The Beagle breed is one of America’s most popular dogs. However, it is also one of the most varied because they come in too many different colors to count.
Keep reading as we discover some of the most popular Beagle coat colors and answer some frequently asked questions about the numerous coat variations for this breed.
What to know about Beagles
Beagles are known for their extraordinary sense of smell.
Combining this tracking ability with their curious nature is enough reason to explain the long history they have for rabbit and hare hunting that dates back as far as 55BC.
Other than being the famous Snoopy character in the Peanuts cartoon, Beagles are firm favorites in every household because of their child-loving personality.
They’re also top favorites for canine jobs like security and search-and-rescue.
So, they’re reliable dogs, but why do Beagles have so many colors? And does this have an effect on their temperament? Let’s start from the beginning.
The Origin of Beagle Colors
Like many purebred dogs, Beagles have a history of inbreeding. This practice was particularly common in England in the 1980s and the 1990s.
This inbreeding of dogs has caused individual color variations of Beagles to be more common. However, this is one breed where a lot of color options are available.
Beagles today are often bred by many for their rarer color combinations as people seek out these unique color options for their household companions.
Each country’s registration association for the breed will define the different Beagle colors that are deemed as standard in that area.
Beagle colors and appearance
Many registries define the Beagle coloring as any hound color, which leaves a lot of room for interpretation.
The AKC breed standard for Beagles specifically recognizes ten standard colors for the breed, with a total variation of twenty-five different Beagle colors.
Within these 25 colors, several shades are also possible. Most Beagles will come in variations of white, black, red, blue, brown, lemon, fawn, and tan.
Beagles are rarely found in a solid color, with this breed typically displaying a variety of colors on one dog.
Most beagles are tri-colored, with these genes tending to be dominant, while bi-color Beagles are also found. Due to this, the variations of Beagle colors are seemingly endless.
Any of these Beagle colors will be allowed to compete at dog shows, and no preference should be given in terms of color, although there may be unofficial favorites.
Ultimately, if you don’t plan to show your dog, choosing the perfect Beagle color is just a matter of personal preference.
Do Beagle coats change colors?
Beagle coats can change colors from birth through to adult. For instance, tri-colored Beagles are typically born just black and white, with the black developing into brown or tan as they get older.
Blue Beagles may also lose their silver coloring as they age, resulting in them being called ‘dark silver Beagles.
Like other blue dogs, Beagles can develop color dilution alopecia in which they lose their fur; however, this condition is scarce with this breed.
Particular Beagle puppies can change dramatically from birth to adulthood. This is particularly the case with lemon-colored Beagles.
Lemon Beagles are born white with no visible patches, with these only changing color into adulthood. However, tan and white puppies are often advertised as lemon and white beagles.
You can see the colored patches of a tan and white puppy at birth, so be sure to ask for newborn pictures if it is a lemon Beagle you are after.
Beagle coat colors can change so much as they age that breeders can change a puppy’s registration up to three times.
How to identify a purebred Beagle
No matter the Beagle’s color, all purebred Beagles should have a white tip on their tail.
This white marking was developed over the years this breed was used in hunting, with the white-tip allowing Beagle owners to spot their dog in tall grass easily.
Some Beagles will only have a few white hairs on the end of their tail while others could have an almost entirely white tail, but either way, the white tip should be there in a purebred Beagle.
Test your skills finding the white tip of the Beagle tail in this video:
What are the different Beagle coat color variations?
The standard Beagle colors defined by the American Kennel Club include the following:
- Black and Tan
- Black Red and White
- Black Tan and Bluetick
- Black Tan and White
- Black White and Tan
- Blue Tan and White
- Brown and White
- Brown White and Tan
- Lemon and White
- Tan and White
- Red and White
From this, the tri-colored Black and Tan and White Beagle is the most popular variant.
This classic tri-color Beagle typically has tan markings on the face, ears, and body with a black back and tail and white legs, chest, and muzzle with a black nose.
The bi-colored Black and Tan Beagle is also extremely common, only missing the tri-colored Beagle’s white markings.
On the other hand, Blue Tan and White Beagles look similar to the tri-color. However, blue tri Beagles have a diluted black, blue, or silver coloring with a dark grey nose and lighter eyes.
Chocolate tri-colored Beagles are also a possibility, with a darker brown shade being the most common. Some chocolate tri-colors come in a liver tricolor, which is a lighter brown or red.
Rare Beagle Colors
Always be cautious of any breeder that advertises rare colored Beagles. Not only will you pay a premium, but you may just be paying more for standard color.
For instance, Brown White, and Tan Beagles are often advertised as khaki, fawn, or chocolate and Blue Tan and White as lilac, silver, or lavender.
One of the more unique standard colored Beagle options is Black Tan and Bluetick.
This dog has a freckled pattern similar to that of the blue merle seen in other breeds, such as the Australian Shepherd, but with smaller patches.
This uniquely colored Beagle has a classic Beagle’s look but with a bluer black and tick markings all over the coat’s white sections.
Another unique Beagle color is Lemon & White. Lemon Beagles have a white base coat, cream, or pure white, with Golden Retriever-like yellow patches on the body, ears, face, and tail.
Hare Pied or Tan & White Beagles are also very rare. These dogs have a tan and white coat with only black tips on the hair on their back, or even no black hair.
The Hare Pied Beagle’s nose will typically be a light brown in the middle and darker on edge, known as a butterfly nose.
The AKC recognizes six types of markings for Beagles. These include the following:
- Black Markings
- Brown Markings
- Tan Markings
- White Markings
Ticking is the only standard marking for Beagles. Ticking refers to the freckles or black ticks seen on the body and legs of individual color variations such as the Black Tan and Bluetick Beagle.
These ticks can also be red or brown, in which case the dog will be known as a Redtick Beagle.
Ticking typically occurs in hunting bloodlines with show dogs bred for purer white legs. Ticks typically only appear on Beagle puppies from around the age of three weeks.
With other Beagle markings, these tend to be more pronounced as puppies, with markings on the neck, shoulders, and face getting smaller as the Beagle’s body size grows and the dog matures.
Coat color inheritance in Beagles
The coat color of Beagle puppies is affected by several genes.
Different genes all work together to contribute to the various colors, including whether or not your dog will have black or brown markings, the depth of color of these markings, and if ticking will be prevalent or not.
Even within one litter, a variety of different colored Beagle puppies can occur. No two Beagles will ever look exactly the same.
To best predict Beagle puppies’ color, the same colored Beagle female and male need to be bred together.
What about merle colored Beagles?
Some Beagle breeders may advertise merle-colored Beagles; however, this color variation does not exist. While Bluetick Beagles resemble the merle color seen in other breeds, their coat is freckled than spotted.
Purebred Beagles do not come in this color, and any merle Beagle you find for sale has likely been crossed with another breed of dog.
This is particularly the case with those advertised as pocket Beagles, where other smaller breeds, such as the Dachshund, have been bred with the Beagle to create a smaller, uniquely colored variant.
Taking care of your Beagle’s coat?
The coarse medium-length Beagle coat is weather-resistant and easy to care for and maintain. Hard and dense, the coat works to protect these small dogs from the bushes and twigs as they run through the fields.
That said, the Beagles coat, although short, does shed. Although not as noticeable as some longer-haired dog breeds, your dog will need to be brushed at least once a week to keep their shedding under control.
This grooming may need to be increased during the changing of the seasons when your dog will shed more vigorously.
Your Beagle’s coat will stay naturally shiny and only needs to be washed when excessively dirty. Dry shampoo or a damp cloth can also be used to clean your Beagle after they have enjoyed a romp outside.
Do you have a favorite Beagle color?
The classic picture of a Beagle shows a black, white, and tan tri-colored coat, and it’s this variant that is most popular.
This is for good reason as rare-colored Beagles are often more expensive and could have health issues as some breeders forgo health concerns in favor of coloring.
No matter what color your Beagle, you will have a cute, playful companion. Let us know your favorite Beagle color below.