Do Beagles Change Color Throughout Their Lives?

Beagles are one of the most popular and beloved dog breeds in the world. They are known for their friendly, cheerful, and curious personalities, as well as their distinctive tricolor coats. But do beagles change color throughout their lives? In this article, I will explore why and how beagles change color, and what factors can affect their coat appearance.

Do Beagles Change Color?

Beagles are born with a black and white coat

One of the most surprising facts about beagles is that they are mostly born with black and white coats, regardless of their parents’ colors. This is because beagles have a gene called the “progressive graying gene”, which causes their black pigment to fade over time. As beagle puppies grow, they start to develop brown or tan patches on their black areas, as well as other variations such as lemon, red, blue, or fawn. These colors can appear on different parts of their body, such as their ears, face, legs, or tail.

Beagles change color when they mature

Another major color change that beagles undergo is when they transition from puppyhood to adulthood. This process is called “break”, and it usually happens between 6 to 12 months of age. During this time, beagles’ coats can brighten, fade, or change in different ways. For example, some beagles may lose their black pigment completely and become tan and white, while others may retain some black on their ears or back. Some beagles may also develop more white on their chest or belly, or more brown on their face or legs.

Beagles change color due to aging

As beagles get older, they may also experience another color change due to aging. This is similar to how humans’ hair turns gray over time. Beagles’ coats can lose their color pigments and become lighter or duller. This can happen as early as 4 years of age, or as late as 10 years of age. Some beagles may only have a few gray hairs on their muzzle or eyebrows, while others may have a significant loss of color on their entire body.

Beagles change color due to aging

Other factors that can affect beagles’ coat color

Apart from genetics and aging, there are also some other factors that can influence beagles’ coat color. These include:

  • Hormonal problems: Some medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, can affect beagles’ coat color and texture. Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, which can cause symptoms such as hair loss, brittle hair, obesity, lethargy, and skin infections. If you suspect your beagle has hypothyroidism, you should consult your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Vitiligo: Vitiligo is a rare condition where the skin loses its pigment cells, resulting in white patches on various parts of the body. This can also affect beagles’ coat color, especially on their face. Vitiligo can be temporary or permanent, and it is not harmful to the dog’s health. However, it can make them more sensitive to sunburns and skin infections.
  • Sunlight: Sunlight can also cause beagles’ coat color to fade or bleach over time. This is because sunlight can damage the pigment cells in the hair follicles, making them produce less melanin. This can make beagles’ coats lighter or redder than usual. To prevent this, you should limit your beagle’s exposure to direct sunlight, especially during summer months.

Do lemon Beagles change color?

Lemon Beagle puppies often display a predominantly white coat when they are newborn. However, as they mature, their coat undergoes a gradual transformation. Typically, after about a year, the puppy fur starts to shed, making way for the adult coat to emerge. During this transition, the Beagle’s coat color and pattern become more apparent, revealing the distinct characteristics of their breed. Embrace the journey of your Lemon Beagle’s coat development and witness the beautiful transformation as they grow into their adult appearance.

Why is my Beagle turning white?

If you notice your dog’s fur turning white in certain patches, it could be a result of a condition called vitiligo. Vitiligo is a relatively uncommon skin condition that leads to the loss of pigmentation in specific areas of the skin and fur. The exact causes of vitiligo are not fully understood, but it is believed to have a hereditary component. Scientists continue to study this condition to unravel its underlying mechanisms. If your dog is affected by vitiligo, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian to ensure proper care and monitoring of their skin health.

Can Beagles be mostly white?

It’s important to note that a purebred dog, such as a Beagle, cannot be completely white, even if their appearance suggests otherwise. Solid white coloration is not inherent in the breed’s bloodline. Beagles are genetically predisposed to have variations in coat color, including shading, spotting (referred to as ticking), and combinations of tri-color and bi-color markings. These characteristics are part of the breed’s genetic makeup and contribute to the unique and recognizable appearance of Beagles. So, if you come across a Beagle that appears entirely white, it is likely due to factors other than their purebred lineage.


So, do Beagles change color? Yes, They have a unique ability to change color throughout their lives. This makes them even more interesting and adorable to their owners and admirers. Beagles’ coat color can change due to genetics, maturity, aging, hormonal problems, vitiligo, or sunlight. However, no matter what color they are, beagles are always loyal, loving, and fun companions that will brighten up your day with their charm and personality.

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