This small breed of dog is often compared to a miniature lion in appearance. They have a long, straight and dense coat with a noticeable ruff or mane around the neck with makes the front half of the dog appear heavier and more substantial than the hindquarters. The face is flat with wrinkles across the nose and slightly prominent dark and lustrous eyes. The ears are heart-shaped and are folded over and held close to the head. The muzzle of the dog is darker than the rest of the body, with slightly darker coloration often visible on the hair on the ears. The hair can be any color including patterns, but the nose, lips and the skin around the eyes is always black. The body is somewhat elongated and the short legs are strong and stocky, not delicate or fine-boned in appearance. The dog is often described as having a rolling gait.
Temperament of a Pekingese
A very loyal, loving and protective dog the Pekingese is a profuse barker. They often become very bonded to one or two people and will guard them jealously, even against other family members. With proper socialization this problem is easily avoided. They are very affectionate towards their family and will love to sit with or on their masters, remaining relatively inactive when in the house. It is not a good breed to own if someone is not home most of the time as they tend to become problem barkers. Since they are possessive they are not considered a good breed with small children but will do well with older children that are gentle and kind to them. The Pekingese is not easy to train and often tries to be dominant in the family, requiring and experienced trainer. They will sometimes refuse food and may be extremely finicky eaters. They can be excellent companion dogs for other pets with proper socialization. Pekingese will often be very dog-aggressive and may not take into consideration their small size, resulting in potential serious injury.
Grooming & Shedding of a Pekingese
An average shedder, the Pekingese needs regular, daily grooming especially around the legs and hindquarters. Mats and tangles will form quickly and become impossible to brush through, requiring clipping. The eyes should be wiped with a warm cloth daily, and the hair round the muzzle will need to be cleaned after eating to avoid bacterial build-up. Care needs to be taken in keeping the hair between the pads of the feet trimmed and free from debris.
History of the Pekingese
The Pekingese was considered a manifestation of the legendary Foo Dogs that kept away evil spirits. Buddhist monks held the dogs as sacred and the Chinese nobility also believed that these small dogs were spiritual beings. The Sleeve Pekingese, the smallest of the breed was carried in the sleeves of the formal dress worn in the Forbidden City in China. In addition commoners were not allowed to own the breed and would be killed if caught owning a Pekingese. In 1860 the breed was almost eliminated as the Chinese ordered all the breed killed to avoid them falling into the hands of the invading English and French troops. Five were rescued and given to Queen Victoria, and these are the ancestors of the majority of Pekingese today.