Let’s Talk Breed Education!
VOICES OF EXPERIENCE: THE BEAGLE
BY CLAIRE “KITTY” STEIDEL
B reeders do not always agree on an individual dog or the quality of a certain bloodline or the value of a particular stud dog or brood bitch. Yet if one asks for the basic necessities in their breed, for example a good Beagle, likely there is agree- ment. I have information from two well respected sourc- es I would like to share with those breeding, exhibiting and judging the Beagle. These are voices of experience. First a bit of history, next voices from long-time breed- ers with decades of experience—one East Coast and one West Coast. Finally their assessment of today’s Beagle and breeder biographies. SOME HISTORY The word Beagle appears to have developed from ancient Celtic, French and old English languages: beag, beigh and begle —all meaning small. Greek author, Xeno- phon, mentions small hounds hunting with man on foot in 450 B.C. In addition, Onomasticon , a Greek dictionary by Pollux, reports dogs alongside man in 1300 B.C. Further there is mention in Chaucer in the 14th Century of a small dog accompanying man hunting hare. During the Middle Ages, two types of hounds were prevalent in England—the Northern and the Southern Hound. They were rather large hounds yet it is suspected by some that the Northern and Southern Hound were bred with the Harrier resulting in the Beagle or that the Beagle resulted from miniaturizing the ancient Harrier. Necessary to understanding any breed is some knowl- edge of its history. His size, his temperament—most of the breed’s features contribute to doing a job. Even though there may not be a certifiable date of a breed’s origin, in addition to the job or purpose, clues may be derived from examining the environment and climate where a breed was developed. The Beagle’s origin is uncertain. Is it down from the Harrier, the old Southern hound or the Foxhound or both? We are not sure but we know he is a scent hound developed in Britain where he hunted rabbit and hare pri- marily in packs with huntsmen following mainly on foot or horseback. The local area—its terrain, climate and size of prey—determined the type of Beagle that evolved. Larger prey in England demanded a larger dog. Yet, eventually in the US, as the population of larger game declined, the
Ideal head: Skull fairly long, slightly domed at occiput, cranium broad and full. Eyes large, set well apart, fine in texture, inturning to the cheek, soft and hound- like expression—gentle and pleading.
(All photos courtesy of Lesley Hiltz)
Beagle’s purpose became centered on rabbit. FROM SURVIVAL TO SPORT
Out of necessity, very early man used the dog for sur- vival to hunt his food; however, eventually that hunting activity became sport, and pastime, particularly with the
1978’s Top Dog. Note overall balance, clean shoulders and musculature, no heaviness.
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Voices of Experience: The Beagle
BY CLAIRE “KITTY” STEIDEL continued
aristocracy—no longer merely means for survival. Since the English landed-gentry engaged in blood sports as a social activ- ity, they followed deer, fox, hare and badger with both large and small dogs on horse- back and on foot. In England, the British aristocracy kept stockmen to rear and select Beagles for their packs. In time, an evenness and uniformity of pack became important and very competitive. Due to regional dif- ferences in terrain the dogs did not resemble each other much in general but they were very similar to each other in a given region. Many strains developed: all were used to locate, flush and drive hare to hunters. WHAT ARE POCKET & GLOVE BEAGLES? Popular pets with the royal family were pocket Beagles, those under 10 inches, sometimes even under 9 inches, bred for
amusement and their melodious singing voices. These small Beagles could fit in a hunting coat pocket or a gauntlet. It is said the Beagle was considered little darlings of the aristocracy. However, in the lat- ter 19 century, when more interest in fox hunting prevailed with the elite, interest in the Beagle declined. With fox hunting, rather than rabbit hunting, becoming the new fashion amongst the landed gentry in England, Ireland and Wales, the Beagle instead became the favorite of the farmers and small landowners in hunting rabbit to guns. This new ownership likely saved them from extinction. BEAGLE COMES TO AMERICA It was 1873 when the British KC first recognized the Beagle; they were exhib- ited in packs at shows. Meanwhile here in
America in 1876, General Richard Rowett of Illinois imported the first Beagles from several different kennels in England. Since so many lacked the head, body and legs of a good animal, the fanciers of the day took steps to ensure that the Beagle resemble a miniature Foxhound. A Beagle Club was formed in Philadelphia and this helped to improve type and uniformity. In 1887 a first Standard for the breed was written. In America, the National Beagle Club formed in 1890 to hold field trials for improving tracking qualities and type. After rejection by the AKC, the Beagle Club merged with the National Club to be known as the National Beagle Club. They purchased a 400-acre Institute Farm in Aldie, Virginia, which to this day is home to all the NBC activities. One might wonder why we have both 13 and 15 inch Beagles in this country. The variety by size may be explained by the job he does. The 13" hound is designed to get into the brush and flush out the rabbit; he needs a very protective coat. The 15" vari- ety chases cottontail rabbits. Cottontails run in a circle to waiting guns. Yet another theory is hunters did not feel it was fair for the under 13" hounds to be competing/run- ning with the under 15". PERSONALITY The Beagle has always been a popular breed. He is amiable, friendly and alert. His disposition allows him to meet and face any situation. His handy size and good nature make him a great family pet. While not a guard dog in any sense, he will give voice freely at any intrusion or unusual event. Throughout the world the Beagle is known for his even, dependable temperament. Regardless of his size he is a solid, cheerful character and especially good with children. Beagles are found in nearly all countries of Europe and thanks to ground work of Eng- lish and American bloodlines also seen now The Beagle is described in his standard as a small breed; however, “big for his inch- es” whether 13" or 15" variety, he is strong, sturdy and sound. His weight is approxi- mately 20-25 pounds. Some of our very good Beagles that measure over 15 inches here in the US go to the UK for show. It is felt that no good Beagle is a bad color: structure is way more important. From their book, The International Encyclopedia of Dogs , Annie R. Clark and Andrew Brace describe the essentials of the breed: “The head should be fairly long, slightly domed at the occiput with moderately low set ears that can reach to the end of the nose. The stop should be moderately well in some parts of Eastern Europe. BASIC DESCRIPTION
Top Beagle 2010. Strong and sturdy. Note the straight legs, the substance, no sign of cloddiness.
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BEAGLE / GREYHOUND
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Voices of Experience: The Beagle
BY CLAIRE “KITTY” STEIDEL continued
Left: 2008 Best in Show winner at Westminster. Right: Compare others to this Beagle from the 70s. Note less balance and especially rear angulation in the right-side photo.
defined, the muzzle square cut and the large, set apart eyes should be dark brown or hazel which help to create the unique soft, pleading expression that is so very much a part of the Beagle’s charm.” (Clark and Brace) The neck should allow him to easily scent, shoulders clean and sloping, chest broad and deep, back short, muscular and strong, with close round paws, rear well bent stifles and muscular thighs, the tail set high but never curled over the back. Gait should be free, far reaching in front and drive in the rear. Coat must be short, dense and weather resistant. FROM THE BREEDERS From Marcelo Chagas The Beagle standard states that Beagles should be a Foxhound in miniature. It also states that both 15" and 13" dogs should be proportionally the same. Unfortunately, breeders and judges alike have lost sight of this aspect. Our 15s have become big and clunky, and the 13s are small and cobby. They often do not look alike, and the idea of “the smaller and shorter the better” is far from true. Clean and elegant, but substantial and strong is what I believe a Beagle should be. Well laid back shoulders, with a moder- ately angled front, and a strong forechest. The body is thick but not tubular nor
is it racy. It is slightly longer than tall, to allow for correct movement. The rear is moderately angled, neither straight in hips or stifle. I’ve seen many dogs to be beautiful examples of our standard, but I’ve also seen some that are less than satisfactory. I sup- pose it is up to personal preference when it comes to the finer details, but structure is structure in the ring, judges seem to want a flashy, tricolor Beagle. A Beagle should always be two of those things; happy and with a pleasing expression. Remember, a Beagle is of any hound color, and the amount of white on it doesn’t constitute a nice dog. Movement should cover ground efficiently, but does not have to be fast, or fancy. Today’s Beagles have their faults, as do they their strengths. Every generation will be that way. It is up to us as breeders to rec- ognize both, improve with each generation, and preserve our beautiful breed. From Lesley & David Hiltz What do the breeders and judges get right today and what needs to be addressed? This is how I would like to see people judge our breed. When the dog first comes into the ring I want to have the impres- sion of a merry hound. When I move them around the ring I am not looking for the fastest dog but the dog that takes the least
number of strides for the same distance. It should be an effortless gait—this is a dog that works all day in the field and has to have endurance. Endurance is not obtained by taking lots of quick steps. After taking the dogs around to the table, stand back and look at the dog on the table both from the side and from the front. From the side you’re looking for overall balance. From the front you are looking for straight front legs, fill in of chest and good cat feet. Now move up to the head where you need to see a gentle, pleading expression. You don’t want to see frown or wrinkle because that makes the dog look worried and this not a characteristic of the breed. The eye color also adds to the expres- sion. My theory is that if the eyes are the first thing you notice then they are too light (standard says brown or hazel). Also many Beagles are appearing in the ring with small, Terrier-like eyes, which is not typical. Another feature of the expression is the ear placement, which is moderately low, set in line with the corner of the eye. All Beagles can raise their ears a little if a noise is made so it’s preferable not to do that. Have the exhibitor show you the bite, the standard just says, “jaws level”, but as breeders we all want a scissor bite, but will tolerate a level one. Neck into shoulders—this is currently one of the more challenging areas in the
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*AKC STATS AS OF 10/31/21
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Voices of Experience: The Beagle
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For those wishing more information and multiple photos on the Beagle, go to the following links that Lesley Hiltz of Starbucks Torbay has created for the National Beagle Club website. The topics range from colors of the Beagle, top winners by years, to tips for judging the breed.
BEAGLES CAN BE ANY COLOR clubs.akc.org/NBC/beagle_colors.html
BEAGLE JUDGING TIPS www.slideshare.net/brc23/judging-beagle-tips-website
TOP WINNERS IN THE BREED clubs.akc.org/NBC/top_winners.html
JUDGES EDUCATION POWERPOINT www.slideshare.net/brc23/nbc-judges-edpowerpoint
A 13" bitch of lovely proportion, not a fancy color, not dyed but of truly exceptional balance. Lovely head, neck into shoulder, topline and tail.
PAST NATIONAL SPECIALTY WINNERS clubs.akc.org/NBC/nbc_winners_pictures.html
JUDGING THE BREED clubs.akc.org/NBC/judging_the_breed.html
Following her move to the US in 1988, she entered the AKC system, and recommenced her judging career from the beginning, now approved by AKC to judge the Hound, Toy, Herding and Non Sporting Groups as well as nine Working breeds. She has judged Beagle Specialties in Australia, Ger- many, Chile, Czech Republic, Philippines, Den- mark, Sweden, the UK and Norway as well as National Specialties for Beagles and Basenjis in the US. She has judged international all-breed competi- tions in the countries just named as well as China, Taiwan and Italy.
breed. Many Beagles are very upright in shoulder and short in upper arm, which gives a tendency to produce a shorter, higher stepping movement in many cases. You want a firm topline and a short com- pact body (but this is not a square dog) with the ribs forming approximately 75% of the length of the body and a short compact loin. We are seeing a lot of very short ribs and in some cases the sternum is not coming back beyond the elbows. Please feel to see how far back the sternum comes and also check the length of rib, as we are also find- ing short rib cages creeping into the breed. You want a dog with a level topline, a tail set on high and carried gaily. You should never reward a Beagle that will not put its tail up at least some of the time it is in the ring. Perhaps it just needs more ring train- ing and socialization and on another day it may be just fine but do not reward it on this day. Movement is not mentioned in the Bea- gle standard, so let me express my opinion of what I think is ideal Beagle movement. Viewed from the side the back should be level and firm, there should be no indication of a roll. The stride is free, long reaching in front and straight without high action; hind legs showing drive. The dog should not wave paws when coming and going while from the rear hocks should be parallel and not move close behind. Then we come to color. A very large proportion of the tricolored specials in the ring today are dyed. This is because exhibi- tors think you have to have a black saddle to win. It should not be so, as it is the qual- ity of the dog, not the color that you are judging, after all the standard says, “any true Hound color”. If judges would reward faded tricolors, then perhaps this practice would cease. Some enlightenment on Beagles! Thank you for your insight David, Lesley and Marcelo!
Gilbey, Sir Walter. Hounds of Old Days . Saiga Publications, 1979 Clark, Ann R. and Brace, Andrew. International Encyclopedia of Dogs , Howell, 1995 Popular Dogs, Visualization of Breed Standards . Publisher George Foley, 1962
ABOUT THE BREEDERS David Hiltz Starbuck Beagles
David has owned Beagles since 1965 and started showing in 1971. He has bred, owned and shown many of the top Beagles in America. Ch. Starbuck’s Hang’em High, was owned, bred and handled by David to become the breed record-holder in his day. This Hound is still the leading sire in the breed today with 130 champions. David originally showed under the Starbuck prefix and now with his wife, Lesley, use StarbuckTorbay. (This is a combination of each of our kennel names.) As well as in as America, David has shown Beagles in Scandinavia, Europe, England, New Zealand and Australia. David has lived in Aus- tralia and has owned/bred seven Australian champi- ons. He believes this coupled with the fact that he has seen Beagles in most parts of the world gives him a unique perspective on the breed. He has judged Beagle Specialties in Denmark and Sweden and has judged National Beagle Club (US). Lesley and David are the first husband and wife to have had that honor.
Marcelo Chagas Torque Beagles
Marcelo Chagas has been involved in the sport of pure bred dogs since an early age in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He started in Junior Handler competition. In 1981, he went to California to work as an assistant for Bergit and Clay Coady. After a great period, there he went back to Brazil and started work- ing as a professional handler. In 2002, he moved back to US. He always had a passion for breeding and mentor- ing his clients on their breeding programs. He has bred many breeds over the years: Cocker Spaniels, English Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Pointers, Dober- mans, Wire Fox Terriers, Smooth Fox Terriers and Manchester Terriers. When a client of his decided to no longer breed Beagles, over 25 years ago, Marcelo formed a partnership with Marco Flavio Botelho—all his dogs and add to Torque Beagles owned by Marco and his wife Alessandra. Over the years they have bred many champions all over the world, four multiple BIS winners in the US, num- ber one Hound in Canada, two National Specialty Winners in the US and the Top Winning Beagle (both Varieties) in AKC History with 44 All Breed Best in Shows. Nine years ago Marcelo formed a partnership with Dr. Roger P. Travis when he began breeding Manchester Terriers under the “Cottage Lake” prefix. In 2015, they were the proud breeder-owner-handler of the two National Specialty Winners (Beagles and Manches- ters), both bitches with multiple generations behind bred by them.
Lesley Hiltz Torbay Beagles
In the mid 60s, Lesley purchased her first Beagle, and commenced showing the same year. At this time, she was living in Australia. In 1968, she made the first of many trips to America where she vis- ited many of the top-winning Kennels of the day. In 1970 she went to England for two years and dur- ing this time showed Beagles throughout England. In 1988 she moved to the US and continued to breed and exhibit Beagles (in partnership with her hus- band, David). They are still actively breeding and exhibiting today. In Australia, in 1974 Lesley obtained a license to judge all the Hounds, and in 1979 all Toys.
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THE BEAGLE THE HAPPY-GO-LUCKY PUP
KIM AND TIM DELANEY
Beagles in particular are much more balanced and overall more sound dogs. They are generally of sound tempera- ment and merry little dogs. We often find the quality of bitches to be better than that of dogs, but we are seeing some low tail sets and crooked fronts in our breed, which need to be improved. AD: In my opinion the current quality of purebred dogs in general, as well as Beagles in particular, is becom- ing somewhat of a division between the few outstand- ing specimens being presented versus the remainder of exhibits who are on the slippery slope to becoming mediocre. It is unfortunate there are too many incorrect dogs being placed in the show ring. This is due to many factors though lack of education on structure and form to function, in my opinion, is at the forefront of culprits. 2. The biggest concern you have about your breed, be it medical, structural or temperament-wise? K&TD: The biggest concern in our breed would be overall health. Most breeders strive to ensure they are breed- ing healthy sound-minded dogs—and health testing is at that heart of it. However, while you can test for
We own Shillington Beagles and we live in beautiful Fort Ellis, Nova Scotia, Canada. Kim is self-employed, running her own boarding kennel and grooming shop. Tim is laboratory manager for the Department of Agriculture for the Province of Nova Scotia. Kim began showing dogs at the age of seven when her parents purchased their first purebred Collie. Tim began showing his family’s Great Pyrenees at age 14. Togeth- er we have bred some 58 Beagle champions in four different countries, with multiple Best Puppy in Show winners, Best in Show winners and specialty winners. ANNETTE DIDIER l live in Fort Wayne, Indiana in the house in which l grew up! We have a secluded, wooded 10-acre plot that let’s us escape from the business of everyday life. A perfect location for the Beagles! Outside of dogs, I work two jobs, leaving little time to do more preferable things! Though I do like to cook, garden, shop and travel (which dog showing lends a hand)! I began exhibiting in the mid-70s with an English Springer Spaniel, realizing rather quickly she was sub-par excellence! It was a natural change for me to get into Beagles—the breed we always owned while growing up! The Beagle, the merry little hound! The go anywhere, do anything dog! The soft, pleading brown eyes of a Beagle portray its warm personality, however, beneath their pleas- ant exterior and compact size lies boundless energy, which contributes to their happy-go-lucky attitude. Channeling that energy can be a bit of a challenge for some, though, that same energy is the basis of the Beagle’s stamina, so critical while in the field to endure in chase all day without fatigue. So, strength and the ability to carry out this function are critical to the Beagle’s survival in the pack. That same stamina proves advantageous to the performance, show or companion Bea- gle as well, whether they are tackling an agility course or flying over a jump to retrieve a dumbbell, diving off a dock or earning a Championship or MACH titles, our happy, no non- sense, intelligent, diverse little hounds are built to do it all! 1. Your opinion of the current quality of purebred dogs in general and your breed in particular? K&TD: Overall we would say the quality of purebred dogs is at an all time high. Dogs are much more sound now than in years past and have much more stable temperaments.
A beautiful Beagle. Gorgeous length of neck blending smoothly into her shoulders, balanced front and rear and correct topline and tailset.
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“PERSONALLY SPEAKING, WE STRIVE TO BREED SOUND- MINDED, HAPPY, HEALTHY DOGS WHO ARE FINE EXAMPLES OF THE BREED STANDARD AND THAT MAKE WONDERFUL FAMILY PETS.”
almost anything, that does not mean you should. More emphasis needs to be placed on testing for issues that are life-threatening to our breed and not for minor issues that can be managed. Personally speaking, we strive to breed sound-minded, happy, healthy dogs who are fine examples of the breed standard and that make wonderful family pets. Working with like minded-people, we hope we are accomplishing that. AD: As far as Beagles are concerned, dogs with very short backs, usually by shortening the ribs rather than the loin, which in turn forces the shoulders forward and upward into the neck, (losing the beautiful forechest that goes with the longer upper arm and layback of shoulder), restricting reach. Instead, the flat, straight fronts we are now witnessing too frequently mimics the characteristic Terrier pendular movement versus the effortless, clean reach and drive the Beagle should posses. All too often the correctly structured and moving Beagle goes unrecognized by the judge many times being the single
entrant possessing these important features. In the Visu- alization of the NBC Standard it states that: “Balance is critical. The length of body measured from prosternum to point of buttock is longer than the distance from with- ers 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 angula- tion of the pelvis as it meets the femur. As a result, the Beagle is off square, longer than tall. Although the stan- dard 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 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.” Many breeders, in my opinion, are seemingly taking ‘shortness in back’ to the extreme resulting in straight fronts, upright shoulders and the aforementioned terrier like pendular movement. I feel the confusion may lie in the fact that many include the loin in the short back equation rather than discerning between the short back along with the loin equalling the entire topline. This being said, the overall profile of the Beagle should be slightly more rectangular in shape versus ‘square’ many believing the American Beagle to be. Also, l feel there is currently a much greater depth of quality in the Beagle bitches as compared to their male counterparts. 3. The biggest problem facing you as a breeder? K&TD: The biggest problem facing us as breeders in Nova Scotia is there are not many other Beagle breeders close to us. We often are the only entry at our shows and have to travel many hours to compete at specialties and meet up with other breeders. It’s the same situation for accessing a stud dog: we have to borrow a dog or lease or import frozen semen, as driving back and forth to a local breeder is just not in the cards.
A beautiful example of breed type, balance, clean outline, ample bone without being overdone; lovely length of neck blendinginto his shoulders; pleasing head and expression! A wonderful overall package!
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Pups Owned & Bred by: Nanette Prideaux Peggy Schmelkin
Owned & Bred by: Nanette Prideaux Peggy Schmelkin
Introduces her new Champion Children who are hitting the Specials Ring!
Saranan's LIVING LEGACY with Cranston Hill Champion
Handled by: S. Terri Giannetti
Saranan's FOOTSTEPS IN THE SAND with Cranston Hill Champion
Handled by: Lesley Potts
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BEAGLE (OVER 13 IN.)
WITH KIM AND TIM DELANEY AND ANNETTE DIDIER
AD: Educating breeders and judges alike on what is correct as pertaining to structure, movement and type I find as one of our greatest challenges as breeders since many breed standards, Beagle’s included, is too subjective leaving room for personal interpretation. The guidance of a good mentor who is well respected in the breed can assist you in the clarification of any unclear specifics. 4. Advice to a new breeder? Advice to a new judge of your breed? K&TD: We would say to anyone new to the breed: figure out what type of Beagle you like; strike up a friendship with someone who has years of knowledge and experi- ence in the breed; and listen to what they have to say. Have a mentor—it will be invaluable to you. Listening is key. So often newbies come along and it’s as if dog shows started when they arrived. There is much to learn if you are willing—and not from only Beagle breeders but, breeders of other breeds can be a wealth of knowledge: from whelping and breeding advice, to training and handling. If we were to give a new judge advice about judging Bea- gles, we would say learn to measure properly. Our breed has a height disqualification and if you are unsure that the dog in your ring is within the allowed height, then measure. Don’t say to the exhibitor, “I loved your dog, but couldn’t put him up because he looks too big,” and not measure him. We will not be offended if you measure our dogs. Breeders would much rather have their dogs measured than dismissed because you “thought” they “WATCH OTHER BREEDS WHILE BEING JUDGED WHICH, IN TURN, HELPS US TO UNDERSTAND OUR OWN BREED ON A MULTITUDE OF LEVELS.”
were not correct size—and please learn how to measure correctly, placing the stick on the shoulder. AD: Advise to a new breeder is to understand basic confor- mation/structure/type as it applies to the breed standard. Always keep an open mind and never stop learning. Seek advice from the reputable/seasoned breeders. Watch other breeds while being judged which, in turn, helps us to understand our own breed on a multitude of levels. Attend field trials as often as possible to observe the Beagle in action. Never stop learning! Be appreciative of all those breeders, past and present, who have provided us with the breeding stock from which we’ve derived our current day breeding programs, as we owe them a debt of gratitude for all their dedica- tion to the breed. It has taken me the course of nearly 40 years to tweak my breeding program to achieve what I have today. Therefore patience is key! A multitude of thanks goes to those who have contributed in varied capacities along the way. Obviously, we don’t do this breeding “thing” alone! Advise to a new judge of Beagles is, again, know basic conformation/structure/type as it applies to the breed standard. Please, please, please do not judge Beagles as Terriers, Beagles are not a straight-fronted breed! Evalu- ate the entire Beagle beyond the color/markings as any true hound color is acceptable including the open marks, various pieds (compounded of white and the color of the hare or badger), blues, tans, reds, lemons, etc. Be fair and choose wisely, in doing so you will garner insurmount- able respect in the long run. Please do not judge a breed you are unfamiliar with, all too often these judges have a
An adorable tri-color Beagle puppy!
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tendency to look at the opposite end of the lead for guid- ance. Sometimes putting up a familiar face, one might reason, justifies that win. In doing so, not only are you doing a disservice to that breed (by perhaps choosing an incorrect dog), you are, in essence, stealing that win from the exhibit who deserved it on that day. 5. Anything else you’d like to share—something you’ve learned as a breeder, exhibitor or judge or a par- ticular point you’d like to make? K&TD: We would also like to say Beagles are a wonderful breed. They are quirky and do funny things and make you laugh everyday. They are smart and stubborn, and are a wonderful pet for children. While they’re low maintenance, they do bore easily, so they do benefit from obedience training. AD: One structural problem that keeps rearing it’s ugly head and becoming increasingly more prevalent in Beagles is the unilateral or bilateral hitching (skipping) action of the rear legs. It is my understanding from my veterinar- ian that this condition is genetic and any dog possessing this trait should not be used in a breeding program nor should he be recognized for any awards at any given recognized point show. The hindquarters provide the Beagle’s propelling power which, in coordination with the shoulders, should angle nicely at the stifle and hock, providing a smooth-flexing, powerful drive from behind not a hitching/skipping action. 6. And for a bit of humor, what’s the funniest thing that you ever experienced at a dog show? AD: A funny thing happened while at the National. We all, at some point, encounter that dreaded fear of falling while in the ring. Yes, it happened to me. Still green behind the ears, showing my first homebred Champion at an outdoor National held at Institute Farm in Virginia! It had rained earlier in the day making the grass (and red clay) rather slippery. Annie Clark, officiating the 15" BOV class, was using me as her dividing post since I was wearing a kelly green blazer. With the relief of being a ‘keeper’, Annie motioned for us to take a lap around the ring. In doing so, I caught my foot on the metal pole/ring marker and hit the ground. The exhibitor behind me was agile enough to jump over me, a spectator caught my dog outside the ring and while sitting on the wet ground Annie walks up to me with hands on her hips, looks down and asks, with her commanding voice, “Are you alright?” Looking up to her, whose image is larger than life anyway, I embarrass- ingly responded, “Yes”, even though I thought I broke my wrist (luckily I didn’t)! Once everyone regained their composure the judging commenced. We still didn’t win though I am thankful beyond words that this happened before the days of live streaming and social media!
Two beautiful head shots. Both a bit different in type, although both are pleasing and correct.
The overall appearance of the Beagle should be slightly more rectangle in shape rather than square.
“WE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO SAY BEAGLES ARE A WONDERFUL BREED. THEY ARE
QUIRKY AND DO FUNNY THINGS
AND MAKE YOU LAUGH EVERYDAY.”
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Official Stan dard for th e BEAGLE COURTESY THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB
Head: The skull should be fairly long, slightly domed at occiput,with cranium broad and full. Ears-Ears set on moderately low,long,reaching when drawn out near- ly,if not quite,to the end of the nose;fine in texture,fairly broad-with almost entire absence of erectile power-setting close to the head,with the forward edge slightly inturning to the cheek-rounded at tip. Eyes-Eyes large, set well apart-soft and houndlike-expression gentle and pleading; of a brown or hazel color. Muzzle-Muzzle of medium length-straight and square-cut- the stop moderately defined. Jaws-Level. Lips free from flews; nostrils large and open. Defects-A very flat skull, narrow across the top;excess of dome,eyes small, sharp and terrierlike,or prominent and protruding; muzzle long, snipy or cut away decidedly below the eyes,or very short. Roman-nosed,or upturned,giving a dish-face expression. Ears short, set on high or with a tendency to rise above the point of origin. Body: Neck and Throat-Neck rising free and light from the shoulders strong in sub- stance yet not loaded,of medium length. The throat clean and free from folds of skin; a slight wrinkle below the angle of the jaw, however, may be allowable. Defects-A thick,short,cloddy neck carried on a line with the top of the shoulders. Throat showing dewlap and folds of skin to a degree termed "throatiness." Shoulders and Chest: Shoulders sloping- clean,muscular,not heavy or loaded-con- veying the idea of freedom of action with activity and strength. Chest deep and broad,but not broad enough to interfere with the free play of the shoulders. Defects-Straight,upright shoulders. Chest disproportionately wide or with lack of depth. Back, Loin and Ribs: Back short,muscular and strong. Loin broad and slightly arched, and the ribs well sprung,giving abun- dance of lung room. Defects-Very long or swayed or roached back. Flat,narrow loin. Flat ribs. Forelegs and Feet: Forelegs-Straight,with plenty of bone in proportion to size of the hound. Pasterns short and straight. Feet-
Close,round and firm. Pad full and hard. Defects-Out at elbows. Knees knuckled over forward,or bent backward. Forelegs crooked or Dachshundlike. Feet long, open or spreading. Hips, Thighs, Hind Legs and Feet: Hips and thighs strong and well muscled,giving abundance of propelling power. Stifles strong and well let down. Hocks firm, symmetrical and moderately bent. Feet close and firm. Defects-Cowhocks, or straight hocks. Lack of muscle and pro- pelling power. Open feet. Tail: Set moderately high;carried gaily,but not turned forward over the back; with slight curve; short as compared with size of the hound; with brush. Defects-A long tail. Teapot curve or inclined forward from the root. Rat tail with absence of brush. Coat: A close,hard,hound coat of medi- um length. Defects-A short,thin coat,or of a soft quality. Color: Any true hound color. 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. Scale of Points Head
Packs of Beagles Score of Points for Judging Hounds General levelness of pack Individual merit of hounds
40% 30% 20% 10%
Total 100% Levelness of Pack: The first thing in a pack to be considered is that they present a unified appearance. The hounds must be as near to the same height,weight,confor- mation and color as possible. Individual Merit of the Hounds: Is the individual bench-show quality of the hounds. A very level and sporty pack can be gotten together and not a single hound be a good Beagle. This is to be avoided. Manners: The hounds must all work gaily and cheerfully,with flags up-obeying all commands cheerfully. They should be bro- ken to heel up,kennel up,follow prompt- ly and stand. Cringing, sulking, lying down to be avoided. Also,a pack must not work as though in terror of master and whips. In Beagle packs it is recommended that the whip be used as little as possible. Appointments: Master and whips should be dressed alike,the master or huntsman to carry horn-the whips and master to carry light thong whips. One whip should carry extra couplings on shoulder strap. Recommendations for Show Livery: Black velvet cap,white stock,green coat, white breeches or knickerbockers,green or black stockings,white spats,black or dark brown shoes. Vest and gloves option- al. Ladies should turn out exactly the same except for a white skirt instead of white breeches.
Skull . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Ears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Eyes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Muzzle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 25 Body Neck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Chest and Shoulders . . . .15 Back,loin and ribs . . . . .15 35 Running Gear Forelegs . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Hips,thighs,hind legs . .10 Feet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 30 Coat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Sterm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 10 Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Varieties: There shall be two varieties: Thirteen Inch-which shall be for hounds not exceeding 13 inches in height. Fifteen Inch-which shall be for hounds over 13 but not exceeding 15 inches in height. Disqualification: Any hound measuring more than 15 inches shall be disqualified.
Approved September 10, 1957
S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2017 • 223
By Dr. Charles Kitchell
tone-age people in Europe, some 20,000 years ago, tamed dogs to help them track game.
13 " Dual Ch Frank Forest was named the winner of the fi rst event. 1901: Ch Windholme’s Bangle, a bitch, was the fi rst Beagle to received a best in show. Windholme was the leading kennel and pack in the early twentieth century. 1921: F. Banting and H. Best injected the fi rst dog, a 15" tri-colored Beagle named Marjorie, with the new insulin extract that has saved the lives of numerous human and animal diabetics. 1925: Th e Wisconsin Snow-Shoe Beagle Club was formed. Four years later the fi rst licensed Beagle specialty was held. Imp Th orpe Satchville Bellman was named the fi rst Best in Show. Th eWisconsin Beagle Club is the oldest Beagle specialty in the world. 1930: “Snow-Shoe” was dropped when cottontails were hunted. Also, the 13 " gold and white Ch Saddlerock Sandman was named number one sire and proved that “any hound color” was permissible. 1937-38: Mrs. W. “Sadie” Edmiston received three bests in show with her 14 " bitch, Ch Merry Hicks. Sadie was the fi rst AKC female all-breed judge. Also, Fd Ch Sammy R was said to be “one of the very best 13 " dog hounds in America today.” 1945: A picture of Ch Duke Sinatra was published. A painting of Duke Sinatra is permanently displayed at the AKC o ffi ces in Raleigh, NC. Th e picture is often mentioned as the epitome of the Beagle standard. 1949: Life Magazine featured 15" Am Can Ch Th ornridge Wrinkles in its publication. Wrinkles was the number one conformation sire of all time. 1954: Fd Ch Gray’s Linesman remained number one fi eld trial sire of all time. Lineman was known as the “sire of sires.” Owned by Elmer Gray, Indianapolis. 1970: Eight time best in show winner 15" King’s Creek Triple Th reat, was named Best of Breed at the fi rst national specialty held at Aldie, Virginia. Bred by all-breed judge Michelle Leathers Billings. 1976: Seven-time Best in Show winner 15" Ch Navan’s Triple Trouble Rick was the fi rst Beagle to win successive breeds
at the national specialty. Bred by Nancy Vanstrum, Florida. 1980: 15" Am Can Ch Starbuck’s Hang ’Em High was named number one Beagle of all time. “Pru” amassed 21 all-breed Bests in Show and 8 specialty Bests of Breed. Bred by David and Linda Hiltz, Michigan. 1985: 13 " Am Can Ch Teloca Patches Littl’ Dickens was named number one sire and 13 " Beagle of all time with 12 Best in Show wins, 1 national specialty win and 3 Westminster varieties. Bred by Marie Shuart, Florida. 1993: Twenty-four time best in show winner 13 " Ch Lanbur Miss Fleetwood was named number one Beagle of all time. “Judy” also received two national specialty bests of breed. Bred and co-owned by Wade Burns and Jon Woodring, North Carolina. Co-owned by Eddie Dziuk.
700s: St. Hubert, the Patron Saint of the huntsmen, kept a pack of pure hounds in the Ardennes, Belgium, during the early 700s. 1066: William the Conqueror introduced the Talbot Hound when he invaded England from France in 1066. Th e Talbot hound became the old Southern Hound and had a strong in fl uence on the breed’s development. 1695: King William III, William of Orange, King of England, Scotland and Ireland, kept a pack of Beagles. William organized the great hunt at Welbeck in 1695 that was followed by 400 horsemen. Later hunts were enjoyed on foot. 1735: William Somerville wrote the classic poem, “ Th e Chase,” in 1735. He kept twelve couple of Beagles. 1845: Royal Rock Beagles, the oldest active pack in the world, was established. 1857: Th e Cockermouth Beagles were established in 1857 at Cockermouth, England. Dr. John Henry “Stonehenge” Walsh, fi rst all-breed judge in England, referred to the Cockermouth Beagles to compile the “points and description,” the fi rst Beagle standard. 1876: Beagles were exhibited, for the fi rst time, in all breed shows in the US in the three cities of Chicago, New York (not Westminster) and Kansas City. Lee (Turner’s Warrior x Rowett’s Rosie) placed fi rst at Kansas City. 1877: Th ree of the seven Beagles exhibited at the fi rst annual Westminster show were bred by General Richard Rowett. 1884: Dr. L.H. Twaddell, General Richard Rowett and Norman Elmore authored the fi rst American Beagle standard at the request of the American English Beagle Club. Th e standard was based on the Stonehenge standard. 1890: Th e National Beagle Club “merged into” the American English Beagle Club. A fi eld trial was held during the fi rst year.
BIO As a first grader, Chuck Kitchell purchased his first Beagle in 1940 for three dollars. Th e mother was a pretty tri-colored Beagle; the father came from a
good neighborhood. Ten years later, unpre- paredChuck enteredComBelt Kennel Club’s first sanctioned show in Illinois and placed third in a class of three with ungroomed and untrained 13" field bred Smokey. During the late seventies, three unrelated Chardon (Charles/Donna) bred bitches were bred to 15" Am Can Ch Starbuck’s Hang ’Em High, the number one Beagle of all time. A series of linebreedings and inbreed- ings followed with several of the o ff spring. Chardon then outcrossed with two matings of Am Can Ch Teloca Patches Littl’ Dick- ens, the number one 13" Beagle of all time. During the following years Chuck and Donna produced five number one Beagles in the nation, the all-time top winning Wiscon- sin Specialty entry with 5 bests of breed wins, a Westminster best of breed winner, 15 con- secutive never-less-than Best of Opposite sex Wisconsin specialty entries and over 227 known group placers in twenty countries. S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M ARCH 2014 • 177
A LIFE WITH BEAGLES
By Denise Nord
hile I was writ- ing this article, a dear friend of mine called to tell me she had just been diagnosed
by the trainer you’ve paid money to. But it wasn’t working. I loved training my dog, even as frustrating as it was; and I was really interested in competing in obedience with her. Th e instructor rolled her eyes and told me to correct Chelsea harder. About the same time, I was fi nishing my BA in psychology and one of my lab classes was to train a rat to press a bar using posi- tive reinforcement. Hmm, slowly a light bulb went on—could I do this to train my Beagle? She liked food. And then Karen Pryor and GaryWilkes came to town in the early 1990s and introduced clicker training. Much more fun for both Chelsea and I and we began to have success in the obedience ring. Since then I’ve shared my life with 7 more Beagles and we train and compete in con- formation, obedience, rally, tracking, agility and lure coursing. Some day we will add nose work, barn hunt and dock diving to that list. Beagles of all trades! I’ve had three genera- tions of show line Beagles who have excelled in multiple activities. To live successfully with a Beagle, you have to appreciate their independence and sense of humor. Th ey are great problem solvers, often to the dismay of their owners. If you want to compete in dog sports with them, you need to be willing to let your ego go and know that they will embarrass you at some point, no matter how well trained. Th ey will come up with unique ways of getting the job done (or not) Once when showing in Utility, I sent my girl out on the directed (glove) retrieve. She ran out to it, then saw a glove in the next ring and decided maybe she should bring that one back too. Luckily the Golden Retriever in that ring didn’t notice, or care, that sud- denly a Beagle was in his ring, eyeing the glove. Rio came back when I called her— and the judge was laughing so hard he couldn’t write “NQ” on our score sheet. Beagles will stop in the middle of a beauti- ful agility run with their nose up, air scent- ing someone’s ringside lunch and leave to see if they will share.
with cancer. Her attitude is great, she likes her doctors and is being proactive about her treatment plan and I hope to celebrate many holidays and achievements with her for a long time. I met her because of my Beagles. My Beagles have introduced me to some of the best people on earth. Beagle people are much like their dogs: happy, sociable, and we like to hang out together—and eat! ABeagle’s sweet face, sense of humor and wagging tail are beacons to dog lovers. I try to participate in “Meet the Breeds” at shows and events and it was at one of these that I met my friend. She was planning ahead for a puppy; I was planning to breed. Unfortunately my girl only had one puppy who still lives here, but I connected my friend up with another breeder friend and soon a Beagle puppy joined their family. I am so happy right now that she has that Beagle girl as part of her comfort and care team. Th ey give us their unconditional love, and have a great ability to console us while we stroke their soft, velvety ears. What more can you ask of a dog? A Beagle fi rst entered my life over 25 years ago. I brought home a poorly bred puppy who was still too young to leave her litter; and even at 6 ½ weeks old, she was smarter than I was. Oh, did I struggle with her; she lived up to all the bad things I’d heard about Beagles: stubborn, loud, mouthy, single minded; except for ‘stupid’—this was one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever met. Chelsea taught me that Beagles are crazy smart, tena- cious, creative little dogs with a wicked sense of humor. Th at if I wanted her to play my games, I had to make it worth her while. Back then, most dog training was correction based, “Do this or else.” I had a dog that said, ‘Do that and I’m outta here.’ When you are a novice dog owner, it’s hard to buck the sys- tem, hard to not follow the instructions given
Photo by Bill Nord
Photo by Lois Stanfield
Humorist Dave Barry described Beagles as “a nose with four feet”. People bring them home because of their cuteness, failing to realize (or remember) that they were origi- nally bred to hunt rabbits. Th ey don’t need humans to guide them, their instinct takes over and o ff they go. When the nose drops, the ears turn o ff . A Beagle will keep his nose down to fi gure out where the bunny went— when the bunny is sitting in plain sight, 20 feet in front of them! But the bunny got there in a circular fashion, not a straight line, and the Beagle must follow his nose to get there. Th at sense of smell is what drives a Beagle and why they are so food motivated and have a strong prey drive.
180 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M ARCH 2014
Since they don’t need humans to help them fi nd bunnies, they are independent little dogs, perfectly happy to go out on a walk about to see what is out there. At the same time, they are pack hounds and really prefer to live with other dogs. Beagles are prone to separation anxiety when left alone
too much; they need their pack, human, canine or feline. When you live with Beagles and sit down, you will be covered in Beagles (and when you get up you will be covered in Beagle hair. Yes, they shed; the correct coat is a double coat, much like a Labrador). Following the rabbit is solving a puzzle, so Beagles are creative and fi gure out ways to get what they want. Most Beagle owners smile and say “yup” when they view the internet video of a Beagle pushing a chair over to the counter in order to get to food in a toaster oven. You can see the wheels turning. Great for some things, not so great when you are trying to puppy proof your house. Th ey are busy little dogs, again bred to run, chase and sni ff for lengths of time. Many do not settle down until they are two or three, or older. Th ey are inquisitive and like to poke their noses into things; stand on their hind legs and look over things; sit on tall things and survey the world. Th ere is a reason Snoopy hangs out on top of his dog house! Keeping their brains occupied is key to living with them. Look at obedience, rally and agility as a puzzle to be solved. My best working Beagles have had high prey drive and were the smartest. When proo fi ng them—introducing distractions—during training, they work harder and harder to be right to earn that cookie. Th ey look at the pressure put on them by an instructor, or a judge in the ring, as a challenge to ignore. Much di ff erent than many herding breeds, who are very successful in the obedience ring, but more susceptible to the ‘pressure’. Beagles are good ‘multi-taskers’—they are willing and able to train and compete suc- cessfully in many di ff erent dog sports. Some come very naturally to them—tracking and nose work, barn hunt; they are excellent agil- ity dogs, once they discover that running a course is just as much fun as sni ffi ng; most Beagles love lure coursing, the chance to chase moving prey and while most are very disappointed to catch up with the lure and discover it’s just a plastic bag (“WHAT?? Where did the bunny go?”) they are more than willing to try it again. Optimists they are. Obedience and rally can be more di ffi - cult, there is more precision required, more self control (stays), less action, especially in Novice obedience. Although most Beagles
are not that fond of water, quite a few are having fun in dock diving. Like many hunting breeds, there are dif- ferences between show and fi eld lines. I’ve lived with and trained both. Th e fi eld dogs generally are more independent, have more prey drive, louder howls! and are more likely to have separation anxiety. Th e show dogs are in my experience, more even tempered and willing to work with me. My fi rst Beagle came from fi eld lines—he, my fi rst show line girl and my current youngest (show lines) have had the most brain power. If you want to do dog sports with your Beagle, fi nd a breeder who understands the demands put on the dog; look for a sound dog. If a dog can’t cut it in the show ring due to structure, you probably don’t want it for an agility dog. Th ose of us who love our Beagles tend to stick with them and resist the temptation to get an ‘easier’ breed, one that takes less e ff ort to succeed with. Like our hounds, we are tenacious! We love their puppy-ness and their soft brown eyes. Here are some of the things that Beagle owners have learned from their dogs: • “ Th e most important things my Beagles have taught me are patience and joy in the moment. My Beagles have taken me to the moon and the stars and back again, opening worlds of compassion, friendship and challenge that I would never have experienced without them.” • “My Beagles have taught me not to take myself so seriously. Life is short, make sure to laugh and make others laugh.” • “Make the most of what you have. Life may throw you a curveball—hit it out of the park!” • Never trust a dog to watch your food. • Might does not make right. You’ll catch more Beagles with treats! • Sit = please. • Good things come to those who wait. • Don’t forget to play—and to take a nap. • Shake o ff the little things. • Stick with your pack. • And a few wise people who must have had a Beagle in their lives: • “A dog has four feet, but he can’t walk four di ff erent paths.”—Unknown • “When the old dog barks, it is time to watch.”—Unknown
Photo by Denise Nord
Photo by Denise Nord
Photo by Krista Droop
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