Beagle Breed Standard
Last updated January 2010
A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics,
temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for
Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be
careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental
in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time
certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to
affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to
refer to the Breed Watch section of the Kennel Club website here http://www.the-kennel-club.org.uk/services/public/breeds/watch for
details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it
should only be present in the right measure. However if a dog possesses a
feature, characteristic or colour described as undesirable or highly undesirable
it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring.
A sturdy, compactly built hound, conveying the impression of quality without
A merry hound whose essential function is to hunt, primarily hare, by following
a scent. Bold, with great activity, stamina and determination. Alert,
intelligent and of even temperament.
Amiable and alert, showing no aggression or timidity.
Head and Skull
Fair length, powerful without being coarse, finer in the bitch, free from frown
and wrinkle. Skull slightly domed, moderately wide, with slight peak. Stop well
defined and dividing length, between occiput and tip of nose, as equally as
possible. Muzzle not snipy, lips reasonably well flewed. Nose broad, preferably
black, but less pigmentation permissible in lighter coloured hounds. Nostrils
Dark brown or hazel, fairly large, not deep set or prominent, set well apart
with mild, appealing expression.
Long, with rounded tip, reaching nearly to end of nose when drawn out. Set on
low, fine in texture and hanging gracefully close to cheeks.
The jaws should be strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite,
i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Sufficiently long to enable hound to come down easily to scent, slightly arched
and showing little dewlap.
Shoulders well laid back, not loaded. Forelegs straight and upright well under
the hound, good substance, and round in bone, not tapering off to feet. Pasterns
short. Elbows firm, turning neither in nor out. Height to elbow about half
height at withers.
Topline straight and level. Chest let down to below elbow. Ribs well sprung and
extending well back. Short in the couplings but well balanced. Loins powerful
and supple, without excessive tuck-up.
Muscular thighs. Stifles well bent. Hocks firm, well let down and parallel to
Tight and firm. Well knuckled up and strongly padded. Not hare-footed. Nails
Sturdy, moderately long. Set on high, carried gaily but not curled over back or
inclined forward from root. Well covered with hair, especially on underside.
Back level, firm with no indication of roll. Stride free, long-reaching in front
and straight without high action; hindlegs showing drive. Should not move close
behind nor paddle nor plait in front.
Short, dense and weatherproof.
Tricolour (black, tan and white); blue, white and tan; badger pied; hare pied;
lemon pied; lemon and white; red and white; tan and white; black and white; all
white. With the exception of all white, all the above mentioned colours can be
found as mottle. No other colours are permissible. Tip of stern white.
Desirable minimum height at withers: 33 cms (13 ins). Desirable maximum height
at withers: 40 cms (16 ins).
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the
seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact
proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog
and on the dog's ability to perform its traditional work.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into
Copyright © The Kennel Club 2012.
Further details can be found at: http://www.the-kennel-club.org.uk/services/public/breed/display.aspx?id=1005