A Pekingese dog poses for a fall photo.
A Pekingese dog poses for a fall photo.

Pekingese

avatarChristy McDowell, LVT, VTS (ECC)

Height6-9"
Weight14 lbs
TypeToy
Life Expectancy13-15 years
Area of OriginChina

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

The Pekingese is a toy breed that is believed to have originated in China, though their true origin is unknown. Records indicate that the breed has existed for many centuries, were owned by royalty, and treated with great respect. Pekingese are known to be regal and independent, yet calm and even-tempered. Although they're known for being stubborn, they are also great at providing comfort and companionship to their families.  

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

Where Are Pekingese Dogs From?

The Pekingese has been traced to the Tang Dynasty of the 8th century. The breed was created to be a companion dog exclusively for Chinese nobility. They were held so sacred in China in ancient times that their likeness was used for intricately carved Foo Dog idols made of ivory, bronze, and jeweled wood. In the first century AD, emperor Ming Ti even made the Pekingese one of the protectors of the Buddhist faith. By the beginning of the 19th century, they were the toast of the imperial court and reaching the prime of their popularity.

During the invasion of the Imperial Palace in 1860, the British found five Pekingese in the home of the Emperor’s aunt and brought them back to England. Queen Victoria was presented with one in 1893, which was the first time the breed was shown in Europe. The Pekingese arrived Stateside in 1906 and were promptly admitted into the American Kennel Club.

The breed went through many modifications during the 20th century. Up until that point, the Pekingese had shorter ears and longer legs than today’s breed standard, and they currently resemble a dwarfed version of the Tibetan Spaniel. Since being brought down from their pedestals in China, the breed has maintained its personality as a dignified, calm, and charming family pet. They are fearless, yet never aggressive, and give love and loyalty to their owners.

Where Are Pekingese Dogs From?

The Pekingese has been traced to the Tang Dynasty of the 8th century. The breed was created to be a companion dog exclusively for Chinese nobility. They were held so sacred in China in ancient times that their likeness was used for intricately carved Foo Dog idols made of ivory, bronze, and jeweled wood. In the first century AD, emperor Ming Ti even made the Pekingese one of the protectors of the Buddhist faith. By the beginning of the 19th century, they were the toast of the imperial court and reaching the prime of their popularity.

During the invasion of the Imperial Palace in 1860, the British found five Pekingese in the home of the Emperor’s aunt and brought them back to England. Queen Victoria was presented with one in 1893, which was the first time the breed was shown in Europe. The Pekingese arrived Stateside in 1906 and were promptly admitted into the American Kennel Club.

The breed went through many modifications during the 20th century. Up until that point, the Pekingese had shorter ears and longer legs than today’s breed standard, and they currently resemble a dwarfed version of the Tibetan Spaniel. Since being brought down from their pedestals in China, the breed has maintained its personality as a dignified, calm, and charming family pet. They are fearless, yet never aggressive, and give love and loyalty to their owners.

Care

Are Pekingese Muscular Dogs?

Pekingese are meant to be stocky, muscular dogs with little body fat. They are prone to becoming overweight, so watch those treats!

Caring for a Pekingese

Are Pekingese Muscular Dogs?

Do Pekingese Need Grooming?

Are Pekingese Healthy Dogs?

Can You Train a Pekingese?

Are Pekingese Heat Sensitive?

Are Pekingese Muscular Dogs?

Pekingese are meant to be stocky, muscular dogs with little body fat. They are prone to becoming overweight, so watch those treats!

What Are the Physical Characteristics of a Pekingese Dog?

The Pekingese has a stocky, muscular body that is surprisingly heavy when lifted. The breed standard weight is 14 pounds and under. The head is large in proportion to the body and they are slightly longer than tall.

The skull is large, broad, and flat. The face is also flat and the eyes are wide set and bold, but not bulging. The ears flop down against the sides of the head. The nose is broad and short and, when combined with a flat face, embodies common characteristics of Brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds.

The body of the Pekingese is stout and wide.

The high-set tail is arched and held over the back, with hair falling to each side.

The shoulders are stocky. They have a broad chest and wide-set forelimbs.

The Pekingese is double coated; the topcoat is long and slightly rough, and the undercoat soft and thick. All colors and markings are recognized for the breed. Most of the facial coat color is usually black, including eye rims, the nose, and lips.

The hindquarters weigh less than the forequarters. The rear legs are closer set than the forelegs.

Pekingese Facts

1

In ancient times, the theft of one of the sacred Pekingese owned by the imperial family was punishable by death. This was a way to mandate that the breed maintained its purity.

2

In the 19th century, there were thousands of Pekingese around the imperial palaces, and thousands of eunuchs had the esteemed duties of breeding, raising, and caring for the dogs.

3

In 1909, the Dowager Empress gave the following instructions regarding the royal dog: "it was to be fed shark's fin, curlew's liver, quail breast, tea or milk of antelope, and broth from the nests of sea swallows. If the dog became ill, it was anointed with the clarified fat of the leg of a sacred leopard, and give it to drink a throstle's egg shell -- full of the juice of the custard apple in which has been dissolved three pinches of shredded rhinoceros horn..."

Other Breeds to Explore

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References

  • Morris, Desmond. Dog: The Ultimate Dictionary of Over 1,000 Dog Breeds. Trafalgar Square, 2002
  • American Kennel Club. The Complete Dog Book. Random House Digital, Inc., 2006
  • Wilcox, Bonnie and Chris Walkowicz.¬†The Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World. T.F.H Publications, Inc., 1995