The Breed's History and Current Standards, FCI group 6

 Origin: The first Beagles date back to the 1500s. English hunters would take packs of these dogs out on the hunt tracking rabbits, hare, pheasant, quail and other small animals. The breed probably originated as a cross between the Harrier and other types of English hounds. The dogs have since become one of the most popular breeds in the USA. The breed can hunt alone, in pairs or in packs. The name "Beagle" may have come from the French term "be’geule" which means “gape throat,” referring to the dogs baying voice. The name may also have come from the dog's size, stemming from the French word “beigh,” the Old English word “begele,” or perhaps the Celtic word “beag,” which all mean "small." 

Temperament: 
The Beagle is loving, sweet and gentle, happy to see everyone, greeting them with a wagging tail. It is sociable, brave and intelligent. The Beagle is excellent with children and generally good with other dogs, but because of its hunting instincts, should not be trusted with non-canine pets, unless socialized with cats and other household animals when young. Beagles have minds of their own. They are determined and watchful and require patient, firm training. It is important you are this dog's pack leader and that you provide the proper amount of mental and physical exercise. With enough exercise they will be calm. You can also purchase animal scents and play tracking games with your Beagle to help satisfy its instinct to track. The Beagle does not have a normal sounding bark, but rather a loud bay cry that almost sounds like a short howl. Beagles are curious and have a tendency to follow their noses. If they pick up a scent they may wander off and not even hear you calling them back, or care to listen, as they will be too busy trying to find the critter at the other end. Take care when letting them off leash that you are in a safe area. Any kinds of behaviour problems can be corrected by training.

Standards: The FCI affiliated clubs recognize a single type, with a height of between 13 and 16 inches (33 and 41 cm).

Neck and Throat--Neck rising free and light from the shoulders strong in substance yet not loaded, of medium length. The throat clean and free from folds of skin; a slight wrinkle below the angle of the jaw, however, may be allowable. Defects--A thick, short, cloddy neck carried on a line with the top of the shoulders. Throat showing dewlap and folds of skin to a degree termed "throatiness."

Shoulders and Chest
Shoulders sloping--clean, muscular, not heavy or loaded--conveying the idea of freedom of action with activity and strength. Chest deep and broad, but not broad enough to interfere with the free play of the shoulders. Defects--Straight, upright shoulders. Chest disproportionately wide or with lack of depth.

Back, Loin and Ribs 
Back short, muscular and strong. Loin broad and slightly arched, and the ribs well sprung, giving abundance of lung room. Defects--Very long or swayed or roached back. Flat, narrow loin. Flat ribs.

Forelegs and Feet 
Forelegs--Straight, with plenty of bone in proportion to size of the hound. Pasterns short and straight. Feet--Close, round and firm. Pad full and hard. Defects--Out at elbows. Knees knuckled over forward, or bent backward. Forelegs crooked or Dachshundlike. Feet long, open or spreading.

Hips, Thighs, Hind Legs and Feet 
Hips and thighs strong and well muscled, giving abundance of propelling power. Stifles strong and well let down. Hocks firm, symmetrical and moderately bent. Feet close and firm. Defects--Cowhocks, or straight hocks. Lack of muscle and propelling power. Open feet.

Tail 
Set moderately high; carried gaily, but not turned forward over the back; with slight curve; short as compared with size of the hound; with brush. 

Coat 
A close, hard, hound coat of medium length.

Color 
Any true hound color.

General Appearance 
A miniature Foxhound, solid and big for his inches, with the wear-and-tear look of the hound that can last in the chase and follow his quarry to the death.