...why they are a 4 letter word!
There is NO such recognised breed as the Miniature Beagle, Pocket Beagle, or any other name that implies that there is a separate and distinct dog breed, smaller than the standard Beagle.
Let's clear the air and lay out the cold hard truth regarding this topic. Despite what term Backyard Breeders are using to sell small or crossbred Beagles, Pocket Beagles are NOT a breed or a type of Beagle. There is only one official Beagle breed that come in two size varities - 13" (under but not exceeding 13") and 15" (over 13" not exceeding 15")
i heard pocket beagles existed long ago?
You heard correct! Long ago in Medieval times, there was a small dog breed, referred to as a Pocket Beagle. Those dogs stood 8 to 9 inches. They were small enough to fit in a 'pocket' or saddlebag of hunters, thus giving them this name.
Queen Elizabeth I reportedly entertained guests at her royal table by letting her Pocket Beagles romp and bounce around the serving platters, as this could be done without ruining the dinner-table since they were so little and her guests were said to really enjoy the show. However, This type of beagle is now extinct, it's genetic lines lost forever, its heritage left to the imagination.
If you were not aware of the major health issues that can occur and you do have a miniature Beagle, you must be aware of the very probable health issues. Most "breeders" put little thought into health testing, often limiting it to, "Mom has her shots". There is no thought or knowledge of pedigree, they are just trying to turn out cute little pts, often adding Miniature Daschunds and Chihuahuas to reduce size. That's right, "Pocket beagles" are basically a mutt, with a premium pricetag!
The most common canine health problems to be aware of are:
Hypoglycemia - a fast drop in blood sugar which can be fatal
Organs that do not develop properly - This can cause everything from heart failure to liver problems
Increased risk of luxating patella and hip dysplasia
Temperment issues due to being mixed with unknown breeds.
Your smaller than average dog should not be expected to be able to handle all of the activities of the standard Beagle. They were bred to make their "breeders" money and not at all for the preservation of the breed or for the breed's original function!
You be the judge
Remember the addage "buyer beware", it applies to all things including finding a reputable breeder. Backyard breeders may present what appears to be a happy healthy puppy but, lets face it...puppies are cute
Reputable breeders will invest hours of time researching and selecting just the proper "suitor" for their girls. Sometimes that boy may live far away and not be available to view with the puppies. A reputable breeder will introduce you to mom and should have info and photos of the Dad if he does not live there. Puppies will not leave a reputable breeder before a minimum 8 weeks of age!
A reputable breeder will have invested tme and effort into health testing their breeding stock. That means more than taking the parents to the vet for a check up. Breed clubs outline the tests recommended to ensure healthy animals. A reputable breeder is striving to preserve the breed, not for a quick buck!
CH TraJam Longhorn Shamless, photo by Mark Gilliland 2004
Ask yourself these questions when researching where to find your next family member...
what age can puppies leave their mom?
Do you get to see mom and dad (at least mom)...If Dad isn't there, did the breeder have info to share on him?
Do you get to see any of the breeders other dogs, so you can see what an adult looks like?
Is there a contract and is the breeder interested in learning more about how the puppy will be kept? Do they want you to keep in touch with photo updates?
Are puppies always available? Do they breed several breeds?
Does the breeder involve themselves with other members of the dog community? Are they involved with Breed clubs?
know how to spot the warning signs