The Beagle Breed Standard(01/01/2010) Amended 21/08/2014


A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance, including the correct colour of the breed and ensures the breed is fit for function. 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 judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch Section of the Kennel Club website - details of any such current issues if a feature or quality is desirable, it should be present in the right measure. However, if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as highly undesirable or highly undesirable, it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring.

GENERAL APPEARANCE: A sturdy, compactly built hound, conveying the impression of quality without coarseness.

CHARACTERISTICS: 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. 

TEMPERAMENT: Amiable, alert, showing no aggression or timidity.

HEAD & SKULL: Fair length, powerful without being coarse, finer in the bitch, free from wrinkle and frown. 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 wide.

EYES: Dark brown or hazel, fairly large, not deep set or prominent, set well apart with mild, appealing expression. 

EARS: Long, with rounded tip, reaching nearly to the end of the nose when drawn out, set on low, fine in texture and hanging gracefully close to cheeks.

MOUTH: The jaws should be strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

NECK: Sufficiently long to enable hound to come down easily to scent, slightly arched and showing little dewlap.

FOREQUARTERS: 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 to withers.

BODY: Topline straight and level. Chest let down to below elbow. Ribs well sprung and extending well back. Short in couplings but well balanced. Loins powerful and supple, without excessive tuck-up. 

HINDQUARTERS: Muscular thighs, stifles well bent. Hocks firm, well let down and parallel to each other.

FEET: Tight and firm. Well knuckled up and strongly padded. Not hare-footed. Nails short.

TAIL: Sturdy, moderately long. Set on high, carried gaily but not curled over the back or inclined forward from the root. Well covered with hair, especially on underside. 

GAIT/MOVEMENT: 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 plait in front. 

COAT: Short, dense and weatherproof.

COLOUR: 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. Tip of stern white.

SIZE: Desirable minimum height at the withers 33cms(13"). Desirable maximum height at the withers 40cms(16") 

FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regraded 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.


Published with kind permission from the Kennel Club