The Pekingese originates from China, where it was bred by Buddists Monks and was known as the Lion Dog. Their main role was one of lap dog and to look stunning. In 1860, five Pekingese were taken to England and the breed soon gained popularity. It is classed as one of the oldest breeds, dating back 2000 years. Much smaller Pekingese were called 'sleeve dogs' as they would fit into the sleeves of Emperors' robes. It is now kept as a pet and/or show dog.
Pekingese are not your typical lapdog. There are very independent and stubborn. They make very good guard dogs and will bark when someone knocks at the door. They are very brave and will stand up for themselves, so care should be taken with larger dogs as they will not back down from a fight, even though they will rarely start it. With their self assured nature, they are loving but will come to you when they are in the mood. Pekingese are an outgoing breed and will want to be involved in everything. They are funny to watch and are usually happy jumping on your lap for a cuddle. They can sometimes be a bit possessive, so early training is important to prevent them becoming fixated on one person; meeting as many people as possible early on helps. With regard to training, this will take patience. They are notoriously stubborn and training is slow going, but they can learn.
They are generally good with respectful children and can amuse themselves for hours with play and toys. Other pets are usually not a problem if brought up together. Pekingese do struggle if they get too hot due to the shape of their nose. They enjoy walks but care should be taken that they don't overheat. They are also happy playing in the house or garden and aren't very demanding with walks. An ideal dog if you have a flat.
The coat needs attention a few times a week, brushing and the odd trim will keep the fur looking good. However the long fur at the back with need checking daily to clean up any 'soiled' fur. Due to the shape of their nose they have a tendency to snore, snort and sneeze but most find this an endearing quality of the breed. They don't really suffer any major health concerns apart from overheating.
Pekingese have a courageous and proud temperament. Happy to lie on the sofa and survey their kingdom the Pekingese have an air of dog royalty about them - or so they would like to think. This attitude continues with their independent characteristcs which can make them stubborn little dogs. They are quite happy to meet other animals but will be quick to yap and snap at any dogs they deem too boistrous in play. Not particularly welcoming to strangers though.
Health problems that can affect Pekingese include chondrodysplasia (abnormal bones), brachycephalic syndrome (difficulty breathing), intervertebral disc disease (pressure on spinal cord that can cause paralysis), luxating patella (dislocation of the knee cap), canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA: degeneration of the retina which can lead to blindness).
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 12 - 15 years
- Weight: 3.2 - 6.4 kg
- Height: 6 - 9"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Long
- Grooming Requirements: Everyday
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Flat
- Minimum Garden Size: No Garden
- Breed Type: Toy Dog
- Size: Small
- Energy Level: Low
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