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Bench Beagles

Bench Beagle

What is a Bench Beagle?

There is quite a lot of discussion on the Internet regarding the exact meaning of the term "Bench Beagle"....

We have also received quite a bit of emails regarding this. For this reason, we wish to clear this up and give you detailed answers regarding what this term means.

The element that confuses many people is that the term Bench Beagle has more than 1 meaning.

So, let's look at each of the definitions.
Bench Beagle - A term used in regard to the height of the dog

This term is sometimes used to refer to a 13" Beagle. Many years ago, this was a very popular phrase to describe the smaller version....And while the word is not used that often (this is why so many people are confused) some people still use it. Therefore, in the context of simply describing the dog's height, this is one meaning of the word. 
Bench Beagle - A term used to describe a purebred Beagle dog that has crooked legs.

Since the term is not often used to describe a small dog, this is the definition that most fits in today's world. Due to poor breeding practices, a bench leg Beagle is one whose front legs curve out and then in (as opposed to being straight). Many can describe this as being bow-legged. 

When a Beagle has this leg deformation, the legs are often also shorter than they should be. This is considered to be a conformation flaw by the AKC and other canine kennel clubs and organizations. It also affects the dog's ability to run (more ahead on this issue).

Sadly, we have seen advertisements that show "breeders" selling bench leg Beagles with pride in their ads! Curved legs is a defect and it is just a shame that someone who bred poorly was trying to sell the puppies and act as if they were wonderfully special and unique, a true treasure to be found!

In many cases, this leg defect will occur when a person is attempting to breed so-called Pocket Beagles (NOT a recognized breed) they unethically bred dogs who are smaller than nature intended, this can be the result...a dog that is not only too small, but also has leg issues.
This is not to say that anyone who has a bench legged Beagle should be ashamed!...This is simple to warn potential owners that if a breeder's listing admits to the dog having this fault and the breeder does not try and sell the dog by preying on those who do not understand this terminology...then all is fine. It is unethical for a breeder to say that this fault was intentional and that this appearance is desired. 

When you look at a puppy, you will want to study the curvature of the legs...A bench leg Beagle will not appear to be a high quality, purebred dog....The front legs will be curved (out at the top and then inward as they approach the paws)...
Beagle puppy on green grass
Beagle puppy on green grass
Bench Beagle
Bench Beagle
This is not to even mention the poor quality ears and the complete lack of facial conformation....It is an absolute shame that one would try to pass this dog off as a well bred purebred. Now, let's look to the photo here...

This well bred Beagle is not a Bench Beagle. She has perfectly straight legs when seen from the front...and as you can clearly see, the body, face and entire head including the ears fits the conformation standard in regard to appearance. 
How This Affects the Dog

This breed is active and loves to be outdoors...running and playing. Most healthy Beagles can run for hours on end. When the dog has bench legs, it affects his or her ability to run and be active....short, bow legs simply cannot withstand nor provide the needed actions for running. This is not good for the dog, both physically and emotionally.

Being active and being taken for walks/runs/hikes by an owner keeps this dog happy. Exercise allows for pent up energy to be released. It allows the dog to maintain its metabolism and stay at a healthy weight. Studies show and owners can back it up, that a well exercised dog is a better behaved dog. Now, when a Bench Beagle cannot walk/run/hike as far or for as long as a well bred dog, this will impact their well being and their behavior.
You may also like:

Why Beagles snore - How much snoring is normal for this breed.
Why Beagles smell -  Why a Beagle may have an odd odor and ways to keep your Beagle smelling fresh and clean.
Beagle has a lot of gas - If flatulence is moderate to severe, there are steps you can take to help. 
Beagle training tips - Good pointers for training basics.
See also: Beagle Facts - Interesting facts and info about the Beagle breed. 
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