When most people begin their search for a new dog, there are a lot of considerations to make. You have to make sure that the dog will also be compatible with your lifestyle so that it can live its life to the fullest. From making sure you choose a healthy breed to choosing a breed that will get along with you and family members, there’s a lot of thought that goes into choosing a dog.
One area where people may have some questions about is what kinds of colors certain dogs come in. Some breeds have very specific colorations that they need to follow to qualify as show dogs, while other times, you can have countless known color combinations and patterns in a single breed of dog.
A breed of dog that may have more coloration combinations that you would expect is the beagle. Most people know beagles for having white and ginger coats with a little bit of black mixed in, but this is only the tip of the iceberg for the kinds of patterns that these lovable companions can have.
Puppies, Age, and Developing Color
If you are looking at adopting young puppies, one thing that you should note is that the color of the beagle puppy may not always represent the colors the dog will have as it ages. Puppies are often born a somewhat different color than their adult coats will have. Many puppies will be born with mostly white fur, only to develop markings as they age a little bit more.
It can be hard to determine what your puppy will look like as it grows into its adult coat. Sometimes there are signs, such as slightly darkened patches of fur that will develop into even darker patches. Sometimes you can rely on the appearance of the puppy’s parents. Sometimes, you might get something completely unexpected.
One thing to be aware of, is that beagles, among other dog breeds, are notorious for having their coats change in the first couple years of its life as it grows into its full size. You can expect that the colors will stop changing when the dog has reached maturity, which is at approximately 18 months. After this point, the coloration will only change when the dog reaches a more elderly age and the color fades.
Bi-Color and Tri-Color
There are two types of color combinations that you should be aware of when you are looking at beagle colors, and those are bi-color and tri-color coats. The name tells you everything that you should know about what these coats are and how they differ. Bi-color coats typically have two colors to them and means that your dog will only have two distinct colors in its fur, whereas tri-color coats will have a third color in them.
Beagles can develop either bi-color or tri-color coats. There is a chance that a beagle may have a single, solid color coat, but this is considered to be extremely rare by the AKC, so you shouldn’t count on that happening. The most common coloration is going to be a white base, or underbelly of the dog with another color (or two) covering the hips, head, and trunk.
This refers to all AKC-approved colorations. Beagles that had a parent that is not another purebred dog may have other combinations from these genetics. For the sake of simplicity, all of the colorations of beagles that are mentioned will only be the AKC-recognized patterns, but keep in mind that there is always room for other colors, depending on the genetics of the beagle.
The Colors Found in a Beagle’s Coat
The AKC has recognized that there are 10 different colors that beagles can have in their fur. There are 25 different combinations of these colors for tri-color and bi-color coats, as well as the fairly rare single-color coat. There are 10 bi-color combinations and 10 tri-color combinations of colors for beagle coats. The order of the coloration is important as well, as it denotes which part of the dog is which color.
For tri-colored beagles, they will be born with slightly darker shades of black and white on their coats and they will develop a third color as they age. The most common combinations of colors for these dogs include black-red-white, black-tan-white, black-white-tan, and black-fawn-white. Rare tri-color coats include red-black-white and black-tan-redtick.
For bi-colored beagles, they will be born either completely white or black with a few being a mix of both. They develop their secondary colors as they age. These are by far some of the most common dogs, with the most recognized coat colors being lemon-white and brown-white. Rare coats for these dogs include red-black, blue-white, and black-white.
Markings in the Dog’s Coat
The official name for the markings that some beagles can have in their fur is known as ticks. These can be thought of as having a mottled appearance, having tiny spots of color that are a different color than the rest of the beagle’s coat. There are only two recognized types of ticking in their fur: bluetick and redtick.
Beagles with bluetick fur will have blue-black spots covering their body, often far more visible in lighter colored areas. Likewise, redtick beagles will have dark red or burnt orange colored spots on their body in the same fashion.
The AKC officially recognizes only two combinations of colors for beagles that include this ticking pattern, and they are only found in dogs with a tri-color coat. One of them is the previously mentioned black-tan-redtick coloration, which is a fairly rare combination. The other is black-tan-bluetick, which is considered to be a common coloration and one that you are far more likely to see, especially from specialized breeders.
What About Patterns?
Beagles typically have a set type of pattern that their fur will have. What this means is that most beagles, no matter how distantly related they are, are likely to have colors in the same spots. These patterns don’t necessarily have a name to them, so it may be harder to find reference images. What is more likely is that the specific color combinations have specific patterns to them.
For example, dogs with black-tan-white and black-red-white colorations will have very similar placements of the tan/red furs and their white fur, whereas the black coloration will cover the back of the neck more in beagles with the red fur. Most tri-color beagles will seemingly have a coat of a color, a color that covers the face and legs, and the base color for the belly and lower paws.
Most bi-color beagles are more likely to have more broken patches of color, so it is not all one solid appearance. Most bi-color beagles will have their base color (white or black) covering their legs, stomach, neck, and the front of their face. They will then have their second color develop in spots along their truck, neck, and their eyes.