Everyone at home is excited because you have decided to bring home a beagle puppy. And, when you’re bringing home a puppy, you’re essentially bringing a new member to the family, whom you’re going to love no matter what his/her ancestry is. However, when you have spent a lot of time, effort and (sometimes) money to find your beagle puppy, you would like to know if you have got a pure-bred puppy.
There are many ways by which you can determine if your beagle pup is purebred or not.
General Beagle Information
According to AKC, beagles are hounds. Originally bred as scent hounds, beagles were used by hunters to track game such as rabbits, hare, etc. Today, you can find these cute, small and compact dogs living as family pets.
Beagles essentially come in 2 varieties—One variety that is under 13 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh around 22-30 lb, while the second variety is dogs that are around 13 to 15 inches in height and weigh up to around 35 lb. Both the varieties are solid and sturdily-built dogs and come in very pleasant colors such as red and white, lemon and a combination of brown, white and black.
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Beagles have an adorable face with big hazel or brown eyes that are highlighted by their long, hound-like ears that set low on a big, broad head. Described as “merry” dogs by beagle lovers, these pooches are very happy, loving and sociable, making them perfect family dogs. They are smart, intelligent, curious and energetic dogs that need a lot of playtime. It is no wonder that beagles have become very popular among homeowners.
Comparing Your Beagle Puppy with the Breed Standard
All dog breeding clubs have a breed standard of what they think the ideal version of a type of dog should look like. Most of the breed standards include diagrams that show various features and descriptions of the personality traits of a particular breed such as colors, coat, markings, structure, gait, temperament, etc. In order to find out if your beagle looks like a pedigree dog, you could compare him with the AKC breed standard of how a beagle should look like.
Belonging to the hound group, the beagle is a scenthound and has a solid build and is big for the inches. With the general appearance of a hound, beagles are excellent hunting dogs and have the stamina to last in the chase and can follow their prey right until the end. These dogs with cute expressions are easy going and enjoy company because they were originally bred to hunt in packs.
The beagle has a dense and smooth double coat, which becomes heavier in the winter and they shed in the spring. Generally, beagles shed moderately all through the year.
The beagle usually has a long skull which is slightly domed at the back of the head with a broad cranium.
The beagle’s ears are long, fine textured and set quite low. They are quite broad and are set close to the head. The forward edge of the ears slightly turn in towards the cheek and are rounded at the tip. And, when drawn out, the ears almost reach the end of the dog’s nose.
Beagles have large, soft hazel or brown-colored eyes that are set apart, which have a gentle, pleading houndlike expression.
They have a medium-length muzzle that is straight and square cut. They have a leveled jaw and large and open nostrils.
The beagle has a free-rising medium-length neck that rises strongly from the shoulders. The throat of the dog is clean and does not have any folds or wrinkles. Some dogs may have a slight wrinkle below the jaw. Beagles have muscular, clean and sloping shoulders that are not very heavy. The shoulders are built for strength and activity. The dog has a deep and broad chest.
They have a short, strong and muscular back. The ribs of the beagle are well sprung and the loin is broad and arched slightly. They have straight forelegs. Round and firm feet with a full and hard pad. Beagles have strong and well-muscled hips and thighs that give them plenty of propelling power. And, they have firm, symmetrical hocks that are moderately bent.
Beagles have a tail that is set high but is not turned forward over their back. The tail has a slight curve and is shorter compared to the length of tails of other hounds. Typically, purebred beagles have a little white on their tail.
However, the physical characteristics of the dog are not a very accurate way of ensuring that it is purebred because some purebred dogs don’t look much like the breed standard. And, sometimes cross-bred dogs match the breed standard very well, entirely by genetic chance. In terms of their coloring, purebred dogs can be mismarked and you could get a purebred dog that has flecks of color on its feet and chest that the breed standard does not allow. However, this does not mean that the dog is not purebred.
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Few Other Ways to Identify a Purebred Beagle
Speak to Your Vet
An experienced vet can give you some idea about the origins of your beagle pup because they have not only seen several breeds of dogs, but they also treat medical issues and conditions specific to the breed. The characteristics and health of your beagle pup may help to determine his lineage and whether he is purebred or not.
Check the Beagle’s Pedigree Papers
While there are no visual signs that a particular dog is purebred or not, you can definitely compare the pup with the breed standard to determine if the dog is purebred. However, some mutts could have the same signs as the dogs having ancestors of the same breed for several generations. One way by which you can check that the beagle is purebred is by looking at the dog’s pedigree papers.
Typically, only purebred dogs are registered as pedigrees by the American Kennel Club (AKC) or The Kennel Club (KC). So, if you have received a pedigree from the breeder when you bought your beagle puppy, then in all likelihood, the beagle is purebred.
The pedigree of the dog gives the details of 5 generations of your beagle puppy’s ancestors. The details show exactly who the ancestors of the dog were and also their accomplishments that they may have received during their lifetime.
This system could fail only if the breeder is dishonest and gives the Kennel Club the wrong information. If your beagle pup looks very different compared to what you expected, then another fool-proof way of checking if your beagle is purebred is by getting a DNA test of your dog.
If you want to be 100% sure that your beagle is purebred, then you can have his DNA tested. DNA testing can accurately determine the bloodline of your beagle pup and tell you where he comes from and whether he is purebred or a mixed breed. There are some DNA testing services available online or you could order a home DNA testing kit from sites like Amazon.
The DNA kit provides information about the dog’s ancestors right up to their great grandparents. It also offers the weight prediction of what your pup is as an adult and this can be quite helpful if your pup is a mixed breed with an unknown final size.
Related: Why Do Beagles Sleep So Much?
Where to Find Purebred Beagle Pups
If you want a purebred beagle pup, the best place to find one is via a breeder. Look for a reputed breeder who has a good standing in the community and is interested in promoting the wellbeing of the breed. A good, reputed breeder is likely to breed dogs that have the best possible structure and temperament and is sure to have done many health tests to ensure the health of the dogs.
When you pick your new beagle pup, ensure that the breeder shows you the beagle’s pedigree certificate. See the mother of the pup and if the father of the puppy is not on the same site, then at least check out his photographs. Ask to see the mating certificate to ensure that the father is what the breeder claims him to be.
Choose a beagle pup that looks like the way you want him to look and if you don’t like any beagle pup in the particular litter, there’s no harm in looking for another one that you like.
If you do bring home a beagle pup and discover that he is not purebred, it doesn’t really matter if you really love him. Your beagle will remain loving and devoted to you all his life, which is more important than him being a purebred. Finally, in the long run, the bloodline of your beagle will not matter as long as your furry pet is healthy and happy. And, regardless of whether your beagle is purebred or not, he will still be your friend and companion for life.