The Pekingese

The Pekingese - Lion Dog

The Pekingese is an ancient breed of toy dog originating from China. It is known as a Lion Dog as it resembles Chinese guardian lions.

The breed is over 2000 years old and during this time its appearance has hardly changed.  It was the breed favoured by royalty of the Imperial Court and its name refers to the city of Peking, where the Forbidden City resides.

Pekingese are very loving, affectionate and loyal with their families but can be wary of strangers.  They don't like rough handling or being grabbed and poked so may not be the best choice for families with young children.  For a small dog they can be very stubborn and difficult to train so owners need to be firm but kind, and very patient.

For a dog with a potential for health problems, they can still live for 12-15 years.  Some of the problems with the breed are what you can outwardly see by their characteristics.  The flattened face causes them breathing difficulties and the bulging eyes can be susceptible to dry eye and ulceration.  The eyes and the creases on the face need to be kept clean to prevent sores.

Due to their breathing difficulties and their thick coats, it can be hard for them to regulate their body temperature and they are prone to heatstroke when exposed to high temperatures.  It is recommended that if not being showed their coat be clipped short.  There are other issues in regard to their long back relative to the length of their legs. The legs are noticeably bowed and restrict the Pekingese's movement.  Care needs to be taken to support them properly when lifted and they may have problems with stairs and jumping up on things. 

The Pekingese traditionally had a short more spaniel-type coat, but modern breeders and dog show judges preferred the longer coat that is more commonly seen today.  This sort of coat requires daily brushing and regular trips to the groomer so a shorter ‘puppy cut' may be more practical for many owners (and as mentioned above, makes it easier for the dog to keep cool).  

Pekingese Trivia... Did you know?  Three dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic, and the Pekingese was one of them.