Beagle vs. Golden Retriever (and the Top Dog Is…?)

If you’re thinking about getting a dog, you may have found yourself at a crossroads where you’re torn between a Beagle and a Golden Retriever. Beagles and a Golden Retrievers are two highly popular breeds that are often considered when looking for a new household pet. They are both sweet dogs, but depending on your tastes, needs, and lifestyle, one breed or the other will be the better choice for you. When it comes to comparing a Beagle vs Golden Retriever, which dog comes out on top?

When comparing a Beagle vs. a Golden Retriever, you should choose a Beagle if you want a smaller dog with medium exercise requirements, and minimum grooming needs. You should choose a Golden Retriever if you want an intelligent, affectionate dog that is highly trainable and loves the outdoors.

Given their different character traits, the dog breed you’ll eventually choose mainly depends on what you are looking for in a canine. To guide you, we’ve compiled a list of the differences between a Beagle and a Golden Retriever to see which dog takes the lead.

Beagle vs. Golden Retriever

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CharacteristicThe Winning Breed is…
AppearancePersonal Preference
PersonalityGolden Retriever
TrainableGolden Retriever
Nutritional NeedsTie
Exercise NeedsBeagle
Grooming RequirementsBeagle
Beagle vs. Golden Retriever at a glance

Beagle vs. Golden Retriever: General Appearance

Just as we have a general attraction to a certain look in a human being, we have different preferences of a canine’s general appearance. There is nothing wrong with that, and it helps you determine what dog breed is right for you. So let’s take a look at the physical attributes of these two dog breeds.

Physical Attributes of the Beagle

A Beagle breed dog runs through the grass.

Discover how to train your Golden Retriever by playing games: 21 games to play with your Golden that will make them smarter and better behaved!

Beagles are muscular, solid canines with a slightly domed skull, a broad nose, squarish muzzle, and long droopy ears. They have a straight back, a deep, broad chest, and a long tail, which they often carry high (maybe to show off).

To complement their outstanding physique is a short, flat, smooth, and dense coat that comes in a blend of black, tan, and white.

Female Beagles have an average height of 13 inches (33 cm), while males are a little bit taller at 15 inches (38 cm). Additionally, their weight generally falls between 18-30 lbs (8-13 kgs) and they have an average life expectancy of 12-15 years.

Physical Attributes of the Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever running

Golden Retrievers are a medium to large-sized dog known for their beautiful fur coat. Golden’s have a deep, broad chest with a well-balanced body covered by a water repellent double coat, which is either flat or wavy, and comes in different shades of gold and red.

An outstanding highlight in this breed of dog is the long feathering of fur on the legs, neck, thighs, tail, and underside.

Male goldens stand about 24 inches (60 cm) tall, weighing about 65-75 lbs (29-32kgs), while females have a height of 22 inches (56 cm) and weigh between 55-65 lbs (25-29 kgs). They have a life expectancy of 10-12 years.

Recommended Reading: The World of Golden Retriever Coat Colors (with Pictures!)

Beagle vs. Golden Retriever: Personality Traits

The Beagle breed is considered friendly and curious. They are affectionate, and are good with children and other pets. These dogs prefer company, and if left alone, can be destructive with a high tendency to bark. They like to snuggle, but can also be very stubborn.

A Golden Retriever’s general personality is friendly, intelligent, devoted, even-tempered, affectionate, and playful. A Golden is a wonderful family dog and will get along with every member of the family. They also get along well with kids, strangers and other pets.

Golden’s are eager to please, which is attributed to their easy going nature. They don’t bark a lot, and most of them lack the instincts of a guard dog, so you shouldn’t rely on them to protect your home. However, depending on their training, some learn to alert you when a stranger is approaching.

In the personality traits category, both breeds are affectionate and loving. Neither breed likes to be left home alone, but a Beagle may bark and act out more than a Golden. If we factor in the ‘stubbornness’ of a Beagle and the ‘ready to please’ attitude of a Golden, Goldens Retrievers take the win in this category.

Training a Beagle vs. Golden Retriever

Training is essential for a dog to integrate seemlessly into your household. Due to their stubbornness, Beagles are sometimes difficult to train, especially for novice dog owners. However, this doesn’t mean they are untrainable; but it does mean you’ll need to put in more effort and time in training.

Golden Retrievers, on the other hand, are always ready to please their owners and are cooperative during training, making them one of the easiest breeds to train. Training a Golden is much easier than training a Beagle, and as a result, Beagles are not recommended for first-time dog owners.

The Golden Retriever also takes the lead in this category.

Recommended Reading: 15 Reasons Golden Retrievers Are Great First Time Dogs!

Golden Retriever or Beagle?

Nutritional Needs of a Beagle vs. Golden Retriever

Both Beagles and Golden Retrievers require a nutritious diet. Whether purchased or home-prepared, your canine friend needs a balanced diet with low proteins and fats, moderate carbohydrates, and a high amount of vitamins and minerals. Your pup also needs plenty of water to stay hydrated.

However, not every food, especially human food, is safe for a Beagle or a Golden to consume. You should avoid foods such as:

  • Cat food
  • Dairy products
  • Fatty foods
  • Raw meat or eggs
  • Avocados
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Unripe tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeinated drinks

These foods can have detrimental effects on your pup’s health.

The dietary needs are similar in both breeds, and you’ll want to make sure to feed a high quality food like Blue Buffalo Life Protection (Amazon) which is made from natural ingredients and contains ‘meat’ as the first ingredient.

Since both dogs are prone to obesity, you’ll need guard against over feeding and limit their intake of fatty foods.

Recommended Reading: How Much To Feed a Golden Retriever Daily (Puppy, Adult, Senior)

A Beagle vs. Golden Retriever: Exercise Needs

Beagles are a lot of fun to be with, and are a great companion dog. They love company, so playing or exercising with them is always enjoyable. If you’re looking for a moderately active buddy, then I highly recommend a Beagle!

When taking walks or running with your Beagle, make sure to keep him on a leash. Given that Beagles are a scent hound breed (this means they have strong hunting/ smell instincts), your pooch might not be able to resist the compelling urge to run off after a particularly inviting scent.

If you’re looking for a big, friendly dog to keep you company in a more active lifestyle, then a Golden Retriever might be just what you need. These dogs were bred as “sport dogs” and excel when it comes to fishing or hunting and spending time in the great outdoors.

Because of this, a Golden will require a lot of exercise. You’ll need to walk or exercise your Golden Retriever at least an hour a day. This is something to consider if you have a busy schedule.

If you lead and active lifestyle, and have time to exercise with your dog, a Golden Retriever is the perfect choice; however, if your schedule is tight, a Beagle might be the ideal furry friend for you.
If you just can’t decide, how about one of each 🙂

Grooming a Beagle vs. Golden Retriever

Beagles have a short fur coat and are considered moderate shedders. They shed throughout the year, but shed more heavily in the spring and fall.

It’s important to brush their coat weekly to remove any loose hair and encourage new growth. These dogs don’t need regular bathing unless they get themselves into something messy.

Golden Retrievers, on the other hand, shed a lot more than Beagles. As a result, they need regular grooming and baths every few weeks. The more often you brush a Golden Retriever, the less hair you will have rolling around in your house.

When it comes to grooming requirements, a Beagle requires far less, and takes the lead in this category.


So which is the better dog – a Beagle or Golden Retriever? As in most things it comes down to personal preference.

  • If you’re looking for an intelligent, loving and easily trainable dog, then a Golden Retriever is hard to beat.
  • On the other hand, a Beagle is awfully cute, comes in a smaller package, and requires less grooming and exercising.

Check Out These Other Breed Comparisons at Loyal Goldens


Bryan Mullennix

Bryan's a freelance travel photographer and happy dog dad. He currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife, his son, and two dogs Nom Nom & Speck.

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