There are many factors to be considered in deciding if a beagle is right for your home. The American Kennel Club's standard recognizes the beagle breed in two size varieties- a 13 inch or 15 inch. Either size is registered as a beagle, there is not two breeds, just two size varieties. The AKC does not recognize a "Pocket Beagle".(please read this link!!) This term is use by breeders that are uninformed about the breed or trying to charge extra money for abnormally small puppies. The variety of the beagle, 13" or 15" inches is decided by the height of the dog at the shoulders (whithers) at maturity. Any beagle 13 inches or under at maturity is called a 13. Even if it is 12 inches tall, it is still a 13" beagle in classification. A beagle that is 14 inches or 13 1/2 inches at the shoulder is called a 15 inch beagle. Any beagle over 15 inches at the shoulder is disqualified from AKC Conformation events. It is almost impossible to accurately predict the size a puppy will be as an adult , when the puppy is only 8-12 weeks old. Reputable breeders keep statistics of their puppies and can make an educated guess between 8-12 weeks of age, but we have all had those puppies that surprised us and grew larger than we thought or stayed a 13. Thirteen inch males are hard to get and anyone wanting a 13 inch male or female should plan on being on a waiting list. ONLY puppy mills have what you want, when you want it, all the time. Don't buy from a puppy mill!!!
Reputable breeders DO NOT sell their puppies before 8 weeks of age. The earliest I sell a "pet" quality puppy is 10-12 weeks. There are many reasons for growing out a puppy to this age. Other considerations are what sex?, what color?, show potential quality or pet quality?
Beagles come in any hound color with the black, white, and tan or tri-color beagles being the common and the red and white being the second most frequently seen. Other hound colors such as blues or chocolates (liver) also are accepted colors, although these colors are not shown as often as they usually correlate to a light colored eye. This simple fact of a light colored eye may be enough to eliminate a puppy as a show/breeding potential for some breeders. Pictures of these colors are available on the National Beagle Club website. There are breeders that advertise RARE or NEW beagle colors and use "DESIGNER" type names for the colors shown on the NBC site. These are not rare colors. Norwegian Blue is a "new" color that has appeared over the last two years. Read more about that color here (use back button to return to this page). Most reputable breeders may use the recessive colors in their breeding program, if the overall quality of the dog in excellent. But REPUTABLE breeders do not breed for color alone!!
Pet quality puppies are not inferior puppies-they just have minor imperfections that would keep them from being winners in the show ring. A healthy, well-adjusted, loving beagle is a winner in anyone's home; regardless of slight imperfections that the average person would not be concerned about or notice. All pet quality puppies (from a reputable breeder) are sold with a spay/neuter contract and on a limited registration. Written contracts should be required on all show and pet puppies sold. Health guarantees should be included in the contracts as well as stipulations that the beagle may not be resold, given away, taken to a shelter etc. If for any reason a buyer of one of my puppies cannot keep it, the puppy comes back to me or I have approval of to whom it goes. I take lifetime responsibility for each puppy I produce-regardless of age. Color, sex. and size are all personal preferences. I encourage prospective beagles owners to also consider obtaining an older dog or a rescue dog.
There are many advantages to obtaining an older dog or rescue beagle. Many dogs that have obtained their championship or that have not grown up to the potential seen as a puppy are available from breeders. These dogs are already crate trained, leashed broken, socialized, the teething stage is over (your furniture will love that) and usually they are also housebroken. Please consider bringing an older beagles into your home or better yet providing a home for one of the rescue beagles available.
The next page is HEALTH PROBLEMS IN BEAGLES.