest’ Dog Breeds, According to a Canine Psychologist,” Science Alert, 2018.
- Patterson, E.E., et al, “Dyanim-1 Exercise Induced Collapse,” University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, 2018.