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.