Choosing a family pet for your family as a first-time owner is difficult. Today, people choose pets on the basis of their temperament, intelligence, health, and friendly nature. It’s not like you just adopted a stray cat or a dog back then.
This is why, when my kids asked for a pet dog, I started doing my research. I considered all the dog breeds and started turning down the breeds that were not child-friendly and smart. Doing so, I left with these two breeds- Labrador and Beagle. If you are also confused between these two breeds and want to buy one then you’re just at the right place. I have compiled all the differences for you to decide which one is the best for your family.
Let me drop a truth bomb here:
Both Labradors and Beagles are extremely affectionate, loving, caring, and friendly. Both are socially active and want to live around people and other pets. Labradors and Beagles are easily manageable for first-time owners. Both are sharp and clever, Labradors being more intelligent then Beagles.
So, how they are different? The differences lie in the intensities of these traits. And obviously, they are different because of the difference in origin and the reasons they were bred. Also, their sizes, colors, the shape of ears, and overall structure is different.
If you want to have one of them as your family pet then it’s better to know their characteristics and choose the one that is according to your family requirements and matches your home’s overall environment. The one that is perfect for a small family might not be a good fit for teens, singles or seniors.
So, let’s know all about these two breeds so that you can choose the perfect one for your family.
The origin and the reason a dog was bred plays an important role in its behavior and characteristics.
That’s why have a look at why Labradors and beagles were bred in the first place.
Labrador was first bred in Canada for the purpose of “retrieving” fishes from the water which were missed by their owners (hunters).
They carry already hunted but missed animals in their jaws in a very soft way. They were trained to bite hard otherwise the retrieved animal could be bitten and torn.
Now you know why they are soft and don’t like to bite?
Beagles were first bred in the United Kingdom. They were meant to hunt the prey along with the pack.
They were bred to be small yet fast. That is why they are active as ever and want to be with people all the time as they are “pack lovers”.
Beagles used to hunt by sniffing. That is why they sniff a lot with their 220 million smell receptors!
Size and life span
Labrador is classified as a medium to large-sized dog breed.
When it’s grown up, it can weigh up to 80 pounds and can grow 22 to 25 inches tall.
The lifespan of Labrador is 10 to 12 years.
Beagles are classified as a medium-sized dog breed.
When they are grown up, they weigh 15 pounds max with 11 to 15 inches height.
The lifespan of Beagle is 10 to 15 years.
So, beagles are shorter than Labradors and tend to live longer.
Shedding and grooming
Shedding is a natural process of a dog’s hair fall which results in the formation of a new layer of hair. It should be accompanied by grooming to avoid matting.
Excessive shedding is not good as it’s tedious to groom your dog all the time and clean all the mess as well.
So, the dog with relatively less shedding is the dog to for as a pet.
Labradors shed all the year, especially in winters and spring.
Labradors have a thick double layer of hair. The outer most layer is water-proof. It was meant to be waterproof so that it can swim and retrieve fish without getting wet.
Beagles also shed all year. They also have a thick double-layered coat. They shed more in the spring season.
So, Labradors and beagles both shed all year round and has thick double-layered skin. The only difference is the Labrador’s waterproof upper layer.
When choosing a pet dog, the first thing to see is if it’s friendly and can get along easily? Because nobody wants to adopt a pet that is not friendly and sweet.
Having said that, some people don’t prefer too many friendly dogs as they don’t want them to be around all the time. Whereas, some people like those “too much friendly” dogs as their children like to play with them all the time.
So, it’s all about your own preference.
Labradors are very friendly. They love to make human friends. Labs tend to see what makes you happy so that they can be friends with you.
Labradors do what you like and that is why you can adopt one even if you yourself aren’t that friendly. The reason is that your lab will adopt to be like you and will adjust easily.
Labradors are affectionate, kind, and loving pets.
Beagles are very, very friendly. They are active and want to play all the time. They hate to play alone and need human friends to play with.
Beagles want to be friends with you but on their own terms. They don’t adjust well with the ones who don’t like to play and hang out.
So, labradors and Beagles both are friendly and affectionate but in their own specific ways.
If you’re not very social yourself then you can’t get along with a pet who loves to socialize.
So, choose the one that is a good fit for you.
Labradors are very social. They hate to be alone. They want humans and pets around them all the time.
Labradors don’t like dog houses. They think they’ve done something wrong and this is a punishment.
Just like Labradors, beagles are also very social and love to be around people. They love to roam freely with humans. That’s why it would not be a good idea to confine them in a dog house. They don’t like this confinement at all.
So, both Labradors and Beagles are extremely social, Beagles being one step ahead in that.
Obviously, you want to choose the dog which is more intelligent and smart. You will get it trained quickly and it will remember the commands forever.
Labradors are very intelligent dogs. They can remember 300 human phrases. They are great learners. Just the right training makes them learn everything.
They’re smart and know what their owner wants. They don’t take much time to be trained.
Beagles are very clever but not that intelligent. They learn the things in which they’ve got some benefit. They seek benefits and ask “what’s in there for me” when you want to make it learn something.
So, Labradors and Beagles both are sharp and intelligent but Labradors win in this case.
Who wants bad-tempered dogs? Choose the one that is cool and manages its bad tempers well.
Labradors are very well tempered. They don’t lose their temper and that’s why they’re smart.
Beagles are cheerful and lively. They are unlikely to show a bad temper unless hurt or given less attention. Overall, beagles have good temperaments.
So, both Labradors and Beagles have good temperaments.
The dod which is more active needs more exercise daily. If you are not into taking your dog to long walks daily then go for a less active dog and vice versa.
Labradors are very energetic and active. They need a lot of exercises daily. They are natural swimmers and retrievers.
Labs like to dive and they are great in agility and tracking.
These little sweethearts are very energetic and love to jump and run around. They sniff a lot and can run from your house while sniffing something. So, the dog’s protection fence around your house would be a good idea!
Beagles don’t prefer a sessile lifestyle. They are always up for a long walk in which they will pause and sniff time and again. Seniors remain happy with Beagles during a long walk as they get some rest while beagles sniff the track and also they aren’t big enough to jump on seniors and injure them.
So, both Labs and Beagles are very active and energetic. They both need lots of exercises daily and Beagles need a bit more as they don’t like to sit much.
Special features of breed depend upon how it has been raised in the past.
The dog with more skills along with a friendly attitude is the one to go for.
Labradors are retrievers. They can be used to retrieve fish and birds. They are loyal and helpful.
Beagle is used in airports for its sniffing property. It can detect anything and everything that smells.
Labradors are suspected to have knee, hips, and joints problems. They are more prone to cancer as well.
That is why The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) has recommended for respective vaccines to prevent these diseases.
Beagle’s ears can catch an infection quickly. So, they should be cleaned and checked regularly.
The CHIC recommends checking Beagles for ear and eye infections, cardiac problems, and thyroid dysfunction.
The dog which is smarter and more intelligent is easy to be trained. So, you have to make the choice of a dog that is playful, intelligent, and a quick learner.
Labrador is the seventh among the most intelligent dogs in the world.
It’s smart and intelligent and can be trained quickly. Labs know that they have to make their owners happy. So, they learn quickly and efficiently.
Beagles are also quick learners but not as intelligent as Labradors are. Beagles need treats and much more. But they are not lazy to learn. They just find what they will get if they learn something.
So, training Labradors and Beagles is very easy as both are quick-learners. Yet Labradors are more intelligent and they can be trained more efficiently.
Caring for the pet
Taking care of lab puppies and adults is easy. They don’t need much grooming as they have shorter hair. They need fresh solid food three to four times a day.
Further, they need love, care, exercise, and games to help them maintain their health.
As soon as the beagle turns two weeks, it should be fed fresh solids. They need meals two to three times a day.
Beagles are easy to groom, their nails should be trimmed regularly. Further, they need to do exercise and indulge in healthy activities.
Labrador as a family pet
Labradors love being around people. They are child-lovers and don’t harm them. They play happily with your children and protect them in the best possible ways.
Lab loves humans the way they are and they know how to make their owners happy. They don’t make a mess if trained properly. They are easy to groom and they can be taken care of easily.
Beagle as a family pet
Beagle is a fun pet to be with. It easily and happily accepts you and your family. It lives to hug toddlers and play around with them.
Beagles are very active and social. They like families who are active and happy to play with them. They are a great choice if you are like that and if you don’t like to be active all the time then rethink!
Beagles need no extra care. Just grooming and daily cleaning is all you have to do.
Obviously price matters. We go for the one that’s best yet affordable.
The price of a purebred lab puppy should be anywhere between $600 to $1200.
The price of a purebred beagle is generally between $600 to $1500.
So, both Labrador puppies and Beagle puppies are almost within the same price range.
If you are fond of dogs and have children and/or seniors at home then you have to be very careful while adopting a pup.
You have to choose the one that is intelligent, happy, playful, obedient, and affordable. Between Labrador and Beagle, it’s very tough to choose one because both have similar characteristics.
Above are all the things which you should see before buying either a labrador or a beagle. After going through this article, you will be able to choose one just according to your family requirements. You will just be left to choose the color of your future family pet.