General Description

(Peke, Peking Palasthund)The Pekingese is an ancient breed of toy dog whose physical appearance denotes courage, boldness, and independence. Their stocky, muscular body is pear-shaped, compact, and low to the ground. It is slightly longer than it is tall and it is heaviest in front. When lifted, the Pekingese is surprisingly heavy for its size. Their ribs are well-sprung and set between the forelegs, and their neck is short and thick. The chest is broad and full, the loin is comparatively light, and the waist is narrow. They have a straight topline and a high set tail that is arched and carried over the back. The breed’s forequarters are stout, thick, and heavily boned. Their shoulders are well laid back and blend smoothly into the rest of the frame, and their elbows are set close to the body. Their front feet turn slightly outwards when the dog is standing or moving. The hindquarters are lighter than the forequarters, and the rear legs are relatively close together and parallel. The head of the Pekingese is large in proportion to the rest of the body. The topskull is massive, flat, and broad, and the muzzle is flat, wide, and well-filled below the eyes. They have a broad lower jaw and their chin, nose, and brow all lay on the same plane. The visibility of the stop is obscured by the nose wrinkle that separates the upper and lower areas of the face. Ears of this breed are heart-shaped and lie flat against the head, and eyes are large, round, far-set, and dark in color. The nose is short, broad, and black, and the nostrils are open and wide. Neither teeth nor tongue show when the dog’s mouth is closed. The coat of the Pekingese consists of a long, coarse, straight outer coat and a thick, soft undercoat. The hair forms a mane on the neck and shoulders. All coat colors are accepted and treated equally in the show ring.

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The Pekingese is feisty, courageous, and independent. They are affectionate and sensitive, and they thrive on human attention. They are leery of strangers, and they are sometimes obstinate and self-willed. Some are picky eaters and may be difficult to feed. If overfed, the Pekingese will put on weight quickly. Because of their propensity to bark a lot, they make good watch dogs. They aren’t recommended for small children who will tease them. This breed can be difficult to housebreak.


6 – 9 inches


8 – 10 pounds


General Health

The Pekingese tends to catch colds very easily. They are a difficult dog to breed. Some lines are susceptible to herniated discs and dislocated kneecaps. Breathing problems and hearth problems are also common within this breed. Healthy Pekingese typically live for 10 to 15 years.


The Pekingese has a very interesting history throughout its native country of China. They were once regarded as a manifestation of the legendary Foo Dog that drove away spirits. Commoners were required to bow to them, and people were punished by death for stealing one. Whenever an emperor died, his Pekingese would be sacrificed so that it could travel with him to the afterlife. It wasn’t until 1860 that the Pekingese reached the West. When British and French troops invaded the Summer Palace in China during the Second Opium War, Chinese Imperial Guards were ordered to kill the Pekingese in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of the foreigners. Five Pekingese survived, and they were taken to Queen Victoria. These five dogs served as the foundation for the present day breed. The Pekingese was first show in Britain in 1893, and it was recognized in the United States in 1909.


The long double coat of the Pekingese needs to be combed and brushed on a daily basis. Extra care should be given to the dog’s hindquarters, where mats are more likely to occur. The breed should be dry shampooed on a regular basis and the eyes and face should be cleaned each day. Feet should be checked for burrs. The Pekingese is an average shedder.

Ideal Environment

The Pekingese is well-suited to life in a small household or apartment. They are a comparatively inactive breed indoors, and they are content to live without a yard. The breed doesn’t require much exercise, but they will stay in better health if they are given regular opportunities to run around and play.C

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