Is the Pekingese the Right Dog Breed for You?

by PetCloud / Breed Search / 13 Jul 2020


Celebrated for its imperial Chinese past, the Pekingese has been a beloved companion breed for centuries. Highly intelligent, independent-spirited, and affectionate, this loyal breed is extremely popular with Aussies. Here's everything you need to know about this charming breed. 

Breed Snapshot: 

  • Size: Small size. 6.5kg on average; height is between 15-23cm.
  • Coat: Long, course, straight-haired top coat with a thick, soft undercoat. Coat colors include black, white, fawn, cream, brindle, and grey.
  • Energy: Medium energy. Requires about 30 minutes of exercise daily.
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Country of Origin: China
  • Breed Type: Toy dog
  • Other Names: Lion dog. Peke
  • Great Breed for: Families / apartment dwellers. 


What Is a Pekingese?

The pekingese dates back to roughly 700 AD when it was bred as a companion dog for Chinese royalty. Many owners report that this breed retains much of its 'aristocratic' temperament and are rather inclined to think of themselves as royals as well! The breed is known for its intelligence, independence, and affectionate nature. It's a loyal breed that enjoys its human companions--including children.  

Pekingese dogs are also alert and make excellent watchdogs. They will bark to alert their owners of any potential threat. Brave but sometimes stubborn, the Pekingese doesn't always tolerate other dogs well, so it's important to socialize them early in order to nurture their friendlier nature. Because of its many fine qualities, the Pekingese has been bred with many other breeds to create popular designer hybrids such as the Peke-a-tese (crossed with a Maltese dog) and the Pekeapoo (crossed with a poodle).   


What Do Pekingese Dogs Look Like?

Pekingese dogs boast a lion-like image because of their coat. They sport a pushed-in nose, a rather flattened face, and long floppy ears. This toy breed may have a black face that's in contrast to the rest of its coat. Its face may also have the same coloring as the rest of its coat. They have rather round, bulging dark eyes and facial wrinkles that give them their telltale look.  


What Makes the Pekingese Special?

The Pekingese has been a beloved companion dog for centuries. Because of its small size, it is an ideal pet for apartment dwellers. It also thrives in both urban and rural settings. The breed enjoys attention from its owners. As a toy dog, it loves to be petted and engaged with by its owners. Anyone looking for a dog that's moderately lively but extremely affectionate and intelligent is likely to love life with a Pekingese at their side. 


How Often Do I Need to Groom My Pekingese Dog?

The Pekingese has high maintenance requirements. Its coat does shed but it's also prone to becoming tangled and matted so it needs daily brushing from its owners. It's also important to clean its wrinkles to prevent skin infections and bathe the dog one or two times per month. These dogs can be highly stylized; if you choose to show your Pekingese or simply love its more traditional look, you may wish to have it groomed regularly as well.  


How Often Should I Walk My Pekingese Dog?

The Pekingese should do well with moderate exercise--about a half hour a day. A few short walks each day often satisfy these requirements. Owners who have a backyard or nearby dog park will also find that this breed enjoys outdoor play. Its size and moderate activity needs make it a popular choice among owners who live in apartments.  


How Do I Train My Pekingese Dog?

The sooner you begin to train your Pekingese the better. This breed is intelligent but can be independent and stubborn. Socialize it early to ensure that it will play nicely around other pets. Positive reinforcement training works well for this breed. Pet Cloud offers dog training classes in blocks of six-week, one-hour sessions with registered trainers. An experienced trainer will come to your house or apartment and use positive reinforcement techniques as recommended by the RSPCA to teach your Pekingese puppy.  


Quickfire Pekingese Questions: 

Can I leave my Pekingese alone during the day?

The Pekingese is not a particularly nervous dog though it is known for its alertness. Owners can leave their Pekingese alone during the day but it may take some training to get them used to your schedule. Begin by leaving them alone for short periods and then gradually extend these periods. They should transition well to your schedule. 

Are Pekingese dogs barkers?

The Pekingese does have a tendency to bark. It is a tenacious little watchdog and will alert its owners to anything out of the ordinary or even ordinary daily occurrences like mail delivery. If the barking annoys you or your neighbors, talk to your trainer about developing strategies to reduce their barking. 

Are Pekingese dogs prone to health risks I should know about?

The Pekingese is prone to various health conditions. For instance, its pushed in nose can affect its breathing and lead to respiratory problems as well as a tendency for loud snoring. Other conditions associated with the Pekingese include: early-onset heart murmurs, hydrocephalus, fold dermatitis, and entropion. 

Where can I get a Pekingese Dog?

If you're open to rescuing and adopting a Pekingese, check with local rescue organizations. You may be able to find a wonderful pet who simply needs the right living situation and companion. Check out the RSPCA's adoption guide to see if this is the ideal solution for you. If you want to purchase your Pekingese from a reputable breeder, be sure to use this helpful guide for finding the right breeder from the RSPCA. 



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