Balance is critical. The length of body measured from prosternum to point of buttock is longer than distance from withers to ground. There should be prosternum visible in front of the shoulder. Additionally, there should be some “dog behind the tail”, which is created by proper angulation of the pelvis as it meets the femur. As a result, the beagle is off square, longer than tall.
Although the standard calls for a short back, the back must have sufficient length to allow for proper rib construction and a well muscled loin. Ribs should extend well back. Back length should be long enough to allow for a ground covering side gait; hounds that are too short coupled will not be able to accommodate the angulation necessary for endurance in the field. A shorter backed beagle is not necessarily more correct.