Snoopy, with his black and white coat, may be the most recognizable representative of the beagle breed. Actually, these happy, little hounds come in a variety of colors and patterns, including red and blue ticking, or freckling. No pattern is more desirable than any other.
A Host of Colors
The American Kennel Club recognizes 10 colors and 25 possible color combinations in beagles, with black and tan, or black, white and tan among the most common. Other colors that can be found, either alone or in combination, are brown, fawn, blue, red and lemon. The AKC breed standard regards all of these hues as “true hound colors.”
Mark of the Beagle
In addition to their variety of basic coat colors, beagles can sport any of six different markings, including the blue and red freckles known as ticking. Black, brown, tan or white markings are possibilities, as are spots, which are similar to red or blue ticking, though usually are larger and found in a wider variety of shades. All of these markings are acceptable under the breed standard.
Hunting and More
The beagle's origins are a bit of a mystery. There is no real documentation of the breed's development, but there are stories of hound packs turning up in England as far back as pre-Roman days. Hunting always has been a part of the breed's background. Today's beagles are particularly known for their ability to scent rabbits and other small game. In addition, they are highly valued as companion animals because of their merry, friendly personalities.
Based outside Pittsburgh, Jamie Rankin began her career as a professional writer as a news and sports journalist with the "Daily Courier," a subsidiary of the "Pittsburgh Tribune-Review." Her work has appeared in both publications. Rankin, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and communications from Point Park University, has been writing sports and pet-related articles online since 2004.