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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
  • Physical Examination
  • Heart
  • X-Rays
  • Respiratory Tests
  • Eye Examination

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.

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.

Pekingese Breed Activity Requirements