Pekingese Breed Guide

The Pekingese is a small breed known for its lion-like appearance. Their bodies are long and their flowing coat is straight, coarse, and stands off the body. The undercoat is soft and thick. There is a noticeable mane on the shoulder and neck area, and long feathering is found on the forelegs, thigh backs, and toes. All coat colors are permitted. These dogs have heart-shaped ears, large and dark eyes, and broad, black noses. Pekingese weigh less than 14 pounds.

Pekingese are courageous dogs that believe themselves to be much larger than they really are.

Pekingese are intelligent, good-natured, and affectionate dogs, which makes them a great choice for a family pet. They are ideal apartment dogs, but they also do well in rural areas. These dogs may be difficult to housetrain and are best suited for experienced dog owners. Their long undercoat needs regular grooming sessions.

These dogs sat on the laps of kings and queens for centuries, and they still believe they deserve free reign in the world's biggest palaces. Their lion-like appearance well suits these regal and dignified canines.

Pekingese are sensitive, affectionate, and devoted dogs that make great companions for families living in apartments. They crave lots of attention and become upset if they don't get it. They will also become jealous of anyone or anything they believe is competing for the attention of their loved ones. These dogs prefer adult company, but they are generally tolerant of older children.

These are not the most active dogs, but they do like and need a little exercise. A short walk each day should be more than enough to satisfy their desire to move around. Some individual dogs may prefer to sit on the couch all day, but this is not healthy and should be discouraged. The breed is often playful with family members, and may get enough exercise playing indoor games.

Pekingese are courageous dogs that believe themselves to be much larger than they really are. They don't go around starting fights, but they won't back down if threatened. These dogs are aloof around strangers and make good watchdogs, but their small size is not usually a deterrent to strangers.

The Pekingese is known to suffer from several health conditions that can negatively affect length or quality of life. Eye problems, such as corneal ulcerations, dry eyes, distichiasis, trichiasis, progressive retinal atrophy, and glaucoma, are common in these dogs, and the breed is also at increased risk for brachycephalic airway syndrome, a condition that causes breathing difficulty. Pinched nostrils, intervertebral disc disease, stenotic nares, patellar luxation, skin fold dermatitis, urolithiasis, and an elongated soft palate are also seen in this breed.

Due to their flat faces and high risk for heatstroke, Pekingese must be kept in air-conditioning during hot weather and should be exercised outdoors as little as possible. Heatstroke can occur quickly and can be fatal. Additionally, these dogs are prone to obesity and should not be overfed. Puppies must often be delivered by Caesarian, and Pekingese are sensitive to anesthesia.

Pekingese generally live up to 18 years when they receive routine veterinary care, regular exercise, proper nutrition, and timely vaccinations.

The Pekingese is not the most trainable of dogs. In fact, the breed's stubbornness is legendary. These dogs tend to do what they please and are very difficult to housetrain. Having said that, it is possible to train these dogs, provided training is approached with an abundance of patience, firmness, and kindness. Positive reinforcement, especially praise and food rewards, will provide the greatest amount of success. Training sessions that are kept short and fun work better than long, repetitive sessions.

Like many other small dog breeds, Pekingese have big personalities and even bigger egos. They have been known to refuse food and walk away from games and other interactions out of stubbornness. Occasionally, they will even pick a fight with a bigger dog, although the victim is usually a gentle giant that poses little threat.

Socialization starting early in life is an important part of caring for this breed. Without early and frequent socialization, Pekingese may become overly suspicious or fearful. Regular walks around the neighborhood, participation in puppy kindergarten, and supervised trips to the dog park help ensure these dogs grow into tolerant adults.

Pekingese need brushing every few days to keep their long coats under control. Without regular grooming, they are prone to mats and tangles. If neglected, matting can quickly lead to pain and potentially serious skin infections that require professional care. Dogs that cannot be brushed regularly should be clipped short by a professional groomer. Misting the coat with conditioner and brushing it with a natural bristle brush or pin brush is benficial. A slicker brush will remove dead hair to reduce shedding.

These dogs need their ears, eyes, and faced cleaned regularly. The wrinkle over their nose must be cleaned every day and dried well to prevent a skin infection from developing. Additionally, the coat on their rear end should be checked daily for soiling and cleaned if necessary. Full baths are not necessary very often. When bathing these dogs, a gentle canine shampoo should be used to prevent skin irritation.

Daily toothbrushing is essential to prevent tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease. A canine toothbrush and toothpaste will help ensure dental health. The nails need trimming every week or two to prevent snags and breaks, and the ears should be checked every 7 to 10 days for signs of infection or wax buildup.

The Pekingese dates back to the Tang Dynasty of 8th-century China. These dogs were called Fu Lin, which means "Lion Dogs of China," and were beloved companions in the emperor's court. Pekingese were very carefully bred by Chinese nobles for centuries before ending up in British hands in 1860.

After making their way to Britain, the dogs found homes with Queen Victoria and other royals and became extremely popular. Demand for the dogs skyrocketed, but their numbers rose slowly and the dogs remained almost exclusively in the homes of the very wealthy. Over time, the breed became more common and available.

Today, Pekingese are primarily kept as companion and show dogs. They continue to be very popular in all parts of the world.

The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Pekingese in 1906.