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Pekingese Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

If you want a dog with a heart of gold and the mane of a lion, then keep on reading because the Pekingese dog breed could be the perfect breed for you.  Plus, they’re super cute, too boot!  Which is always a good thing, right?  You see, these guys were initially bred to look like a lion, and if you ignore that they only stand about 9 inches tall at best, you can see how they resemble the “king of the jungle”!

But just because…

We here at IndulgeYourPet are huge fans of these little guys due to their signature coat, intelligence, courage, and devotion to the family.  This doesn’t mean that you’re automatically going to be a fan as well.  Or even worse, it doesn’t automatically mean that if you decide to adopt a Pekingese puppy or rescue dog, it will be a good fit for you and your family.

This is why…

We wanted to take a moment to discuss what it is like to own a Pekingese, so this way, if you ever get a chance to get your hands on one, you’ll know if it’s a good idea.

Pekingese Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  China

Original Purpose:  Lap dog, companion animal

Height:  6 to 9 inches tall

Weight:  No larger than 14 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Toy Group

Life span:  13 to 15 years

Origins of the Pekingese Dog Breed

The Pekingese dog breed is like many other “ancient” dog breeds whose true origin remains somewhat of a mystery.  We know these little guys are from China and were specifically bred to look like little lions.  This is because the lion is the symbol of Buddha in the Lamaist form of Buddhism in China.  So, dogs like the Foo dog were bred extensively until they morphed into what we now know as the Pekingese breed.

This specialized breeding…

It was done under the provisions of the palace because the Pekingese back then were considered “royal dogs” and not something commoners owned.  Back then, these little guys were used as lap dogs in religious settings because they were the “lion dog.”

This changed a bit…

In 1860, when the British looted the Imperial Palace in China holding Pekingese dogs and took 5 of them back to England.  One of the dogs was even given to Queen Victoria, and since it was such an exciting dog, it caused a significant demand across the country for dog lovers.

Today the Pekingese is found worldwide, and China is littered with Pekingese dogs and puppies from the royal families to the public.  It’s also quite popular within the United States, which is probably why you’re reading this article now!

Pekingese Characteristics

If you are looking for a great lap dog with uncanny intelligence, the Pekingese could be your dog.  But be warned, Pekingese dogs tend to be stubborn and hard to train and bark a lot. And by a lot, we mean they’re likely to bark at anyone who walks past your house day or night.


That bark makes the Pekingese a good guard dog, even though their looks may not be the most intimidating.  So you’ll want to consider this before purchasing a Pekingese puppy, or better yet, adopting a Pekingese dog from a dog rescue center.  They’re also wary of anyone who has not been “officially welcomed” by their owner, so be sure to keep that in mind when having someone enter your home for the first time.


If you want to be the center of your dog’s world and have them with you every second of the day, then a Pekingese dog might be the dog for you because they are very affectionate to their family.  Also, Pekingese dogs are suitable for families with kids, but only if they are not rough with them.  If you have a toddler or a young child, it is essential to teach them how to treat a dog properly so neither get hurt.

Finally, since Pekingese dogs are relatively small, they live twelve to fifteen years long.

Pekingese Dog Care and Maintenance

The thick and long coat of the Pekingese will require constant grooming, but other than that; they are low maintenance.  Walking your Pekingese on a concise walk every day is recommended, but they cannot be in the heat.  Their coat must be brushed at least once a week to prevent matted fur and bathed once or twice a month to keep them clean.

Also, to prevent any infections, cleaning the face of your Pekingese daily around the nose and eyes is essential.  You can use a damp cotton pad or ball to do this.

Personality and Temperament 

The Pekingese is a part of the toy family of dogs because of its small stature.  They range from six to nine inches tall and weigh anywhere from nine to fourteen pounds.  In the past, in China, if a Pekingese were shorter than six inches, it would be carried in the sleeves of people’s clothes and be called a Sleeve Pekingese.  Also, the Pekingese has a very signature look, but here are some of its technical traits.


The Pekingese has a very long, thick coat with two layers: A soft, furry undercoat and a more coarse, straight top coat.  These thick coats give the Pekingese its trademark appearance as a lion.


A Pekingese can be any color or variation of colors.  An utterly white dog of this breed was highly desired in Chinese culture and a popular color choice nowadays.


The snout of a Pekingese is always black, no matter what color coat it has.  They also almost always will have dark brown eyes.

Potential Health Concerns

Some of the common health problems are:

  • Ear conditions because these dogs have a lot of hair in their ears and ear canals
  • Patellar Luxation
    • This is a knee condition that is present in small dogs when they are born and can cause them to be unable to walk correctly.  This condition could cause the need for surgery.
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome
    • This is caused by their flat face(or shortened snout).  This can cause sniffling, coughing, snorting, and fainting.  Heat can trigger this condition because it can cause the breathing airways to swell.
  • Skin Fold Dermatitis
    • This is caused by not cleaning the skin folds on the face of your Pekingese and causes severe skin irritation.

And while many of these conditions may not be life-threatening, they can become quite expensive, particularly if they become recurring issues.  This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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