Vienna Calling Beagle & English Foxhound Kennel
Am Graben 28
3470 Kirchberg am Wagram

Beagle colours

The colour of a beagle should be "any true hound colour" in the US, in most other countries it is "any true hound colour" except liver because of the light yellow eyes that go with the colour. The tip of stern has to be white. The "classic" beagle is the tricolour black-tan-white , and when the German Beagle Club started the people that wanted to buy a puppy only knew the tricolours. We're glad to see a range of colours in the ring nowadays. The extension of colour could be all one colour (apart from the white tip of tail). No breed apart from the other similarly marked packhounds allows such a range of colours and even without restricting it to special areas of the body.

The tricolours

The tricolours are usually black, tan and white. The black can be a shining black that will stay up to the age or the black will fade out until the dog gets older. The tan can vary from red to pale tan. The white will be pure white if it's not a mottle (on a mottle it's more cream). The other form of the tricolours are the blue-tan-whites. Blue is caused by the dilution gene which lightens black into blue and tan into fawn. The "blue" correctly described is the gray colour of the Great Dane. The tricolour puppy is born black an white (some with brown markings near the eye and ears), the blue-tan-white blue and white (same markings).

The blue-fawn-whites

The "blue mottled" has a totally different genetic background. The blue effect is caused by black spots on the white coat.

All the blue-fawn-whites in Germany go back to Graadtres's Hot Pursuit of Rossut.

The tan colour on the head, fore- and hindleg will develop as the puppy gets older.

Some puppies show white hairs at the age of eight weeks. These hairs are only seen in a puppy coat.

The bicolours

The bicolours have the two colours brown and white, called lemon, tan and red, regarding the density of the pigment in the coat. Some beagles have a rich tan colour and are called orange.

The puppies are born white with creme markings which darkens as the puppy gets older. You can tell the colour when the beagle is grown up, but it is sometimes difficult to guess what colour the puppy will be when it's older. In the German Beagle Club we register them as bicolours so that we do not have to care about that. Most of the puppies are tan, some are red, only a few are lemon. Lemon puppies look white when they are born. The nosepigment is the darkest of all three.

Usually the paler the dog, the darker the nosepigment. We like the dark pigment but regarding their genes the red/whites cannot have a black or dark nose.

Bitches even change the nosecolour with their hormon cycle.

 The true red whites have the colour of a dark red brick and are rare as well.

The (hare) pieds

The pieds are: lemonpied, harepied and badgerpied. Most of them are harepieds. On a pied the one hair has different colours (should be the agouti-gene). The tip of the hair is black. The range of the pied can differ between a stripe on the back up to the full side of the body. You can always tell a pied by its typical nose, the rims dark and the center part paler (some call it  a "butterfly-nose"). The harepied puppies look like tan/whites when they are born but with dark eye rims.

You can always identify a pied by the typical harepied nose ("butterfly" nose)!

There are still beagle judges that do not know about the harepiedcolour and disregard a dog because of the wrong nose pigment!

The harepied beagles in Germany go back to the Korwin line of Christine Watson in Scotland and were brought in into Germany by the "Bar Atlantic" beagles of BaerbelRoellinghoff.

The mottles

The mottled colour used to be the colour of the pack hounds and lacked the quality of a show beagle. Some British breeders wanted to save the colour and bring it into the show beagle scene. Well known for his mottles was David Nicolson of the "Sabinhay" beagles. In Germany the first one were bred by Ulla Christian with her beagles "vomKemnader See".

A mottled beagle has little spots on the white areas of his coat. The white of a mottled is never a pure white but a pale cream. The mottled colour is called after the origin colour, e.g. lemon-mottled, tan-mottled, red-mottled, harepied-mottled, tricolour mottled and blue mottled (see above). There could be a misunderstanding between the two "blue"-varieties because a mottled blue-tan-white is also possible.

You can tell a mottled puppy by the pigmentation of the paws. The pigmentation starts on the edge of the paw and will look  like rings later.

There are some tricolours with tickings in the coat, mainly the legs. It looks similiar to a true mottled.

Breeding colour varieties

homocygote            tri x tri or bic or pied = tri

heterocogote          tri x tri = tri or bic or pied

heterocygote          tri x bic  = tri or bic or pied

heterocygote          tri x pied = tri or bic or pied

                             bic x pied = bic or pied

                             pied x pied = pied or bic

                             bic x bic = bic

Mottles need to have one mottled parent.

                           mottled x mottled = all mottled if one ore both parents homozygot, if both parents heterozygot, non mottles possible

                           mottled x non mottled = mottled or non mottled

                           non mottled x non mottled = non mottled

The brindle

The brindle colour is not a true hound colour for a beagle (UK Kennel Club). It appeared in Sweden about 30 years ago near the Norwegian border. It is the result of a mixture with another breed; supposed to be a mixture with a Drever, a short legged Swedish hunting breed. The brindle colour is dominant and so easy to select within the population..


Autor: Dr. Kristin Schröder

V. Bradley/UK, U. Christian, A. Derscheid, J. Holmes/US, Fam. Janowski, Fam. Jarosch, S. Kipp, I. Koch/A, D. Lefgren/USA, C. Linde-Forsberg/S, S. Parker/UK, M. Rechtacek, Fam. Rodorf, A. Schulz,