The Pekingese is a sturdy, small breed with a long, regal history.
This independent little dog is playful and affectionate to his family.
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Finding a Pekingese
- Short, sturdy build
- Flat face
- Dark, round eyes, are set wide apart
- "Drop ears" are generally heavy coated
- Plumed tail is set high and carried over the back
- Coat: Long, rough outer coat comes in any color and markings
- Height: 6-7 inches at withers
- Weight: 5-10 pounds; extreme limit 14 pounds
- Average lifespan: 10-18 years
- Smart, good-natured, sensitive, independent, dignified, affectionate, brave, playful
- Interaction with people: Best with mature children; sometimes wary of strangers. Affectionate companion
- Interaction with animals: Needs early socialization with other pets
- Training: Can take patience. Needs early socialization with children, and early leash training. Housebreaking: Easily paper trained. Complete housebreaking best if started young
- Bark: Can be very vocal
- Protection: Good watchdog
- Brachycephalic Syndrome
- Intervertebral disc disease
- Ophthalmic disorders (including dry eye, disticiasis and trichiasis)
- Patellar luxation
While the listed ailments may be common in this breed, not all members of the breed suffer from these conditions. Responsible breeders screen for orthopedic and genetic diseases.
- Good apartment dog
- Needs daily walks; does well with moderate exercise
- Cannot tolerate heat
- Average shedder
- Needs weekly grooming; coat requires brushing or combing with special attention to avoid matting at the hindquarters, behind ears and forearms
- Bathe once or twice a month
- Face, wrinkle area (stop) and eyes need daily cleaning; private parts regularly
- Check feet and coat for burrs and other foreign matter
- Keep coat on bottom of feet trimmed off and prevent toe fringes from getting too long
- Recommended to keep a "lion clip" for the summer months or for easiest coat maintenance year-round.
- The theft of this breed in ancient China was once punishable by death
- The smallest ones are called "sleeve dogs" because they were carried in the large sleeves of the Chinese aristocracy. Sleeve-sized Pekingese (5-7 pounds) are still highly valued today.
- Ancient Chinese myth attributes origin to a magical cross between a lion and a tiny monkey (Marmoset).
- In the late 1800s, imperial guards were ordered to kill Pekingese in the Summer Palace in Beijing to prevent them from being taken by invading British and French soldiers
- In the early 1900's Pekingnese became the most popular toy dog and have always been the toy dog most appealing to men.
- Famous owners of Pekingnese include Alice Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, Elizabeth Taylor, Shirley Temple
- Native to China and the capital city of Beijing
- Initially bred and kept exclusively by the Chinese Imperial Palace as the favored breed of the Emperors
- Earliest records trace this breed to the Tang Dynasty, circa 8th century
- First brought to England in 1860 after British and French troops invaded the Imperial Summer Palace of Peking.