Beagle colors are defined by each registration association, and so vary from
registry to registry. For example, the colors listed on the AKC registry form
are not the same as those on other associations' forms. A widely-accepted
definition of beagle color possibilities is that they can be "any hound color," which makes
the subject quite diverse.
Let's add to the confusion: Within each beagle genetic color grouping are also "shades" of
the same color and combinations of color genes. Regarding people, we know that there are a few basic hair colors
such as blonde, redhead, and brunette. But remember that there are dirty
blondes, dark blonde, strawberry blondes, etc. The same is true of beagles.
There are chocolate tri, silver tri, lilac tri, shaded tri, etc. A
red-based beagle can be lemon, red, mahogany....you can see the problem here.
Beagle colors are affected by quite a few genes, so I don't imagine that I'll
ever have all possible colors represented on this page due to the variety of
combinations (imagine for example a lemon with a silver gene). But, I'll put as many as
possible as we have photos available here.
Brown and black blend together on ribcage, rather than a clean line
differentiating the colors.
The back may appear "faded" as the years pass.
Solid black saddle
Tan, Black, and White Tri
Chocolate Tri and Liver Tri-colored
There are several shades of chocolate beagles, from dark chocolate to having a
nearly red back. The darkest is a normal "chocolate" tri, with Liver tri
lighter or even light enough to look the same as Red and White (except for the
color of the nose). Chocolates have reddish/brownish noses, and not black
noses. Their eyes are typically lighter in color than most other beagle colors
It is difficult to tell the difference between chocolate and liver beagle
puppies until they are around weaning age, although sometimes it can be
determined earlier if there are a chocolate and a liver to compare side by side.
Blue Tri (Silver Tri Color)
Some blue/silver beagles are almost as dark as regular tri-colored
beagles, but that is not always the case. Some blue beagles do lose most of
their silver back color as they mature ("dark silver"). Others have a charcoal-colored saddle
at maturity. Silver beagles' heads will have a bit of a
different color when compared to regular tri-colored beagles, and their noses
are dark blue-gray.
Some breeds of dogs with this color genetic combination have frequent occurrence
of "blue alopecia" among members of the breed with this coloration. Blue
alopecia does likely exist in beagles, but it seems to be rare.
Lilac Tri is the name used by AKC for this particular color. Other
registration associations classify it under a general "brown, tan, and white" or
"chocolate tri" or "blue fawn."
Some breeds of dogs with this color genetic combination have
frequent occurrence of "blue alopecia" among members of the breed with this
coloration. Blue alopecia does likely exist in beagles, but it seems to be rare.
Although these puppies (above) are usually called tan and white, they are most likely very
rare "hare pied" beagles. Hare Pied beagles have
black tips on the hairs down the middle of their backs, and might have a 'butterfly
nose' (liver in the middle, dark on the outer edges).
Other Tan and White beagles are true bi-colored (red based), without black tips
on the hairs on their backs. We've had several true tan and white puppies, and
I'll try to gather pictures to add to the Bi-Color section below soon.
Red and white beagles are a darker orange than the tan/lemon and white beagles
below. At birth, you can already see their colored patches.
Lemon and White
This lemon or tan and white (above) shows the typical golden patches of a lemon beagle. Her white
areas might be slightly off white (a light cream), or may be clear white. Her
back is uniformly gold in her color patches, without any black hairs or
black-tipped hairs. Her nose is black. The above dog might actually be a tan and
white, rather than a lemon.
Another possible lemon (above): I questioned whether
this is really a lemon, but have been told by several
breeders that she is. She does have a liver nose rather
than black (some say that true lemons have black noses).
If she is not lemon, then she is still a red bi-color of some
Tan and White
Tan and White beagles are true bi-colored (red based),
without black tips on the hairs on their backs. Their
colored areas are tan or light orange, rather than dark
reddish orange. We've had several true tan and white
puppies, and I'll try to gather pictures to add here soon.
Ticking refers to freckles on the legs and in the colored areas. If there are
black ticks on the barrel/back of a dog, it can be referred to as "blue ticked."
If the freckles are red/brown, it is "red ticked." Ticking can also occur on the
legs. Hunting bloodlines are more often ticked, as the show bloodlines have been
selectively bred for white legs more so than with ticking.
Mottled can look like ticking. But mottled dogs will have mottled markings on
the pads of their feet as pups. They also may have a dark brownish gray nose,
rather than a black nose. A mottled dog's nose is also called a "butterfly
nose," because the middle half of the nose is lighter in color than the two
What will a puppy look like at maturity if it is born black and white? What if
it is born all white? This section, as it grows, will show the changes in colors
from birth to adulthood.
For each given color, the pictures are not necessarily the same dog. So
disregard the white markings, and look instead at the body colors. One thing to
note about white markings on the faces and shoulders/neck is that the white
areas will get a little smaller in proportion to the body size as the puppy
Tri-colored beagles are born black and white, with the brown on the head, hips,
and legs evolving as the puppy matures. White markings also reduce in proportion
on the head as the puppy matures.
Lemon and White
Lemon puppies are born pure white, with no colored patches.
Some breeders advertise their red and white puppies as lemons, but
don't be fooled! If you are looking for a lemon and white, ask to see a newborn
picture. Lemon and white beagles look extremely similar to tan and white
Red and White
Red and white puppies are born looking similar in color to an adult lemon. Some
breeders advertise their red and white puppies as lemons, but there is a
difference. Compare to the lemon pictures above.
Red and white beagles typically have rust-colored noses (pinkish brown).
Tan and White (so close to Lemon that I'm
using the same pictures temporarily)
Lemon and tan bi-colored puppies are born almost pure white, with almost no colored patches. Tan puppies might
show a cream color at birth, but only slightly.
Comparison of birth colors to their 6-week colors, above.
(Tan and White, Red and White)
These puppies' mature colors were a little darker than the 6-week old photos
rare (extremely rare!) "hare pied" beagles.
Lilac Tri (also referred to as Khaki, Blue
Fawn and Mocha)
In the group/litter picture, the lighter-colored puppies are lilac beagles, and the darker are chocolate tri
beagles. Learn more about Khaki
beagle color ("Khaki" is a term a few people use to describe this
color, as is Blue Fawn. AKC calls it "Lilac Tri," so to be as correct as
possible, we also use AKC's terminology for this color in the beagle breed.)
Note that blue ticks are born without the ticking (freckles), which appears
beginning about 3 weeks of age.
Purebred beagles do not come in merle. Anyone making such a
claim has probably introduced another breed into their beagle
lines (such as dachshund), or has bought a puppy from a breeder
that has done so. This practice is seen in the so-called "pocket
beagles," where small dog breeds have been crossbred with beagles
to reduce size. In addition to introducing non-beagle colors, this
also introduces health problems found in those other breeds.