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Characteristics, History, and Health


Pekingese dogs have a history spanning over 2000 years, tracing back to ancient China, where they were revered as a sacred breed. They were bred for the Chinese imperial families and symbolized the lion in Buddhist mythology. Stealing or harming one of these imperial dogs was punishable by death. Pekingeses got their name from the city of Beijing (formerly Peking). It wasn't until the 1860 invasion of Beijing by British troops that the breed was introduced to the Western world.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Lion Dog, Sun Dog, Sleeve Dog, Peke, Peking Lion Dog
Life Expectancy
12-14 years
Average Male Height
6-9 inches
Average Female Height
6-9 inches
Average Male Weight
14 pounds & under
Average Female Weight
14 pounds & under
Coat Length
Coat Type
Coat Colors
Biscuit, Black, Black & Tan, Cream, Fawn, Fawn Brindle, Gray, Red, Red Brindle, Red Sable, White, Fawn Sable, Gray Sable, Light Red
Coat Pattern
White Markings, Black Mask, Parti-Color, Black Mask with White Markings, Black Face, Black Face with White Markings, Black Muzzle, Black Muzzle with White Markings

Genetic Predispositions and Health

The Pekingese may suffer from elongated soft palate, patellar luxation, stenotic nares, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), trichiasis, corneal abrasions, distichiasis, skin fold dermatitis, and urolithiasis. They are also known to be heat intolerant and sensitive to anesthesia, so the latter is important to discuss before any planned surgery.

Personality and Behavior

Pekingese dogs are known for their independent and dignified personality. They are loyal, affectionate, and make excellent companions. They can be wary of strangers but are generally good with children and other pets if properly socialized. Despite their small size, they are courageous and have a somewhat stubborn streak, which can make training a challenge at times. Regular mental stimulation and moderate exercise are important for this breed.

Fun Facts

The Pekingese has a distinctive facial feature known as a "mane" or "ruff," which is reminiscent of a lion's mane.

Pekingese Foo Dog idols are sacred symbols that have been handed down throughout generations in China.

Five Pekingeses survived the sinking of the Titanic, showing the breed's resilience.