Pekingese 101: Everything You Need to Know About Pekes

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pekinese dog furry coatPeke-a-boo! Here comes the fluffiest, littlest dog you’ve ever seen. This companion pooch is royalty and expects to be treated as such. The Pekingese breed is a wonderfully loyal dog with a rich history and independent personality.

Are they right for your home? Find all you need to know about Pekingese dogs here.

What’s in a Name? Pekinese, Pikanese, Pekingnese?

The dog is named after the ancient city Peking in China, although they’ve been around far longer.

You can call them Peking Palasthund, Pekinese, Pikanese, Peker Pan, Peker-Lily or whatever else takes your fancy. What matters is that you treat them with royal respect!

A Brief History of the Peking Lion Dog

According to legend, the lion dog emerged when a courageous lion fell in love with a monkey. The brave-hearted lion was shrunk by Buddha to the monkey’s size, retaining his roaring courage and attitude that the monkey loved.

If the Peke’s independent and brave character is anything to go by, the story must be true!

Empress Dowager Cixi of China certainly must have thought so. She was one of a long line of royals who treasured the Pekingese dogs, dating right back to Emperor Xianfeng and the Tang dynasty.

Most of the time, they didn’t even walk. The Empress would carry the smallest pooch in her sleeve, earning the name Sleeve Pekingese. In all that time, they never left the Chinese Imperial Palace in Peking (now Beijing).

Until the Opium War, that is, when British troops invaded Peking and instantly fell in love with these gorgeous pooches. 2 centuries later we still can’t get enough of them!

The Appearance of this Breed

Short and furry! They have soft long fur that grows down to the floor (not a great distance, thanks to their tiny legs). Pekes have slightly bulging eyes that you need to be careful with. The last thing you want to do is Peke an eye out!

They have a flat face but that sure doesn’t stop them from expressing their personality!

Average Peke Weight and Size

They can weigh up to 14 pounds, which really varies depending on their size. To compete they’ll be 10 inches tall at most. The fur makes them look much larger than they really are.

Beware! Cuteness Overload: Toy Pekingese Puppy

The Pekingese puppy is hard to beat on the cuteness scale. From birth, they’ll have distinctive long fur and that flat face: a result of their brachycephalic head shape.

Ola! Pequines Temperament and Personality

Feed me, human. Rub my feet, human. Fetch that newspaper, human.

Cheeky Pekes can be stubborn, self-righteous and yappy when they don’t get their way. They may bite if you play too roughly and they do not respond well to discipline.

The key is to show them how your rules will benefit the Peke too.

They’re also insanely affectionate, loyal and as brave-hearted as a lion when it comes to protecting their owners… or should we say human-servants?

white pekingese dog smiling

From White Pekingese to Black: The Many Coat Colors of these Dogos!

Black, white or fawn are the main 3 colors – they can mix and match! A cute black face with a thick fawn coat is absolutely adorable. Check the doggy parents to figure out what coat your baby Peke will have.

How to Achieve Grooming Level: Expert!

You will need to brush, brush and brush. Groom once a day, or every other day, with a simple bristle brush and a little water to keep the double coat strong and healthy.

The fur is very straight so learning to trim it yourself is super easy!

Peke’s love affection and pampering, so grooming time will fast become their favorite time of day.

Adding Peke to the Mix! The Top Pekingese Mixed Breeds!

Bring a little exotic fusion to your all-Chinese Peke! Mixing breeds leads to an abundance of brachycephalic dogs of all sizes and temperaments.

Pekingese Chihuahua Mix

Imagine a Chihuahua with a brachycephalic head and long(ish) fur. Although not recognized by the American Kennel Club, “Cheeks” are a popular designer toy breed.

Pekingese Shih Tzu Mix

The Shinese mixes 2 very Chinese dogs into a Peke-confident yet Shih-Tzu playful and courteous hybrid pooch. Unlike Yorkinese puppies that come from 2 purebred dogs, the Shinese is not an official breed.

Pekingese Poodle Mix

Peekapoos (isn’t that the best name ever?) are friendly, affectionate and way more trainable than a solo Peke.

How Long do These Fluff Kids Live?

You can expect your Peke-a-chu dog’s life to last 12 to 15 years, which is average for similar small dogs and toy breeds.

3 Peke Health Issues to Be Aware of!

1. Brachycephalic syndrome

This can lead to several issues:

  • Breathing problems (common for many brachycephalic breeds)
  • Laryngeal saccules (collapsed airways)
  • Bulging eyes

2. Soft palate disorder

3. Intervertebral disc disease

4 Facts You Didn’t Know About This Breed

  • They are prone to obesity – be strict with your healthy and nutritious diet!
  • Although small, they do need a moderate amount of exercise.
  • These are NOT pack dogs – they prefer to be the center of attention and don’t play well with other dogs… or children! The psychological trigger may make them bite. They’re not usually suitable for family life.
  • Separation anxiety can sometimes be a problem for this dog breed.

pekingese puppies playing

Pekingese for Sale!

Peter Piper picked a Peke puppy pooch.
The prettiest Peke pooch was what Peter Piper picked.
If Peter Piper picked a pretty Peke puppy pooch,
Where’s the proud Peke pouch that Peter Piper picked?

Pekingese Puppies for Sale!

Picking a Pekingese puppy doesn’t have to be mind-boggling. It’s actually very simple if you look for reputable breeders, preferably recommended by the Pekingese Club of America.

Avoid puppy mills at all costs. Look for certifications the breeders have and always ask for a full history of the pup’s parentage.

Adopt, Don’t Shop! Ask an Animal Shelter About Pekingese Rescues!

Better yet, why not adopt? Like many toy breeds, lion dogs are bought by families who fall for the cutesy appearance, not realizing just how much work is needed to care for a royal pooch. They then end up back at the pet shop or worse, on the street.

If you can provide a home for a Peke, check your local animal shelter first.

Common Questions 

Are Pekes Suitable for Family Homes?

Why Are Pekingese Known as Lion Dogs?

What is a Pekingese Chihuahua Mix Called?

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  • f.j.heffernan Mezrab says:

    ihave had pekingese for over 50 years its peoplewho make bad pekes not the breed

  • Pekes get a bad rap….also by your article. I got my first at 12. I am 80 and had many thru the years. They are just as easy going and train as any other dog. I get tired of all the negative press they get.

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