Beagle vs Golden Retriever – Which Breed Is Better?

Updated: October 17th, 2022

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beagle vs golden retriever

If you can’t decide between a beagle vs golden retriever for your next pet, you aren’t alone! The golden retriever and the beagle are extremely popular dog breeds, and a lot of people have a hard time deciding which will be a better fit for their family.

Fun-loving, playful, and active, both beagles and golden retrievers make wonderful companions and family dogs. But, while these two breeds share some traits, they are also different in many ways.

In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about beagles and golden retrievers, to help you decide which of these two breeds is a better choice for you and your family. Keep on reading to find out!

Golden Retriever vs Beagle Size, Height & Weight

Beagles and golden retrievers have completely different physical appearances. A small and compact beagle makes a better apartment dweller and can be a good choice if you don’t have a large home. On the other hand, a golden retriever is a medium to large size dog that is better suited for larger homes with access to outdoor space.

The beagle is a small, hardy, and compact scent hound and an excellent hunting dog. Most beagles are between 13 and 15 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh from 18 to 30 pounds when fully grown. Female dogs tend to be smaller than males; however, that doesn’t have to be the case.

By comparison, we have a golden retriever, a medium to large size gun dog that belongs to the sporting dog group. Measuring 20 to 24 inches tall at the withers and weighing between 55 and 75 pounds, the golden is a significantly larger dog than the beagle.

According to the golden retriever breed standard, goldens should have a broad skull, strong jaws, and dark brown eyes.

Beagle And Golden Retriever Coat And Color

Beagle And Golden Retriever Coat And Color

While comparing the golden retriever vs beagle, you’ve probably realized they have completely different coats and coat colors. Unlike the beagle with its short double coat, the golden retriever has a medium-long, dense double coat. Depending on your personal preferences, you may find that you like short-coated breeds like the beagle more than long-haired dogs, or vice versa.

Beagles have smooth, dense, and short double coats that are resistant to rain. According to the breed standard, the beagle’s coat can come in any hound color. However, the most common color for beagles is tricolor with a black saddle, white chest, legs, belly and tip of the tail, and tan on the head and around the saddle on the back.

Golden retrievers are best known for their dense, medium-length double coat that has water-repellent properties. The coat can be straight or wavy, and goldens have fur feathering on the chest, back, tail, and thighs.

The hallmark of this breed is their golden coat that can come in all shades of gold from light to dark and sometimes even red. If you are thinking of getting a red golden retriever, know that kennel clubs don’t allow red goldens to compete in dog shows.

While we are on the subject of coat, you should know that both beagles and golden retrievers shed all year round and go through a heavier shed during spring and fall. However, since beagles have short hair, their shedding isn’t so noticeable.

On the other hand, the only way you won’t notice a golden retriever’s shedding is if you are regularly using the best deshedding tool to brush your pooch.

Beagle Dog vs Golden Retriever Temperament

While both the beagle and the golden retriever make amazing companions and family pets to active people, they have different personality traits. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether the happy-go-lucky and determined beagle will be a better fit for your family as opposed to the eager-to-please and friendly golden retriever.

Best described as sweet, funny, excitable, and amiable, beagles are wonderful companions and great hunting dogs. In a loving home, the beagle is an affectionate and curious canine that gets along well with children and other pets.

Beagles like to be involved in all family activities and prefer company; otherwise, they can resort to destructive behavior. A bored beagle is particularly fond of barking and howling so make sure that your pup has a lot of toys to keep them occupied, or risk getting a noise complaint from your neighbors.

Like the beagle, the golden retriever is also a highly energetic dog that makes an amazing pet to active people of all ages and families with children. Highly intelligent and obedient, the golden retriever is easy to train and is a great breed for both novice and experienced owners.

Extremely social and trusting, goldens get along with everyone and will become fast friends with strangers, children, and other dogs. But, regardless of their friendly nature, all golden retrievers need training and proper socialization from a young age to grow into well-mannered and obedient dogs.

Beagle And Golden Retriever Health

Beagle And Golden Retriever Health

Both the beagle and the golden retriever are considered generally healthy; however, like all other breeds, they too have certain common health problems. With that being said, not all goldens nor all beagles will get any of these diseases. But, it’s always better to be aware of any potential problems from the start if you are considering bringing one of these breeds into your home.

Considering that the beagle is a small breed, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that they tend to live longer than golden retrievers. Beagles have an average life expectancy of 10 to 15 years, and may even live longer when properly cared for. Golden retrievers, on the other hand, have an average life span of 10 to 12 years.

When it comes to health problems, the most common issues that affect beagles and golden retrievers are:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Cherry eye
  • Allergies
  • Intervertebral disk disease
  • Beagle dwarfism
  • Elbow dysplasia

As always, regardless of which breed you choose, don’t forget to take your new pooch to regular veterinary checkups and stay up to date with their shots. This way, you and your vet will have a better insight into your pup’s health and will be able to notice any signs of potential health problems early on and get treatment in time.

Beagle vs Golden Retriever Grooming Needs

Despite obvious differences in their coat types, both beagles and golden retrievers require regular grooming. When it comes to grooming needs, beagles are easier to maintain and need less brushing than a golden retriever.

The beagle’s short and dense double coat sheds moderately all year round and may do so even more during the shedding season in spring and fall. However, their short hairs aren’t very noticeable, and your home and belongings won’t be completely covered in dog hair.

If you decide to get a beagle, be prepared to brush their coat twice a week to remove loose hair and minimize the shedding. Beagles are generally clean dogs that don’t require frequent baths unless they get into something stinky.

Golden retrievers, on the other hand, are a high-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. Ideally, you should brush your golden daily to remove all the loose hair and prevent tangles and mats from forming (check out our top recommended brushes for Goldens). Bathe your golden once a month or more often if necessary to keep their golden coat clean and shiny.

FAQs About Beagle Dog vs Golden Retriever

Are golden retrievers good with beagles?

The beagle and the golden retriever have similar personalities and could live in the same household if properly introduced. They are both friendly, active, playful, and affectionate dogs that like to spend time with their people and prefer to have company.

Is a beagle a dangerous dog?

Beagles aren’t inherently aggressive and aren’t considered a dangerous dog breed to own. A properly socialized and trained beagle that lives in a loving home poses no danger to its owners or any other people they come across. In fact, beagles are one of the most popular family dogs and make great pets and loving companions.


Beagles and golden retrievers are extremely popular dog breeds that make wonderful pets and loving companions to active people and families with children. It’s difficult to compare a beagle vs golden retriever because they are so similar and yet different in so many ways. While picking one over the other is hard, the following can help you make your final decision:

  • Beagles are smaller than golden retrievers and better suited for apartment living
  • Beagles tend to be stubborn and difficult to train, while golden retrievers are highly trainable
  • Golden retrievers shed more and need regular grooming, while beagles need to be brushed only two times a week

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Written By

Wendy is a self-employed beauty therapist, mother of two, life-long pet parent and lover of dogs who somehow manages to squeeze in the time to satisfy another of her loves - writing. Wendy is the founder, main contributor to and editor of TotallyGoldens.

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