ORIGIN: Great Britain.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: The Beagle, said to have been bred down from the larger Foxhound to hunt with men on foot, preferably after the hare. He is still used in packs, very often organised by institutions, including colleges and schools. A bustling, eager little dog, full of enthusiasm and vigour, ever ready for any activity which involves him. Everything about the breed gives the impression of athleticism and there is no better sight than a Beagle pack in full pursuit, their heads down to the scent, their sterns up in rigid order as they concentrate on the chase. During the reigns of King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I there were wirehaired Beagles, some of which were small enough to be carried in the pocket of a hunting jacket. Size has increased over the years but smaller versions of the breed, called ‘pocket Beagles’, are sometimes born.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: A sturdy, compactly-built hound, conveying the impression of quality without coarseness.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: Length of head, between occiput and tip of nose, divided by stop, as equally as possible. Height to elbow about half height at withers.
BEHAVIOUR AND TEMPERAMENT: 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 Fair length, powerful without being coarse, finer in the bitch, free from frown and wrinkle.
CRANIAL REGION: Skull: Slightly domed, moderately wide, with slight peak. Stop: Well defined, dividing length, between occiput and tip of nose, as equally as possible. FACIAL REGION: Nose: Broad, preferably black, but less pigmentation permissible in lighter coloured hounds. Nostrils wide. Muzzle: Not snipy. Lips: Reasonably well flewed. Jaws / Teeth: Jaws should be strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws. 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 end of nose when drawn out. Set on low, fine in texture and hanging gracefully close to cheeks.
NECK: Sufficiently long to enable hound to come down easily to scent, slightly arched and showing little dewlap.
BODY: Short in the couplings, but well balanced. Topline: Straight and level. Loin: Loins powerful and supple. Chest: Let down to below elbow. Ribs well sprung and extending well back. Underline and belly: Without excessive tuck-up.
TAIL: 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.
FOREQUARTERS: Shoulder: Well laid back, not loaded. Elbow: Firm, turning neither in nor out. Forearm: Forelegs straight and upright well under the hound, good substance and round in bone, not tapering off to feet. Metacarpus (Pastern): Short. Forefeet: Tight and firm. Well knuckled up and strongly padded. Not hare-footed. Nails short.
HINDQUARTERS: Thigh: Muscular. Stifle (Knee): Well bent. Hock joint: Firm, well let down and parallel to each other. Hind feet: Tight and firm. Well knuckled up and strongly padded. Not hare-footed. Nails short.
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 paddle nor plait in front.
Hair: 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. No other colours are permissible. Tip of stern white.
SIZE: Desirable minimum height at the withers 33 cms. Desirable maximum height at the withers 40 cms.