Basic care

All About the Pekingese Dog

Anaëlle Laurent
By Anaëlle Laurent. August 17, 2020
All About the Pekingese Dog

Animal file: pekingese

Pekingese dogs are small lion-like dogs, originally from China. In history, they were sacred animals and part of Asian royalty. Nowadays, they make great pets thanks to their independent and brave nature.

Are you thinking of adopting a Pekingese dog? In this AnimalWised article, we're going to tell you all about the Pekingese dog. We'll go through their history, characteristics, care and more. Keep reading to learn more!

You may also be interested in: My Dog Wants to Be Alone All of a Sudden
  1. About the Pekingese breed
  2. Physical characteristcs of the Pekingese dog
  3. Temperament and character of the Pekingese dog
  4. Caring for a Pekingese dog
  5. Health care for Pekingese dogs

About the Pekingese breed

Pekingese dogs are small-sized dogs with a lion-like appearance. These dogs live up to 12-14 years and weigh 7-22 lbs as adults. These dogs are brave and independent, making them a great pet for elder people and adults who are looking into adopting their first dog.

This breed originates from China. They are often associated to Buddism as these dogs are very similar to a mythical Chinese guardian dog which happens to be a very important symbol in Buddism. In history, only nobles would care for these dogs as they were considered sacred.

In 1860, during the Second Opium War, Anglo-French troops sacked and set fire to the Summer Palace in Beijing. Before setting it on fire, they captured five Pekingese dogs that were living in the palace. Those five dogs were taken to England, where they were given to noblemen and aristocrats. One of them even went to the hands of Queen Victoria.

These five dogs were the founding population of the current Pekingese, since the other Pekingese of China were killed or simply hidden and nothing is known of their descendants. Currently the Pekingese is a companion dog, adored by people from all over the world.

Physical characteristcs of the Pekingese dog

The Pekingese's body is small, moderately robust and relatively short. Their heads are big, wide and very striking for its size and lion-like appearance. Their skulls are flattened between the ears and the stop is well defined. Their snouts are short. Their eyes are dark, round and bright. Their ears are heart-shaped and hang on the sides of their heads.

Their tails, of high insertion and stiff bearing, curve on the back and towards the sides. It is covered with abundant long fringes. When it comes to their coat, Pekingese dogs have a double-coated coat. The outer mantle is abundant, straight, long and rough. Their inner fleece is dense and soft. Their average height as adults is 14-18 inches.

According to the International Cynological Federation (FCI) standard, any color for the body and for the coat of this dog is common, including spots of different color, except for liver and albino pekingese. The FCI standard of the breed does not indicate a specific size, but it does note that the ideal weight should not exceed 5 kilograms in male Pekinese or 5.4 kilograms in females

All About the Pekingese Dog - Physical characteristcs of the Pekingese dog

Temperament and character of the Pekingese dog

Pekingese dogs are very loyal and brave dogs. Due to their independent nature, they're recommended for adults that are looking into adopting their first dog. They are also recommended for elder people who are looking for a loyal companion dog.

These dogs are not as friendly as other dogs, in fact, they're often described as being reserved and shy. These little Chinese dogs do not socialize as easily as dogs of other breeds. They tend to be very loyal to their own, but distrustful of strangers and distant dogs and other animals.

When it comes to children, we will need to advise our children to be gentle with these dogs as they are small-sized, making them more vulnerable. As these dogs are also quite shy, children will need to be extra careful as they may frighten the Pekingese dog.

Caring for a Pekingese dog

When caring for a Pekingese dog we need to take certain aspects into consideration. They are the following:


Pekingese dogs will need a rich and natural canine diet. It's best to avoid highly processed commercial treats as they can promote obesity in these dogs, that will later bring very serious health issues. Other than a balanced diet high in protein, these dogs will need fresh water everyday. Avoid feeding them forbidden food for dogs that can cause them harm.


These dogs don't require high amounts of exercise. Two walks a day is ideal. Make sure that the walks aren't too demanding. They will also need play time, such as playing fetch, intelligence games or basic dog training through positive reinforcement.


Pekingese dogs will need their coat brushed once a day to avoid tangles and remove dirt. You will have to clean the wrinkles on their snout with a damp cloth and dry it well in order to prevent skin infections. It is also advisable to bathe them once a month.


As we've previously mentioned, these dogs are quite reserved and will have a harder time socializing. Nevertheless, it's important that we encourage them to socialize as a puppy so that they have a balanced temperament as adults. Learn more in our article about socializing puppies and adult dogs.

All About the Pekingese Dog - Caring for a Pekingese dog

Health care for Pekingese dogs

Lastly, when it comes to caring for a Pekingese's health, there are a number of things we should be aware of. The Pekingese is generally a healthy dog and does not usually suffer many hereditary problems. Some common problems can be the wounded eyes , dermatitis due to lack of hygiene or some respiratory problems.

This can be avoided by taking good care of them in our everyday lives, as well as taking them to the veterinarian for regular check-ups. Remember to also keep up with their vaccination and deworming schedule. By following these guidelines your dog is sure to live a great and long life. Keep in mind that these dogs have an average lifespan of 12-15 years.

To learn more, watch our AnimalWised video about the Pekingese dog breed.

If you want to read similar articles to All About the Pekingese Dog, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.

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All About the Pekingese Dog