Breed Category: Toy
Country of Origin: China
Average Size: 16-21 cm (at the withers)
Average Weight: 3-6 kg
Average Life Span: 12-14 years
Grooming Requirements: High
Exercise Requirements: Low


The Pekingese is a small dog with a thick fur coat resembling that of a lion. It is thought to be one of the world’s oldest dog breeds, with a history that dates back at least 2,000 years. The breed’s origins are tied to the city of Peking, which is now known as Beijing, and it is thought to have descended from the wolf.

This type of dog has long been associated with royalty and at one time only royals were permitted to own them. They were extremely popular amongst members of the Chinese Imperial Palace and only gained worldwide attention towards the beginning of the 20th century. The Pekingese is now beloved around the world as a household pet. While its main role is that of a companion dog, it is also a protective watchdog that will bark to alert its owner of the presence of unwanted company.


This breed is best known for its long double coat, which is seen all over its body, head, tail and legs. The Pekingese is often referred to as the Lion Dog because of its abundant coat, which is particularly full around the mane. The breed’s coat is seen in a variety of colours, including red, gold, tan, cream and black. White colouring is also prominent in many breeds, with other shades serving as an accent colour. Dogs may have black colouring around the face and head. As with all long-haired dogs, daily brushing is suggested so that the Pekingese’s coat remains healthy, glossy and free of matting. Semi-annual grooming is also suggested in order to keep the coat in the best possible shape. Some Pekingese wear a short puppy cut, which may keep the dog cooler in addition to being easier to maintain.

Beyond its fur, the Pekingese is a small, short-statured dog that typically measures 16-21 cm in height and 3-6 kg in weight. The front legs of this breed are bowed, which is thought to have been a purposefully bred characteristic to prevent the dog from running away from its owner. It has a surprisingly athletic build, long, floppy ears and a curly tail. Its eyes are extremely wide-set and are usually brown in colour.


The Pekingese is a wonderful companion pet, as its personality endears it to many. The dog is sociable and affectionate, though it is also considered a willful and stubborn breed. It should be trained in a loving, yet consistent manner to discourage negative, human-induced behaviours such as snapping, growling and compulsive barking. This dog is sweet by nature, which should be a prevailing trait. The Pekingese generally gets along well with other animals, as well as children, provided it is always treated gently.

This breed does not have great needs when it comes to exercise. It should be taken on one or two daily walks, as it enjoys exercise and time spent outdoors. The Pekingese is prone to overheating, so it should not be strenuously exercised or kept outdoors during extreme temperatures. Aside from a bit of time outdoors, this breed enjoys playing inside. It can easily entertain itself with a toy and is particularly playful when it knows it has captivated the attention of its family.


The Pekingese has a number of health conditions that plague the breed. One of its biggest problems is its inability to regulate body temperature, which is a characteristic that stems from its flat face and short muzzle. It may also experience spinal problems as a result of its long back and short legs. Care should be taken to ensure that the Pekingese does not overexert itself or jump from high heights.

Congestive heart failure is another condition that may affect the Pekingese, as well as other cardiac and neurological problems such as stroke and epilepsy. The breed is also prone to eye infections, so the eyes should be cleaned on a regular basis. The Pekingese should not be overfed, as it can easily gain weight and become susceptible to healthy problems caused by obesity.

A healthy Pekingese will live an average of 12-14 years or longer.

Pekingese Organisations in Australia
Oriental Breeds Assoc of Victoria Inc

Pekingese Organisations in the UK
UK Pekingese Club

Pekingese Organisations in the US
The Pekingese Club of America
UK Pekingese Club

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