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The Pocket Beagle is small dog from the UK bred to be easy to carry, to hunt small game in the 1500s and to be a companion. It actually went extinct for a time but was revived by breeders when tiny dogs became popular once more. It is the smallest version of the Beagle and is called the Olde English Pocket Beagle, Mini Beagle, Miniature Beagle, Tea Cup Beagle and Toy Beagle. It is a sweet and affectionate dog and makes a great companion and lap dog.
|The Pocket Beagle at a Glance|
|Other names||Mini Beagle, Miniature Beagle, Toy Beagle, Teacup Beagle, Olde English Pocket Beagle|
|Average weight||7 to 15 pounds|
|Average height||7 to 12 inches|
|Life span||12 to 15 years|
|Coat type||Medium, short, hard|
|Color||Tricolor, black and tan, red, orange, lemon (combined with white)|
|Popularity||Not a registered member of the AKC|
|Tolerance to heat||Good|
|Tolerance to cold||Moderate to good|
|Shedding||Average – some hair will be around the home|
|Drooling||Low – not prone to slobber or drool|
|Obesity||Low – not prone but measure food and make sure it gets exercise|
|Grooming/brushing||Low to moderate – brush once or twice a week|
|Barking||Occasional to frequent – train to stop on command|
|Exercise needs||Quite high but easy to meet being so small|
|Trainability||Moderate – some patience required|
|Good first dog||Low – experience in socialization and training is recommended|
|Good family pet||Good with socialization|
|Good with children||Good but need socialization and best with older children who can be careful due to its size|
|Good with other dogs||Good to very good with socialization|
|Good with other pets||Low to moderate – has a high hunting instinct towards smaller non canine pets, socialization and supervision needed|
|Good with strangers||Moderate – wary so socialization essential|
|Good apartment dog||Good due to size but its barking could be a problem|
|Handles alone time well||Low – prone to separation anxiety and cannot be left for long periods|
|Health issues||Somewhat healthy but there are a few issues that include Epilepsy, heart disease, back issues and eye problems|
|Medical expenses||$435 a year for basic health care and pet insurance|
|Food expenses||$75 a year for a good quality dry dog food and dog treats|
|Miscellaneous expenses||$195 a year for toys, basic training, miscellaneous items and license|
|Average annual expenses||$705 a year as a starting figure|
|Cost to purchase||$1,000|
|Rescue organizations||Beagle Paws, Big on Beagles, Beagle Rescue League, Midwest Beagle Rescue, also check local rescues and shelters|
|Biting Statistics||None reported|
The Pocket Beagle’s Beginnings
The Beagle’s origins are not precisely clear. There are Greek records dating to 400 BC that describe dogs that sound Beagle like. It is possible when the Romans came to conquer the UK they brought with them these dogs and they bred with locals leading to the Beagle. Talbot hounds that are according to some possibly the ancestors of the Beagle and Foxhound were brought to the UK by William the Conqueror around 1066. The name Beagle is also unclear in its origins, some think it comes from the French word ‘begueule’ which means open throat, some think from the Old English word ‘beag’ meaning small, and some things from the German word ‘begele’, meaning to scold!
Wherever or whenever their origins were though they became very popular and breeding them smaller started very early on. In the early 1300s up to the early 1500s there is mention of very small Beagles called Glove Beagles, the side of a small hand were popular. There were also Singing Beagles and in Elizabethan times (1533 – 1603) the first or original Pocket Beagles. It is said they were developed originally to fit in saddle pockets to take them hunting with, but were also popular companions.
But by the 1700s fox hunting was the most popular hunt and the Foxhound took over as best and most popular hunting dog. It was the farmers in the UK who kept packs of Beagles for hunting smaller game like hare and rabbit, that saved the breed otherwise it would have become completely extinct. As it is though the Pocket Beagle itself did disappear in favor of the slightly larger versions.
New Lease on Life
When the Beagle came to the US in the 1800s breeders started to breed it smaller to hunt rabbit and smaller prey once more. The first Beagle club was established in 1884 and the standard Beagle was recognized by the AKC. Since then there have been breeders in both the US and the UK looking to revive the Pocket Beagle and have been successful in breeding the Beagle back down to a small companion size. The Pocket beagle is not recognized separately by the AKC.
The Dog You See Today
The Pocket Beagle is a small dog weighing just 7 to 15 pounds and standing 7 to 12 inches tall. It may be a small dog but this is not a delicate dainty thing, it has a sturdy build, it is hardy and tough. The body is squared in shape and it does look quite like a small English Foxhound. It carries its tail in a perky manner but it should not curl. Its feet are rounded and strong and its coat should be short to medium, sleek and smooth. Common colors are tricolor, black, tan, red, white, orange, lemon and such.
Their head is broad and a little rounded and the muzzle is straight and then squared at the end not pointed. It has a black nose with large nostrils and its ears hang down and are wide and long. Its eyes are hazel or brown in color and are very expressive.
The Inner Pocket Beagle
The Pocket Beagle is an affectionate, lively and happy companion, great for people looking for a loving and loyal dog in a small package. It does not like to be left alone though and can suffer from separation anxiety. It needs owners who are in more than out or to have one of its litter mates adopted with it so it has a friend to hang with. It also needs plenty of attention and be prepared it does have a loud bark that it can use frequently. It is a curious breed, it will want to explore and its size means it will get into places that might surprise you!
It has a brave and bold nature, and it is friendly and social. It should be even tempered and eager to please. It is loving to the whole family and should never be overly aggressive or shy. It can be alert and let the owner know when an intruder is trying to get in. With strangers who are introduced properly it tends to be a little wary at first but becomes friendly after a short adjustment time. It wags its tail a lot being so joyful and sweet but it can have a mind of its own so be firm but fair.
Living with a Pocket Beagle
What will training look like?
The Pocket Beagle has average intelligence but is inquisitive, can be single minded and is easily distracted. If you have experience it may be moderately easy to train, but for people with less understanding it is going to be harder. Key to success will be sticking to the rules even when it looks at you from its small and cute face with those pleading eyes! Keep training sessions fun and engaging and short and do it where there is less chance of distractions happening. Be confident, consistent and firm and also fair and positive. Offer treats, rewards and encouragement to motivate it and do not scold or physically punish. Be prepared to have to be patient with it as it can be willful and wants to make its own choice so things will progress gradually. Make sure it is also well socialized from a young age too. Let it get used to different people, animals, sounds, situations and then new places too.
How active is the Pocket Beagle?
This is a small dog so while it is lively and energetic and active, those needs are easier to meet than when that is said about a large dog. It can live in an apartment but its barking could be an issue so training to control it is needed. It also does love to explore so a yard would be nice but not a requirement as long as you still get it outside at least twice a day. It should get a couple of moderate walks, some play time with you and have some interactive and fun toys for it in the home too. This dog has a surprising amount of stamina so will be happy to be active for longer than you might assume for small dogs. When you take it out make sure it is on a leash as it will want to chase small animals as it sees them as prey.
Caring for the Pocket Beagle
This dog is not a high maintenance one, the coat is easy to look after, there is no need for professional grooming unless you opt to use to save yourself time. There is some shedding so there will be some hair in the home to clean up. The coat should be brushed one or two times a week and that will help with the loose hair, remove any dirt and debris and gets its natural oils moving around its body. To brush you can use a firm bristled brush or a hound glove. Only bathe as needed using a mild shampoo designed for dogs only. When owners bathe too often or use too much incorrect product the natural oils it needs are damaged.
As with all dogs with droopy ears, infections there are an especial issue to watch out for. Once a week check them for wax build up, redness and such and then give them a wipe clean. Do not insert anything into them. Brush its teeth every other day or at least twice a week to avoid dental issues. Its nails need to be trimmed but be careful doing it as the lower part of the nail have blood vessels and nerves. Cutting that will hurt them and cause bleeding.
This breed does not eat huge amounts being so small. Expect it to eat between ½ to 1¼ cups of a good to great quality dry dog food, one that is specially designed for small dogs. This should be split between two meals a day too. The amount can vary a little from one dog to another based on things like metabolism, activity level, health, age and exact size. It should always have access to water that is kept as fresh as possible.
How is the Pocket Beagle with children and other animals?
The Pocket Beagle can get along with children well especially older ones, with socialization. It will be even closer to them if raised with them too. However its size means accidents can happen so younger children should be supervised. The dog is playful and affectionate, social and loving. It likes to get up to mischief and so do kids so it can be a great match. The children just need to learn how to play and touch a dog of this size safely. It gets on well with other dogs but care should be taken with other small non-canine pets in the home as it views such animals as prey. Socialization can help, supervision may be needed.
What Might Go Wrong?
The dog has a life span that averages at 12 to 15 years. It is somewhat healthy but can be prone to more than a few issues which you should be aware of. These include cardiac issues, back problems, eye problems, patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, epilepsy and dwarfism.
Looking at data gathered from 35 years of reports on dogs attacking people, the Pocket Beagle is not mentioned. The Standard Beagle was involved in 4 attacks though. It is important to note that while this dog is very unlikely to attack people all dogs can have a bad day. Owners of any breed and any sized dog should take very seriously what the dog needs to be raised well. Make sure it is socialized, trained, given the attention it needs and the exercise too.
Your Pup’s Price Tag
Starting with the initial purchase price of Pocket Beagle you can expect that to be about $1000. That is using respected and licensed breeder of pet quality Beagles. If you are find one at an animal shelter or rescue the price will be less, something between $50 to $400. You can also pay more for something from a show dog breeder that comes with top recommendations and accolades. Do not turn to the unsavory and unknown options like pet stores, back yard breeds and puppy mills.
Next then once a dog is chosen and coming home it will need some things. A bed to sleep in, a collar and leash or harness for safe walks, dog bowls to eat and drink from, crate and carrier just to start with will run you about $120. Then of course there some initial medical and health needs, your new puppy needs vaccinations, de-worming, spaying or neutering, blood tests, physical exam and so on which can start at $260.
Then there are the costs you will have to cover for its ongoing care. Food and treats will cost about $75 a year making sure you use a good quality food that is not just made up of fillers that are not as nutritious for your dog. Then your Pocket Beagle will need some miscellaneous items over the year, basic training to start off with, license each year and toys. These will cost about $195. Then insurance in case of emergencies, or savings, along with basic health care like flea and tick prevention, check ups and shots will be another $435 a year. In all the average Pocket Beagle cost each year starts at about $705.
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Pocket Beagles are loving, playful and curious dogs. It can be a great family dog as it is fun to have around, affectionate, easygoing and friendly. It can be great with children but less so with non-canine pets. Just take care as being small accidents can happen a lot more easily than some people realize. The ideal owner is someone who is able to spend more time with it, perhaps wants a smaller dog because of the ease of care and less expense in food, but who can still take it out for short walks and play with it.
Popular Beagle Mixes
Featured Image Credit: bunthaweekan anpunya, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.
- The Pocket Beagle’s Beginnings
- New Lease on Life
- The Dog You See Today
- The Inner Pocket Beagle
- Living with a Pocket Beagle
- Caring for the Pocket Beagle
- How is the Pocket Beagle with children and other animals?
- What Might Go Wrong?
- Your Pup’s Price Tag
- Popular Beagle Mixes