Rare Beagle Colors: Unique Combinations & Markings

Bonnie the lemon beagle - a rare color combo

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 beagle standard colors, 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.

This article will explore all the beagle color variations, from the most common registered colors to the rarest beagle colors, shades, and markings.

Beagle coat colors and appearance

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

Tri-colored beagle, the classic beagle markings.

Beagle coat colors come in various color and marking combinations.

The tri-colored beagle consists of three colors, black, tan, and white. The black, tan, and white beagle is the classic beagle color combination we all love and adore.

While the AKC lists 25 different beagle coat color variations, only 11 of those are recognized as beagle breed standard colors.

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

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

Tri colored beagle
A tri-colored beagle

Beagle coat color variations

Beagle color markings include single-color, bi-color, and tri-color.

According to the AKC, there are several tri-colored beagle color combinations that are allowed.

The combinations that are recognized include;

  • Black Red & White
  • Black Tan & Bluetick
  • Black Tan & White
  • Black White & Tan
  • Brown White & Tan
  • Blue Tan & White

Other tri-color combinations that are not recognized include;

  • Black Fawn & White
  • Red Black & White
  • White Black & Tan
  • Black Tan & Redtick

Some tricolored dogs have a broken pattern, often called pied.

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 between one and 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 are not as common as the tri-color and always have a white base color with different areas of the second color.

Black and tan beagle

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), black and blue, black and tan beagle.

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

Breeders sometimes attempt to create “pocket Beagles” by breeding in smaller dogs. As a result, genes from other dogs get mixed in, thus creating strange and unusual coat variations not typically seen in purebreds.

To be recognized as purebred beagles 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.

The AKC gives each color a unique number and is assigned a name.

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 and Tan beagle – 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

The 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.

The full list of markings is listed below, with ticked the only marking recognized as a breed standard.

  • 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.

The National Beagle Club of America

The national beagle club of America state that;

Any true hound color” includes traditional black/tan/white tri or blue tri. The tri-colored Beagle can be either richly and deeply colored or faded (the blanket containing more tan than black or blue hairs). Other equally acceptable colors are tan/white, lemon/white, red/white & chocolate, as well as variations and dilutes of these colors. While ticking on a Beagle is fine, grizzle, merle, or brindling are unacceptable.

Markings can add or detract from the overall appearance of the Beagle. The quality of the hound, not the arrangement of color, is an important matter. Markings can sometimes create optical illusions when evaluating a Beagle but should not be allowed to distract from the actual conformation or movement.

The words “Any true hound color” in the Beagle standard cannot be emphasized enough. Any artificial enhancement of coat color is to be penalized.

https://www.nationalbeagleclub.org/page-18097

The Kennel Club (UK)

The Kennel Club.org has this to say about beagle colors;

Tricolour (black, tan and white beagle); blue tan and white; badger pied; hare pied; lemon pied; lemon and white; red and white beagle; 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.

The Kennel Club (UK)

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.

What are considered rare beagle colors?

Some colors are not as common as others and are therefore considered rare.

If you’re wondering what is the rarest color for a beagle, it’s a beagle with a solid coat color. These include black beagles, blue beagles, red beagles, tan beagles, and white beagles. 

Other rare colors include;

  • Black
  • Black & White
  • Black, Tan, Redtick tri-color
  • Blue beagles
  • Blue & White
  • Brown
  • Lemon
  • Red
  • Red & Black
  • Red & Black & White
  • Tan beagle
  • White

What is the rarest beagle color?

The rarest color of a beagle is a solid coat color and is likely to be solid white. However, a pure white beagle doesn’t meet the criteria of the official breed standard.

It is thought that there are a couple of genetic anomalies which can cause white beagles. Some colored Beagles also appear white as puppies and may be sold as a white beagle by breeders but will often change color, so be aware!

Are lemon-colored beagles rare?

The rarest official beagle color is likely lemon and white, not to be confused with tan and white.

The best way to distinguish beagle colors is by their nose color. A lemon and white beagle will have a black nose. In comparison, a tan and white Beagle will have a liver-colored nose.

Let’s explore some of the rare colors found in beagles

Lemon beagle

Some say that lemon beagles are incredibly rare and, as such, try to drive the price up. However, the lemon and white beagle, while a uniquely colored beagle, are not rare but less common than other colors.

A lemon beagle typically has a white coat with lemon or tan-colored patches.

The lemon beagle is born white with no visible patches, with these only changing color to lemon patches into adulthood. However, tan and white puppies are often advertised as lemon and white beagles.

You can see the tan markings of a tan and white puppy at birth, so be sure to ask for newborn pictures if it is a lemon beagle you are after.

Finding a lemon beagle is not the easiest thing to do. Because of their rarity, these dogs come by less often than other beagles. In addition to that, there are not a lot of reputable breeders that sell lemon beagles exclusively.

The best way to source these pups is by calling a bunch of beagle breeders and beagle rescues.

Bonnie is a lemon beagle
Bonnie – our A lemon and white beagle

Tan and white beagle

Some people a tan and white beagle “hare pied.” They are Beagles with a basic bi-color tan and white coat. They don’t have the black on the back and body of the Beagle. They just have a white base with light brown patches.

White beagle

Purebred beagles cannot be completely white. Beagles registered as white will always have markings and ticks of other colors. They cannot have one solid color, but there is a rare genetic condition that can cause a lack of pigmentation and make them white.

Blue beagles

Blue or Bluetick beagles have the classic black and tan beagle color seen in the classic tri-color. But instead, they’ll have a diluted black (that looks like light blue gray) ticking all over the body, bottom, legs, parts of the face, and the tip of the tail. 

While the bluetick beagle resembles the merle color seen in other breeds, their coat is more freckled than spotted.

What is a merle beagle?

A note on merle-colored beagles, purebred beagles do not come in this color, and any merle you find for sale has likely been crossed with another breed of dog. This is particularly the case with those advertised as pocket beagles, where other smaller breeds, such as the dachshund, have been bred with the beagle to create a smaller, uniquely colored variant.

A blue tan and white beagle is close to black, tan, and white tris, but express a gene for dilute color that turns their black patches into light blue-gray.

A bluetick beagle puppy
A bluetick beagle puppy

Black, tan, and bluetick beagle

“Ticking” is a pattern of small dots and patches on one color area of the beagle’s coat. Bluetick is a faded shade of gray with scattered dots and patches of darker, near-black gray. In certain lights, it looks like it has a blue tint.

A black, tan, and blue (tri-color) beagle has patches of black on its head, face, ears, and also its back and the base of its tail. The bluetick around the black patches covers everything but the Beagle’s muzzle and paws, which are tan or copper brown.

Black, tan, and redtick beagle

Just like a black, tan color, and bluetick beagle, but with a ticked pattern of red fur instead of blue. The redtick coat commonly consists of darker red flecks on a paler background.

Redtick beagle courtesy of 2househounds

Black and white beagle

The black and white Beagle is a unique and rare colored beagle. It is not very common to see this type of Beagle. This happens when the puppy gets a special mix of genes from its parents. This makes the puppy’s coat black and white, just like Snoopy’s!

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.

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/genetics-basics-coat-color-genetics-in-dogs

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.

These areas determine the amount of each color that is produced. 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.

Which beagle color is best?

There is no “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 lilac beagle?

Though it is not an official AKC color, lilac beagles are a real variation. They will have a bluish coat instead of the black fur was typically seen on a classic tri-color beagle.

Summary

Beagles come in various colors, from the typical tri-color variation to the extremely 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.