Beagle, Cocker Spaniel

Beagle vs Cocker Spaniel Comparison Guide

At A Glance

Are you torn between a cocker spaniel and a beagle?

We compare the two breeds using more than 15 important factors from size to coats to personality so that you can find the breed that’s right for you.

Are you torn between a beagle vs cocker spaniel?

Cocker Spaniels are beloved companions who are a treat for the eye and heart. They are intelligent and known for their gorgeous feathery coats. Beagles, on the other hand, are popular, smart, and lovable. Their cheerfulness is infectious. They are among the most popular breeds in the United States.

Confused about which breed suits you the best? This guide should help you see things more clearly.

Beagle vs Cocker Spaniel Comparison

Beagle Cocker Spaniel
Lifespan 12-15 Years 12-15 Years
Size Medium MediumCoat
Coat Short, weatherproof, double coats Thick and wavy
Shedding Average Average
Grooming Easy to groom Requires a lot of effort
Cost $500 to $800 $600 to $800
Maintenance Low High
Training Difficult to train Easy to train
Barking Barks a lot Barks a lot
Friendliness Playful Loving
Temperament Social Sweet and affectionate
Activity Levels High High
Intelligence Less intelligent More intelligent
Health Issues Healthy Healthy
Guard Dog Below average Below average


Dogs, in general, live for 10 to 13 years at best but some breeds live longer than others.

Both cocker spaniels and beagles have a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years. The deciding factor is the quality of life you provide your pooch but there are also other factors at play.

Beagles are an old breed that usually lives at least 12 years. The oldest known beagle lived a grand long life of 27 years! Small breeds tend to live longer lives while larger dogs get older quickly because they grow up comparatively faster. This sometimes leads to cancer, tumor, and other diseases that are related to aging.

This is why the Beagle is more likely to be with you for a longer period of time when compared to the Cocker Spaniel.

beagle dog


Which breed takes up more space and is easier to handle?

Smaller dogs aren’t automatically easier to handle. Although size can be a concern if you have space constraints. Both are medium-sized dogs. However, beagles also come in smaller sizes known as pocket beagles.

Beagles are small breeds that come in two sizes: 15 inches and 13 inches. A larger beagle can weigh up to 35 pounds while the smaller type weighs from 22 to 30 pounds.

Cocker spaniel males stand about 15 inches tall while the females are 14 inches tall. They weigh 24 to 28 pounds.

Physical Traits

Though they are both medium-sized dogs, cocker spaniels and beagles are physically very different. Let’s take a look at these differences so you can see which appeals more to you.


Beagles are muscular little hounds. They are solid dogs with a slightly domed skull. They have a broad nose and an almost square muzzle. Like a cocker spaniel, a beagle has long, floppy ears.

The chest of a beagle is deep, the back straight, and the moderately long tail is held high.

Cocker Spaniel

A well-groomed cocker spaniel is a sight to behold. Cocker spaniels are beautiful with their long, flowing, and silky coats and round, graceful heads. They have broad, square muzzles and their ears are long and feathered. Cocker spaniels’ tails are usually docked.

Cocker spaniels look regal with their backs sloping towards their tails.

Cocker Spaniel


The coat of the breed you choose is a major factor when deciding between a beagle vs cocker spaniel. They are not only different aesthetically but also have different maintenance needs.


Beagles have short, weatherproof double coats that are easy to maintain. They are smooth and dense. Beagles are usually black, tan, or white.

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels have thick, wavy coats that are short on the head and back. Their feathered coats wrap around their ears, legs, chest, and underside.

Cocker spaniels can be bi-colored, tricolored, and can even have one solid color like black, red, or tan. They can also be particolored, meaning two or more colors where one of the colors is white.

When it comes to maintaining coats, beagles’ coats are easier to manage. Maintaining the coat of a cocker spaniel is quite a task and can be costly.

Beagle dog with its fur


Shedding is natural, but no one likes to have fur all over the place. Beagle vs Cocker Spaniel, who sheds more?


Similar to cocker spaniels, beagles are moderate shedders. You can expect them to shed more hair during their shedding seasons as well.

Though they shed the same amount, beagles’ hair is of medium length and won’t be as apparent as that of cocker spaniels’.

When it comes to shedding, they both shed moderately. The only difference is since cocker spaniels’ coats are longer, you’re bound to notice their shedding more.

Cocker Spaniel

This beautiful breed has a double coat with medium to long silky hair and a soft undercoat beneath. While some cocker spaniels shed more than others, they are average shedders in general.

You can trim their long coats, but this won’t prevent shedding. You can expect them to shed more in spring and fall when you will need to brush their coat daily to remove excess hair.

Labrador dog getting checked by doctor


When it comes to choosing a breed, some people go for magnificent breeds that require a full-blown grooming routine and some people need more low-maintenance breeds.

Beagles and cocker spaniels have long, floppy ears that can restrict proper air circulation. This can lead to infections so both require weekly ear care.


The grooming needs of a beagle are less. It barely needs a bath since its short, weather-proof coat is easy to maintain.

All it needs is some regular grooming like brushing its coat a few times a week. This keeps dead hair from floating around your house and also promotes new, healthy hair growth.

Grooming a cocker spaniel is more intense compared to a beagle. If you are hesitant when it comes to substantial grooming, a beagle may be the better choice.

Cocker Spaniel

The elaborate coat of a cocker spaniel requires a full-blown grooming routine that is potentially expensive.

The feathery coat requires a couple of hours of weekly grooming to maintain its shape. You will also need to get your cocker spaniel’s coat professionally trimmed regularly.

Cocker Spaniel on bed


The costs involved in taking care of a dog involves everything from the food you feed it, vet expenses, grooming, training, and group lessons.

The cost of a beagle is around $500 to $800 while a cocker spaniel is around $600 to $800.

Your first year with a cocker spaniel will cost you around $2,530 and $1,330 for every year after. The average cost of owning a cocker spaniel throughout its lifetime is around $17,160.

Beagles, once bought, are relatively inexpensive to maintain.

So which breed is more expensive? Cocker spaniels, with their grooming sessions, are bound to be heavier on the pocket.

Cocker Spaniel dog holding hands with owner


Maintenance is part of caring for your dogs. Diligent maintenance will help them live in the healthiest possible way.

Beagle vs cocker spaniel, a cocker spaniel outdo beagle in this area because of their emotional and physical needs.

Beagle dog

Physical Needs

The gorgeous fur of a cocker spaniel requires a great deal of maintenance. Their eyes and ears are prone to infections and need to be checked regularly.

Beagles are low maintenance physically, but they do need a home with an enclosed yard. The wandering nose of a beagle has a tendency to lead it right out of your sight.

Cocker Spaniel emotional

Emotional Needs

Cocker spaniels are sensitive dogs that can get nervous and anxious. You need to provide a peaceful, stable environment for cocker spaniels to feel at ease. They cannot be left alone for too long.

Like cocker spaniels, beagles need your attention too. They are pack-oriented breeds that require constant interaction.

To help you meet both breeds’ need for attention, you can create a schedule for playing and interacting with them.

Beagle dog getting petted by owner


Training builds confidence in a dog while providing mental stimulation. When you train your dog, it strengthens your bond with them.

Let’s take a look at which breed is easier to train.


Beagles are smart but that doesn’t make training them easy. They are slow and can take up to a year to train. Beagles require patience, consistency, and positivity. They are more likely to follow their noses than your commands.

You need to be enthusiastic and appreciate them. Beagles love food. If you want your beagle’s attention during training, reward them with treats.

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker spaniels are smart, attentive dogs, and very easy to train. Once they learn what you expect from them, they will take every chance to please you.

However, you need to be consistent and follow a routine when training a cocker spaniel. This helps them feel secure. Rewards go a long way and you need to tell them they are doing well. Training sessions should be short, repetitive, and reward-based.

Cocker Spaniel dog barking


Barking and howling are dogs’ ways of communicating. They can be irritating particularly if your dog doesn’t stop barking. It’s therefore important to look at each breed’s barking tendencies.

Beagle is derived from the French word “bee gueule”, which means “wide throat.” This can also be interpreted as “loudmouth.” As you might already guess, beagles bark, howl, yap, and whimper.

Cocker spaniels also bark a lot more than most breeds. Anything that needs a response will set them off. They have amazing temperaments but they are among the most notorious barkers.

beagle vs cocker spaniel - tweet


Some dogs love being petted and cuddled while some breeds don’t care for it much. Let’s see where cocker spaniels and beagles fall in this aspect.


Beagles are friendly, playful, and have long been a family favorite. If you socialize your dog early, they are bound to play nice.

Beagles are friendly and lovely. If you give them a safe space, they will shine.

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker spaniels are friendly and loving. If you provide them with a safe and comfortable home, they will thrive. Regardless of their friendliness, cocker spaniels can bark and snap at times if they are anxious.

Cocker spaniels can also get nervous which can trigger barking and make them appear unfriendly. In the right environment, however, they have unmistakably cheerful dispositions.

beagle dog running


How happy or aggressive is one breed over another? How do cocker spaniels and beagles compare in this area? Let’s find out.


They are social animals. Beagles get along with children, cats, and other dogs. Beagles were bred to be loud so they are loud, but they also have excellent temperaments.

Train them properly and they’ll become great companions and obedient dogs. They are pack dogs so you cannot leave them alone for long or else they will resort to undesirable behavior.

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker spaniels are merry dogs. They are happiest in the company of the ones they love. They live to please their human families. Though they are shy in the beginning, they make friends easily.

A cocker spaniel will be up for anything be it cuddling, running around, or simply walking with you. They will love and trust you unconditionally. They are sweet and affectionate. If you train them well enough, they will get along with the other pets you have.

Cocker Spaniel running

Activity Levels

Every dog needs a certain amount of exercise to keep it active. While some dogs are more active than others, how much activity do cocker spaniels and beagles need?


Beagles are also hunters in their own right. They were bred for it in fact. It’s no surprise that they’re happiest when following a scent. These are outdoorsy animals who love hiking and sniffing. Take them on walks, competitions, or hunting.

Beagles love to play, have lots of energy, and need plenty of exercise. If they are exhausted, they will happily spend their time sitting on the couch with their family.

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker spaniels love agility training and excel in many activities. They enjoy playing, tracking, and hunting. They also love digging so that can be a bit of a problem if they are not weaned out of the behavior early.

Beagle dog


Beagle vs Cocker Spaniel — which breed is more intelligent?


Beagles are smart and have a specialized skill set. They are as smart as a two-year-old child. Bred-to-be hounds, beagles are hard to call back once they find a scent they want to follow. They are easily distracted by smells and ignore everything else when following one.

They are intelligent enough to learn words and understand gestures. Surprisingly, they can also process simple mathematics and find their way around simple devices.

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker spaniels are incredibly smart and ranked as the 20th smartest dog breed for their obedience and working intelligence. Their intelligence makes it easy to train them with new commands. The breed also excels in adaptive and instinctive intelligence.

Cocker Spaniel dog in vet getting blood checked

Health Issues

All dogs are bound to have some health issues throughout their life. However, some dogs were not bred in the interest of their health. Some breeds are prone to more health issues than others. Let’s see how beagles and cocker spaniels stack up when it comes to health issues.


Beagles are also generally healthy but can have certain health issues. They are prone to MLS (Musladin – Lueke Syndrome), a breed-specific condition. Not every beagle will suffer from serious health conditions but it’s important to be aware of potential health issues.

Beagles love food so you will need to watch their food intake or they will get obese.

To keep them physically and emotionally fit, take them out for an hour of exercise every day.

Cocker Spaniel

Although generally healthy, there are certain health conditions that cocker spaniels are prone to. Allergies and ear infections are among the most common ones.

Cocker spaniels also tend to overeat which can lead to obesity. With age, they are prone to liver, heart, or kidney failures and also cancer. Epilepsy, blindness, and cataracts are other health conditions associated with this breed.

Beagle dog with its human family

Guarding Your Family

A good guard dog can stand up for its owner and back them up. Some dogs are too friendly to be guard dogs. They will just wag their tails at intruders. Some are sturdy enough to shoo away burglars single-handedly.


Beagles are protective of their owners, but they are not guard dogs due to their personality and size. They are friendly, sociable, and unlikely to attack intruders. This affectionate breed is not meant for guarding.

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker spaniels will alert you if someone is approaching your home, but they are extremely friendly and won’t do anything more than bark.

Their size is not particularly threatening. They are neither strong nor powerful enough to ward off serious physical threats.

Cocker Spaniel dog

Cocker spaniel is the breed for you if you can provide the stability, consistency, and higher maintenance they need. If you’re in search of a fun-loving, gentle, and more low-maintenance pet, then consider a beagle.

At the end of the day, they’re both great dogs with many good things going for them. It all depends on your preference, lifestyle, and the amount of care you can give them.


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Paul Andrews

Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.