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 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. If a feature or quality is desirable, it should be present in the right measure. Howeve, , if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as highly undesirable, it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring.
GENERAL APPERANCE: 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 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, powderful 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 snipey, lips reasonably well flewed, nose board, 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 chee
MOUTH: The jaws should be strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, with the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to th jaws.
NECK: Sufficiently long to enable hound to come down easy 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; hind legs showing drive. Should not move close behind nor plait in front.
COAT: Short, dense and waterproof.
COLOUR: Tricolour(black, tan and white), blue, white and tan, badger pied, lemon pied, lemon and white, red and white, tan and white, black and white, all white. All these colours can be found as mottles with exception of all white. No other colours permissible ie: Liver. 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.
NOTE: MALE ANIMALS SHOULD HAVE TWO APPARENTLY NORMAL TESTICLES DESCENDED INTO THE SCROTUM