Beagles are members of the hound family, and as such were bred as hunting dogs. As any Anglophile can tell you, packs of Beagles were and still are used to hunt foxes and other game in merry old England. For this reason, these dogs love the company of other dogs, not to mention people.
At the Westminster Dog Show, these characteristics of lively body and spirit will be a real hit with the judges. Think your Beagle can make the show? Let’s see...
The Beagle Personality
Beagles have lived together in large packs for hundreds of years, because they've been used to chase game during hunts. Because of this, the Beagle knows how to get along with other dogs. They are also very loyal and obedient animals, and love to please their masters. They’re smart, too.
If your Beagle is going to wow the Westminster judges, he or she should carry these traits into the ring. Your Beagle should be lively and engaged, responding easily to the handler’s wishes. The dog must be proud and erect, carrying their head, as well as their famous nose, high and level.
In other words, a Beagle with chances to win will display intelligence, wit, and a winning personality.
The Beagle Look
The Beagle is a compact dog, a dog that could easily run through brush and field, over fences and under trees, as they chase game. At the same time, the Beagle must be fleet of foot and have the wind to outlast even the wiliest of foxes.
For this reason, a Westminster judge will be looking for a Beagle whose body suggests a clean, robust musculature, but one that is not so heavy as to slow the dog down. In consideration of this, the neck should be firm but not overloaded looking, and the shoulders should appear strong as well as graceful and free.
As for your Beagle’s tail, points will be awarded for one that is lively and erect but not too curved. The tail should stay straight and proud, not angling too much over the dog’s back. At the other end, the eyes of this dog should be large and wide set, conveying the sense of this dog’s gentle and loving nature.
As for the coat of your pet, any of the regular hound colors will do—beiges and browns, reds and yellows. A good show Beagle can sport a tri-colored coat too.
A Beagle Disqualifier
According to the American Kennel Club, the one particular trait that can keep your Beagle out of Westminster is being too tall. Remember, this breed is meant to be compact and fleet, and as such, a dog that measures over 15 inches won’t make the show.
If your Beagle is towering over the other dogs, he or she is no doubt still a sweetie, but a career in show biz is likely not an option.
More About Beagles and Show Dogs
How to Care for a Beagle
Could Your German Shepherd Be a Show Dog?
Could Your Lab Make the Show?