10 Dog Breeds Similar to Beagles
The Beagle is one of the most popular dogs in the United States. Its popularity is particularly notable because it is so lasting. Vox points out that the list of most popular U.S. dogs has changed much over the decades. Even so, the Beagle was on the list in the early 20th century and remains on the list in the early 21st century. Something that no other dog can match. Still, interested individuals don’t have to go for a Beagle if they want a Beagle-like dog. They can choose from other options that either look like Beagles, behave like Beagles, or both.
1. American Foxhound
Beagles are close relatives of foxhounds. As a result, it makes sense to look for Beagle-like dogs among foxhounds. One excellent example is the American Foxhound. The Spruce Pets says it came into existence in Maryland and Virginia, descending from English foxhounds and other European dogs brought to the United States. Thanks to that, the American Foxhound is similar to the English Foxhound but has notable differences from its English counterpart. For example, it is lighter and taller. Likewise, it comes in more colors.
The American Foxhound is easygoing enough to make a good companion. However, it has several potential issues. For starters, it is much better suited for rural regions. Partly, that is because of its high energy, and partly, that is because of its wide-reaching bay. People should also know they need to watch out for separation anxiety in the American Foxhound because it craves company. Of course, they will need to keep their canine companion on a leash whenever they are outside because they can’t trust it off-leash due to a strong prey drive.
2. Basset Hound
Basset Hounds came from France rather than England. Supposedly, they descend from the St. Hubert’s Hound. Specifically, people speculate that Basset Hounds originated as a mutated version of Norman Staghounds, other descendants of the St. Hubert’s Hound that are now extinct. Basset Hounds aren’t unique in this regard. Science Daily says they share the mutation with Corgis, Dachshunds, and several other dogs, thus explaining their stubby legs.
With that said, Basset Hounds managed to find a niche for themselves. After all, it wasn’t uncommon for people to use dogs to hunt burrowing animals. The stubby legs of Basset Hounds made them well-suited for such tasks. Besides this, these dogs also benefited from the Ancien Régime’s rules on how people could and couldn’t hunt. A small set of elites could hunt on horseback during the Ancien Régime. Stubby-legged dogs struggled to keep up with said individuals. Fortunately, stubby-legged dogs had no such issue with slower-moving hunters on foot.
Nowadays, Basset Hounds are popular pets. They are friendly creatures that moved about in packs. Thanks to that, Basset Hounds get along well with humans, dogs, and cats, though they can have issues with smaller animals because of their strong prey drive. Interested individuals should take note of a couple of things. One, Basset Hounds need exercise to maintain a healthy weight, which is critical because of their long backs. Two, Basset Hounds are stubborn, meaning they aren’t as easy to train as they seem.
3. Carolina Dog
Carolina Dogs aren’t quite an official dog breed. Instead, they are a landrace in the process of becoming an official dog breed. The AKC took the breeding of Carolina Dogs into its Foundation Stock Service in the late 2010s, which was a major step towards securing that kind of recognition.
It isn’t 100 percent clear whether Carolina Dogs are authentic descendants of the Native American dogs of what is now the Southeastern United States. They undoubtedly have some pre-Columbian Exchange ancestry. The issue is that it is difficult to distinguish between pre-Columbian Exchange ancestry from local dogs and pre-Columbian Exchange ancestry from Arctic dogs. Still, Wag! and other sources aren’t unreasonable when they say Carolina Dogs have ancestors that crossed the Bering Strait with the Paleo-Indians.
Reputedly, Carolina Dogs are wary when interacting with humans. That doesn’t mean they dislike humans, just that it takes them a bit more time to bond with their human family members. On the positive side, this makes Carolina Dogs a decent choice as guard dogs because they are protective without being excessively aggressive. These three characteristics enable them to strike a good balance for that role.
The Dachshund is another dog meant for hunting burrowing animals. As such, it is a much more formidable creature than it would seem on initial inspection. Despite that, it would be misleading to say that the Dachshund’s adorable appearance is misleading. This famously sausage-shaped dog is every bit as capable of becoming a loyal, loving companion as one would expect based on its look.
As a rule, the Dachshund is fond of its human family members but much more suspicious towards strangers. It has a reasonable level of intelligence, but it also has the kind of stubbornness that one would expect from a dog meant to hunt badgers in small, closed-in spaces with nowhere to run. Put together, that means interested individuals will need to overcome any issues with patient consistency. Be warned the Dachshund isn’t automatically guaranteed to get along with other members of the same household. Sometimes, it will challenge bigger dogs, which won’t necessarily end well for it. Other times, it might react negatively when interacting with a human child, particularly if it is poorly trained while the latter doesn’t know how to interact with smaller dogs.
5. English Foxhound
Unsurprisingly, the English Foxhound is a close relative of the American Foxhound. Despite their physical differences, the two dog breeds are also similar in several respects. For example, the English Foxhound is also an active dog that needs room to run around in, particularly if it comes from a working line rather than a show line. Similarly, the English Foxhound is so pack-oriented that it needs the company of others. Humans are good, but other dogs are even better for this purpose. As always, training and socialization are critical for minimizing the chances of any potential issues coming up.
Greyhounds are sighthounds. As such, it makes sense for them to be fast-moving animals. Amusingly, Greyhounds aren’t as energetic as what one would expect based on that. Generally speaking, these dogs are on the low-energy end of things. They need daily walks, but they are happy to spend most of their time lazing around. Something that isn’t true for more energetic dog breeds.
Of course, laziness isn’t the most persuasive selling point, so it stands to reason that Greyhounds have more of them. One, they are good-natured and gentle-mannered dogs. Two, they are relatively easy to train, though interested individuals should remember they are sensitive animals. Three, Greyhounds are very friendly to humans, but their attitude towards cats and other small animals is more variable. Some of these dogs can get along with those animals. Others cannot. Either way, the right training plus the right socialization are extremely beneficial for these and other issues.
7. Hamilton Hound
Given its name, people might guess that the Hamilton Hound is a dog breed from the English-speaking part of the world. That isn’t the case. Instead, National Purebred Dog Day says the Hamilton Hound is a Swedish dog breed that can trace its roots to Great Britain and other European countries.
As the story goes, a Swedish nobleman named Count Adolf Patrik Hamilton created the dog by using imported dogs. Some of those imported dogs came from Great Britain, which might have been acquired through family connections because the man was of English and Scottish descent. Unfortunately, it isn’t clear what those dogs were. One possibility is foxhounds. Another is Harriers. Whichever the case, both of those dogs are related to Beagles, thus explaining the Beagle-like look of the Hamilton Hound.
Personality-wise, the Hamilton Hound stands out from many of the other dogs on this list. That is because it hunted either alone or in pairs, meaning it operated differently from other dogs that hunted in packs. Even now, the Hamilton Hound has a reputation for being more solitary, which is a good thing for people who want a dog but don’t necessarily want to spend all of their time with that dog. In any case, the Hamilton Hound does have other characteristics that make it well-suited for being a pet. It is a pleasant dog with a fair amount of fondness for its human family members. Moreover, even though it is more independent-minded, interested individuals can coax it into doing what they want it to do.
One of the easiest ways to distinguish between a Beagle and a Foxhound would be the dog’s size. Essentially, Beagles are much smaller than Foxhounds at an average height of 13 to 16 inches. Harriers are bigger than Beagles but smaller than Foxhounds, as shown by how they have an average height of 19 to 21 inches. Oftentimes, these dogs are described as bulked-up Beagles, particularly since they are noticeably muscular and big-boned.
Harriers are also similar to Beagles when it comes to their personalities. These dogs tend to be cheerful and affectionate towards humans, so much so that they are even capable of getting along well with children. Unfortunately, people need to be more careful about their Harriers interacting with small animals. It isn’t unheard of for these dogs to go after small animals because of their strong prey drive. Still, the chances of that happening are much reduced when people raise these dogs alongside those small animals from puppyhood. That means people should also keep their Harriers on a leash when walking them, lest their dogs go running off after something interesting.
9. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are another dog that is extremely popular in modern times. Daily Paws states that they have been the United States’ most popular dog for three decades and counting. That record says much about the regard shown to these dogs. Moreover, that regard didn’t just come out of nowhere. After all, Labrador Retrievers have a winning trifecta of affection, intelligence, and enthusiasm. As a result, they excel as guide dogs, rescue dogs, and other working roles. For that matter, if people just want a canine companion, they could do much worse than Labrador Retrievers.
10. Rhodesian Ridgeback
Dogtime states the Rhodesian Ridgeback traces its roots to a couple of sources. One, it descends from African dogs. In particular, there were the ridged dogs of the Khoikhoi people, who are native to Southwestern Africa. Supposedly, these dogs were fearless animals, thus making them invaluable as guard dogs and hunting dogs. Two, the Rhodesian Ridgeback descends from European imports. Many of these imports were hunting dogs. However, the Rhodesian Ridgeback also descends from the Dogo Cubano, which was popular for dogfighting because of its extreme aggression.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is nowhere near as problematic as the Dogo Cubano. If it was, it might be as extinct as its ancestor because it was reputedly so aggressive that people found it challenging to get the males and females to mate with one another. Instead, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is much more similar to its hunting dog ancestors in its smarts and its loyalty. These dogs are suspicious of strangers, but unless something has gone seriously wrong, these dogs shouldn’t be aggressive for no reason whatsoever.
Still, interested individuals shouldn’t get a Rhodesian Ridgeback unless they have previous experience. It isn’t impossible to make such a relationship work. The problem is two-fold. First, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are big enough and powerful enough that messing them up will cause serious complications in the future. Second, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are more sensitive than they seem, meaning they need fair but firm treatment from someone who can win their trust.