The Pocket Beagle

Friends don’t let friends buy a dog without urging them to do their homework on the dog’s breed (or lack of). Breed standards aren’t just for show dogs, they’re guides that tell us what we can expect from a dog whose breed was created for a reason, and not everything in a standard is there for arbitrary reasons.

Some unscrupulous breeders will advertise “Pocket Beagles,” but there hasn’t been such a dog since Queen Elizabeth I kept a pack of them in the 16th century. Also called the “Glove Beagle,” one of these dogs could fit into Elizabeth’s saddlebag, or even into the cuff of her gauntlet, and be transported to a hunt on horseback before being loosed to pick up a trail. A portrait of Elizabeth with one of these Beagles was even painted by Frederico Zuccaro in 1575 (though the preliminary sketch seen here is of Elizabeth with a spaniel).  These days, undersized Beagles are bred with each other to create an unhealthy size that can lead to health issues. Some clubs recognize two sizes of Beagle, and some recognize only one, but to our knowledge, none recognize “Pocket Beagles.” An uninformed buyer can be duped. Don’t be that person.

6 thoughts on “The Pocket Beagle”

  1. “A miniature Foxhound, solid and big for his inches, with the wear-and-tear look of the hound that can last in the chase and follow his quarry to the death.” Nothing about a pocket beagle follows that description! We have an AKC Standard that we follow and the Pocket Beagle does NOT fit that Standard.

    • Agreed, Austin! Standards exist for a reason and yours describes a working dog!

  2. I use to get calls all the time for Pocket Beagles, I tell them there is no such thing as a pocket beagle. Beagles come in two verities the 13″ and the 15″. People just don’t want to listen they trust everything they read on the internet these days.

    • It’s disheartening, Klaranne, but it just strengthens our resolve to educate, educate, educate.

  3. Actually there were pocket beagles in the early 1900s. However, the kennels were wiped out by distemper. None of the variety survived.

    • Interesting, Kathleen. Can you direct us to some sources where we can learn more about these kennels?

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