Beagle vs German Shepherd: Which is the Right Dog for You?

German shepherds and beagles are both loving, affectionate dogs that hate being left alone.

German Shepherds will be more willing to please than beagles, as beagles are known to be stubborn!

Both breeds are good choices for families, although beagles may be better since they love to snuggle.

German shepherds and beagles have different sizes and appearances, but their outgoing natures and high energy levels are similar.

But before choosing one of the two (or both!), you should consider the different things that define these unique breeds. Try picking a breed that fits well into your lifestyle and family dynamic.

For someone looking for smart, friendly dogs, either a beagle or German shepherd could be the perfect companion pet.

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German Shepherds Vs Beagles: Appearance

Beagles

Beagles are a small dog breed, and there’s actually two different beagle varieties.

One stands between 13 and 15 inches tall, while the other is 13 inches tall at most. Beagles weigh between 20 and 30 pounds, so they won’t require as much space as larger dogs.

Beagles have a solid build, a long, erect tail, long floppy ears, and a broad face. Most people picture beagles with a short tan, black, and white coat, which is common.

However, beagles can have a variety of colorings, including lemon, bluetick, and red. Some dogs may even be either spotted or a solid color, although these varieties aren’t recognized as standard.

German Shepherds

German shepherds are quite a bit bigger than beagles. They stand between 22 and 26 inches tall and weigh between 50 and 90 pounds.

Male German shepherds are a bit larger than females. German shepherds have muscular bodies that slope from the head down to the tail, which is held low.

The German shepherd’s long, narrow face and pointed ears give it the appearance of elegance and strength.

Their coats, which can be either short or fluffy, are usually black and tan. German shepherds can also be blue, silver, red, sable, white, gray, cream, or two of those colors at once.

NameAppearanceBreed HistoryPersonality & TemperamentCoat CareSizeExercise & TrainingHealth & Life ExpectancyKid Friendly?
German Shepherdgerman-shepherdBred in Germany by Max von Stephanitz in the late 1800s to be versatile working dogs. 2nd most popular companion canine in America.3rd most intelligent of all dog breeds. High energy & intelligence levels. Extremely loyal, and even prone to separation anxiety.Shed heavily year-round and seasonally. Medium-length double layer coat. Regular brushing is required.Weighs 50-90 lbs, stands 22-26 inches tall.Needs 1-2 hours daily exercise, and regimented socialization & training.Lifespan: 9-13 years. Common health issues: Dysplasia (hip, elbow), Temperament, Eye issues, Cardiac issues, Autoimmune thyroiditis, Degenerative myelopathy.Yes - IF properly trained.
BeagleBeagle DogKnown for their strong sense of smell, making them great hunters. 6th most popular purebred dog breed in America. In the UK, it is a favorite hunting dog.Exceptional temperaments. Love rough play with both kids and adults. Brave, intelligent, friendly.Sheds year-round and seasonally. Shedding will increase during warmer months.Medium-sized, perfect size for house dogs. A male Beagle can grow up to 15 inches tall, and can weigh up to 30 pounds. A female Beagle can grow up to 13 inches tall, and can weigh up to 28 pounds.Needs 1-2 hours daily exercise and activity. Start puppy socialization & training ASAP as beagles are known to be stubborn.Lifespan of up to 16 years. Can be prone to genetic (heritable) health issues: diabetes, heart murmur, intervertebral disc disease, and hip dysplasia.Beagles LOVE being part of a family, and are known to have separation anxieties. They get along great with kids.

Training 

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Beagles

Beagles are smart dogs, but they can also be quite stubborn. Anyone with a pet beagle will need to commit to an early and strict obedience training schedule.

Beagles are also known for ignoring commands, so more creative training methods may be needed.

This video offers some creative and effective training techniques.

Beagles are not quiet dogs. They often bark at anyone who comes to the door, and are known for their howling abilities.

However, good training can help to curb these tendencies. In addition, keeping a dog occupied and ensuring they aren’t bored can help limit barking.

German Shepherds

German shepherds are highly intelligent, which makes them easy to train. However, these dogs will only respect and obey an owner who they see as alpha. They will need firm but fair training from an early age.

This training will need to continue into their adult life in order to keep the dog’s mind engaged and active.

German shepherds are not generally considered to be loud and will only bark if they feel they need to alert their owner.

Good Family Dogs?

Beagles

Beagles are known as some of the friendliest, most outgoing dogs. This makes them an excellent choice for a family with children.

Beagles also get along well with other family dogs, but keeping them around cats can be a challenge. They can learn to get along with cats, but their hunting instincts may also make them want to chase them.

German Shepherds

German shepherds are not known to be quite as friendly with people, particularly when it comes to strangers.

However, these dogs are extremely loyal and are usually very devoted to their owners and families. They can also be incredibly protective.

GSDs will need to be socialized well when they are young in order to avoid territorial or protective issues that can emerge later on.

German shepherds that are not well-socialized may become nervous and try to guard their owners, which can lead to aggression problems.

They are sometimes wary around other dogs that they don’t know, but usually get along well with other family dogs. These pups are also generally good with cats or other pets.

Original Breed Purpose

German Shepherds

German shepherds are descendants from several varieties of herding dogs. In the late 1800s, Captain Max von Stephanitz decided to create the ideal German herding dog and began breeding several different varieties.

Other breeders around the country followed suit, and the German shepherd breed was created.

Today, German shepherds are generally not used as herding dogs. Instead, they work well as police or military canines, and can be good service dogs.

Beagles

Beagles, on the other hand, are hunting dogs. They were often used to hunt in packs but were just as commonly solo hunting dogs, used by people who preferred to hunt on foot.

Beagles also have excellent senses of smell. Aside from using this skill for hunting, beagles can be trained to detect certain things, such as drugs.

The exact origins of the beagle breed are unknown. They came from England and, according to Vet Street, the word “beagle” was first used in 1475.

Beagles during that time were often very different from each other in appearance and abilities. It wasn’t until the 1800s that owners began selectively breeding these dogs in order to create a breed standard.

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Are Beagles and German Shepherds Energetic?

Both beagles and German shepherds can be energetic. Because they are smaller, however, beagles usually get enough exercise on long walks through the neighborhood. These walks will most likely be slow, as the dog will want to stop and sniff everything.

German shepherds, on the other hand, love exercising and will need to do so frequently. They enjoy long walks, running, or even hikes, and they also benefit from having a large area to play in.

These dogs also enjoy being mentally stimulated, so it’s important to include daily training challenges and games.

It’s crucial that enough exercise and mental stimulation is given to both beagles and German shepherds.

Bored or restless dogs will find ways to entertain themselves, and this often turns into destructive behaviors like chewing or digging.

Grooming

Beagles

Beagles are actually very clean dogs. They don’t drool and their short fur is easy to care for. An occasional bath, brushing, and claw clipping is all they need when it comes to routine maintenance.

In addition, beagles generally don’t give off the canine odor that many other dogs have.

German Shepherds

German shepherds require a bit more care than beagles. Their coats can be very thick, so they will need to be brushed frequently.

According to Dog Breed Info, daily grooming will most likely be a necessity, even in German shepherds with short coats.

German shepherds will also need a bath occasionally, but baths should not be given too frequently. Frequently bathing a German shepherd can lead to skin problems such as irritation and dryness.

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Common Health Problems

Beagles

Beagles are a relatively hardy dog, but like nearly any breed, they are sometimes more prone to certain conditions.

Hip dysplasia and issues with the spine are sometimes seen in beagles. In addition, beagles tend to be more susceptible to allergies, diabetes, and some seizure disorders.

Beagles are also more likely to experience ear infections simply because of the size of their ears.

Beagle owners will need to keep an eye on their dogs and be on the lookout for excessive scratching at the ears, as this could be a sign of infection.

German Shepherds

Similar to beagles, German shepherds are also quite prone to joint issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia.

They sometimes suffer from digestive issues or bloat, and usually need to have their food elevated when they eat. These dogs may also be more susceptible to skin problems such as hot spots and eczema.

German shepherds can also be more prone to von Willebrand disease, which is a blood condition.

According to PetMD, this condition is a genetic disease that inhibits clotting, which can lead to excessive bleeding if a dog has an injury.

The condition isn’t usually life-threatening, but dogs that have von Willebrand disease will need to be watched carefully, and may at some point require a transfusion.

Maintaining a healthy diet, ensuring your dog receives plenty of exercises, and scheduling routine veterinary visits can help to reduce the risks of these conditions.

When considering a purebred dog, it’s also important to only purchase from reputable breeders. This will help to ensure that the puppies are as healthy as possible.

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How Long Do Beagles Live Compared to German Shepherds?

Beagles usually live for between 10 and 15 years. German shepherds, on the other hand, tend to live for between 10 and 13 years. A good diet and a healthy exercise schedule can help to ensure that dogs live longer, healthier lives.

Good Apartment Dogs?

German Shepherds

Surprisingly, German shepherds actually make great apartment pets when they are properly trained.

As long as the German shepherd is offered a good amount of exercise, they are calm and quiet dogs that don’t mind spending time indoors cuddled up with their owners.

Beagles

Despite their size, beagles are not ideal apartment dogs. Although they may not mind the limited space of the apartment, these dogs can be very loud.

Training a beagle not to occasionally bark or howl is almost impossible. However, they don’t generally bark continuously, so their loud noises only happen in short bursts.

Beagle vs German Shepherd: Are These The Right Dog Companions for You?

If you are searching for a great companion pet, either a beagle or German shepherd may be a perfect choice.

German shepherds are the ideal dog for someone willing to devote time to strenuous training and socializing of the dog. These dogs will also need a firm alpha leader.

They are a good choice for families, as they are gentle but also very loyal and protective.

A good German shepherd owner will need to be willing to spend time exercising their dogs. GSDs will also require daily brushing, which can be excellent bonding time for owners and their pets.

Beagles are a smaller dog, so they require less space, but they are actually not as compatible in homes like apartments.

Beagles will also require a strong alpha leader who can adapt to their stubborn natures. The ideal beagle owner is someone who can keep a beagle’s attention, and make training fun and exciting every day.

Beagles are great family dogs, as they are incredibly friendly and get along well with children. They will also alert their owners to anyone who comes to the door, although they are not as protective as German shepherds.

Beagles also require less daily maintenance than German shepherds. They only occasionally need brushing and are generally clean dogs.

This makes them a good option for anyone who isn’t interested in spending a lot of time grooming.

In the end, choosing one of the two breeds will come down to personal preference as they both make great family pets!

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