Beagle vs Chihuahua: A Detailed Breed Comparison

Beagles and Chihuahuas are two of the popular breeds many American families go for. If both of them have a good upbringing, they can easily get along with almost anyone! However, it is important to know that these two dog breeds are different in so many ways such as in appearance and temperament.

Nevertheless, they are great companions who will be forever devoted to their owners. You’ll never have a day to laze around in their presence as their bubbly personalities will make your home busier and your happiness fuller! 

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For a fulfilling life with a dog pet, making the right decision in choosing your perfect furry partner is essential. With that, we are going to weigh up in detail the uniqueness of the Beagle and the Chihuahua. Let’s find out!

Breed Origins


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It has been widely accepted knowledge that Beagles come from the United Kingdom (UK). This information refers more to the developed breed rather than the older Beagles due to insufficient records and documents that could lead us to where exactly did this dog come from. Speculations, however,  point us to Greece where dogs of the same appearance existed. 

The journey of knowing the Beagles was quite the same as most other dogs we know. They came to prominence and then they got imported to the United States (US). Later on, in the 20th century, Beagles started to become the top choice as family pets.


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The origin of Chihuahua is full of theories as well, but the majority of the people strongly associate this dog with the country of Mexico. Not only is this small canine considered the national symbol of the said homeland but people believe that Chihuahuas came into existence through the Spanish traders from China.

The small hairless dogs they’ve brought with them back home were crossbred with small native dogs.

Another belief is that Chihuahuas originally came from Central or South America. In the early 9th century, the Toltec civilization used to include Techichi dogs in carved paintings and they strongly resembled the modern Chihuahua. When Aztecs conquered the Toltecs, the dog breed, later on, became an important addition to rituals due to their “mystical powers.” It was then in the 1500s when the Spanish took over the Aztecs and the Techichi dogs vanished into obscurity.

Size, Appearance, & Coloring


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Beagles are usually mistaken as Foxhounds, but what makes them distinct from each other is their size. Beagles are medium-sized pooches and are smaller than the other resembling dog. 

By appearance, Beagles are sturdy in build, with broad yet slightly domed skulls. Their ears are wide, droopy, and could easily reach the tip of their noses. Their muzzles are typically squarish and their expressive soulful eyes can be brown or hazel. One remarkable physical trait that Beagles have which is considered to be helpful during the hunt is their white-tipped tails that are slightly curved and erect. 

Amazingly, there are 25 coat color combinations for this breed. The black, tan, and white are by so far the most popular tri-color combo while the red and the tan are considered the rarest. At least 6 markings are recognized too which are ticked, black, brown, spotted, tan, and white markings.


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Chihuahuas are perhaps the smallest of all dog breeds! Generally, his body is longer than his height and the puppies have large floppy ears that eventually stand straight once they mature.

There are two kinds of Chihuahuas: the shorthaired and the longhaired. Aside from the obvious difference in coats, the other physical features remain the same. Commonly, they have dome-shaped heads although a few of them have deer-shaped skulls. The eye color seems to depend on the coat shade ranging from dark brown to green! Blue eyes often occur once in a while, however, show rings consider it to be faulty. As for the tail, it is described to be like that of a sickle- it curves slightly upward giving the whole appearance a balanced look. 

When it comes to coat colors, Chihuahuas enjoy a wide range of possibilities. There are 28 AKC-recognized coatings and 11 markings. The very common ones are black, fawn, chocolate, cream, and fawn.



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Despite the size, Beagles can surpass most larger-sized canines when it comes to energy! They have an endless thirst for adventure and would either love to play outside or practice their hunting skills. Most owners have shared that their Beagles tend to dig their way up out a fenced yard, so monitoring them whenever they are out is crucial. Their powerful noses can lead them anywhere!

With proper socialization training, Beagles won’t have any problem making friends with other dogs or mingling with kids. Just as long as those around him are gentle, the soft-hearted canine won’t run toward you for help. Moreover, this is the type of dog you can’t leave alone without company or else it will result in howling, barking, and chewing off shoes and furniture.


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The Chi has the personality of a big dog. He can be bossy at times and would forget that he’s small, so confrontations might occur especially if he’s mixed with a more dominant canine. For some, Chis are considered to be evil, dangerous, and feisty. However, this is only a stereotype that resulted from mating two bad-tempered Chis. 

Just like the Beagle, this small doggy loves receiving affection. He doesn’t have any struggles when it comes to socializing with other dogs as well. The only giveaway when it comes to dealing with a Chi is that you have to handle him with immense care. He can’t be placed in higher places as he might fall and that could cause him injury.

Trainability and Intelligence Level


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Beagles are highly intelligent and skilled hunters. They know how to assess every situation so they could successfully catch the fleeing prey. Since they are naturally independent, training might not be an easy process for them. Expect this breed to get easily distracted, especially when their extremely sensitive noses could pick up different scents. 

However, if you incorporate positive reinforcements during skill-learning such as food rewards, your Beagle will be motivated to cooperate.


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Chihuahuas have a big brain-to-body size ratio compared to most dog breeds we know of. However, Stanley Coren puts this dog in the below-average rank in his book, “The Intelligence of Dogs”. This does not automatically mean that Chis are dumb! These tiny dogs are known to have instinctive and adaptive intelligence and they do not score low in the empathy test. Moreover, they could understand words and are capable of working and being obedient.

It is necessary to take note that every Chihuahua is an individual. Some are trainable while some will try to defy you by not listening to your commands. Overall, it still boils down to their genetics and how they are brought up.

Activity Level


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A 60-minute daily exercise divided into smaller sessions is what a Beagle needs. This dog could have lots of pent-up energy if he’s just at home laying around and has nothing to do. In turn, he might end up showing destructive behaviors such as peeing in inappropriate places or howling nonstop. 

If you are a fitness junky, the Beagle is a perfect companion! He can cope with vigorous and long walks and jogs without showing any signs of exhaustion in the first few minutes.


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Just like the Beagle, the Chis love to be moving around a lot whether outside or just inside your home. The difference, however, is that Chis can laze around with his owner for hours and not exhibit bad behavior. Despite that, they still love being preoccupied with fun and exciting games!

In giving your Chihuahua an activity to keep him busy, it is important to see which would suit him. Although he has high levels of energy, he shouldn’t be too exhausted. A good 15 to 30 minutes of burning excess fat would suffice.

Living Condition

Both Chihuahua and Beagle breeds are good apartment dogs.. They are compact and they can adjust well to their environment. Bringing them outside and letting them socialize with other dogs is still a prerequisite. 

Beagles have to be given the chance to get their noses working from time to time. Ideally, the Beagles should have yards for them to play in. Chihuahuas on the other hand, simply need to be exposed outside and improve their social skills.

Maintenance Level

Generally, the Beagle and the Chi are low-maintenance dogs. Just by providing them basic care such as grooming and providing them high-quality food, they surely will enjoy the rest of their lives with you. It will only start becoming expensive to own either one of them if your doggy experiences health issues. 

Health Issues


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With a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years, a Beagle is considered a generally healthy dog. Particular diseases can strike him, however, especially if he has been a result of puppy mills. Also, even if you got him from a reputable breeder, he can still develop illnesses which are why regular vet visits are important. Here are the common health problems he might have:

  • Distichiasis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cherry eye
  • keratoconjunctivitis sicca


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Just like any other dog breed, Chihuahuas are prone to various medical issues. These often occur on his mouth, teeth, gums, and other vulnerable areas in his body. Here are some of the medical conditions every Chihuahua owner should know about:

  • Luxating patella
  • Hypoglycemia
  • hydrocephalus
  • Tooth and gum disease

Breed Popularity

Both breeds are prominently popular in different parts of the US. While the Chihuahua consistently gets himself in the 33rd rank, the Beagle also strongly retains the 6th spot. Beagles are what most families usually go for while Hollywood celebrities are more inclined to get and spoil a Chihuahua dog.

Best Breed Companion

Are you thinking of getting a new family addition aside from your Beagle or Chihuahua? Take note that not all breeds are compatible with each other. To help you decide better, here are the other canines you can get as a companion for your pet.


  1. Greyhound
  2. Labrador
  3. Golden Retriever
  4. Airedale Terrier
  5. Cocker Spaniels
  6. Another Beagle
  7. Boxer
  8. Dachshund
  9. Poodle
  10. Great Dane


  1. Boston terrier
  2. Another Chihuahua
  3. Chinese Crested
  4. French Bulldog
  5. Italian Greyhound
  6. Miniature Pinscher
  7. Saluki
  8. Whippet
  9. Yorkshire Terrier
  10.  Pug

Fun Facts


  1. Beagles are one of the most vocal breeds!
  2. They are small but terrible canines.
  3. Beagles are known for their soulful eyes.
  4. Queen Elizabeth had a lot of Pocket Beagles.
  5. Beagles are the top hunting companions!


  1. On Cinco de Mayo, many cities celebrate the Chihuahua.
  2. The common dental problem a Chi could have is teeth crowding.
  3. The Chihuahua is one of the oldest recognized breeds.
  4. Chihuahuas are great as fashion dogs due to their natural classy aura and glam looks.
  5. Chihuahuas may have a difficult time giving birth due to their small pelvis. 

Which Dog Breed Is Better?

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Both dog breeds are great in their rights. Although they have obvious differences, both the Beagle and the Chihuahua are great family additions! They are devoted, loving, affectionate, and fun to have. Both have quirky attitudes which are surely entertaining to watch. 

If by aesthetics, you highly prefer a feisty and strong look, perhaps the Chihuahua will suit you better. If you prefer a calm and softer appearance, the Beagle is the dog breed to go for. Moreover, it isn’t just the dog’s personality and features that must be evaluated for decision-making. You also have to see if your lifestyle would satisfy the canine.