Pocket Beagle: Dog Breed Guide

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Pocket beagles are a smaller version of the popular beagle dog breed, but just because they are smaller doesn’t mean they lose any of this dog’s intelligence and loving nature. Pocket beagles are known for their playful energy, caring attitudes, and relatively low care needs. They make a perfect dog for many living situations, including with families and individuals.

Our dog breed guide will give you further insight into the pocket beagle dog breed to understand more about their behavior, care needs, and potential health issues. We’ll also give you a list of points to review at the end of the article to help determine whether this breed is the best addition to your lifestyle.

A Quick Look at Pocket Beagles

The quick facts about pocket beagles below will introduce you to this breed and help you to understand some basics about their appearance, temperament, and care needs.

Weight/Height 7 to 15 lbs/7 to 12 inches
Coat Type Smooth, straight, short coat
Grooming Needs Average
Shedding Average to heavy
Temperament  Gentle, loving, intelligent, playful
Good With Kids Yes
Good With Other Animals Yes
Intelligence High
Easy to Train Yes
Energy Level Average to high
Barking Habits Can be loud
Lifespan 12 to 15 years

What Is the History of the Pocket Beagle?

Pocket beagle outside in grass and sun

Beagles, in some iterations, have been around since as early as medieval times in Europe. The term beagle was previously used to refer to any hound type of dog. In the 11th century, William the Conqueror brought the Talbot hound (this breed is now extinct) to England, and it was crossed with a greyhound to create the first ancestors of the beagle.

Around the 13th century, small beagles were used in packs as part of hunting activities and called ‘glove beagles’ as they could fit into the palm of a hunting glove. Over time, glove beagles were replaced by larger beagles, the breed we know today as the standard-sized beagle, for hunting, but the pocket beagle still persisted.

In the 15th century, Queen Elizabeth I was known for keeping pocket beagles in her pockets or saddle bags during hunts. She owned many pocket beagles, increasing their popularity, and the breed stayed around until modern times, though they aren’t quite as well-known as their larger counterparts when it comes to hunting.

The first beagles came to the United States from Britain around the 1870s, and the American Kennel Club recognized the standard-sized breed in 1884. Today, this pup is beloved for their affectionate attitude, playful energy, and role as a wonderful family and companion pet.

What Do Pocket Beagles Look Like?

Pocket beagles are small, not growing larger than 12 inches or weighing more than around 15 pounds. They have the typical beagle head shape, with a slightly rounded, broad skull, a straight, strong muzzle, and intelligent eyes. They have wide nostrils for scenting and ears that are long and wide, hanging down around their head.

The coat of the pocket beagle is short and straight; pocket beagles come in a variety of colors that are typically seen in hounds, but the most common coloration for a pocket beagle is the black, tan, and white tricolor pattern. However, you might see pocket beagles in other colors: red and white, orange and white, or lemon and white.

What Size Is a Pocket Beagle?

The pocket beagle will grow to be approximately 25 to 50 percent smaller than the standard-sized beagle. They grow to 7 and 12 inches tall and weigh between 7 and 15 pounds, depending on their lineage and parents’ size. Pocket beagles may also sometimes be referred to as miniature beagles.

What Is a Pocket Beagle’s Coat Type?

The pocket beagle has a short, smooth, straight coat that tends to grow thicker in the colder months. As a result, they have average shedding year-round, with shedding picking up during the spring as they lose their winter coat. Pocket beagles’ coats are also somewhat resistant to rain, but that doesn’t mean they won’t need a bath and groom from time to time.

What Is a Pocket Beagle’s Temperament?

Pocket beagles have a wonderful temperament, and this dog is recognized for being gentle, friendly, playful, and loving. They enjoy spending time with their families and love to exercise and play. Families or individuals with enough time to take this dog on several moderate walks throughout the day and plenty of playtime with their toys is the best option for this pup.

Pocket beagles love to cuddle with their families, and they also love to make friends with new people or new animals. So you can expect your pocket beagle to be loving, intelligent, and alert, though a little bit mischievous when it comes to stealing food and causing trouble out of boredom.

Are Pocket Beagles Affectionate?

Pocket beagles are well-known as an affectionate and sociable breed. They are pack animals, meaning they love hanging out with their families and other animals. Pocket beagles are also very playful and love spending time getting rid of their energy outdoors, followed by a cuddle and a good snooze.

Are Pocket Beagles Good With Kids?

Pocket beagles are generally good with kids, as long as the children aren’t too young and know how to properly interact with them. Pocket beagles love to play and get their energy out, so a home full of children to play with and exercise along with is perfect for this dog. Make sure that children playing with your pocket beagle are supervised so neither party plays too rough or gets injured.

Are Pocket Beagles Good With Other Animals?

Pocket beagles are highly social and usually get along with other animals. Because they are pack animals, they can easily make friends with other dogs, especially other beagles. You should keep in mind that because the beagle was bred as a hunting dog, they may have a high prey drive which can be a problem when you have smaller animals like hamsters or even small cats in your home. Make sure that your beagle is well-trained and supervise any encounters with new animals to prevent incidents.

Are Pocket Beagles Aggressive?

Pocket beagles are not known to be aggressive and make friends easily with most other animals due to their sociable and outgoing nature. Like with all dog breeds, you can encourage this positive attitude by socializing them properly as a puppy and keeping up with an obedience training regimen.

Do Pocket Beagles Bark a Lot?

Pocket beagle dog close up

Unfortunately, the pocket beagle can be quite loud, and this dog may bark or bay a lot, especially if they are bored, anxious, or haven’t been properly trained. This pup also has quite a distinctive howl that helps when they are utilized as a hunting dog, but as you probably won’t be hunting with your pocket beagle, you can start training their noisy habits at a young age. You still won’t be able to stop their barking completely, especially when this pup gets excited, but training and proper care can reduce excessive noise.

Are Pocket Beagles Intelligent?

Pocket beagles are highly intelligent and will pick up tricks or commands quickly—when they want to. This pup can be house-trained from a young age with relative ease, and they will need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stop them from becoming bored and destructive. You should never leave your pocket beagle alone for long hours, as they can sometimes get into trouble trying to entertain themselves.

Are Pocket Beagles Easy to Train?

Pocket beagles can be easy to train, but only when they want. This dog breed has a stubborn streak that can result in some frustrating training lessons, so it’s important to start training proper obedience and command-following from a young age when possible. That being said, pocket beagles are intelligent and love learning, so with the right motivations and positive reinforcement, they can be fun to work with on new skills.

Are Pocket Beagles Energetic?

Pocket beagles are highly energetic dogs, and they require a higher amount of exercise and playtime to stay happy. This pup will need one to two daily walks that last at least 20 minutes each and around 30 minutes of playtime or other exercise time per day. You will need to provide your pocket beagle with toys and access to outdoor areas to run around to keep them happy and healthy.

Are Pocket Beagles Good Apartment Dogs?

Pocket beagles are highly adaptable as a breed and can adapt to small spaces easily. This, combined with their fairly small size, makes them a good choice for an apartment dog. However, you should keep in mind that your pocket beagle will still need lots of exercise outside of the apartment and toys to keep them mentally stimulated. They may also be loud from time to time, something that might make apartment living difficult depending on where exactly you live.

Are Pocket Beagles Good Watchdogs?

Young pocket beagle dog standing outdoors

Pocket beagles are intelligent, alert, and fiercely protective of their families, thanks to their pack mentalities. As a result, they make good watchdogs and have a loud bark and bay that can alert you to suspicious happenings outside your home or apartment. However, they do love making friends, so while they can be a good watchdog, don’t count on that loud fierceness to translate into making them a good guard dog.

Are Pocket Beagles Good Service Dogs?

While pocket beagles are a good choice for therapy and emotional support dogs, they may not be the best option for mobility service dogs. They are not big enough to support an individual that may need help being guided, support when they need to lean against something, or repeated items brought over to them. They also may be unable to reach light switches, door handles, or phones, which is an essential part of helping with a physical disability.

However, pocket beagles can support those with psychological disabilities and emotional support needs thanks to their loving, affectionate, and loyal nature.

How to Care for a Pocket Beagle

Caring for your pocket beagle is fortunately not too difficult as this pup is not the highest maintenance breed out there. You will need to give your pocket beagle their own space inside your home or apartment where they can relax, spend time with their toys, and nap. Make sure that you give your pocket beagle enough exercise each day to keep them healthy and happy – at least one to two 20-minute walks per day plus 30 minutes of playtime each day – and that they have space to play in your home.

Feed your pocket beagle high-quality dry or wet dog food, calculating how much to feed based on their size and the calories in the food, and regularly take them to the vet for annual checkups or to address any potential health issues. Grooming and baths may be required from time to time to keep your pup’s nails trimmed and their coat healthy.

Aside from that, spend lots of time with your pocket beagle playing with them and loving on them. Train them and try not to leave them alone for more than 8 hours, as they might get lonely, anxious, bored, or destructive.

Do You Need to Groom a Pocket Beagle?

A weekly brush is recommended for your pocket beagle to ensure their coat stays healthy and that their fur is shed. Additionally, you will likely need to give your pocket beagle baths and take them to the groomers for nail trims if their nails don’t wear down on their own. Overall, the grooming needs of a pocket beagle are relatively low-maintenance.

Do Pocket Beagles Shed?

Pocket beagles shed an average amount thanks to their shorter, straight coats. They will shed year-round and grow a thicker coat during the colder months. In the spring, their shedding typically increases as they lose this heavier winter coat.

What Should a Pocket Beagle Eat?

Pocket beagles should be given around half a cup to one cup of high-quality dry or wet dog food per day. The exact amount depends on your dog’s size and the caloric amount in each cup of dog food.

It’s important to note that pocket beagles are very food motivated and will constantly look for more food to eat, making them prone to obesity. Keep a careful eye on their diet and supplement their food with nutritional dog treats to ensure they stay healthy.

Consult with a veterinarian if you have any questions about what to feed your pocket beagle and how much food they should be eating per day.

What Health Problems Do Pocket Beagles Have?

Pocket beagles can have a few different health problems due to the breeding of their small size and their genetics. This breed is prone to hip dysplasia, patella luxation, intervertebral disc disease, congenital heart defects, and dwarfism.

Pocket beagles also get very excited about food and can often eat beyond their capacity without stopping. This makes them prone to anxiety and requires close monitoring of their diet to ensure they stay healthy.

Make sure to attend regular vet visits with your pocket beagle to catch any health issues before they become serious and ensure that your dog stays in the healthiest condition possible.

How Long Do Pocket Beagles Live?

Pocket beagles are known to have a lifespan between 12 and 15 years. Of course, your pocket beagle may live longer or shorter than this estimation due to specific health problems and individual care. To give your pocket beagle the longest, happiest life possible, you should meet their care and exercise needs daily and take them to regular veterinary visits.

Are Pocket Beagles Expensive?

Pocket beagles can be an expensive dog breed, depending on where you purchase or adopt them. When buying from a breeder, you can expect to pay between $500 and $2000. This price fluctuates depending on the skill of the breeder, the lineage of the dog’s parents, and the area where you purchase them. You may be able to find this dog cheaper at shelters or from other breeders, but take care to ensure that you are not purchasing a dog that has been bred with inhumane or unethical practices.

How to Find a Pocket Beagle Breeder

If you want to purchase a pocket beagle from a breeder, your first step is to search for eligible breeders in your area. Of course, an internet search is the best for this, but local dog specialists and organizations may be able to point you in the right direction.

Make sure when using a breeder that they have all of the certifications or licensure potentially required in your state and that you get a look at the breeding facilities to ensure they are humane.

Can You Adopt a Pocket Beagle?

Yes, it may be possible for you to adopt a pocket beagle from a rescue organization or local animal shelter. You can check your local shelters regularly or perform an internet search for an organization that rehomes pocket beagles in need of a loving family. Most of the time, if you are adopting from a rescue organization, you will find adult dogs instead of puppies, but this is also a chance to give a dog with a well-developed personality a loving home.

Are Pocket Beagles Purebred?

Even though pocket beagles are purebred and have direct lineage to standard-sized beagles, they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club as a separate breed or as a toy breed. They are simply thought of as smaller standard-sized beagles, and you might be able to register your pup as such with any kennel club.

Can You Show Pocket Beagles?

Pocket beagle sitting outside with red leash on

You might be able to show your pocket beagle as long as they fall within the parameters of a standard beagle with the American Kennel Club. If your pocket beagle is too small, then it won’t qualify for the standard beagle category, and it might not be allowed into the toy dog category as pocket beagles are not generally recognized as a toy breed.

Other organizations may also accept your pocket beagle, especially ones dedicated to all breeds of beagles. You can perform an internet search or review the website for the National Beagle Club of America to learn more.

Are Pocket Beagles Good for New Dog Owners?

Pocket beagles can be a great choice for new dog owners. This dog is loving, gentle, and playful and easily makes a bond with their owner. They also are not too high maintenance when it comes to feeding and grooming, and while they do need a moderate amount of exercise, they don’t need to be on the go all the time.

The only thing new dog owners should remember is the potential for their pocket beagle to gain weight when their diet is not monitored and the stubborn streak that this pup can have. However, proper training and care can combat these two factors and leave you with a dog that is happy to spend time and play with you all day, every day.

Is a Pocket Beagle the Right Dog for Me?

Deciding on whether or not to add a pocket beagle to your family can be confusing. Review the points below to determine if a pocket beagle is the right dog for you and your lifestyle.

The pocket beagle is the right dog for you if:

  • You want a loving, loyal, and playful puppy smaller than the regular beagle but still full of affection and energy.
  • You have a family with children and want a companion for them to grow up with and play with every day.
  • You routinely spend time outdoors and enjoy hiking.
  • You can commit to watching your pocket beagle’s eating habits and understand that they will likely need basic obedience training to curb any unwanted behaviors.

The pocket beagle is not the right dog for you if:

  • You plan on leaving your dog home alone for long hours; beagles will become anxious, loud, and potentially destructive if they are left to sit around at home for more than 8 hours at a time.
  • You aren’t able to exercise your dog on a daily basis or don’t have access to outdoor areas where your dog can run around regularly.
  • You want a larger dog that is suitable for potential service dog tasks or is able to be trained with complex mobility and guiding support skills.