Click on the Queen to read more about Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagles. Our miniature beagles are the first and only internationally recognized Pocket Beagle Breed and the smallest registrable rare breed hound in existence!
All about the Toy Beagle, known as Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle, including info, pictures, breeders, rescues, care, temperament, health, puppy pictures
Our supervised network of breeders is devoted to the improvement of the Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle: the smallest rare breed hound in existence. We also specialize in toy therapy dogs, Toy Rottweilers, Toy Boxers, Toy Bulldogs, Toy Panda Dogs.
Smallest in the land Sensitive in nature and adoringly devoted to its family, a Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle seems to know what you want! Healthy, it house trains easily.
Creation of the Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle Breed
As told by Rebecca VanMeter
Ancient Pocket Beagle History In Medieval times, there was a breed called a pocket beagle, which stood at 8 to 9 inches. Small enough to fit in a "pocket"or saddlebag, they rode along on the hunt. The larger foxhounds would run the prey to ground, then the hunters would release the small beagles to continue the chase through underbrush into their burrows. Queen Elizabeth I often entertained guests at her royal table by letting her pocket beagles cavort amid their plates and cups. This genetic line is now extinct.
This description of the pocket beagle was introduced into the Wikepedia, our internet's open content encyclopedia by myself some time ago. I was tired of reading that "pocket beagles don't exist". Because they most certainly do!
This is the history of our breed.
Modern "Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle" History
There is a resurgence of modern pocket beagle breeders who are working to bring back the smaller variety of Beagle.
Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagles come in teacup size at 6-10 inches, 5-15 lbs., or toy size at 8-12 inches, 15-25 lbs.
Unusual new colors and coat patterns include silver harlequin pied and butterscotch tuxedo coat.
Having less health and behavior problems than a standard beagle they are proving well suited to the constraints of city living. Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagles are lower in energy in the house and call back from exploration easier. They like to cuddled longer than the standard beagle. Some teacup varieties of Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagles are only 5 lbs. and small enough to fit in a handbag.
Rebecca VanMeter History
The Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle is it's own breed, and I, Rebecca VanMeter, am the founder. My appreciation for beagles started young. Able was my small beagle mix pup. As an introverted only child I learned the special companion qualities that endear the beagle to their guardian and it encouraged me to be the adventurous person I am today! Leaving my obsession with reading indoors, he called me outside to experience real life. We explored the forest trails and clambered up and down abandoned quarries. We played hard together and ran like wolves. Life was good. I saw the world through that dog's eyes and it changed me forever.
Twenty five years later I saw my first pocket beagle when I was looking at someone's home that was for sale. I couldn't believe my eyes. I thought sure it was still a puppy. That's when I started looking for the smallest beagle possible for our family pet. I became aware that there were many other people also searching for a smaller version of the beagle. After extensive searching I was able to find similar small beagles as pets for my own children and I began breeding twelve pound beagles for pets on our farm in 1992.
This hobby was set aside while my daughter Jennifer and I pursued developing AKC champion sired Headhunter French Bulldogs for a number of years. Concurrently we raised Fila Brasilero Mastiffs and Border Collies. I was a single parent psychiatric registered nurse and I operated a therapeutic foster home for troubled teens. Some of the girls seemed to benefit from contact with our dogs. I kept therapy dogs for the elderly at the assisted living complex where I was nurse manager.
When my daughter left the nest, I placed the larger dogs, and found a wonderful breeder for the Frenchies who could finish them in the show ring. Then remarried, my husband and I relocated to the family farm in Southern Indiana and I returned to focus my first love, the beagle. Now we have a second wave of children to raise and teach the importance of responsible pet ownership.
Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle Beginnings
In May of 2001 two lemon and white AKC background beagles were born. My daughter, Jennifer, had found these girls after extensively combing through the internet ads for some time. They were not from particularly impressive backgrounds, and one was described as a runt, but both girls were fine examples of the nice quality small beagle that is commonly available to pet owners today. Jennifer learned about the nearly impossible to find pocket beagle which a few people were trying to bring back from extinction. We could not find any mate for our dogs that were smaller than they. Jennifer had left home by now and after two year of fruitless searching I did the big 'no-no': I decided to go outside the breed lines.
In 2003, I founded a new beagle breed, trademarked Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagles. Initially they were outcrossed to diminish their size and add the color and coat pattern factor. That means they actually have less chance for common beagle defects and genetic disorders because the gene pool was widened. Successive generations were bred back to select pocket beagles from other breeders throughout the country.
It takes years to fix the traits of a new breed, but we are making some very nice puppies along the way. Each succeeding generation gets better and better. My goal as a breeder is to find the most ideal small beagles to include in the program until the size and form stabilizes into the most perfect miniature match of a full sized beagle. This will take decades naturally--its a work in progress I hope others will carry on beyond me.
How's It Done?
Often I'm asked, "How do you get the dogs so little?"
"Where did you get those colors?"
"Why don't they need as much exercise?"
Every characteristic that make the Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle unique comes from the early introduction of the small hound most suited to make the breed smaller in size and more of a house pet in temperament: the Miniature Dachshund.
I diversified this line of dogs while miniaturizing the breed without the help of a geneticist. The breed evolved much on its own. I'm a Registered Nurse so I had some rudimentary knowledge of genetics. I studied the color patterns of dachshunds to help understand how to produce these colors and patterns. The mocha harlequin pied's flashy coat is my best amalgamation of the traditional coats offered by beagles and miniature dachshunds. Keeping the traditional white legs, collar, and flag tip of the tail, the mocha harlequin has a dilute chocolate dappled saddle where the traditional tricolor would have been black. A dog marked like this can produce offspring of all colors in a litter: traditional tricolors with black or chocolate saddles, and pied two color dogs in lemon or richer butterscotch red.
The Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle breed was originally out crossed with miniature dachshund: two select males that gave the piebald tricolor pattern and the small size and chocolate color dilutes that make our small dogs so successful. The next generations were bred back to miniature beagles from other breeders but some line breeding was done in order to fix the small size and color. Every generation improves the lines and stabilizes the desired traits. All Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagles go back to the original foundation AKC beagle dams that carried the trait to produce small colorful puppies. It's a matriarchal line.
Currently our focus is to bring out the chubby cheeked beagle look while keeping the leg to back length proportions balanced. That's about impossible. Really small dogs don't have fat jowls. But it's interesting to try for. Our wish is that they look like the kind of dog most people really want: they want a puppy forever! We have several puppy buyers who have come back and purchased a second or third dog because they are so happy with their first. I would encourage you to imagine the restless energy of the standard beagle pacing about your home (he'd rather be out for a run), compared to the laid back Queen Elizabeth that can get all its exercise needed just by roaming about the house. It is a relaxed companion by your side. Consider the description I have by a two-time Queen Elizabeth buyer, Tiffany, who now has three male beagles in her home. Her first one is a purebred beagle and the last two are Queen Elizabeth. She reports she could tell a big difference as she observed her first one doesn't like to be cuddled as long as her last two do. He is more restless and wants to go to the dog park! The Queen Elizabeths? They just want to watch TV on the couch with you.
It is commendable that a pocket beagle buyer research the breed prior to purchase as these dogs are as long lived as most toy breeds are and they will want to make a good choice. The loving nature of the beagle won't disappoint and makes them the ideal family dog. I encourage puppy buyers to send back pictures of their dogs so I can evaluate their conformation. Some of the earlier first and second generation beagles do resemble dachshund more than I'd wish, but it's a necessary beginning. You have helped further the breed by buying a Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle and there are many people enjoying their puppies now because of the support and interest that people originally have shown in miniaturization the breed.
There are beagle lovers that like little dogs. That does not take anything away from the established 13--15 inch beagle breed. This is a new breed. It appeals to a certain person that doesn't hunt, and loves beagles and lives in town or an apartment. Someone that wants to carry their dog around and sleep with it! This breed doesn't have as strong hunting instinct so it seems more bonded to the owner and less likely to run off after a rabbit or cat. Otherwise same sweet disposition, small package.
Now as far as temperament and trainability goes: They are one of the easiest dogs to housebreak, just naturally keeping clean and understanding what you want them to do. They practically read your mind at times, they are so intuitive and pick up on subtle clues. That is why they make such good companions. They know what you are feeling and when you are happy they are lively, and when you are down they are quiet and cuddly.
Beagles also make one of the best dogs for children to grow up with. Not snappish or fragile as a miniature dog, the beagle is safe to have around. It just wants to do whatever the owners are doing. Ready to travel, ready to play, ready to go to bed. It wants to be with you. The pocket beagle is easier to call back from chasing after something than is the standard beagle. It is very bonded to the master.
Our mother dogs have made some very beautiful puppies. Some are absolutely picture perfect in confirmation. And all are beautiful in temperament but some a little less perfect in form. That's part of miniaturizing a breed.
This small beagle is perfect for a modern, city-dwelling person that loves the temperament and looks of a beagle but doesn't want a 35 lb. dog. I have talked with a few other pocket beagle breeders about health problems and we don't see them. They tend to have less problems that their heavier counterparts. Less wear and tear on the joints because they are light-weight.
This little dog is perfect for someone who wants to hold and carry their dog. Take it in the car, sleep with it. Those are just a few reasons why a toy version desired by many people. Not to forget house-breaking. Much cleaner, less messy, they house-train so easily. They are very smart.
I have four children and at one time or another about twenty foster children. Over the years I have intervened as I've seen dogs in some manner terrorized, teased, neglected or abused, because, that's what kids do! It's part of the learning process--the flip side of having a pet in the home. But of course so much good comes from having children experience caring for the animal. I think it is a parent's responsibility to teach their children to be gentle caregiver's of their pets.
The Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle is valuable because of the unique blend of characteristics that make it popular. We have kept approximately. 200 beagles over the years to create this unique miniature beagle and diversify its gene pool. It isn't a typical "designer breed" where you just bred two different dogs and call it by a cute name.
I do have opinions about what makes a good dog for children. The "experts" recommend labs or golden retrievers. Why? Because they don't bite children when they are hurt by them. But those dogs are too big to make good house pets. They jump up on you, scratch you with their big claws. They knock the lamp off the table with their tail and leave gargantuan puddles on the floor--plus worse.
After raising many types of dogs, and many types of children, I feel I can safely say that the Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle is the ideal miniature dog for a home with children. They can drop them, and fall on them, and the dog typically springs back uninjured. They can accidentally bump one and it does not bite back. Very forgiving in nature, they are stable in temperament, do not fear bite, as most small breed dogs do. They are extremely loving, bonded, loyal, and cuddly.
The small beagle is the all American dog. Immortalized, from Charles Schultz' hero, Snoopy, in cartoons, to Norman Rockwell's ever present companion at the heel on dozens of magazine covers, everyone recognizes the beagle. The Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle continues the legacy by recreating the ideal family dog in a small size.
"They just want to be with you."
That's my slogan, but the dogs: they live by it.
Every Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle breeder sells their puppies through one beagle website and one bear website that are linked together and maintained by the Queen Elizabeth Pocket Breeds Foundation. Prospective puppy buyers have a unique opportunity to do their own comparative shopping in one place as every puppy available anywhere will be listed here.