Pekingese looking forward

Quick Facts


up to 14 pounds


6 to 9 inches at the shoulder

Average Lifespan:

12-14 years

Known For:

Cute, charming toy companions that can be very close to their owners.


Oh, the charming and regal Pekingese! This small breed, known for its lion-like mane and a demeanor that is nothing short of royal, is a true gem in the canine kingdom.Β 


Originating from the imperial city of Beijing (formerly Peking), hence the name, Pekingese have been companions to emperors and have strutted their stuff through palace halls. The American Kennel Club acknowledges them as one of the oldest and most dignified dog breeds, which continues to win the hearts of pet lovers worldwide.


Despite their small stature, Pekingese hold themselves with an air of grace and seriousness, making them stand out in any crowd. They have consistently ranked among popular pet choices, owing to their compact size, affectionate nature, and undeniably distinctive appearance.

History and Origin

Delve into history, and you’ll find the Pekingese has a tale as fascinating as its personality. Originating in China over 2000 years ago, this breed was a favorite among the imperial Chinese dynasties. They were considered sacred and were kept by royalty, leading lives as pampered pets of the emperors, and were thought to have the ability to ward off evil spirits.


Legend has it that the Pekingese is a result of a lion falling in love with a marmoset, symbolizing a beautiful union of courage and grace. They were so cherished that commoners had to bow to them, and stealing one was punishable by death!


The breed was introduced to the Western world in the mid-19th century when British troops invaded the Imperial Palace in Beijing during the Opium Wars. Five Pekingese dogs were found and brought back to England, where Queen Victoria was gifted one, named “Looty.”


Their distinct appearance and royal demeanor quickly garnered attention, and the breed’s popularity spread across Europe and North America. Among the famous Pekingese in history is Sun Yat-sen’s pet named “Adorable,” who became a symbol of patriotism in China.

Breed Characteristics


Barking Tendency

Dog Friendly

Health Issues

Shedding Level









Cat Friendly

Exercise Needs


Social Needs








App. Friendly

Child Friendly


Energy Level

Stranger Friendly

Watchdog Instincts







Appearance and Size

When you first lay eyes on a Pekingese, you are immediately drawn to its proud and noble expression. With a distinctive flat face, large, dark eyes, and a mane of long, flowing hair, they truly resemble little lions. Their body is compact and low to the ground, with a build that is slightly longer than it is tall.


Pekingese are small dogs, generally weighing between 7 and 14 pounds, and standing around 6 to 9 inches tall at the shoulder. But don’t let their size fool you; they are sturdy and strong, with a surprising amount of weight packed into their little bodies!


Their luxurious double coat can be found in a variety of colors, including fawn, black, cream, gray, and more. The outer coat is long and straight, while the undercoat is soft and thick, contributing to their regal appearance. A notable feature is their β€œhippie pants” – the abundance of fur around the hindquarters, adding a touch of flair to their walk.


Pekingese have a distinctive rolling gait, which, along with their flowing mane and feathery tail arching over the back, makes them appear to glide rather than walk, further enhancing their royal image.


The appearance of a Pekingese is not just charming but also symbolizes its historical significance and the regal lineage from which it comes, making this breed truly one of a kind.

Personality and Temperament

The Pekingese, with its royal lineage, boasts a personality that is nothing short of imperial! These little dogs are known for their independent and confident nature. Despite their small size, they carry themselves with a dignified and somewhat aloof demeanor, yet they form strong bonds with their human companions, often becoming particularly attached to one person.


While Pekingese are affectionate and loving, they are not overly demanding of attention. They enjoy being in the company of their loved ones but are also content spending time on their own. This blend of independence and loyalty makes them excellent companions.


Pekingese are alert and have a keen sense of hearing, making them good watchdogs. They are known to be courageous and will not hesitate to stand their ground. Despite their small stature, they have a big dog attitude and can be quite protective of their owners.


Socialization is key for Pekingese to prevent them from becoming overly suspicious or aggressive towards strangers and other animals. With proper training and socialization, they can get along well with children and other pets, although they are best suited to households where they are treated gently and respectfully.

Health and Lifespan

Like all breeds, Pekingese have their share of health concerns, but with proper care, they can lead happy and healthy lives, typically living between 12 to 15 years. One of their most notable features, the flat face, while charming, can lead to Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, causing breathing difficulties, especially in hot or humid weather. It’s important for owners to be mindful of this and ensure that Pekingese stay cool and hydrated.


Eye issues are also common due to their prominent eyes. Regular check-ups and proper grooming can help in preventing problems like entropion, dry eye, and corneal abrasions.Β 


Dental health is another area that requires attention, as Pekingese are prone to dental diseases.

Ensuring a balanced diet, regular exercise, and routine veterinary check-ups will contribute significantly to a Pekingese’s well-being.Β 


While they may face health challenges, the love and companionship they offer make every effort worthwhile, and many owners find caring for a Pekingese to be a highly rewarding experience.

Care and Maintenance

Pekingese grooming

Caring for a Pekingese can be as royal an affair as the dog itself! Their long, flowing coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. Brushing several times a week and regular baths are essential to keep their fur in tip-top condition.


Despite their regal appearance, Pekingese do not have high exercise needs. A few short walks and playtime are usually enough to keep them happy and healthy. However, be mindful of their breathing issues and avoid strenuous activity, especially in hot weather.


Diet is another important aspect of care. Providing a balanced and nutritious diet will help maintain their weight, as they can be prone to obesity, which can further exacerbate health issues.


Dental care, regular vet check-ups, and keeping their living environment clean are also crucial for maintaining the health and happiness of a Pekingese. While they do require a bit of pampering, the joy and companionship they bring make the effort more than worthwhile.

Training and Behavior

Training a Pekingese can be both a delightful and challenging task. They are intelligent dogs with a mind of their own, showing a sense of independence in their behavior. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key when it comes to training this breed.


Socialization from an early age is essential to help them get along with other pets and people. Pekingese can sometimes be territorial and a bit stubborn, so introducing them to various environments, people, and animals can help in developing a well-rounded behavior.


House training might require some patience, but with regular schedules and positive reinforcement, a Pekingese can be trained effectively. Obedience training is also essential, given their independent nature. Teaching them basic commands can help in managing their behavior and ensuring their safety.


Despite their small size, they can exhibit a big-dog attitude, being protective and sometimes possessive. Addressing such behavior promptly and reinforcing positive habits will help in nurturing a well-behaved companion.

Pekingese and Families

Pekingese with people

Pekingese make wonderful companions and adapt well to family life. They are particularly loyal to their primary caregiver but can form close bonds with all family members. Their calm demeanor and affectionate nature make them a joy to have around.


However, due to their small size and sometimes delicate health, families with very young children should ensure gentle interaction to avoid any injury to the dog. Pekingese enjoy a relaxed environment and can be the perfect companions for older kids who understand the importance of treating pets with kindness and respect.


They might be small, but the joy and warmth they bring to a home are immeasurable. A Pekingese can be a loving addition to families looking for a loyal and relatively low-maintenance pet with a touch of regal charm.

Adopting a Pekingese

Adopting a Pekingese can be a delightful experience, and there are several rescue organizations and shelters where you can find these little royals looking for a loving home. When considering adoption, it’s important to understand the responsibilities that come with caring for a Pekingese, from their grooming needs to their health considerations.


Ensure you have enough time and resources to meet their needs and provide a loving and safe environment. Research reputable adoption centers, ask questions, and spend time with potential furry companions to find the right match.


Adopting a Pekingese is not just about bringing home a pet; it’s about welcoming a little piece of history and royalty into your life. Their charming personality, loving nature, and dignified demeanor make them a joy to have around, promising years of companionship and love.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Pekingese's temperament?

Pekingese are known for their dignified, confident, and sometimes aloof personality. They are loyal to their family but can be reserved around strangers.

How much grooming does a Pekingese require?

Their long, luxurious coat requires daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles, and they may need professional grooming to maintain their coat’s condition.

Are Pekingese good with children?

They are best suited to families with older children who understand how to handle them gently, as they may not tolerate rough handling.

What health issues can affect Pekingese?

They are prone to brachycephalic syndrome, eye problems, and skin issues. Care should be taken to avoid overheating and to maintain a healthy weight.

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