Each breed has a standard or a description that describes the "perfect" example of that breed.
This standard is what breeders should strive for when they decide to venture into breeding.

The Australian National Kennel Council uses the U.K. standard as this is the country of origin of the Beagle.  (There is a different standard used for Beagles in the U.S.A.)

Judges use this description when deciding which dog to choose -  the one closest to the standard (in his or her opinion) is the winner.

The points of anatomy

A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.

Download/view a copy of the Breed Standard  (28 Kb)

Download/view a copy of the Breed Standard Extension (312 Kb)

General Appearance

A sturdy, compactly built hound, conveying the impression of quality without coarseness.


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.


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 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.


Dark brown or hazel, fairly large, not deep set or prominent, set well apart with mild appealing expression.


Long, with rounded tip, reaching nearly to the end of the nose when drawn out. Set on low, fine in texture and hanging gracefully close to cheeks.


The jaws should be strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite ie. The upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Sufficiently long to enable the hound to come down easily to scent, slightly arched and showing little dewlap.


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.


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.


Muscular thighs. Stifles well bent. Hocks firm, well let down and parallel to each other.


Tight and firm. Well knuckled up and strongly padded. Not hare footed. Nails short.


Sturdy, moderately long. Set on high, carried gaily but not curled over the back or inclined forward from root. Well covered with hair, especially on underside.


Back level, firm with no indication of roll. Stride free, long reaching in front and straight without high action; hind legs showing drive. Should not move close behind nor paddle nor plait in front.


Short, dense and weatherproof.


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.


Desirable minimum height at withers - 33 cm (13 ins).
Desirable maximum height at withers - 40 cm (16 ins).


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.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Hound Group A.N.K.C. Ltd 12 March 2012



Want to see the Beagle Club of NSW Commentary on the Breed Standard?