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Broken tri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tricolour

Open tri

Hare pied

Tan & white

Lemon & White

Red & white

White

Mottle

Breed Colours

"Just as colour prejudice among humans causes problems throughout the world, the colour of Beagles has caused considerable controversy among their breeders, exhibtors and judges. Non specialist judges are frequently unaware of the wide variety of colours found among Beagles, so tend to prefer the traditional tricolour, whereas some specialist breeders and judges show a definte preference for a particular colour. While colour prejudice has not completely disappeared in the UK, it is much less than is found in some European countries, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA.

One of the causes of colour problems is the interpretation of the Breed Standard (UK) which states: "Any recognised hound colour other than liver. Tip of stern white". This means that no colour or combination of colours, is more correct than another and the distribution of colour or markings does not matter, providing the tip of stern is white. With one exception, no hound can have a wrong colour, that exception is liver which is considered objectionable because it is frequently accompanied by very light eyes, or even green eyes with pink rims.  - ( Lilac & Chocolate are not recognised hound colours. Webmaster)

Of the recognised hound colours the three basic ones are black, white and tan, each of which can vary in shade, even black & white! The total number of combinations these three colours can provide is 14 which can be divided into the following groups:-

Tricolours :  Have solid patches of the three basic colours - because tricolours used to be and still are the most numerous they were frequently  regarded as the traditional and only group. Tricolours with large patches of white are described as "flashily"or "brightly "marked; those with a large area of black are often referred to as "black blanketed" hounds. A typical description from a non specialist judge hedging his bets is "hound marked".

Two Colours : (not normally referred to as bi coloureds) They have become popular in the UK and frequently possess great quality. White is the basic colour accompanied by tan, which can vary from a pale lemon shade to rich chestnut. Those with a pale lemon colouring are "Lemon & Whites"; those having a darker shade of tan are "Tan & Whites". if the has a reddish or orange tinge, the hound is a "Red & White". Black & white is permissable is rarely found.

Single Colour: The only single colour permitted is white. This is rarely found but there have been several examples with small patches of very pale tan barely visible from a distance.

Pieds: Pied hounds are those in which the three basic colours intermingle and do not occur in solid patches except white. Where the hairs of one colour predominate, the overall shade changes and gives rise to several types of pied hounds: "Lemon Pied"mainly lemon or cream hairs intermingling with black or white: "Hare Pied", more tan than black or white, giving a coat resembling that of a hair, and "Badger Pied"which contains a majority of black hairs. The pieds are found less frequently than the other colour combination groups.

Mottles: Similar to tri colours and the two coloured hounds but with small black and tan spots, known as flecks or mottles on the white parts. The names used to describe these are "Tri Colour Mottles", "Lemon Mottles", "Tan Mottles"and "Red Mottles".

Many years ago some hounds found in Wales and Southern Ireland had a definite bluish tinge to the black and were correctly called 'Blue ,Tan & White". Nowadays these are rare but some have been seen recently in Australia & the USA. These "Blue, Tan & Whites"can have blue flecks and are therefore called "Blue Mottles".

A lighter shade of blue, almost a slate grey has been seen on rare occasions but they are usually accompanied by light eyes. The blue/grey colour is not a true colour but a degenerate black which should not be regarded as a recognised hound colour.

It should be remembered that the colours of newly whelped puppies can change. For example the head, ears & shoulders of tri colour puppies are often black but gradually turn to tan during the next few weeks. Similarly shades of cream, brown or grey on the back usually disappear fairly soon and a covering of little white spots all over the black and tan usually disappears within 12 weeks, to the relief of novice breeders. Hounds not possessing a strong deep shade of black often loose it in old age and can appear almost white.

The size, symmetry or distribution of colour does not matter, with the exception of a white tip to the stern, but they can create optical illusions of which a judge should be aware. For example on the head, a wide white blaze down the middle of the forehead between the eyes makes the head look too broad, and an unbroken black blanket from head to stern can make the hound look too long. A white patch on the spine can give the impression of an uneven topline, and uneven tan & black markings down the legs, both front & rear, can give an impression of loose elbows, poor angulation and poor movement.

Beagles are found in a great variety of colours, virtually all of which are correct, and it is one of the factors which have made the breed so popular. Personal prefrerence may be permitted in breeding & exhibiting, but never in judging. Without doubt, these colours must all be encouraged and no prejudice against one or another be allowed to develop. "

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

David Webster, The Beagle Club. org, 1999.