General Appearance: A miniature Foxhound, solid and big for his inches, with the wear-and-tear look of the hound that can last in the chase and follow his quarry to the death.
The proper English Foxhound is a beautifully proportioned hound, elegant in style, balanced fore and aft and nicely boned. “Big for its inches” means plenty of bone (particularly the round bone of the forelegs) for the height of the hound. Too much bone results in coarseness, too little in a spindly look. There should be no suggestion of ‘toyishness”.
Temperament: This “Merry Little Hound” is just that: happy, friendly, and courageous without being foolhardy. As pack hounds, they must be good-natured and coexist and work with other dogs happily. Shy or mean Beagles are problem hounds and should not be tolerated. Bred for scenting game, the Beagle’s nose may move automatically to the ground when shown on a loose lead.
Presentation in the Ring: The Beagle is a working scent hound and should have a natural look. Excess hair may be trimmed from the neck and body, tidying the outline, but still maintaining a natural appearance, not appearing barbered or shaved. The long hairs at the tip of the tail are shaped to give a smoother natural appearance, ending in a properly rounded tip, not flattened or squared off, nor should the hair on the tail be teased and backcombed to resemble a bottle brush. Whiskers may be trimmed to give a clean line to the muzzle, but may also be left untrimmed. Whiskers serve as sensory organs, probably serving to protect the eye as the Beagle hunts in close brush. Dewclaws may be removed to give a clean line to the legs. Nails are kept trimmed to help maintain the compact foot. Clean teeth, clean coat with a natural healthy gloss enhance the appearance of any hound. Provided the coat is a true hound color, color and markings in the breed are of no consequence. Artificial enhancement to color of the coat, nose or eye rims, is prohibited by the American Kennel Club and is not to be tolerated.