The Pekingese (often nicknamed the “Lion Dog” or “Peke”) is a compact and sturdy toy breed. They feature a flat face with big eyes and a long lion-like coat that comes in a variety of colors – most commonly, gold with a black mask over their face. Their sense of self-importance, high affection for their owner, low level of energy and tendency to bark quite a lot make the Pekingese a fitting selection for more tolerant owners and those with less active lifestyles looking for a loving companion.
Origins Of The Pekingese
The Pekingese is known to have come from the Chinese city of Peking over 2,000 years ago and they were highly valued as companion dogs within the Chinese Imperial Court. So much so that it was forbidden for anyone outside of the palace to own a Pekingese and this was a crime punishable by death. It wasn’t until 1860 when British and French troops occupied the Forbidden City and brought several of the dogs back to Europe. They are genetically among the closest relatives to the ancestor of all dogs in the wolf.
Average Size Of The Pekingese
Pekingeses are classified as a small-sized breed. The recommended standard size for the Pekingese male and female is 6-9 inches high from paw to shoulder and a weight of 8-10 pounds. A Pekingese that weighs under 6 pounds is referred to as a “sleeve” Pekingese because they could be carried around on their master’s sleeve.
Temperament Of The Pekingese
The Pekingese is renowned for their brave, independent, regal and self-important disposition that likely results from centuries of being raised in palaces. They are characteristically slow to warm to visitors, but their small size can mean they are unsuitable as a guard dog.
The Pekingese is accepted to be quite intelligent – but likely as a result of their stubborn character only ranks 73rd in comparison with other dogs when considering their capability to be taught obedience directives.
They are not always recognized to be highly tolerant of young children – meaning they are not always suitable as a family pet. The Pekingese is quite compatible with other animals such as cats and other dogs when introduced at an early age.
Living Requirements Of The Pekingese
The Pekingese is happy to remain an indoor-only dog, so they can be very suitable for living in an apartment just as long as they are taken for daily walks. They enjoy cooler environments, and they will be made uncomfortable in warmer temperatures due to their thick coat – so will be happiest with air conditioning in summer. They also cannot swim very well, which means you should take extra care if you have a pool or take them for walks around the lake or along the beach.
Health & Life Expectancy Of The Pekingese
As with many small-sized dogs, the Pekingese is by and large long-lived with a life expectancy of 13-15 years. The major health issue for Pekingeses is typically recognized to be heart problems. They are also prone to conditions such as eye problems like Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), skin allergies, snoring and breathing difficulties due to the shape of their face.
Exercise Needs Of The Pekingese
The Pekingese takes pleasure in pursuits that include play sessions with their owner or a run around the yard. They possess a low quantity of energy and often need to be made to walk – which is necessary to prevent excessive weight gain, but should only be done in cooler parts of the day.