Home > Dog Breeds > Pekingese
7-13 lbs
Foo Dog, Lion Dog, Peking Palasthund, Peke, Sundog, Sleeve Dog, Pelchie

The Pekingese has a pampered past and were treated as royalty by the Chinese. The first record of a Pekingese was the 8th century in the T’ang Dynasty. They were bred to be lap dogs and were named after the city of Peking, which is now called Beijing. They are tiny, toy breed dogs with a flat face, furry mane (like a lion), floppy ears, and a confident expression. The Chinese believed the Pekingese was the offspring of a lion that fell in love with a marmoset. They come in many colors such as black, cream, fawn, gray, red, sable, red, and white.

Lap dog
Date of Origin
8th Century

Pekingese Health

Average Size
Height: 6-9 inches Weight: 8-14 lbs
Height: 6-9 inches Weight: 7-13 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Entropion
  • Skin Fold Dermatitis
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome
  • Exposure Keratopathy Syndrome
Minor Concerns
  • KCS
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Eye Disease
  • Mitral Valve Disease
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Knee
  • Heart
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination
  • Respiratory Tests

Pekingese Breed History

According to legend, the Pekingese is a result of a lion and a marmoset who fell in love. The legend also says that they were named Lion dogs because they looked like the ancient guard lions of China that were called Shishi or Pelchie dogs. It was believed that these dogs had mystical powers that could protect the palaces and temples. They were only owned by royalty during that time and they were so revered that they had their own servants. The penalty for stealing one was death. In addition, when a member of royalty died, their dog was euthanized and buried with their master to accompany them to the afterlife. During the 8th century, the Pekingese was treated like royalty and never allowed to leave the palace until the discovery of the breed during the Opium Wars of 1860. Five Pekingese were found during the invasion of the Imperial Summer Palace and were brought to Britain where one was given to Queen Victoria. She named him Looty because of how the dogs were acquired. Once the Pekingese was brought to Britain, they immediately became popular but their rarity caused the price to be too much for anyone but the most wealthy. In the old days, Pekingese were once called Sleeve Pekingese because they were carried in the large sleeves of the royal robes worn in the palaces. The Pekingese was accepted into the American Kennel Club around 1906 and is the 93rd most popular dogs in the United States.

Pekingese Breed Appearance

The Pekingese coat is long and comes in many colors such as white; red sable; red; gray; fawn sable; fawn; cream; black and tan; black; and biscuit. Some of the markings include a black muzzle with white markings; black muzzle; black mask with white markings; black face with white markings; black face; white markings; parti-color; and a black mask. They resemble tiny lions with a body that is heavier in the front than the back, a rolling gait, extravagant coat, thick mane, dense undercoat, and coarse overcoat. The Pekingese is well balanced and compact with an independent and courageous expression. They are usually under 14 pounds and about 8 inches tall. The head is massive and broad with a flat face, black nose and lips, and dark eyes. The ears are shaped like hearts and lie against the head. Feathering and fringing of the coat at the ears, chest, and underside is normal. Because of the flattened face, certain illnesses and breathing difficulties are expected.

Appearance of pekingese
Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Pekingese Breed Maintenance

The Pekingese is a high maintenance breed because they need to be brushed thoroughly on a daily basis. This should be done with a small bristle brush after spritzing conditioning spray or water on the coat. This prevents the hair from breaking when brushed. You have to be sure to brush them all the way to the skin to remove the dead hair and avoid mats. A metal comb is best to use on the fringed areas to help loosen tangled fur. It is best to trim the hair on the feet to prevent mats and the attachment of foreign objects . You should bathe your Pekingese at least twice per month with conditioning shampoo recommended by a veterinarian. A dry shampoo is sometimes used between shampoos to keep the fur healthy and clean. Check your dog’s ears weekly for wax, dirt, and debris. You also need to brush your dog’s teeth often because Pekingese are sometimes prone to dental issues and bad breath. They need plenty of exercise and should be walked daily to work off that excess energy.

Brushes for Pekingese
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Pekingese Temperament

The Pekingese is an independent and headstrong dog with very little fear so they will go after animals 10 times their size without thinking twice in order to protect their family. This quality makes them very good watchdogs but it can also get them into trouble due to their small size. They can be stubborn and difficult to housebreak but if you use crate training and stick to a schedule, they can be taught to do what they are supposed to do. The Pekingese like children but are better with children over five years old. They do not like to be teased or woken up and can be quite noisy if left alone. The Pekingese can get along well with other dogs if they are socialized when young. They make excellent lap dogs because that is what they were bred for so as long as you have the patience to train your dog, the Pekingese should be a wonderful addition to your family.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
6 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
20 minutes

Pekingese Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1 cups
Daily Cost
$0.8 - $1
Monthly Cost
$25 - $30

Pekingese Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 3 inches Weight: 3 lbs
Height: 3 inches Weight: 3 lbs
12 Months
Height: 5 inches Weight: 4 lbs
Height: 5 inches Weight: 4 lbs
18 Months
Height: 7 inches Weight: 6 lbs
Height: 6 inches Weight: 6 lbs

Top Pekingese Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Pekingese breeders of 2018.
Oakhill Pekingese
Salem, Oregon
Lon-Du Pekingese
Monticello, Iowa
Desert Jade Pekingese
Las Vegas, Nevada
Quidnunc Kennel
Lake Waukomis, Missouri
Caney Creek Pekingese
Pall Mall, Tennessee

Pekingese Owner Experiences

12 Years
2 People
House & Yard
So loving, protective and loyal
2 months, 4 weeks ago
13 Years
2 People
House & Yard
She so lovable and loyal protective of her surrounding and home and Master. Watching her in the backyard running and playing we live next to a park, Nikki looks thru the fence to the other dogs running in the park.
2 months, 4 weeks ago
6 Years
Laying down
this Dog is very spoil, it likes to go for walks but it only takes care of business, and wants to come back. very aware of the surrounding, and loyal.Sweet with estrangers, it won't bite you when u come in. will just sniff to approve ;)
1 month, 4 weeks ago
8 Years
Explore the city
This gal had the dog stomach flu the first time I met her, she nonetheless was still full of energy and ready to hit the sidewalk. She was very interested in sniffing everything and exploring every inch of the sidewalk and was relatively difficult to corral—she didn't have to many of her commands down very well, was not interested in the treats that I had, and was not particularly interested in my affection. Although she's very small, she had no problem keeping up a good pace during our walk. She's got a big personality and a lot of energy for her size. She had gotten over her doggy flu the next time we hung out and was a little more personable, but she was primarily occupied with the sights and sounds around us. It was surprising to see how unphased she was over loud noises and bigger dogs; she's a forward little dog with a big personality.
1 month, 3 weeks ago
Book me a walkiee?