Beagles are among the most popular dog breeds. It is believed that, beagle-like dogs have been found with humans for a very long time. It was during the latter half of the nineteenth century, that the modern breed of beagle was developed in England. Since then, this dog breed has been loved by the people of the land. They are now available in other parts of the world too.
What is a Pocket Beagle?
Beagles are hounds that have drooping ears, wide eyes, short legs, athletic bodies, and short hair. They are active dogs with a gentle disposition. Earlier, these intelligent dogs were raised by humans for hunting purposes. Even though, there was no set breed standard for these dogs; by the medieval period, people started classifying smaller hounds as beagles. It was during the 1300s, that miniature beagles were developed in England. Even the British monarchs raised such dogs as pets, who accompanied the royals during hunting. It is said that Edward II and Henry VII had glove beagles (so named, after their size that can fit into gloves) or old English pocket beagles. It is said that these dogs were small enough to fit into the pocket; and during hunting, they used to chase small animals like rabbits, through the underbrush.
Even Queen Elizabeth I had a small-sized breed of beagle, and it was called pocket beagle. Records suggest that these beagles had a height of around nine inches at the shoulder. It is said that both pocket and glove beagles are terms used to refer to the same breed only, but some people claim that both are different. There are some other references like, the one made by the 17th century poet Gervase Markham, who referred to a miniature beagle small enough to be accommodated on a man's hand. However, it is believed that these breeds became extinct. The miniature beagle that exist today is the result of the efforts made by breeders in recreating the small-sized beagle of the older times. Now, miniature beagles are being sold in the name of Queen Elizabeth pocket beagles and old English pocket beagles.
So, the original pocket beagles are extinct, and the modern-day varieties are not recognized by any kennel club. It is said that the latter are created through poor breeding or those affected with dwarfism.
Today, 'pocket beagle' is a much controversial name, as experts consider that the original breed has become extinct. As per the standards drawn up during 1901, a pocket beagle must have a height that ranges between 7 to 12 inches at shoulders, and a weight of 3 to 7 kilograms. They have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, and come in a variety of colors, like tan, white, lemon, black, red, and orange. These beagles have a gentle nature, and are also excellent with kids and other pets. The pocket beagle is perfect for a small house or apartment, due to the small size. They can be trained easily and require less grooming.
Due to the controversy regarding the breeding standards of this dog, you must check the pedigree, before buying one. In case, you are going for a Queen Elizabeth pocket beagle, you must ask for the Queen Elizabeth Pocket Breeds Foundation birth certificate, which is issued by the International All Breed Canine Association. In case of an old English pocket beagle, a registration with the Olde English Pocket Beagle Registry is required.