Do we sometimes have really small beagles, the size most
people would call "miniature beagles," available for sale?
Do we selectively breed for and specialize in extremely-small beagles?
How Do We Get Mini-Sized Beagles?
We do have some small mothers and a small father beagle.
However, our small beagle puppies have parents or grandparents of mixed
sizes in most cases. In other words, we don't breed generation after
generation of small parents together.
Instead, our small beagles might have one normal and one
small parent, or two small parents but two or more of the four grandparents
might have been average-beagle size.
The advantages of this include genetic diversity,
quality, and less likelihood of genetic problems since we don't select
parents and grandparents exclusively for small size.
The disadvantages are that not all of the puppies in a
litter (from a small parent) will be small in size.
Some will take after their small ancestors, while others
might take after their normally-sized ancestors. Some will be sized in
between. Therefore, we have to monitor their growth to estimate what sizes
they might end up (and this is difficult!).
What About "Quality" and Small Beagles?
Please note that everyone has
an opinion, and this page reflects my own observations and the resulting
opinions I have developed.
From what we've noticed, the smaller the beagle, the farther
from the breed standard the conformation drifts.
In other words, smaller (mini) beagles typically are not as
high of quality in their "looks" as an average or larger beagle would be.
Probably the biggest difference in quality an average person
will note is in the face or head. Pocket-sized and mini-sized beagles have a much
greater tendency to have long noses, high-set ears, and a tail that curls
more than the show beagle standard.
Is that a problem? Not really. If you are not planning to
show, then lacking some of the show-quality looks is ok because the smaller
size might fit better with your family and home environment. As long as you
have a healthy puppy from a conscientious breeder, this is ok!
How Big is a Mini / Miniature Beagle?
There is no definition with AKC, UKC, APRI, or the other
main registries that separates mini beagles from regular beagles in size.
This label has simply been applied by breeders to their puppies. I have seen
people classify any beagle 13" or smaller at the shoulder as a mini.
However, this is a bit misleading because 13" at the shoulder is average for a beagle.
And more importantly, a family wanting to buy a "mini" beagle probably feels
that a "mini" beagle should be markedly smaller than average in size.
Since there is no official definition for the size range of
a mini beagle, the term could be used to describe about any beagle someone
wished to apply the label to. So it's a "buyer beware" situation, because
anyone can call their beagles "mini beagles" since there is no standard.
Be cautious. Ask questions, such as how big the parents are, how big
previous puppies from the cross have matured to, etc. if you are interested
in a very-small beagle.
If we label a puppy as possibly being small-sized, we are
indicating that the puppy would probably be a good percentage smaller
than an average beagle at maturity
(average is probably about 13" tall, 25 pounds). Such a puppy would
probably have one or both parents under 20 pounds, and would be smaller than
an average-sized beagle puppy of the same age.
We have had puppies mature to 13 pounds several times, and
many to around 15 lbs. But, it is difficult to predict. So, we rarely (if
ever) label puppies as "mini" or "pocket" sized, because we can't guarantee
and don't want to have a disappointed buyer!
Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagles
In our research, we noted that some of these "tiny
beagles" people are offering for sale come in colors that beagles simply do not come in.
researching, we discovered that pocket beagles are apparently not purebred beagles. Instead, they
appear to have come about through breeders who crossed beagles with smaller
breeds of dogs to get smaller puppies. By doing so, they have also
introduced health issues into their "breed" that exist in those other
breeds (crossbreeding doesn't necessarily delete genetic flaws, so instead
can bring a larger pool of flaws into offspring, coming from the variety of
breeds that are crossed to create the new designer-type "breed").
And of course, the conformation or looks of the Queen Elizabeth pocket
beagles is not the same as a full-sized beagle. Their bone structure can be very
fragile/light. Pocket Beagles can come in the
colors that are NOT found in purebred beagles, such as Harlequin (like a
Merle) and Brindle. Therefore, it stands to reason that crossbreeding has occurred to get the
non-purebred-colors on QE Pocket
Our Mini / Pocket-sized Beagle Experience
Once, years ago, we made the mistake of buying a beagle that came from
a Queen Elizabeth
Pocket / Miniature Beagle breeder. This breeder raises ONLY "mini" beagles,
and breeds small to small for generation after generation.
reproduced 3 genetic flaws at an unusually high rate.
Out of the 34 total puppies he fathered in the months we
The above puppies' were from 7 different mothers, 6 of which
were not related to each other.
Out of around 100 puppies from our OTHER males that we'd
had in the past years at the time, we had only one overbite (1%) and one hernia (1%) and
NO incorrect tails.
These percentages are extremely different than those from that above case
with our beagle from a miniature / pocket beagle breeder.
Why would this happen? We don't know. Perhaps it was from
selectively breeding for size, and not for quality, in his heritage?
In any case, that tiny male is now neutered and a happy
We hope that the above story was an unusual case, but that
one case was enough for us. We want to raise healthy puppies, so the puppy
you buy from us will be healthy with your family for many years.
Therefore, we do not specialize in Pocket or Mini or
Miniature Beagles. We do not selectively breed for small size. We
occasionally have a small puppy or litter of small puppies, but it is not
due to generations of small beagles being paired simply for size.