(aka: Peke, Lion Dog)
The Pekingese is a small, fragile dog that resembles a cuddly toy. He has prominent eyes, which are prone to injury or infection without proper care, and a sweet if somewhat bewildered expression. The coat of the Pekingese is long and straight, with a coarse topcoat and a dense undercoat. His lustrous mane has earned him the nickname of lion dog, and he also has a beautiful plumed, feathered tail. The weight of the Pekingese is around 6-14 pounds, and the height around 8-10 inches.
A dignified, courageous, and confident toy dog, the Pekingese is the ideal pet for inexperienced dog owner as well as the more experienced. This breed makes a wonderful companion dog, and his low exercise demands mean that he is also ideal for those that cannot get around much, such as the elderly and the disabled. The Pekingese is a loyal and affectionate dog, and because of his tendency to bark can make an effective watchdog. These dogs have a very sensitive personality, and do not take kindly to being handled roughly or being shouted at. This is not the right choice for impatient people or for those with little time for their pets. He is also not the right choice for those looking for total peace and quiet, as he has a tendency to snore and sneeze because of his short muzzle.
Although the Pekingese does have his playful and energetic moments, he is mostly happy to sit and relax, lapping up any creature comforts that are bestowed upon him. These dogs can sometimes be very willful and strong minded, and many can be possessive when it comes to their belongings and their food. The Pekingese will get along with children but is best suited to older and gentler children, as he does not like to be roughly treated and could sustain injury easily due to his small size. This breed tends to be polite with strangers, although some can be very suspicious of them. They will usually get along well with other animals, although early socialization is recommended. The somewhat proud, over confident, and self-centered personality of the Pekingese can make this breed difficult to train.
Although the Pekingese has a beautiful dense coat and profuse mane, the grooming requirements for the breed are not overly demanding. You need to brush his coat twice weekly, although this will need to be increased when he is shedding more heavily. The Pekingese is a high shedder, and is therefore not suitable for those with allergies. You should ensure that the hair around his bottom is trimmed for hygiene reasons, and his ears are kept dry and clean to reduce the risk of infection. Also, check his prominent eyes to reduce the chances of infection or injury, and be vigilant that he his eyes do not get injured during play or exercise with children or other family members.
The Pekingese originated in China. For centuries they were considered sacred and could only be owned by the members of the Chinese Imperial Palace. In 1860, during the opium war, the Forbidden city was invaded by allied troups. The Emporer and his court fled, but an elderly aunt remained. She commited suicide and was found with her five Pekingese dogs around her. The allies took the dogs and they were distibuted to the Duchess of Wellington, The Duke and Duchess of Gordon and Richmond, and Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. All modern day Pekes descended from these five dogs.
Training is not an easy task with the Pekingese. they are stubborn and willful and do not do well adhering to authority. Basic obedience should be taught at an early age. Puppy classes are highly recommended for this breed. They respond much better to praise than they do to being bossed.
This breed is not a breed that will do well in agility. They are strictly a conformation breed. Softly strolling around a ring is a much better way for them to display their royal selfs. Jumping through hoops or running relays, is far beneath their dignity. They prefer to be spectators rather than participants of such physical activity. Housebreaking must be consistant with this breed. They are stubborn and must be kept to the task at hand. Crate training is the prefered method . If you choose not to use the crate training method, then puppy pads and a training aid should be started at an early age. Consistancy and praise are the best method of training the Pekingese. They respond well to a soothing voice and calm demeanor. Harsh methods will not work with this breed.
Although generally a healthy breed there are some health issues to look out for. This includes spinal problems, luxating patella, dry eye, and heatstroke in very hot conditions. It is a good idea to ensure that the parents of the Pekingese puppy have been screened for luxating patella.