Skip to content

Why do Beagles Change Color?

Why do Beagles Change Color?

Why do Beagles Change Color?

Why do beagles change color? The Beagle is one of the most well-known and popular dog breeds. Beagles are energetic, carefree, and optimistic dogs, but they can be stubborn. The Beagle is an excellent breed for households with children. This breed’s comical and even-tempered demeanor makes it a perfect choice for families with children, but keep in mind that not all dogs, regardless of breed, get along with children.

The breed originated as rabbit-hunting hounds in 16th-century England. Beagles are well-known for their vocalizations, notably their signature “bay,” which sounds similar to a howl. While some beagles bay out of boredom , many bays simply because they want to, regardless of how much activity they receive.

You may have come across an old photograph of your Beagle in which he appears to be quite different. Apart from his size, he now has an entirely different color and pattern of spots. Is this, therefore, normal? Do beagles have a color change?

Why do Beagles Change Color? 1
Why do Beagles Change Color?

Beagles’ coats change color throughout their lives. During puppyhood, the transition is more noticeable. The term ‘break’ refers to the process by which a beagle puppy’s coat changes color as it matures into an adult. Beagles come in a variety of colors.

According to the AKC, the Beagle comes in 25 different color combinations. However, beagles’ colors constantly change, resulting in color shading. This results in an abundance of additional color combinations for beagles. The most noticeable color change in a beagle’s coat occurs during puppyhood. They would result in a dramatic change in both the color and shape of the color patch.

Beagles are typically born black and white. Later in life, as they mature, blacks begin to fade, and more colors or shades of colors become visible. During the first few months, the puppy’s color may brighten or fade, and the patches may change shape.

That is why a beagle breeder has three opportunities to change the color of the pup’s registration papers with the American Kennel Club.

For example, the majority of lemon-colored beagles are born entirely white. They begin to develop a lemon hue around the three-week mark. At the same time, tri-colored and bi-colored beagles are typically born entirely black and white. As they grow, their black color may change to brown or red.

Additionally, you will notice a change in the color of your Beagle’s coat as it matures. This color transition is referred to as a ‘break.’ As beagles mature, their coats undergo numerous color changes. As we age, our hair begins to grey. Similarly, as beagles age, their hair begins to lighten.

After a certain age, a beagle’s coat begins to lose color pigments. Their color begins to fade. While this is not true of every Beagle, it is pretty common, and there is little you can do to prevent it. Only a few other factors can result in a change in color. Consider the following:

Why do Beagles Change Color? 2
Why do Beagles Change Color?
  • Hormonal Problem: Hypothyroidism can result in a change in the Beagle’s coat’s color and texture. Additional symptoms of this medical condition include hair loss, brittle hair, and obesity.
  • Vitiligo: Vitiligo results in the loss of pigments, resulting in a dramatic color change on the Beagle’s face. This can be both temporary and permanent.
  • Sunlight: Direct sunlight can also cause beagles to lose their color pigmentation.

Science of Beagle color change

Despite the enormous variation in coat color, canines are only colored by two primary pigments: eumelanin (black) and phaeomelanin (red). These two pigments, which are both derivatives of melanin, produce all of the color variations.

Melanocytes are the cells found within hair follicles that contribute melanin to the hair as it grows and is responsible for the coat’s primary color. The greater the amount of melanin, the darker the color. Because melanin production is not constant, the tip of a dog’s hair may be darker than the rest of the hair shaft.

Each pigment, eumelanin, and phaeomelanin has a “default” color that can be altered using various genes. Eumelanin is a black pigment by default, but color variation occurs when genes modify eumelanin to produce other colors such as liver (brown), blue (grey), or isabella (pale brown). By inhibiting the production of full-strength eumelanin, genes essentially “dilute” the pigment into these other colors.

Phaeomelanin is the second pigment that contributes to the color of a dog’s coat. This pigment is red with a gold or yellow tint by default. Phaeomelanin produces a range of red hues ranging from deep red (Irish Setter) to orange, cream, gold, yellow, and tan. The intensity of phaeomelanin is controlled by genes, which makes the color stronger or weaker.

This pigment is produced exclusively in the coat and affects only the color of the hair, whereas eumelanin affects the color of the eyes and nose. Freckles are caused by pheomelanin in humans! Eumelanin and phaeomelanin in their various forms contribute significantly to the variety of dog coat colors.

When cells fail to produce any pigment, white hair develops in dogs. Typically, this affects specific areas of the dog’s coat. Consider the case of a colored dog with white markings. Without eumelanin production in the nose, the dog develops a pink nose. If eumelanin is absent in the eyes, the dog has blue eyes. Occasionally, the entire coat becomes affected, resulting in a dog that is albino with red eyes.

Can you Tell Pedigree by Beagles Color?

If you’re considering adopting or purchasing a beagle, you must understand its physical and behavioral characteristics. Recognize the Beagle’s size, shape, color, and temperament to ensure that you get the dog you want.

Additionally, you can consult a professional, such as a veterinarian or a dog breeder, or use a DNA testing service’s app to ascertain a dog’s lineage. Take note of the dog’s color. Beagles come in a range of colors, the most common of tricolor (black, white, and brown) and lemon (tan and white). A beagle’s coat is predominantly white with varying brown, black, tan, and red shades. However, if the dog is not a purebred beagle, the coat may include other colors and patterns.

Most Valuable Colors for Beagles

The Beagle is a dog breed distinguished by an exceptional sense of smell and a curious personality. If you intend to keep a Beagle, you’ve made an excellent choice.

Choosing a Beagle is about more than finding the right breeder, though finding a reputable breeder is critical. These Beagle coat colors provide many options for finding the coat variation that best suits you and your personality.

These are the most frequently encountered and popular colors for these small, friendly dogs. While other Beagle colors may exist, they are extremely rare and have been omitted from this list.

Why do Beagles Change Color? 3
Why do Beagles Change Color?

While owning a rare-colored Beagle may appear fashionable, it is not always a good idea. It may end up just costing you money, as they are more prone to health problems. Breeders pursuing rare colors frequently sacrifice health and temperament traits.

Black Tan & White Beagle

The most popular color combination for these dogs is black, tan, and white (tricolor). They are the “classic” tri-colored Beagles that we have all come to recognize and love. These dogs are born with only white and black coats.

However, within a few months, some black color begins to fade and turns brown or tan.  As a result, the three-colored coat was created. Despite its widespread popularity, the classic tri-color Beagle is both magnificent and stunning.

For all dogs with this variation, they develop the same colors in roughly the same areas. As a result, you can anticipate some degree of consistency in the coats. For instance, tan is always visible on the face, ears, body, and occasionally on the legs and tails.

Additionally, the Beagle’s body and tail are almost always black. However, black can occasionally appear on the head, ears, and tails. It is entirely dependent on your particular dog, and there may be slight variations.

Regarding the white, it is typically seen on the Beagle’s legs, bottom, chest, and muzzle. While regional variations in these colors are possible, this is fairly typical for the black, tan, and white Beagle.

Black and Tan Beagle

Another popular color variation is the black and tan Beagle, though it is not as popular as the classic tricolor. These Beagles are tan and black but lack the white that typically completes the tri-color variation.

These dogs are predominantly black. Even so, the brown or tan color will be visible on the bottom, chest, face, legs, ears, and tails. On the other hand, black color is unmistakably dominant and covers the body, back, tail, sides, ears, and occasionally the face.

Fortunately, the AKC recognizes the black and tan Beagle under the 018-registration code. Finding one will be simple due to their inclusion in the standard. These dogs make excellent show dogs. 

Chocolate Tri-Color Beagle

Another unusual color combination seen in the Beagle breed is the chocolate tri-colored Beagle. As if the dog colors weren’t complicated enough, the chocolate tricolor comes in various shades.

Certain chocolate tri-color Beagles will have a lighter shade resembling light brown or red. As a result, they are frequently referred to as the Liver tricolor Beagle. Additionally, their noses can be brown or reddish, and they can have light-colored eyes.

When a chocolate and liver tri-colored Beagle puppy is young, it’s rather difficult to tell them apart. Indeed, it may not be possible to tell until they are several months to a year old.

Blue Tri-Color Beagle

Blue tri-colored Beagles are also known as blue, tan, and white Beagles. Additionally, some breeders refer to them as the silver tricolor Beagle. Despite the unusual color combination, the AKC recognizes this color variation.

They resemble the traditional tri-colored Beagle, but the black has been diluted to create a “blueish” or silver color. A blue tricolor can lose their silver color as they age. In this instance, we refer to them as “dark silver” Beagles.

Their noses are typically a dark-blue grayish color. Additionally, they will have lighter-colored eyes. It’s cost noting that “blue Beagles” can develop alopecia due to color dilution. They may lose patches of fur and create skin conditions in this case.

This is not a health issue unique to blue Beagles; it affects all blue dogs, including Frenchies and Doberman Pinschers. However, there is some good news: this condition is highly uncommon in blue-colored Beagles. Thus, there is little cause for concern.

Tan and White Beagle

These tan and white Beagles are sometimes referred to as “hare pied.” These dogs have a basic tan and white coat without the Beagle’s black on the back and body. They are left with a white base with tan patches.

They may, however, have black tips on the top of their hair and along their backs in some cases. Though the black is subtle and insufficient to qualify as classic tri-colored Beagles, one could argue that they are tri-colored.

Why do Beagles Change Color? 4
Why do Beagles Change Color?

Lemon and White Beagles

Lemon and white Beagle is another popular color combination. As you might guess, the lemon is not the bright yellow fruit that we see. Rather than that, it refers to a yellowish golden color in Beagles. The lemon and white dog’s base coat will be white, with golden patches that vary in size and shape. Lemon patches are typically found on the Beagle’s back and body, tail, face, and ears.

Additionally, the white base can vary in color. It typically ranges from an off-white to a more creamish white to a pure solid white. Lemons and whites will have a solid black nose with no coloring on the tip of the hair. The color of the lemon can vary significantly between puppyhood and adulthood. If you believe you have a lemon and white puppy, there is a good chance it will grow up to be a tan and white Beagle. 

Black Tan & Bluetick Beagle

Though less popular than other colors, the black tan and bluetick Beagle is an outstanding color combination. Although the color combination is truly unique, it is still recognized by the kennel clubs. The term “tick” refers to freckles on the dog’s coat.

While the pattern is unique, it bears a striking resemblance to the blue merle coats of Australian Shepherds. It’s just that merle Australian Shepherds have larger patches of color than tiny “freckles” on their luxurious coats.

These bluetick Beagles sport the classic black and tan color scheme associated with the tri-color. Instead, they’ll have a diluted black (that appears to be blue) ticking all over their body, bottom, legs, face, and tail tip.

It’s worth noting that ticking (freckles) typically begins three weeks after birth. In some instances, the bluetick may appear much later. Be cautious if a breeder attempts to upsell you on a ticked puppy.

Do Beagles Grey Early?

 Many people are curious about whether a dog’s coat grays with age. The surprising answer is that it occasionally does. While canines do not naturally develop a gray coat, it is not uncommon for colors to fade slightly, and it is not unusual to see some grey hairs blending into “normal” hair colors.

Certain beagles develop premature graying of the face. The color of the face has nothing to do with how rapidly the rest of the body ages. And, of course, the beagle brain is eternally youthful.

Are there Black and White Beagles?

The white and black Beagle coat color is just one of the numerous excellent Beagle coat colors that they can inherit. The American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Beagle breed standard specifies the accepted standard and non-standard coat colors and patterns for Beagles.

Black and white is an uncommon coat color combination. This does not, however, preclude a purebred black and white Beagle from competing in AKC shows. Standard colors and color patterns are those that are most frequently seen in purebred Beagles. Non-standard colors and color patterns are alternate or additional colors that can occur but are less frequently seen.

Indeed, the breed standard on coat color is quite vague, stating that it must be a “true hound color” to compete in shows. However, the breed standard makes no mention that the black and white Beagle coat color is relatively uncommon. When a third coat color is present, the black and white coat color pattern is much more prevalent.

Will my Beagle Change Color?

Beagles undergo color changes throughout their lives. Puppies of Beagles are almost always born black and white. After a few months, a few black areas begin to fade and turn brown. Certain older Beagles lose nearly all of their black coat and are only brown and white.

Are there Health Reasons for a Beagles Color to Change?

There are a few possible health reasons for your Beagle to begin graying. Hypothyroidism is one of these conditions. Hypothyroid Beagles have underperforming thyroid glands. Additionally, hypothyroidism can manifest itself through a variety of other symptoms, including weight gain and skin problems. Providing your dog with proper hypothyroidism treatment should reverse the graying of the fur.

Graying can also be caused by liver and kidney disease. This is, however, a very uncommon symptom of these diseases. These diseases result in graying fur because the toxins are not removed quickly enough from the body. Graying can be reversed by treating the underlying condition.

Bring your Beagle in for a visit with your veterinarian if they appear to be prematurely graying. If it is determined that liver or kidney disease or hypothyroidism is causing premature graying, your veterinarian may want to refer your dog to a specialist.

Can Diet Affect the Color of my Beagle?

A dietary deficiency of certain nutrients can have a detrimental effect on the Beagle’s coat quality and color. Copper or zinc deficiency and a deficiency of the essential amino acids tyrosine or phenylalanine can cause changes in the coat’s quality and color.

However, along with these coat changes, essential nutrient deficiencies can result in serious health problems. Copper deficiency results in anemia, skin lesions, and stunted growth; zinc deficiency results in skin lesions and a weakened immune system; and phenylalanine deficiency can result in neurological problems. Additionally, reputable pet food manufacturers formulate their diets to ensure optimal levels of copper, zinc, and amino acids, ensuring that a deficiency in these nutrients is not the cause of reported red-coat issues in dogs and cats.

Are Blue Beagles Rare?

The blue tick beagle is a rare breed of beagle dog. Beagles’ coats are not solid or monochrome; instead, they are patterned in two or three colors, such as a black back or saddle with a brown head and white underbelly. They may also have small blue or red dots or spots on the white parts of their bodies. Ticked or mottled beagles are a color variation of beagles. A blue ticked beagle’s white body is speckled with black or blue dots.

Final Thoughts

Beagles are wonderful small dogs with numerous admirable characteristics. They get along well with humans, children, and other dogs, making them the ideal family pet. Almost always, beagles are born black and white, with brownish areas developing later. Brown is typically the last color to develop, taking up to two years to fully develop. Throughout their lives, some beagles gradually change color. Colors, combinations, and markings are irrelevant in beagles. Each Beagle is equally adorable an