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any colours, except albino or liver
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Pros Cons
  • spectacular appearance
  • loyal friend
  • good health
  • excellent companion for elderly
  • independent and arrogant
  • prone to eye diseases
  • requires daily grooming
  • doesn’t suit for families with small children
  • endures badly hot weather

The Pekingese has a size of a cat and a heart of a lion. This majestic and dignified breed has every right to be proud of its ancestry, as it was a highly valued companion of Chinese Emperors for maybe thousands of years. The Pekingese is an independent, calm, sluggish and funny dog although somewhat stubborn and haughty. Nowadays it is still treasured as family pet and show dog that welcomes everyone it comes across with friendliness and grace.

The Pekingese is believed to be one of the most ancient breeds, which originated in western China as far as 2000 years ago. It is believed that its ancestor was the Happa dog, that looked like a short-coated Pekingese and became extinct in XX century. The dogs were owned exclusively by the members of the Chinese loyal family or by the Buddhist Monks and its theft was prosecuted by death. Chinese emperors revered them as semi-divine and forced commoners to knee in front of them. Previously the breed had multiple names, including the Sun Dog (for those with a red-golden coat), the Lion Dog, and the Sleeve Dog. The last nickname stemmed from the possibility of hiding the dog in the deep sleeve of its noble master.

The Pekingese was under the strict protection and was never let to go out from the palace, not mentioning the China. First time westerners caught the sight of the dog as a result of the Second Opium War in 1860. When the British soldiers broke into sacred palace during their intrusion into Peking (today Beijing) among other findings they managed to save five Pekingese while the rest of them were killed so that the invaders couldn’t get them. Queen Victoria was granted with one of the tiny dogs, which she called Looty. Evidently, the Pekingese got its name in honour of the city where it was initially detected.

By the 1890s, greater number of dogs reached the West with the assistance of smugglers or as a presence to Western nobility. In 1893 in Britain the breed participated in a dog show for the first time. The American Kennel Club (AKC) granted the recognition to the Pekingese in 1906. The United Kennel Club (UKC) followed it in 1948. Today the Pekingese is a companion and show dog like it was for thousands of years before.

The Pekingese is a popular breed and as being such it is bred mostly by people who are only after profits and don’t worry about the quality of dogs. They as often as not sell dogs with unsteady character which are prone to develop certain behavioural issues in the future.

The true Pekingese was designed to be an affectionate and kind companion of Chinese affluent people and it was used to amuse Emperor himself. So the traits of trustworthiness, courtesy, self-assurance, gracefulness and regal dignity are ingrained in this dog by thousands of years of royal lineage. The breed is exceptionally affectionate with its owner. Though it’s not predisposed to cling to people as much as other toy breeds. This observation presents substantial advantage for its master, since he can leave the dog alone without extensive worry about it feeling lonely.

Young children are not the best company for the Pekingese as it can easily be hurt during the rough play (despite the fact that the dog is comparatively bigger than most of the toy breeds). The dog won’t appreciate any kind of rough handling from awkward toddler and may bite to defend itself. On the other part, the Pekingese is truly careful with the elderly and can become for them a perfect canine friend.

Generally the breed tolerates strangers, though it can act pretty reserved around them. Some breed members, usually those who have undergone insufficient socialisation, can show aggression towards unknown people.

The Pekingese was usually kept simultaneously with dozens of dogs of the same breed so it can cohabitate with other canine animals without any serious troubles. But in general, this dog prefers to be with human being and doesn’t strive for partnership with other dog. The great news is that the breed has very low hunting instinct and in the most cases won’t pose any danger for small home pets. More specifically, the Pekingese is much less probably to harass home cat than other breeds.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• breathing difficulties;
• flatulence;
• heart problems;
• intervertebral disc disease;
• back problems;
• patellar luxation;
• syringomyelia;
• eye problems;
• obesity.


Gorgeous coat of the Pekingese will need enormous investment of time and effort to keep it well-attended. To maintain the dog in a proper shape for competition you will need to spend hours careful brushing and combing it every week. Extra time should be devoted to untangle the dogs’ hair and to get rid of highly-possible mats. Bathe your dog 1-2 times per month using a special dog shampoo.

Every other day the owner should check the skin of the Pekingese in order to uncover any parasites, injuries or skin irritation, which can be masked under the lavish coat of the dog. Most of these problems can be solved by taking your dog to a professional groomer regularly. In this case the owner usually opts for short or medium-length cuts and it’s trendy today to trim this breed in a way so it resembles a lion.

The Pekingese sheds from medium to heavy all year round. Get prepared to strings of dog’s hair all over your furniture and clothing. Majority of female Pekingese and some males are going to shed their undercoats once or twice a year. If you accept only meticulously clean house than you should probably turn your attention on other breeds.

The training of the Pekingese will be a significant challenge. In spite of its native responsiveness and willingness to pleasure, the dog is also known for its stubbornness and independence, so it frequently follows the commands only if it wants to. As a result more time and effort must be put into training this dog comparatively to other breeds. The trainer should use firm and confident as this way of training seems to be optimal for the breed.

Housebreaking is another task that would induce more complications with the Pekingese than with other average-sized dog. As a toy breed it isn’t capable to restraint its needs and usually pees in the house till the adulthood (up to a year). Moreover, the dog’s little failures may stay undetected and therefore uncorrected thus worsening the problem. So be ready for months of training und socialization if you want to have well-mannered and adequately housebroken dog.

The Pekingese can be named «stay-at-home» as it’s quite often satisfied with indoor activity. Undoubtedly the dog does need certain amount of exercise perhaps in a form of a daily walk. It’s much tougher than other toy breed so it can manage to walk up to four miles a day.

Besides the thick coat of the breed makes it much more cold resistant than most dogs of its size. Under-exercised Pekingese tends to develop such unwanted features in its character as marking, aggression, and on-going barking.
Dog Breeds