Pocket Beagles – The Complete Guide

Pocket beagles, sometimes called Teacup Beagles or Miniature beagles, are basically smaller versions of regular beagles. Originally bred in Britain to hunt small game, the dogs are known for their lively and friendly disposition.

Origins

What Is A Pocket Beagle?

Pocket Beagles have a particularly interesting origin story. During the sixteenth century, Beagles were utilized as game animals, helping hunters catch small prey. The size of the dog was crucial, as smaller Beagles could go through dense underbrush as well as small spaces.

Noting this, breeders began to breed the smallest Beagles in their litters to ensure the size of the dog remained small. It is even reputed that Queen Elizabeth I owned a Beagle that was small enough to fit inside her glove.

The dogs became so small that they were actually able to be placed inside saddlebags on hunting trips. This earned them the name of Pocket Beagles.

As the dogs were now being carried on horseback, hunters could cover greater ground. This was because larger dogs could not be carried, and hunters had to travel on foot.

The dogs eventually bred out and became functionally extinct in the mid-1900’s as hunting became less common.

However, once the craze of miniature dogs arose, selective breeding using the smallest Standard Beagles, and sometimes cross-breeding them with smaller dogs like chihuahuas, resulted in a surge of Pocket Beagles, mostly in the US. [1]

What Is The Difference Between A Beagle And A Pocket Beagle?

The major difference that lies between the Miniature Beagle and its regular counterpart is of size. As the name indicates, the average height of a Miniature Beagle lies between 7 and 12 inches, while they weigh around 7-15 pounds. Standard Beagles, on the other hand, have an average height of 13 to 16 inches, with full-grown adults weighing around 20 to 30 pounds. Other than the difference in size, the amicable temperament of the Beagles remains the same.

It is often argued that the breeds are not different at all. Instead, Pocket Beagles are just miniature versions of standard Beagles, and no distinctive feature sets them apart. Apart from their size difference, Pocket Beagles may be more likely to suffer from health issues due to their breeding. [2]

Appearance

Pocket Beagles have small, broad, and rounded skulls with a straight, square muzzle. They have rounded feet and black noses.

Their ears are rounded and droop downwards, much like basset hounds. Their eye colors are typically hazel or dark brown and have a very expressive quality to them.

The eyes are generally wide-set and are quite large, sometimes bulging in adulthood. Their tails are not too large in size and do not curl upwards to lay on their backs. [3]

Size, Height, Weight

Pocket Beagles are, as their name indicates, quite small animals. Their height lies between 7 and 12 inches, and they weigh around 7 to 15 pounds when they are fully grown adults.

As adults, their height can range from 7 to 12 inches. Anything larger than these ranges can be considered a standard Beagle.

Similarly, any full-grown Beagle smaller than 7-12 inches can suffer from dwarfism, which can lead to a lot of selective health issues. Therefore, it is advised that you steer clear of breeders who try to pass off Beagles suffering from dwarfism as Pocket Beagles.

Coat and Color

Pocket Beagles have very distinctive tricolor coats, usually including colors like black, tan, red, white, or orange coats. They have a single short hair coat with long straight hair and require regular grooming to minimize shedding.

Temperament

Beagles are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, consistently showing a high number of registration statistics throughout the years.

They are amicable, friendly, and vocal dogs, which excel at socializing with other animals.

If you are considering getting a Pocket Beagle, then it is important to check the temperament of both parents as they can have fearful or neurotic tendencies.

If you are adopting an adult Beagle, then you should test its temperament before making a commitment to bringing it home. [4]

Are Pocket Beagles Good Dogs?

Pocket Beagles are great dogs and one of the most popular dogs out there since they are not only multi-talented excelling as hunting dogs and trackers but also love people, are extremely social and are great with kids.

Pocket Beagles, like any other breed of dogs, come with their unique set of ups and downs so let’s look at the complete picture.

Some of the pros of owning a Pocket Beagle include:

  • Their size: The miniature nature of the dogs is not just an additional aspect of their cuteness. It also makes the breed ideal for people who are unwilling or unable to care for larger dogs.
  • They’re multi-talented: Beagles are among the most multifaceted breeds of dogs. They are not only excellent as hunting dogs, but their versatility stretches to competitive obedience. They are excellent trackers, and they excel at hunting small fowl.
  • They’re extremely sociable: Beagles were originally bred as pack animals. This means they interact well with other animals and really enjoy meeting new people.
  • They’re kid-friendly: Pocket beagles are among the most suitable dog breeds for children. Their size makes them approachable to the children while simultaneously being sturdy enough to support clumsy toddlers.

Some of the cons of keeping Pocket Beagles as pets include:

  • They can be difficult to train: Pocket Beagles require a lot of time and effort to train as they are not necessarily people pleasers. They are a bit stubborn in nature and can be slow to take up your instructions if they’re not given proper incentive.
  • Toilet training: Pocket Beagles are known to have greater difficulty being toilet-trained as compared to other dog breeds. Toilet training a Beagle requires a lot of time, patience, and commitment, as well as complete cleanup after any bathroom activities. It is generally believed that the sensitive nose of the beagles can discourage them if there are any toilet-related mishaps.
  • They require constant supervision: If they are outside, beagles have the tendency to wander off while seeking foreign smells. It is therefore advised to keep them on a leash when outside and off the leash in fenced areas only. If they are inside, they can get inside the trash and lead to messes. It is therefore advised to keep food and garbage in areas that are inaccessible to them.
  • They are vocal: Beagles can be quite noisy, communicative pets, and if not trained properly, this habit can carry on well into adulthood.
  • They can be destructive: If your Beagle is not adequately stimulated with enough exercise, it could show tendencies to be destructive.
  • They are very in tune with their noses: As Beagles have such sensitive noses accompanied with a curious nature, their inquisitiveness can lead to messes. Their noses can lead them to rifle through garbage cans indoors and can take them off in crazy directions outdoors. They’re also known to eat things that are not meant to be eaten and require constant vigilance on the owner’s part.
  • They are not hypo-allergenic: The long, straight hair in a beagle’s coat can trigger hay fever in those who are living with them. Since Pocket Beagles enjoy exploring the outdoors, they are also more likely to bring in excess dust and other allergens from outside. For such small dogs, they shed a surprisingly large amount.

pocket beagle pups

Although Beagles are sociable and friendly, they do require intensive involvement from their owners.

You should find Pocket Beagles to be suitable for you if you are willing to put in the time and effort to train and play with your Beagle, which is a very active animal.

 

Do Beagles Bark A Lot?

Beagles are extremely sociable and are also known for being vocal. On top of the regular dog barking, Beagles are also known to howl or bay. This might pose a problem for you if you are living in an apartment complex, as it can adversely impact the relationship between you and your neighbors. [5]

Beagles will bay or howl when they are bored, so a regular exercise routine along with additional outdoor time to tire them out can be an effective deterrent to frequent vocalizations.

Training

Pocket Beagles are included in the smartest dog breeds, but their naturally inquisitive nature and intelligence do not necessarily mean that they are people pleasers. They have a mind and will of their own, which means they can be relatively difficult to train.

While training, food can be a great motivator, but too many treats can equal a fat beagle. Instead, establishing a relationship on the right grounds can be more conducive to a well-trained puppy.

It is crucial to begin training as soon as the puppy is brought home. Establishing boundaries of respect can lead your beagle to trust you implicitly, even if some of your orders are beyond its understanding.

To do this, you must be careful to tone your reactions to your beagle’s antics, establishing yourself as a firm and effective caregiver.

Beagles are quite vocal animals, so while they are vocalizing as puppies, it is important not to encourage this behavior.

Their attempts at howling may seem cute and harmless when they are younger, but once they become adults, their frequent vocalizations can be problematic.

However, if, despite your training, your beagle remains vocal, it is important to remain patient as this is your pet’s way of communicating with you.

It is important to do on and off-leash training. However, off-leash training should only be done in fenced-off areas as beagles are scent hounds, and can become immersed in following scents that can lead them away from you.

Health

Common Health Problems

There are certain health problems that Pocket Beagles suffer from. Some of these conditions are genetic in nature, and can have no cure. Some of these issues include:

  • Joint problems
  • Eye disease
  • Idiopathic Epilepsy

Most Beagle breeders have their dog’s elbows and hips rated by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). This is to ensure that the joints are developing properly. If issues are seen with development, it can lead to hip or elbow dysplasia.

These conditions can eventually lead to irreversible arthritis. Some breeders prefer to get the elbows and hips screened with the help of a procedure known as PennHIP, which is also known as the Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program.

Beagles can also suffer from numerous eye diseases, and breeders tend to complete screening and receive certification from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF).

An ailment that is commonly noted for Pocket Beagles is known as “Cherry Eye”. In this condition, glandular hypertrophy occurs when the tear duct of the third eyelid becomes visible and pops out. This condition is quite uncomfortable, and the only way to ensure removal is through surgery.

This issue is commonly found in pocket Beagles, and may be caused by their genetics. This particular issue has no cure, although medication is available to ease its symptoms.

Clearances are essential to ensure the lineage of your dogs. Good breeders always rigorously carry out such registrations to rule out any potential genetic defects that can occur in a Pocket beagle’s adulthood.

However, even if the lineage shows no indication of certain diseases, health issues can still crop up in adulthood. [6]

Life Expectancy

Pocket beagles have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. In order to ensure they live a long and healthy life, it is advised to take special care of their diet and exercise. [7]

As beagles require a lot of exercise, they require careful monitoring of diets and can gain weight quite easily, which can eventually lead to obesity. Taking proper care of their diet can be the biggest contributing factor to their long-term health.

How to Care for a Pocket Beagle?

Pocket beagles are time-intensive pets. During the course of their training, they need near-constant supervision to ensure that they are toilet-trained.

Although agreeable in nature, they are famous for having a mind of their own, which can result in some stubborn altercations. They also require vigilant oversight while they are outdoors to ensure that they don’t wander off.

Food and Dietary Requirements

If your pet is not being given proper nutrition, it can easily become overweight. This can, in turn, lead to other chronic health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, and even arthritis. Obesity is often the main reason that pocket beagles are unable to live out their life expectancy.

To check whether your pocket beagle is a healthy weight, you should be able to feel their ribs with your hands but not visibly see them. You can also consult your veterinarian to get to their ideal weight and fulfill their dietary requirements.

Pocket beagles can be fed dry dog food, canned food, or a combination of both. There are several dog foods that are not breed-specific and can provide adequate nutrition. [8]

As pocket beagles are quite aggressive eaters, in that they attempt to inhale their food as quickly as possible, you can slow down their eating with specialized feeding bowls designed specifically for this issue.

Grooming Requirements

In terms of grooming, miniature beagles are relatively low maintenance. They require bathing, cleaning, and regular tending.

All beagle maintenance can be done from home and does not require lengthy appointments at the groomers, or complicated treatments to take care of their topcoat.

Puppy pedicures and tooth brushing also needs to be done on a regular basis. Regular grooming of their topcoat can ensure that shedding remains at a minimum level.

Beagles are not very keen about water and can display some stubbornness when it is bath time. However, if you are lucky, your beagle will take to water and be interested in swimming or bathing.

Pocket Beagles have scent glands that are located near the anus. If you note that your beagle is continuously or excessively licking that region, it may indicate a glandular problem that should be checked out by a veterinarian.

How Much Exercise Does A Pocket Beagle Need?

Pocket beagles originated as hunting dogs and still retain much of their original instincts. They are a very energetic dog breed and require more exercise than just walks. It is therefore not recommended for beagles to be kept in apartment complexes with no fenced-off area for them to play in.

Beagles who do not get enough exercise can showcase destructive tendencies as they get bored quite easily. They can also be quite vocal outdoors if they are not being actively stimulated, so it is important to keep the ball rolling.

A recommended 30-45 minutes of daily exercise can do wonders for your Pocket Beagle, and so can playing fetch with suitable dog toys.

How Much Do Pocket Beagles’ Cost?

As the popularity of small dog breeds grows, Pocket Beagles can range between $500 to $1500. The difference in prices depends on the place from where you are purchasing them. Generally, the more reputable the breeders are, the more expensive these pets will be. [9]

Pocket Beagle Summary

 The Pocket Beagle is a great dog breed known for their intelligence, social skills, and versatility. This dog is an ideal choice for a family dog. Their gentle and sociable nature, coupled with their approachable build, make them an excellent fit for families with young children.

Their interesting origin as a hunting dog and scent hound can still be noted in today’s breeds, and their aptitude for competitive obedience as well as hunting prowess makes them very unique in their own right.

The Pocket Beagle requires a healthy, balanced diet in small portions so that they can maintain their tiny bodies. Their susceptibility to obesity and other dietary risks means they need careful precautions taken from the owners.

Regular exercise sessions and training based on respect are essential to bringing out the best in your pocket beagle. Their vocal nature should be dealt with while they are puppies. Food and garbage cans should not be kept in easy-to-reach places, as their curiosity can get the best of them and lead to a mess.

Although the Pocket Beagle is very easy to maintain in terms of grooming, their stringent dietary requirements, as well as regular exercise, can lead them to be a little challenging as pets.

To summarize, Pocket Beagles may be a good fit for you and your family if you are prepared to make the commitment to train and exercise them. After the initial stages of training are completed, Pocket Beagles can continue to delight you throughout their life span.

Resources

  1. Pocket Beagle Dog Breed, https://www.dog-learn.com/dog-breeds/pocket-beagle/
  1. Pocket Beagle Puppies, https://dogs.lovetoknow.com/pocket-beagle-puppies
  1. Pocket Beagle Information and Pictures, https://www.dogbreedinfo.com/p/pocketbeagle.htm
  1. Beagles: What’s Good About ‘Em, What’s Bad About ‘Em, https://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/reviews/beagles.html
  1. Beagles for Dummies, https://bit.ly/37lpj7j
  1. Beagle, http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/beagle#health
  1. Beagles: What’s Good About ‘Em, What’s Bad About ‘Em, https://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/reviews/beagles.html
  1. Beagle Dog Breed: Facts, Temperament and Care Info, https://petcentral.chewy.com/behavior-breeds-beagle-dog-breed/
  1. Adopt Dogs and Puppies, https://www.kijiji.ca/b-dogs-puppies/canada/beagle/k0c126l0

 

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