Golden Retriever vs Beagle: Suitability As Family Pet

Golden retrievers and beagles are both popular dog breeds, but they have some notable differences. This article will pit the Golden Retriever vs Beagle, and present opinions on how the breeds compare in areas like trainability, temperament, exercise needs, and suitability for different types of families.   Brief Breed Background – …

Golden Retriever vs Beagle: Suitability As Family Pet

Golden retrievers and beagles are both popular dog breeds, but they have some notable differences. This article will pit the Golden Retriever vs Beagle, and present opinions on how the breeds compare in areas like trainability, temperament, exercise needs, and suitability for different types of families.  

Golden Retriever vs Beagle

Brief Breed Background – Golden Retriever vs Beagle

Golden Retrievers

  • Originated in Scotland in the 19th century
  • Bred to be hunting dogs to retrieve waterfowl
  • Known for friendly, eager-to-please temperament
  • Require regular exercise and mental stimulation


  • Developed in England for hunting rabbits and hares
  • Bred to work together in packs for trailing game
  • Typically active, social, and excitable
  • Stay small, under 30 pounds fully grown
a pair of Golden retrievers

Factors Favouring Golden Retrievers

Many dog enthusiasts would argue golden retrievers make better pets compared to beagles for an average family. Here are some common opinions highlighting golden strengths.

Intelligence and trainability

Goldens are very smart and eager to please, making them easier to train.

Golden retrievers tend to be easier to train than stubborn beagles thanks to their intelligence and strong desire to please their owners. Their high focus allows them to better retain lessons and follow commands.

Goldens seem highly motivated by praise and engagement with their owner. Beagles can be more independent and headstrong, making them harder for novice owners to properly train.

Calm temperament

Goldens have a gentle, calm demeanor compared to the excitable beagle.

Golden retrievers typically display a gentle, patient temperament, even with small screaming children pulling on them. Their tolerance comes from years of breeding to retrieve downed waterfowl for hunters without damaging them in their mouths.

Playful beagles have a much more excitable temperament that, while usually non-aggressive, can overwhelm young kids. Their tendency to bark and jump could scare toddlers.

Exceptional Versatility

Goldens excel at various jobs like service dogs, therapy dogs, and hunting dogs.

The eager-to-please attitude of golden retrievers allows them to excel in many working roles beyond family pets. Goldens successfully serve as:

  • Guide dogs for the blind
  • Mobility assistance dogs
  • Detection dogs for contraband
  • Search and rescue dogs
  • Therapy dogs in hospitals/nursing homes
  • Hunting partners retrieving birds

Beagles strongly focus on tracking scents, limiting their versatility for other intensive jobs requiring extensive training outside their breeding purpose.

In summary, golden retrievers’ higher trainability, a calmer disposition, and versatility give compelling reasons why they can make better family companions than beagles for some opinions.

Factors Favouring Beagles

While golden retrievers have many great traits, some dog enthusiasts argue beagles can make better pets for families living in certain situations. Here are common opinions highlighting beagle advantages.

Smaller Size

Adult beagles max out at under 30 pounds on average, whereas golden retrievers can reach 70+ pounds fully grown.

Beagles’ compact size makes them better suited for tiny homes without much yard space. Their lower body weight also exerts less pressure on seniors or mobility-challenged owners when leash walking.

Less Shedding

Golden retrievers shed a LOT year-round, whereas beagles shed moderately during a shorter springtime shedding season.

Beagles’ smooth, close-lying coat requires less grooming and leave less hair on furniture/clothing. This gives them an advantage for families wanting to limit cleanup.

Lower Exercise Needs

Beagles have lower exercise requirements than extremely energetic golden retrievers. A 30-minute leashed walk or backyard playtime can sufficiently meet a beagle’s activity needs.

Golden retrievers require over an hour of rigorous daily activity to avoid behavioral problems from pent-up energy. Beagles better suit low-activity owners.

In summary, for apartment dwellers, seniors, or less active families, a compact lower-maintenance beagle can better fit their lifestyle needs compared to larger, demanding golden retrievers.

Comparison of Key Factors: Golden Retriever vs Beagle

WeightMale: 60-80 pounds (27-36 kg), Female: 55-70 pounds (25-32 kg)Male: 22-25 pounds (10-11 kg), Female: 20-23 pounds (9-10 kg)
HeightMale: 22-24 inches (56-61cm), Female: 20-22 inches (51-56 cm)Male: 14-16 inches (36-41 cm), Female: 13-15 inches (33-38 cm)
Price₹25,000 – ₹50,000₹7,000 – ₹15,000
TrainabilityGolden Retrievers learn quickly and thrive off positive attentionBeagles are easy to train
Energy LevelsMost Golden Retrievers need about an hour of exercise per dayBeagles are an active breed and are happiest when following their noses
TemperamentGolden Retrievers are friendly, happy dogs who love the company of their human companionsBeagles are cheerful dogs that make wonderful, hardy companions for whatever adventures await you

While the previous chapters highlighted breed strengths, making an informed choice involves directly comparing factors that impact daily living with each dog.


Golden Retrievers

  • Eager to please owners
  • Highly focused during training
  • Learn new commands rapidly
  • Respond exceptionally well to praise


  • Curious, wandering attention spans
  • Can be stubbornly non-compliant
  • Require patience and creativity training

Edge: Goldens have higher innate trainability

Family-Friendly Attributes

Golden Retrievers

  • Gentle and exceptionally patient
  • Tolerate tail/ear pulling
  • Trusted alone with children


  • Rambunctious energy overwhelms small kids
  • Prone to jumping up on people
  • Cannot be left unsupervised around toddlers

Edge: Goldens act more calmly around children

Activity Needs

Golden Retrievers

  • Require over 1 hour of sustained daily exercise
  • Prone to destructive chewing if under-exercised
  • Not suited for fully indoor living


  • Content with multiple 30-minute walks
  • Adapt well to apartment living
  • Playful energy in short spurts

Edge: Beagles have lower exercise requirements

In determining which breed better suits your lifestyle, consider these key direct comparisons on trainability, family-friendly temperament, and activity needs between the two breeds.

Pricing: Golden Retriever Vs Beagle

In India, Golden Retrievers typically cost between 25,000 to 50,000 rupees depending on the breed lines and source. Beagles on the other hand are more affordable, usually priced between 7,000 to 15,000 rupees.

The significant price difference is largely because Golden Retrievers are considered a luxury purebred dog in India whereas Beagles are one of the more commonly available breeds. Overall, Golden Retrievers can cost almost 4-8 times more than a Beagle puppy in the Indian pet market.

Suitability As Pet Depending On Family Type: Golden Retrievers vs Beagle

While golden retrievers and beagles both make wonderful family pets, the optimal breed depends greatly on your unique situation and needs. Here are concluding opinions on good breed fits for different households.

Families with Young Children

For families with toddlers and young children, golden retrievers are often viewed as the better fit. Their tolerant temperament, loyalty, and high patience equip them well to handle busy households with unpredictable kids.

Beagles can be jumpy and excitable around little ones. Supervision is a must to prevent accidental injuries.

First-Time Owners

Prospective first-time dog owners are often encouraged to consider an easygoing beagle over more demanding golden retrievers. Their moderate energy allows novice owners to better adjust.

Goldens require rigorous training and activity that can overwhelm new owners. Beagles present a less pressure-filled learning curve.

Active Singles and Couples

For occupied professionals or adventurous couples without kids, golden retrievers tend to make more suitable energetic companions ready for hiking, jogging, camping, and water sports at a moment’s notice.

The lower activity needs of beagles may bore single adults seeking action-packed fun.

In the fight over Golden Retriever vs Beagle, it’s imperative to assess your family, activity level, and training time available before deciding on the best breed match. Order consider adopting a mixed-breed mutt to get the best of both!

Are Beagles The Worst Dogs?

Why some people perceive Beagles as the worst dogs? This is a question that has been circulating among dog enthusiasts for quite some time. However, the answer is not as straightforward as it may seem.

Beagles, known for their keen sense of smell and tracking instinct, are a popular breed among dog lovers. They are small to medium-sized dogs, making them perfect for both apartment living and houses with yards.

However, their high energy levels and stubborn nature can sometimes be challenging to manage. Beagles are known to be independent thinkers, which can sometimes be mistaken for disobedience or stubbornness.

Despite these challenges, Beagles are incredibly affectionate and loyal dogs. They are great with children and other pets, making them an excellent choice for families.

In conclusion, labeling Beagles as the ‘worst’ dogs would be an oversimplification. Like any breed, they have their quirks and challenges, but they also have many qualities that make them beloved pets. It all comes down to the owner’s ability to understand and cater to their specific needs.

Photo of author


Besides being a Father, a Freelance Content creator and a Marketing Professional, my love for Dogs has been a permanent feature throughout. I vividly remember the first Indian Spitz puppy my father gifted me on my 5th birthday. Caring for him and seeing him grow with all it's idiosyncrasies, established my lifelong love for this furry creature - a symbol of Love and Faithfulness. I have tried to share my learnings through all these years, so that dog lovers can benefit. Something I missed growing up in those "non-connected' times.

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