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Pekingese Facts

  • Group
  • Toys
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 8" - 9"
  • Weight
  • 8-14 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 12 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Low - This breed requires little daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Difficult to Train
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Difficult
  • Colors
    • Various Colors
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Adapted to city living
    • Can be trained as a watch dog or guard dog
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

Lion dog, Sun dog, Sleeve dog.


The Pekingese originated in China.

Date Of Origin

This breed has been known in China since the eighth century.


Pekingese dogs have been known in China since the Tang Dynasty in the eighth century. Its ownership was limited to nobility; the theft of a Pekingese was punishable by death. It was known by three names: Lion dog (for its heavy mane), Sun dog (for its golden red color), and Sleeve dog (for its tiny size, allowing it to be carried inside its owners deep sleeve). It was first introduced to the Western world in 1860, when the Imperial Palace was looted by the British, and five of the dogs were stolen and taken to England, where one was given to Queen Victoria. The breed first came to the U.S. in the early twentieth century.


The Pekingese is a small, stocky dog with a heavy front and light rear, giving it a lion like appearance. Its head is broad and the wrinkled muzzle is short and broad, with a strong jaw. The nose is short, flat and black. The round eyes are large, prominent, and dark. The drop ears are heart shaped. It has a very short neck; flat feet that are often turned outward; and short, bowed legs. The tail is set high and curled over the back. It is double coated with a thick under coat and a long, soft, flat outer coat. It has long feathers on its thighs, legs, tails, toes, and ears and a profuse mane. It may be of any color and often has a spectacle like mask on its face.


The Pekingese is an independent and regal dog that is dignified and stubborn. It is not always friendly with children or other dogs but it is usually good tempered and playful with those its familiar with. Its stubbornness makes it somewhat difficult to train.


This is a classic apartment and lap dog. When necessary, however, it can change into a barking watchdog.

Health Concerns

Anesthesia and heat sensitivity, brachycephalic syndrome, corneal ulceration, intervertebral disc disease, stenotic nares, umbilical hernia.

Additional Information

This dog requires consistent, professional grooming and daily brushing from its owner to keep its coat long and healthy.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

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