English Beagle vs American Beagle: Key Differences Explored

English vs. American Beagle: What are the Differences?

Although there is only one standard Beagle breed, this popular dog varies slightly in appearance between the United States and England. The differences are so subtle that you might not notice them at first glance, but they are there. Let’s take a closer look at the English and American Beagle breeds to see what makes them each unique.

This blog post looks at the differences between English and American Beagles. It covers their physical appearance, energy levels, and temperament.

10 Differences Between English Beagle and the American Beagle breed You Didn’t Know

Here are 10 key differences between American and English Beagles that you should be aware of:

1. Size

Beagles are a medium-length dog breed. As per American Kennel Club (AKC) standards, and should ideally measure between 13 and 16 inches at the shoulder. However, English Beagles are larger and can grow up to 15 inches tall.

The American and English Beagle varieties weigh approximately 20-30 pounds, and the latter is bulkier. While this is a major difference, you might not notice it until you see them side by side.

2. Coat and Color

The coat of an English Beagle is short, dense, and hard. They come in various colors, including black, lemon, red, white, and tricolor. The most common color combination is black and tan. The American Beagle has a short coat that is softer and has a silky texture.

They are available in similar colors as the English Beagle, but their most popular coat color is tri-color. The English version has short, dense, weatherproof coats that protect them against the cold.

3. Head and Skull

The most notable difference between these two types of Beagles is their head shape. The American Beagles have a rounder head, whereas the same breed in English condition sports a slightly longer and narrow skull.

Looking at them from the front, their noses are also shaped differently. The English Beagle has a straighter bridge, while the American version has a more noticeable curve. The upper teeth in the English condition are positioned close to the lower teeth and set square to the jaw.

4. Ear Size

One of the most noticeable differences between the breeds is their ear size. The ears of an American Beagle are relatively small compared to those of its English counterpart.

Furthermore, the English Beagle’s ears are set higher on its head, while the American Beagle’s ears sit lower. This difference is largely due to the different proportions of their skulls.

5. Body structure

For the American Beagle, a dog’s shoulders should be sloping–clean, muscular, and not too heavy or loaded. This conveys the idea of freedom of action with activity and strength. The chest should be deep and broad but not so broad that it interferes with the free play of the shoulders. Defects include Straight, upright shoulders; Chest disproportionately wide or lacking depth.

The English Beagle should have a topline that is level and straight. The chest should be let down below the elbow. The ribs should be well sprung and extending well back. They may be short in the couplings, but they should be well balanced.

The English Beagle also has a more substantial bone structure. This is evident in their legs, which are shorter and sturdier than the American Beagles.

6. Tail

The Beagle breed has many amazing features, such as colors and ears. However, its tail is one physical trait that sets this breed apart from others. American and English Beagles have long, thick, and furry tails. There are differences because American Beagles are bred for hunting, and their tails are used to signal other dogs–straight tails are easier to see from a distance.

The American Beagle’s tail is set moderately high and carried cheerfully but not turned forward over the back. It should be straight, with just a slight curve permitted. The English version has a similar tail, although it is slightly longer and has a more pronounced curve. This tail is covered in hair, with a heavier coat on its underside.

7. Temperament

Despite their physical differences, American and English Beagles share the same friendly, curious, and happy-go-lucky temperament. They are excellent family dogs and love spending time with their human companions.

Beagles are also known for being determined, independent, and stubborn. They are intelligent dogs that are quick learners but can be difficult to train due to their strong hunting instincts.

What makes Beagles such lovable companions is their cheerful disposition and tail-wagging personality. They are outgoing dogs that enjoy meeting new people and poking their noses into everything.

8. Exercise Needs

Both American and English Beagles require a moderate amount of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They are active dogs that love going on walks, playing fetch, and exploring their surroundings.

Beagles have a strong hunting instinct and love to follow their noses. This means they need plenty of space to run and roam. A Beagle that doesn’t get enough exercise is likely to become bored, destructive, and overweight.

9. Lifespan

With proper care and nutrition, both American and English Beagles can enjoy a long and healthy life. The average lifespan of an American Beagle is 12-15 years, while the English Beagle typically lives 10-12 years.

10. Health Concerns

American and English Beagles are relatively healthy dogs with few major health concerns. However, some conditions are more common in the breed, such as hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and epilepsy.

Beagles are also susceptible to weight gain, so it’s important to ensure they get enough exercise and eat a healthy diet. Overweight Beagles risk developing joint problems, heart disease, and diabetes.

Final Words

There is only one breed of Beagles. The slight difference between English and American beagles is a matter of breeding preference and adoption. However, these two dogs share the same essential features: a small yet sturdy build, big floppy ears, and a happy-go-lucky personality.

Whether you choose an American or English Beagle, you will have a loyal and loving companion. These dogs are active dogs that need plenty of exercises but enjoy spending time cuddling with their favorite people. Beagles are intelligent dogs that can be stubborn but also quick learners.

We hope you have enjoyed learning about the differences between American and English Beagles. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below.


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