Home > Dog Breeds > Pekingese


Life span

13 Years


6.5 Kg


Toy Dogs

Pekingese Overview

The Pekingese is a small breed and an ancient one, characterized by a lion-like appearance with alert and intelligent expression. It is a little bit longer than it is tall and sports a body with a heavy front. It has a wide and flat head, short and broad nose with large and open nostrils, inverted, v-shaped wrinkles from the cheeks to the bridge of the nose, large, dark, round eyes, and heart-shaped ears carried close to the head. The neck is short and thick. The forequarters is distinguished by short and heavily boned front legs slightly bowed between the pasterns and elbows. The back legs are lighter then the front legs which are supported by large, straight-pointing and flat feet. The highly-set, long-feathered tail is carried tightly and is slightly curved over the back to either side. It has a long and straight coat with a thick mane that extends beyond the shoulders forming a cape around the neck, which give the breed its lion-like appearance. All breed standards allow all sorts of colours and markings except for the English Kennel Club standard which prohibits albino or liver.

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Pekingese Characteristics

Size InformationIntelligence
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Size InformationExercise Needs
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Size InformationDogs Health
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Size InformationChild Friendly
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Size InformationApartment
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Size InformationShedding
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Size InformationGrooming Needs
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Size InformationBarking
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Size InformationAlone
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Size InformationTrainability
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Size InformationEnergy Levels
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Size InformationDog friendly
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History & Origin

The Pekingese is of ancient Asiatic origin developed in China most likely from Asian wolves. Recent findings based on modern DNA analysis confirm that this breed is indeed on of the oldest canine breeds. For many centuries, it has been regarded as a royal breed and only the imperial members of the Chinese dynasties can own one. Ancient Chinese believed the little breed was born to a lion and a marmoset and that it was an earthly expression of mythical Foo dog that drove away evil spirits. These Foo dogs were like mini-lions which symbolizes Buddhism. When an Emperor dies, the dogs were buried along with the deceased to accompany him in the afterlife. The Pekingese was so revered and treasured that stealing them is punishable by death. During the Second Opium War in 1860, British and French allies raided the Forbidden City. Emperor Xianfeng fled the city with all of his court, ordering all dogs to be killed to prevent them from falling into enemy hands but five dogs were lucky enough to survive. These five were taken by the British to the United Kingdom where one was given to Queen Victoria who named it “Looty.” The Pekingese was first shown publicly in Britain.

Pekingese Temperament

Although a small breed, the Pekingese is a brave little dog and very independent minded. It has a stubborn and jealous streak and may not always come when it is called upon. It has a tendency to be aggressive especially towards other dogs and it may take quite some time before it gets used to being with other dogs in the house. However, once it gets to know the other pets, it can become a very good friend. Because it was a dog with a “royalty” status, it can get quite authoritative even towards its master. This attitude makes it unsuitable for a novice pet owner. However, it is a very loyal breed, normally a one-person dog, very affectionate to its owner. It is generally good with children but improperly trained and socialized Pekingese may develop jealousy problems. It is wary of strangers and has the propensity to bark a lot, though it makes a good watchdog, it can also annoy the neighbours.

Pekingese Training

The Pekingese is relatively inactive indoors and will do just fine without a yard. It is suitable for apartment or condominium living. This can happen if the breed is not socialized and trained at an early age. It is recommended that training must be firm and consistent as this dog can become authoritative if not taught early.


The long, double coat needs to be groomed on a daily basis. Brushing and combing is essential, especially around the back and hindquarters as these are prone to matting. The face area, especially the eyes, the wrinkle above its nose and the feet should be checked for dirt regularly.


The average lifespan of a Pekingese is 12 to 15 years. Its main health problems are sight and breathing-related due to the fact that it has a small skull and flattened muzzle. Because it has large, round eyes, it is prone to corneal ulcer (inflammation of the cornea.) This breed has trouble regulating its body temperature in extreme weather conditions so it should not be exposed to outside weather for very long periods. It is also prone to spinal injuries because of relatively long body and short legs so make sure to support the dog properly when picking it up.

This breed cannot tolerate extreme hot weathers and can die of heat exhaustion so make sure it has plenty of shade and water during hot weather conditions and it should not be left outside. Experts recommend a blend of poultry, rice, yellow corn, beet and soy in the breed’s diet.

Pekingese Exercise Needs

Although this breed doesn’t need a lot of exercise, it would stay in better physical and mental condition if it is taken for regular short walks or sessions of play in an open space. This would also prevent the dog from becoming obese and lazy. Depending on the breed, some Pekingese will enjoy nice long walks on-leash while others won’t be as much obliged to walk at all.

Children and other pets

It is known as a  lap dog and companion dog. It adapts well to apartment living and is  good for novice owner. very loving and affectionate with their family but aloof, almost wary, of strangers. will defend you to the death if needed.

Supervised interaction with Pekingese  is encouraged especially with children since Pekingese is known to defend himself and does not tolerate harsh treatment nor excessively rough play.

However, with proper socialization and early exposure, they can easily adopt.