A small Pekingese
Pekingese Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)6-9in (15-23cm)
Weight8-10lbs (3.5-4.5kg)
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size2-4
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsLow
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftHigh

The Pekingese is a small and fragile looking toy dog. The body is long, compact and low to the ground, with bowed legs and a high-set, slightly arched tail carried over the back. The head has a flat face with a short muzzle, prominent eyes and heart shaped ears. The coat is long and straight with a dense undercoat and a coarse outercoat, and a distinctive lustrous mane. The colouring varies but tends to include brown, black, red, sable, white, a blend of black and tan amongst others.


Pekingeses are loyal and affectionate little dogs with confident and brave natures. They make devoted companions and family pets, and with low exercise requirements, they are often ideal companions for the elderley and the disabled. Although they will often be playful when around family members, they are mostly quite happy to sit and relax, although peace-lovers be aware that they have a tendency to snore and sneeze because of their short muzzles. These dogs can be very willful and strong minded, stubborn really, and with their sensitive personalities they do not take kindly to being handled roughly or shouted at. This can make them difficult to train, however, these stable dogs are suitable for inexperienced dog owners as well as the more experienced. Pekingeses will get along with older, more considerate children, as they do not like being handled roughly and could easily be injued due to their small size. They will normally get along well with other animals, although early socialisation is recommended, and they can be possessive when it comes to their belongings and food. They tend to be polite or suspicious around strangers, and make effective watchdog because of their tendency to bark at strangers.

History & Skills

Pekingeses originate from China and have a long and interesting history that is intertwined with folklore in places. Once considered sacred in their native land due to their resemblence to lions, which were glorified symbols of Buddhism, they reached out into the western world after the British ransacked the Imperial Summer Palace during the Second Opium War in 1860. They took Pekingese puppies back to Queen Victoria and the rest is history. These days they have become popular show dogs, companions and family pets.

Breed Specific Ailments

Pekingeses tend to live between 12-15 years and are a relatively healthy breed. Some of the health concerns that have been noted include spinal problems, luxating patella, dry eye, and heatstroke in hot conditions. These dogs are prone to having colds, as well as lung and heart ailments. Other concerns include dislocated disks and herniated kneecaps, as well as inward-growing eyelashes. Also, the Pekingese tend to experience difficult births.


Pekingeses are high shedders that shed more heavily on a seasonal basis and so are therefore not suitable for those with suffering with allergies. Their grooming requirements are not high, and the coat will need brushing around twice a week, and more during periods of heavier shedding. The hair around the bottom area should be kept trimmed for hygiene reasons, and the ears should be kept clean and dry to reduce the risk of infection. The prominent eyes should be checked regularly to reduce the chances of infection or injury, and the wrinkle above the nose should be inspected and cleaned daily.

Exercise & Environment

Pekingeses tend to live indoors and are ideal for small homes such as apartments. Their exercise needs are minimal, and they simply need short daily walks. These dogs are sensitive to heat.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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