Showsight Presents The Beagle

“The first thing to catch my eye from the front IS EXPRESSION .”

end of the Beagle matches the rear not only in angulation but also in mass. We are seeing too many Beagles who are heavier in their front ends than in their rears. Th e rears should have good depth of thigh and second thigh. Th ey should not look like Bulldogs. Th e topline and underline should mirror each other. Although the standard calls for a slight rise over the loin, the top line should be level. Th e rise comes from the muscling around the loin and not the spine. You want to feel good muscling around the loin. Short rib cages with long loins are a huge problem in this breed. Due to the short rib cages, we are seeing too much tuck up. Beagles hunting in thick brush need to have the protection of long rib cages with good spring of rib for lungs and short loins for agility. Th e first thing to catch my eye from the front is expression. Th ey should have a soft, pleading, hound expression. When you look at a Beagle’s face, you should want to hug it! Th e Beagle is not a head breed, but the head is a hallmark of the breed. Most of the expression comes from the eyes. Th ey should be large, set well apart, with a soft and hound like expression, gentle and pleading, brown or hazel in color. You want a full eye but certainly not round or almond. We are seeing a lot of round eyes, small pig eyes and light colored eyes. Th is destroys the soft, hound like expression that is so important to our breed. Th e skull from the occiput to the stop should equal the length of the muzzle. Th e skull should be slightly domed at the occiput with the cranium broad and full. In other words, you do not want to see too much dome with an exaggerated stop or a flat skull, and no wrinkles! You want plenty of back skull without it being coarse, and it should not be too narrow. Th e muzzle should be straight and square cut with a moderately defined stop. We do not want to see heavy brows, snipey muzzles or

large flews. Since this is a scenting breed, it goes without saying they should have a nose with large, open nostrils. Th ere is no mention of the bite in the standard, however, it does refer to level jaws, which will produce a scissor (preferred) to level bite. In profile you want to see the skull and muzzle parallel to each other. Th ere are quite a few down faced Beagles. Th is throws o ff the expression. Th e ear set should be in line with the corner of the eye, long enough to almost reach the end of the muzzle, fine in texture, rounded at the tip and lying close to the head. When checking for ear set, always look at them when they are relaxed. We do not want to see small, high set ears. Th e Beagle’s neck should be of medium length. A lovely crest of neck flowing smoothly into well-Iayed back shoulders extending into a level topline ending at the base of the tail is gorgeous! Th e front assembly should have well-Iayed back shoulders plus the return of upper arm to match. Th ere should be some prosternum. Th e front legs should be set back under the Beagle in a direct line with the well- Iayed back shoulders. Another huge issue in this breed are fronts that are set too far forward. Also, the distance from the top of the withers to the elbow should match the distance from the elbow to the ground. Th e chest should come to the elbow. We are seeing way too many Beagles with chests reaching far below the elbow giving the appearance of short legs. Th e legs should be straight with short pasterns and plenty of bone. Beagles with slightly curved front legs are showing up in the ring. Check the legs from the front as well as the side. You never want to see knuckling. Sometimes dogs on the table will knuckle over. If you see this, look at them on the ground to confirm or deny your observations on the table. Beagles

should be examined on the table and judged on the ground! Th e feet should be round and firm with full, hard pads. No flat feet, splayed feet or hare feet. Feet are very important to a hound that has to run all day. Th e standard calls for a short back. If you have an animal with a short back and short loin, it can only be assumed that you have a Beagle that is square. I can forgive a little length as long as it is accompanied by two things: the extra length must be seen in the ribs and not the loin, plus the dog has to be able to move. If a Beagle is a little o ff square and still minces around the ring, I cannot forgive the length. I am talking about a little length and not a freight train! Th e Beagle’s coat should be a close, hard, hound coat of medium length. With today’s improved shampoos you will most likely never see a hard coat. Th ere should be a su ffi cient amount of coat to cover the body and tail for protection from harsh brush and brambles. When you run your hands over a Beagle, the coat should not feel thin. Having personally witnessed Beagles coming in from the field with blood flying from their tails and scrapes on their bodies, I now realize the importance of proper coats. One of the things that o ff ends me as a Beagle breeder and judge is the practice of what I call poofing out the tails. Beagles are not Poodles! Th e opening up of that tail coat defeats the exact purpose for which it is intended. An open coat does not protect. My last comment about coat is to remind judges to check the topline with their hands. Many Beagles carry extra coat over their shoulders and in front of the tail area. Often times the Beagle will have a level topline but due to excess coat it will appear to be the opposite. Strong, well-muscled hips and thighs are very important in this breed. I look for good turn of stif le f lowing down to short rear pasterns. Once again we want to see round, tight

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