The beagle dog is one of the most popular dogs in the world, ranking as #6 most popular dog in the United States.
Although everyone knows about the beagle, very few know about their smaller and more compact yet still adorable siblings the pocket beagle.
Measuring two to three inches smaller than a typical beagle these curious, intelligent and fun loving pocket siblings are tiny scent hounds.
First discovered in the 15th century, when Queen Elizabeth used to carry miniature beagles in her saddle pocket, the dog quickly became known as a Queen Elizabeth pocket beagle.
What is there to know about this cheeky, loveable and mischievous dog?
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What is a Pocket Beagle?
In medieval times, “beagle” didn’t refer to a specific breed of dog, instead simply referring to any small hound.
The beagle dog was first bred as early as the 11th Century, when William the Conqueror brought the (now extinct) Talbot hound to Britain.
A Talbot Hound was then crossed with Greyhounds (known as the Southern Hound), to breed modern day ancestors of the Beagle.
The pocket beagle was first recorded around the 15th Century with Queen Elizabeth I owning many.
These smaller dogs would sit in the Queen’s pockets, or saddle bags during hunts, while the larger dogs were on the ground, chasing the pray.
Queen Elizabeth called her dogs “the singing dogs”, allowing them to run wild on the table, entertaining her guests giving the breed their name the Queen Elizabeth pocket beagle.
Since then beagles have been seen with several other famous faces, including the 36th President of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson, who owned three: Him, Her and Edgar!
Kennel Club Recognition and Pedigree
The standard Beagle was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1885.
Pocket beagles are not recognized by the AKC as its own independent breed type, they are registered as a smaller standard beagle.
They are also recognized as smaller beagles by the National Beagle Club of America and are understood to be around 2 or 3 inches smaller than a standard beagle.
|Pocket Beagle Dog Breed Info|
|Size||12-13 inches in height (for males and females)|
|Weight||15-18 lb (for males and females)|
|Breed Type||Scent Hound|
|Suitable For||Families, Singles, Couples|
|Color Variations||Black and Tan, Lemon and White, Red and White, Tricolor|
|Temperament||Intelligent, Good Natured, Curious, Social|
|Other Names||Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle|
Pocket Beagle Puppies
Like a lot of designer dog breeds, pocket beagles can be very expensive dogs.
Usually, a breeder will charge between $500 and $1,500 USD for a puppy.
Per litter, there are between two and fourteen dogs, with a typical litter size of seven.
You will find your pocket beagle puppy will grow at approximately the following rate:
|Age (months)||Weight (lb)|
|3||3.5 – 6|
|6||10 – 13|
|9||13 – 18|
|12||15 – 18|
Do not be surprised if your puppy grows at a slightly different rate.
However, if there are significant deviations from the growth chart, you should take a trip to the vet as this could be a sign of underlying health issues.
If you would prefer a pocket beagle rescue, they are occasionally recused through the American Kennel Club.
Pocket Beagle Personality
|Ease of Care|
These dogs are often called “tail waggers” because of their infectious energy. Pocket beagles love everyone, and very much enjoy being at the center of attention and action.
Beagles are known to be intelligent, friendly, loyal and curious, and it is the same for the pocket beagle.
Despite their loyalty, this dog can be somewhat independent and aloof compared to other more people-friendly breeds.
Pocket beagles can be left alone for short periods of time, if they are given the opportunity to entertain themselves in your absence.
Unentertained, lonely dogs, left for long periods can become noisy and destructive.
If leaving your dog is unavoidable, try to leave them something to do in your absence to make their experience much more stimulated and interesting.
Dogs of this breed type (i.e. hounds) may enjoy chasing other family pets, so early socialization is highly recommended. Showing your pocket beagle as many sights, places, animals and most importantly smells, will make for a well-rounded mature dog.
Pocket beagles have three noise levels:
- Baying – a type of howl specific to the Beagle
This breed is not known to be noisy, barking only for attention or when bored.
Boredom can come quickly to these very intelligent dogs, entertaining these clever pups is the best way to ensure a peaceful household!
Are These Dogs Good For Families?
The pocket beagle is great for families!
Their playful and curious nature makes them an amazing playmate, getting on well with children of all ages.
With a lower energy drive than a standard beagle, this makes the pocket variation a good match for those who don’t share the unrelenting energy of the standard sized beagle.
Food and Dietary Requirements
|Daily Food Consumption|
|Cups of Kibble|
Pocket beagles are often called “chow hounds”, meaning they will overeat if they are given the opportunity. This is common in hounds, who are notorious for obesity and scavenging.
Try to limit their food to the recommended amount, this should typically be around 1 cup of high quality kibble per day. That allowance includes snacks and treats for good behavior too.
This kibble should be split into two or three meals throughout the day.
Although beagles are an excellent family dog, it is important to make sure they are not indulging in table scraps or that children aren’t feeding them unwanted food.
Overfeeding can lead to health issues such as canine diabetes and obesity.
Although dogs can eat some fruits and veggies, they should stick to kibble specifically formulated to them for the majority of their diet.
Some pocket beagle owners use a fun-feeder or slow-down bowl, which encourages dogs to enjoy their food instead of eating it all in one bite.
This breed is very high energy so feeding a kibble specifically formulated for a working dog feed may be beneficial.
|Daily Exercise Requirements|
Their small size doesn’t necessarily mean a small energy requirement as they love to be out walking with their nose to the ground just as much as their larger siblings do.
Scent hounds, such as the pocket beagle, are at their happiest with their noses to the ground, following a scent.
It’s important you take this dog to new locations frequently, this way they can experience unfamiliar scents and will be heaven!
Taking this dog off-leash should only be done in a secure area.
Pocket Beagles have a bad habit of chasing a smell and not coming back. Even dogs with perfect recall have been known to disappear, so it may always be best to keep them on a leash.
Beagles have approximately 220 million scent receptors in their nose, compared to 5 million in humans!
They can do well in apartments as long as they have an area to self-exercise such as a garden. Dogs kept in this situation should be taken on slightly longer walks to allow them to stretch their legs.
Pocket beagles are sharp, attentive dogs who love to learn.
As mentioned in the temperament section, beagles are very loyal dogs. Never use any form of punishment, this will create feelings of disloyalty and distrust in your canine.
One thing that may be fun to do with your beagle is “field trials”.
First held by the NBCA in 1888, this sport consists of chasing a rabbit trail and seeing which dog can follow the trails.
This hones in on the beagle’s natural instinct to chase pray, while also socializing with unfamiliar people and dogs.
These activities usually last all day, occurring rain or shine, and are a great opportunity to reinforce the bond with your dog.
Known Health Problems
Beagles are known to be a very healthy dog breed, suffering with very few inherited conditions.
Pocket beagles live very long lives on average living between 12 and 15 years.
The biggest health concern for this dog is intervertebral disc disease.
This condition involves the degeneration of the spinal cord which ultimately results in pain when moving. However, it can be treated and potentially cured with surgery.
Beagles often suffer with congenital heart defects, which is a group of conditions.
- The most common heart defect, is heart failure close to or just after birth. It is usually diagnosed very quickly and can be corrected surgically. As it occurs early in a dogs life, it is only one to watch out for if you are planning on becoming a pocket beagle breeder.
- Pulmonic Stenosis is also common in this breed. This is a narrowing of the connection between the right heart chamber. This is more likely to affect smaller breeds, hence why this is a common condition in the pocket-size variation.
One of the longest living dogs to have ever lived was a beagle, living to be 28 years old.
Pocket Beagle Size, Appearance, Coat, and Grooming
The pocket beagle weighs between 15 and 18lb, which is 25% smaller than the standard beagle (20-25lb).
Whilst the National Beagle Club of America don’t specify a specific height in the breed standard your pocket beagle should be under 13 inches to the withers.
They are described as a muscular and yet lean dog, with a deep chest, long tail and defined features.
Their coat is soft to the touch and yet dense. They have floppy ears, and are available in over nine different colors:
- Black and Tan
This amount of variety with coat color means that not all beagles are black and tan – although this is their most popular color.
Occasionally you do get albino pocket beagles, but this is extremely rare!
The Pocket beagle has a coat that is very easy to maintain.
Weekly brushing is essential to remove dead hair, dirt and promote growth. Use a rubber grooming glove or bristle brush to comb through their thick double coat.
They do not need to be bathed regularly.
Unless they have got into something particularly fowl smelling or dirty, don’t bathe your dog.
This breed will need their nails clipped every 6 to 8 weeks by a professional groomer or veterinarian.
The pocket beagle is the perfect all-round family dog.
This dog is low maintenance when it comes to grooming and feeding making them easy to care for.
With their natural intelligence they are suited to first time owners, as training and house breaking is very easy. However, the biggest problem with Beagles is boredom, try to always keep them busy with games, tricks, walks and play!
A full grown pocket beagle is typically 25% smaller than their standard sized cousins, however, apart from their size they are similar in most other aspects (e.g. temperament, intelligence and loyalty).
Despite their slightly smaller size, they do still need around 30 to 45 minutes of exercise daily, and lots of brain games and puzzles to harness their natural intelligence.
Leave us a comment letting us know your thoughts on this perfect scenting hound.