The Beagle has everything one might wish from a four-legged companion. It's an extremely social dog, never aggressive, always ready to promptly answer at every stimulus that is offered with lively intelligence. The Beagle is a little great dog in every aspect. It can switch without a glitch from the exhausting hunts
following dangerous ungulates to being petted by little children, happily rolling on carpets (or better, couches :) of lunges in studio apartments in the city center. Its small size, its athleticism, its enduring of adverse weather and an iron constitution together with an undeniable elegance, and not last its incredible hunting abilities, make it for me the "ideal dog".
This breed has a lot of merits, but undoubtedly the greater is its unmatched strength. I have never heard of a subject who had poor health, on the contrary it often happens that a beagle lost in the mountain forests during a hunt is found days later still in good health conditions. Let's not forget that we're talking about a kind of hound still widely adopted nowadays. If we really want to find a defect to the Beagle, it could be its stubborn and independent character, that can sometimes overpower masters who aren't firm enough. I'll always remember an anecdote about my late, and much beloved, Zara: for over six years she always traveled in my car sitting in the dog compartment, situated in the trunk. It was all nice and well, until the day when she traveled for not more than a hundred meters in the passenger seat in the front of the car. Since that day she considered her old arrangement not apt anymore, and in the future the passenger seat would have been much more adequate for her. It wasn't easy to convince her of the opposite...
BREED MORPHOLOGY STANDARD
General Appearence: A sturdy, compactly-built hound, conveying the impression of quality without coarseness.
Characteristics: A merry hound whose essential function is to hunt, primarily hare, by following a scent. Bold, with great activity, stamina and determination. Alert, intelligent and of even temperament.
Temperament: Amiable and alert, showing no aggression or timidity.
Head and Skull: Fair length, powerful without being coarse, finer in the bitch, free from frown and wrinkle. Skull slightly domed, moderately wide, with slight peak. Stop well defined and dividing length, between occiput and tip of nose, as equally as possible. Muzzle not snipy, lips reasonably well flewed. Nose broad, preferably black, but less pigmentation permissible in lighter coloured hounds. Nostrils wide.
Eyes: Dark brown or hazel, fairly large, not deep set or prominent, set well apart with mild, appealing expression.
Ears: Long, with rounded tip, reaching nearly to end of nose when drawn out. Set on low, fine in texture and hanging gracefully close to cheeks.
Mouth: The jaws should be strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Neck: Sufficiently long to enable hound to come down easily to scent, slightly arched and showing little dewlap.
Forequarters: Shoulders well laid back, not loaded. Forelegs straight and upright well under the hound, good substance, and round in bone, not tapering off to feet. Pasterns short. Elbows firm, turning neither in nor out. Height to elbow about half height at withers.
Body: Topline straight and level. Chest let down to below elbow. Ribs well sprung and extending well back. Short in the couplings but well balanced. Loins powerful and supple, without excessive tuck-up.
Hindquarters: Muscular thighs. Stifles well bent. Hocks firm, well let down and parallel to each other.
Feet: Tight and firm. Well knuckled up and strongly padded. Not hare-footed. Nails short.
Tail: Sturdy, moderately long. Set on high, carried gaily but not curled over back or inclined forward from root. Well covered with hair, especially on underside.
Gait/Movement: Back level, firm with no indication of roll. Stride free, long-reaching in front and straight without high action; hindlegs showing drive. Should not move close behind nor paddle nor plait in front. Coat: Short, dense and weatherproof.
Colour: Tricolour (black, tan and white); blue, white and tan; badger pied; hare pied; lemon pied; lemon and white; red and white; tan and white; black and white; all white. With the exception of all white, all the above mentioned colours can be found as mottle. No other colours are permissible. Tip of stern white.
Size: Desirable minimum height at withers: 33 cms (13 ins). Desirable maximum height at withers: 40 cms (16 ins).
Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
Note: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.