Variations of this breed are believed to have existed in England centuries ago. During the sixteenth century, Queen Elizabeth I is said to have owned a Beagle small enough to fit in her glove. Since then, the debate has continued over whether the Pocket Beagle is a distinct breed, or just a small variation of the standard Beagle. Arguments notwithstanding, though, this miniature version of the Beagle has gained notoriety; through the centuries, English hunters used the smallest Beagles in their packs for hunting game like rabbits and fowl, as the small dogs could scramble under bushes and into holes far better than their larger counterparts. The hunters also discovered they could carry these dogs in their saddlebags while they rode horses, meaning they could travel further to and from a hunt than if accompanied by larger Beagles (in which case the hunters could only travel on foot). These small Beagles grew in popularity, and hunters started breeding their smallest dogs together, eventually creating a "breed" known as the Olde English Pocket Beagle. (This name was selected because of the dogs' ability to fit in saddlebags.)
By the early twentieth century, hunting became less popular, so these dogs were seldom used; by the mid-1900s, they were considered extinct. But decades later in the U.S., probably during the designer dog craze at the end of the century, breeders recreated the Pocket Beagle with the same selective breeding techniques of using only the smallest standard Beagles, and possibly adding small dog breeds like Pomeranians and Chihuahuas to the lines. Today, these dogs are fairly rare, and exist mainly in the United States.