If you were a Snoopy fan, then you’re no stranger to Beagles.
This adorable goofy breed, with its droopy ears, endearing eyes, and charming personality, has captured the hearts (and couches!) of folks everywhere.
It’s no wonder they’re among the most popular house pets in the United States!
If you’re welcoming a beagle into your life, congratulations are in order!
However, you may have a moment of confusion when you learn that beagles can come in not one, not ten, but 25 different color combinations!
Not that it should influence your decision, but here’s a detailed guide to all the different beagle colorings there are.
- The Colors of the Beagle: A Brief History
- Different Types of Color Combinations
- Tri-Colored Beagles
- Bi-Colored Beagles
- Do Merle-Colored Beagles Exist?
- Wrapping Up
The Colors of the Beagle: A Brief History
Bred in Elizabethan England to hunt small game, not much is known about how beagles looked in their early days, except for the fact that they were much smaller than they are today (Queen Elizabeth’s six-inch beagles, anyone?).
As with the majority of dog breeds, beagles, along with domestication, were continuously bred and crossbred around the world, especially in the late 90s, which is thought to be the reason behind the multiple colors that beagles come in.
Additionally, these dogs were used to hunt out in the open and there was no need for them to be camouflaged, which could also explain the popping colors they sport!
Finding a beagle that’s one single color all over is a rarity; at the very least, you’ll find members of this breed sporting at least two colors, though three colors are the most common combination.
Let’s take a deeper look at the types of color combinations and AKC-approved colors.
Different Types of Color Combinations
Beagles can feature two types of color combinations—bi-colors and tri-colors.
Tri-colored beagles, as the name suggests, are beagles that have three different colors making up their coat.
At the time of birth, these dogs may seem like they only have two colors—generally black and white—but the third color shows up as the beagle grows older.
As per the American Kennel Club (AKC), there are ten different tri-color combinations that beagles could have:
- Black, red, and white
- White, black, and tan
- Blue, tan, and white
- Black, white, and tan
- Black, tan, and blue tick
- Red, black, and white
- Black, tan, and white
- Brown, white, and tan
- Black, fawn, and white
- Black, tan, and red tick
Bi-colored beagles, on the other hand, sport coats with two colors, with two of the most popular combinations being brown and white, and lemon and white.
Similar to tri-colored beagles, bi-colored beagles are born in one single color (either completely white or completely black), with the color starting to form as they grow older.
It is possible for bi-color beagle pups to be born with two colors as well (generally black and white), but even in this case, you’ll know the actual colors only as your puppy matures.
The AKC-recognized bi-color combinations are:
If you’re wondering what a tick is, such as the red ticks and blue ticks stated above, they’re nothing but patches or spots on the beagle’s coat. Beagles can have either one of these ticks.
Red tick beagles sport light orange-red or deep red patches on their coats, whereas blue tick beagles sport black-blue spots.
The AKC only recognizes black, tan, and red tick, and black, tan, and blue tick combinations.
Apart from these combinations, AKC also recognizes rare-colored beagles—beagles sporting the following single-colored coats:
It should be noted that some of the above tri-color and bi-color combinations are also treated as rare by the AKC, such as red-black, black-white, blue-white, black-fawn-white, black-tan-red tick, and red-black-white.
Now, let’s delve deeper into the various tri-colors and bi-colors (since the solids are self-explanatory!).
Here’s an in-depth look at beagle tri-colors.
Black, Tan, and White
Let’s start with the most popular—the black, white, and tan combo!
Most people identify this color combination as “OG” beagle or as the “classic tricolor”, simply because it’s the most common coloring you’ll find.
Beagle pups with these tri-color genes are born with only two colors in their coat—black and white.
Give it a few months, and you’ll see a beautiful brown or tan color emerging from some of the black— a few black patches will fade to give way to these brown or tan patches.
Though no two beagles are identical, the peculiarity of this tri-color combination is that the tan spots will develop in roughly the same spots on the coat for all beagles with this coloring.
Common tan spots include the ears, legs, tails, and face. Common white spots include the chest, legs, bottom, and muzzle.
Some breeders also talk about chocolate tri-colored beagles, which are simply “classic-colored” beagles with lighter brown patches than usual. The brown resembles the rich color of chocolate; hence, the name!
Dogs with this coloring may have noses that are reddish or brown, as well as light-colored eyes.
Again, the light brown color of the coat develops only by the time the pup is 6-12 months old, so you can’t tell if your beagle pup is chocolate tri-colored at the time of its birth.
The chocolate tri-color beagle also goes by the name of liver tri-color beagle.
However, chocolate/ liver tri-color is not recognized by the AKC.
White, Black, and Tan
These beagles have the same “classic” color combination, except that white is the dominant base-coat color, with black and tan patches on it.
Blue, Tan, and White
This one’s a pretty rare combination, also known as the blue tri-color, and as the silver tri-color by some breeders.
Dogs in this breed look similar to classic tri-color beagles, with the exception of their black patches appearing silver or bluish.
Their noses will appear grayish or dark blue and dogs with this coloring also feature light eyes.
However, blue tri-color beagles are at risk of color dilution alopecia—a condition where they develop skin conditions and their hair falls out in patches.
Color dilution alopecia is a risk for not just blue beagles but for all blue dogs.
Fortunately, though blue beagles are susceptible to this condition, their chances of actually having the condition are extremely low.
As blue beagles grow older, their silver/ blue color may fade, in which case they’re called ‘dark silver’ beagles.
Black, Tan, and Blue Tick
This unique color combination doesn’t have many takers, but that doesn’t make it any less gorgeous!
Blue tick beagles sport the classic tan and black coat that their breed commonly has, with the addition of blue ticks/ spots all over their body, legs, tail tip, bottom, and some parts of the face.
The ticks only start to develop three weeks after the pup’s birth, and in some cases, longer.
Black, White, and Tan
These beagles feature the same classic tri-coloring that black, white, and tan beagles have, except that the black is more predominant, present in the form of large patches on the dog’s back.
These dogs still have white chests, tails, and legs, but the tan markings are confined to the head and very small spots on the body.
Black, Red, and White
These beagles feature large patches of black across their backs, extending to their tails, necks, and down their sides.
The red coloring is similar to the red hair that some folks have—it isn’t a bright scarlet (unless your beautician worked their magic on it, that is).
These red patches appear around the beagle’s eyes, ears, on its head, bottom, underside of the tail, and head.
In these dogs, you’ll find white coloring on their tail tips, paws, chests, and muzzles.
Black, Tan, and Red Tick
Similar to blue tick beagles, red tick beagles have red patches instead of blue. You’ll find darker flecks of red on their coats, just as you find gray flecks on blue ticks.
Red, Black, and White
Beagles with this color combination have a red-colored base coat with white and black patches or markings on them.
Brown, White, and Tan
These beagles have big brown patches all over their backs, extending from the rear legs all the way to the neck and covering part of the tail as well.
The tail tip and legs are white, along with the muzzle and the chest, with tiny markings in tan on the head, ears, and points where the brown and white patches meet.
Black, Fawn, and White
Fawn, also called ‘ivory’, ‘cream’, or ‘isabella’, is an extremely faded red. A beagle with this coloring is born with genes that dilute the usual red coloring, making it seem faded and fawn!
Here’s a deeper look at bi-colored beagles.
Black and Tan
The black and tan combo is the “classic” coloring of bi-colored beagles!
As the name suggests, these beagles have tan and black coloring—the white from the classic tri-color is missing here.
Black is the predominant color in beagles with this coloring, covering the body, tail, sides, back, ears, and in certain dogs, the face, too.
The tan is restricted to parts of the tail, chest, bottom, face, ears, and legs.
Lemon and White
A popular but slightly rare combination, lemon and white beagles have a beautiful golden-yellow and white coat.
The base color of the coat is white, with golden patches of varying shape and size dotting the white. The white base can be pure, solid white, or even a creamy, off-white color.
The golden patches are usually on the dog’s ear, face, tail, and back, and their noses are a solid black.
Bear in mind, though, that from its puppy days to adulthood, the beagle’s golden coloring can change quite a bit.
You may think you have a lemon and white puppy, only to realize, once your pupper’s grown, that you have, in fact, a tan and white one!
Tan and White
Also known as hare-pied beagles, these dogs have a white and tan coat, minus the black that you can find in the black-tan-white tri-colored dogs.
The base coat color is white, with tan patches on various spots. However, some tan and white beagles can have black-tipped hair.
While the black tip is not significant enough to call them tri-colored, many folks argue the opposite!
Red and White
Similar to lemon and white coloring, red and white beagles have red patches instead of golden, with red ranging from deep chestnut to a paler shade.
Brown and White
These beagles have a base coat of white hair with patches of brown thrown in around the eyes, upper back, ears, and tail base.
Though, in some dogs, the brown patches are sizable, the white usually overpowers the brown.
Some beagle owners and breeders like to classify their beagle as chocolate and white if the brown patches are dark, though this isn’t an official AKC-recognized coloring.
Blue and White
Diluted black patches that appear blue, on a white coat, and et voila! You have a blue and white beagle.
Bear in mind, though, that this coloring can change as the dog grows.
Black and White Beagles
Beagles that are born black and white generally change colors as they grow older. If you’re looking to register a black-and-white beagle pup, you may just end up doing it multiple times, due to the multiple color changes!
Red and Black
Red is the base color of the coat, with black patches and markings dotting it.
Do Merle-Colored Beagles Exist?
No! This ultra-rare color combination doesn’t exist, unless you’re crossing the beagle with another breed, such as the Dachshund.
Many breeders try to pass off young blue ticks or red ticks as merle beagles or breed beagles irresponsibly to create coat variations that look like a merle pattern.
Merle patterns do not exist in purebred beagles, and you shouldn’t let anyone convince you of the same.
Aesthetic preferences are all great, but not if you’re letting that define your doggo!
Unless you’re participating in a competition or show, don’t let the color of the beagle’s coat influence your decision to bring one home.
Additionally, rare colors are sometimes a sign of irresponsible breeding, which in turn means health issues to worry about. After having paid a bomb for the puppy, you’ll end up spending another bomb on vet fees alone.
So, don’t let color define anything—a black-white-tan is just as beautiful as a lemon-yellow!