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Pekingese

The Pekingese is a sturdy, small breed with a long, regal history.
This independent little dog is playful and affectionate to his family.


Try out our new Dog Breed Chooser Tool to help you select a breed.
Physical Characteristics
  • 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
Temperament
  • 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
Medical Conditions
  • 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.
At Home
  • Good apartment dog
  • Needs daily walks; does well with moderate exercise
  • Cannot tolerate heat
Grooming
  • 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.
Other Facts
  • 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
Breed History
  • 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.
For more information about this breed and breeder referral contacts, please visit the Pekingnese Club of America For breed rescue opportunities, visit PCA Rescue
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