Beagle Colors and Markings with Pictures

Beagle breed

There are many beagle colors and markings that can be found on beagles. Some beagle colors are common, while others are rare. This article will discuss the most common beagle colors and markings, along with pictures of each.

When it comes to beagle colors, there is a lot of variety, with 11 colors listed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as standard breed colors. However, other colors have AKC registration codes but are not considered part of the standard beagle color range.

The beagle has a double coat, with a dense, short undercoat and a coarse, slightly longer outer coat. The beagle’s coat is medium in length and can be straight or slightly wavy.

Beagles shed moderately throughout the year, increasing shedding during the spring and fall months.

Beagles come in a variety of colors and color combinations. The tri-colored black and tan and white beagle is the most popular variant and is a typical tri-colored beagle.

While there are 25 different colors listed by the AKC, only 11 of those are recognized as breed standard colors.

There are also six different beagle markings listed by the AKC, with only one of those being a recognized breed standard.

While tri-colored beagles are perhaps the most common beagle color, many other colors include single, bi-color, and tri-color combinations.

The most common color is tri-colored beagles. A tri-colored beagle is white with large black areas and light brown shading.

A tri colored beagle puppy
A tri-colored beagle puppy

There are many different shades of tricolored beagles. The “Classic Tri” is jet black with a saddle, the “Dark Tri” has faint brown markings intermingled with more prominent black markings, and the “Faded Tri” has faint black markings intermingled with more prominent brown markings.

Some tricolored dogs have a broken pattern, often called pied. These dogs have mostly white coats with traces of black and brown hair.

Tricolor beagles are almost always born black and white. The white areas generally become apparent by eight weeks, but the black areas may fade to brown as the puppy grows up. (The brown may take one to two years to fully develop.)

Some beagles gradually alter hue throughout their lives, and some may even lose their black markings completely.

Two-color varieties always have a white base color with different areas of the second color. The most common two-color variety is tan and white, but there are many other colors, including lemon (a very light tan), red (a reddish, almost orange, brown), liver (a darker brown), and black.

Ticked and mottled beagles may be white or black with different colored flecks, such as the blue-mottled or bluetick beagle, which has spots that appear to be a midnight-blue color, much like the Bluetick Coonhounds.

Some tricolor beagles also have ticking of various colors in their white areas.

Purebred beagles

To be recognized as purebred dogs by the American Kennel Club, a beagle can only be one of 11 specific colors.

Any other color combination is not considered a standard beagle color and therefore cannot be registered as a purebred beagle.

Each color is given a unique number by the AKC.

For example, the blue beagle is a popular color, yet according to the beagle breed standard, the blue beagle is not a standard color. However, blue tan & white is listed and has the number 291 assigned.

The black and tan beagle is another popular color variation, though not as popular as a classic tri-color. A black and tan beagle has both tan and black but are missing the white to complete the typical tri-color variation.

How can you tell if a Beagle is purebred?

The only way to be certain that a beagle is purebred is to obtain certification from the American Kennel Club or a similar organization.

Some beagle breeders may say that their dogs are “purebred” but cannot provide certification to back up their claim.

If you are considering purchasing a beagle, be sure to do your research and only purchase from a reputable breeder.

You can see the full AKC Beagle breed standard here.

Coat color inheritance in Beagles

You might wonder how beagles or dogs generally get their colors, is it random, or is there a pattern to it?

The answer is that there’s both randomness and patterns to it. Let’s start with the random part, every beagle puppy inherits two copies of each gene, one from its sire (father) and one from its dam (mother).

So by looking at the parent’s color, we can get a pretty good idea of what the puppies might look like.

According to VCA Hospitals, a dog’s color is determined by two basic pigments;

Despite the huge variety in coat color, there are only two basic pigments that determine the color of canines: eumelanin (black) and phaeomelanin (red). All different variations in color are created by these two pigments, which are both forms of melanin.

Many genes impact the color of a dog. These genes work by changing two pigments. The dog genome has around 3 billion pieces of DNA and thousands of genes. But only 8 genes are responsible for a dog’s coat color.

The loci associated with coat color in dogs are:

  • A (agouti) locus. The agouti locus is responsible for different coat patterns in the dog. The agouti protein controls the release of melanin into the hair and switches between the two pigments (eumelanin and phaeomelanin).
  • E (extension) locus. The E (extension) locus is the gene that creates the black facial mask of many dogs and also yellow or red coats. The four different alleles of this gene are melanistic mask, grizzle, black and red.
  • K (dominant black) locus. This gene controls the dominant black, brindle, and fawn colors. This locus includes colorations previously linked to other genes like Agouti.
  • B (brown) locus. The B locus is linked to brown, chocolate, and liver. This means that these colors are related to each other. The B locus has two alleles, the dominant brown (B) and the recessive brown (b). The black pigment will dilute to brown if a dog has two recessive alleles (bb).
  • D (dilute) locus. The D (dilute) locus is responsible for the genetic trait of diluted pigment. This pigment lightens coats from black or brown to gray or blue or very pale brown. A mutation in the melanophilin (MLPH) gene causes color dilution. The two alleles associated with dilution are D (dominant).
  • M (merle) locus. The merle mutation has been identified. This mutation causes coats of irregularly shaped patches of diluted pigment and solid color. Merle only dilutes black pigment. Dogs with red or yellow pigment are not merle but can produce merle beagle puppies.
  • H (harlequin) locus. This site is associated with white dogs that have black patches. This site often interacts with the Merle locus to create different combinations of spots and colors.
  • S (spotting) locus. This area is responsible for interesting coat color patterns like piebald, particolor, and extreme white. These coats have less symmetrical white spots.

Each of these areas controls the production and distribution of eumelanin and phaeomelanin.

The amount of each color that is produced is determined by these areas. But a dog of one color may have genes for other colors hidden inside them. This is why you may have puppies that do not look like either parent.

AKC standard beagle color combinations

The AKC list all of the beagle colors, along with a registration code for each. Even though all the colors have been assigned a code, only the colors marked with a tick are official breed standard colors.

The full list of AKC-recognized colors and their codes are listed below;

  • Black – 007
  • Black & Tan – 018
  • Black & White – 019
  • Black Fawn & White – 023
  • Black Red & White – 027
  • Black Tan & Bluetick – 029
  • Black Tan & White – 030
  • Black White & Tan – 034
  • Blue – 037
  • Blue & White – 045
  • Brown – 061
  • Brown & White – 063
  • Brown White & Tan – 066
  • Lemon – 114
  • Lemon & White – 115
  • Red – 140
  • Red & Black – 141
  • Red & White – 146
  • Red Black & White – 147
  • Tan – 195
  • Tan & White – 197
  • White – 199
  • White Black & Tan – 219
  • Blue Tan & White – 291
  • Black Tan & Redtick – 292

Beagle Markings

Beagles can be found in various markings. AKC has recognized six different markings of a beagle’s coat. However, only the Ticked marking is recognized as part of the breed standard.

Ticking refers to the freckles or black ticks seen on the body and legs of individual color variations, such as the black tan and blue tick beagle.

  • Ticked – 013
  • Spotted – 021
  • White Markings – 014
  • Tan Markings – 012
  • Brown Markings – 022
  • Black Markings – 002

These markings can be found in different color combinations, creating many possibilities for colors.

What is the rarest beagle color?

There are many beagle colors that can be considered rare. Some beagle colors are only found in a few dogs and may not be recognized by the AKC.

Beagles can be found in various shades of blue. Blue beagles are often mistaken for being albino. However, blue beagles do have pigment in their eyes, unlike albino beagles. Blue beagles are rare and can be hard to find.

Beagles can also be found in liver coloration. Liver beagles are a brown color with a reddish tint. This color is created by interacting with the brown (B) and black (b) alleles. Liver beagles are not recognized by the AKC and are considered rare.

  • Black
  • Black & White
  • Black, Tan, Redtick
  • Blue
  • Blue & White
  • Brown
  • Lemon
  • Red
  • Red & Black
  • Red & Black & White
  • Tan
  • White

Frequently asked questions

How many colors do beagles have?

There are ten colors specifically recognized by the AKC breed standard for Beagles. There are a total of 25 different colors that Beagles can come in. Most Beagles will have white, black, red, blue, brown, lemon, fawn, and tan variations.

What color looks best on beagles?

There is no one “best” beagle color. Each color has its own unique beauty. It really depends on your personal preference. However, some breeders may try to produce certain colors over others because of their rarity or marketability, which can lead to health problems if the beagles are overbred.

What is a red beagle?

The red and white bicolor beagle resembles the lemon and white beagle, but the pied patches are red instead of yellow. The shade of red can be anywhere from pale to a deep chestnut.

Are lemon beagles rare?

Lemon beagles are less common than other colors of beagles, but they are not rare. A lemon beagle typically has a white coat with lemon or tan-colored patches.

Are white beagles rare?

Pure white beagles are not the typical color for beagles. This color is very rare, but it can happen if a dog has certain genetic anomalies. Some colored beagles also look white when they are puppies, but in time they will develop other colors like black, tan, and white.

Are blue tick beagles rare?

The blue tick beagle is a rare type of beagle. It has a coat with blue ticks or flecks of color over its base color, black or white. These ticks give this particular beagle an appearance that ranges from blue to gray speckled on its smooth, short coat.

Are there 2 types of beagles?

There are two types of Beagles: the smaller ones stand under 13 inches tall, and the bigger ones stand between 13 and 15 inches tall. They both have a sturdy build and are considered ‘big for their size.’ They come in different colors like lemon, red, white, and tricolor.

Do all beagles go grey?

Beagles change color their whole lives. Puppies are usually born black and white, but a few months later, some of the blacks fade and turn brown. Some beagles lose almost all their black as they age and turn brown and white; often, the color will turn grey.


Beagles come in various colors, from the classic tri-color to the rare and expensive pure white beagle. The color of your beagle is really a matter of personal preference. Some people may prefer the more traditional colors, while others may prefer the uniqueness of the rarer colors. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which beagle color is best for you and your family.