- Recent DNA studies indicate that the Pekingese is among the 14 most ancient breeds recognized by the AKC.
- It has been known in China since ancient times. Its earliest version was the ha pa dog, and then later the foo dog that was bred to resemble the lion.
- Palace eunuchs headed extensive breeding programs and pampered the dogs.
- Smaller Pekingese were known as sleeve dogs because they could be carried in the large sleeves of the Chinese robes.
- The British looted the Chinese palace in 1860, taking five of the royal lion dogs back to England. They presented one, named Lootie, to Queen Victoria. These dogs caused a stir among dog fanciers, and others were brought from China.
- The AKC recognized the breed in 1906.
- In 1912, a Pekingese was one of three to dogs to survive the sinking of the Titanic.
- For many years, only the wealthiest westerners could afford to own a Pekingese.
- Over the years it has become one of the most consistently popular toy breeds with pet owners, and one of the most successful of all breeds at dog shows.
Pekingese Behavior Concerns
- Makes a devoted and aristocratic family member.
- Good with children, but may not be playful enough for them.
- Not overly demonstrative.
- Reserved toward strangers.
- Not overly friendly towards strange dogs.
- Usually good with small pets.
- Tends to be independent and very stubborn. Rebels against forceful methods.
- Does best with reward based training using food.
Pekingese Suggested Exercises
- Makes a calm and trustworthy housedog.
- Requires daily exercise in the form of a leisurely walk or quick game. It is not physically suited to overly vigorous exercise.
- Many Pekingese have been taught to use indoor potties.
- Enjoys cold weather.
- Becomes overheated very easily. It is essential to keep them in a cool place.
- Outer coat is long, coarse and off-standing, forming a mane around the shoulders. The undercoat is thick.
- Needs brushing twice weekly to prevent matting.
- The wrinkle over the nose should be cleaned and dried daily to prevent infection.
- The hair around the anus should be inspected for hygiene issues daily.
- Shedding is average.
- The breed is prone to periodontal problems, which can be prevented in large part by regular tooth brushing.
Suggested Pekingese Nutritional Needs
- Pekingese tend to stay in good weight or to be slightly overweight. You must use your hands to feel beneath the thick coat.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.