Great work to Georgia and to you. At one point when I took Shiloh B. to the vet - I think he was about a year old - the vet tried to convince me that the most he should weigh is 30 - 33 pounds. Well my Shiloh-boy is larger than most Beagles at 16.2 inches and big boned - there was no way I was making sure he stayed at 30 pounds. Shortly before I had brought him home as an 8 week old pup, I had been online talking to several other Beagle owners - the one major theme I kept hearing about weight and body shape - when you are looking down on the back of your Beagle, you should see the shape of a half of an hourglass: starting at the head and looking towards the tail - the area around the shoulders/front legs is the wide area of the dog as it gradually slims into the ribs and tail area. And yes, you do want to be able to feel the ribs - maybe just a little fat but as you run your hands over the ribs, you do want to be able to feel them. And that is what I go by - not so much what the scale says altho that does play a part too. As long as Shiloh B. maintains that shape then I don't worry much about his weight - he turned 6 years old last month with no major, long term illnesses - has a shiny coat and is always ready for a good bunny hunt (not that he gets it) or a walk -I make sure he stays around 35 - 38 pounds.
Shasta B. on the other hand is 14.2 inches - she will be 3 years old in October. She has that same shape I look for however she is more of a petite little girl. I make sure she never gets over 28 pounds. She did have a brief show career and according to many regular show people - Shasta was overweight so between exercise and diet, she did get down to 23 pounds. However she looked almost too thin I thought so since the end of her show career - as long as she maintains that look that I want then that is good for me. She has the same shiny coat and a bit more energy than Shiloh since she is younger. I call her my perpetual puppy.