Dog Breeds 101: Pekingese

Dog Breeds 101 - Pekingese - WP
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The Pekingese is considered to be one of the oldest dogs in the world. The breed is also known as the Peke, Pelchie, Lion, or the Pekingese Lion Dog. For several centuries, this breed enjoyed its privileged position sitting on the laps or at the feet of royalty in the Chinese Imperial Palace. They are considered to be the epitome of pride and dignity. However, they were not officially shown in Europe until 1893 and official standards were agreed upon five years later. [1]

This breed is best distinguished by its unique appearance. It is believed that the Pekingese has existed for over 2,000 years, but its appearance has barely changed throughout this time. They usually have a flat face and large eyes. The Pekingese also has a muscular and durable body. These dogs are officially supposed to be red, sable, or gold, but others are white, tan, black or cream.

The Pekingese are known for shedding frequently. It is recommended that this dog see a groomer every 8 to 12 weeks. Otherwise, they will mat easily and become extremely difficult to clean. [2] Regular brushing is also required. Owners must take the time to clean their eyes and face wrinkles in order to prevent sores. It is also worth noting that the Pekingese’s excessive fur makes it difficult for them to keep cool in warm weather. Therefore, this breed is particularly susceptible to heat strokes and should be raised in a cooler environment.

These dogs are known to be independent, sensitive, brave, and extremely affectionate to their masters. They greet all visitors with grace and dignity; however, they do not trust all strangers.

Given their past as a royal companion, it is perhaps unsurprising that Pekingese dogs carry themselves with an air of “self-importance.” Indeed, they seem to demand respect from the people around them. Nonetheless, they still make wonderful companions at home and may thrive in an apartment with no backyard.

This breed is not supposed to be left outdoors for an extended period of time. Due to their flattened nose and face, they may suffer from breathing problems when exposed to extreme cold or heat outside. Also, their owners should be careful not to overfeed their dog because it may result in obesity and severe health implications. The UK Kennel Club found that the average Pekingese lives approximately 11.4 years.


[1] D. Caroline Coile, Pekingese: Everything about Adoption, Purchase, Care, Nutrition, Behavior, and Training (Barron’s Educational Series, 1996).

[2] Vince Stead, How to Train and Understand Your Pekingese Puppy and Dog (vince stead, 2011).

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