Other names: The Lion dog, Peking Lion Dog, Pelchie Dog, Chinese Spaniel, Peke
The Pekingese dog is a short-legged dog that belongs to the group of companion dogs. However, their small size and sweet face are not to be trusted, they can quickly become aggressive if their masters do not train and socialise them from an early age.
Key facts about the Pekingese
Life expectancy :
Origins and history
The origins of this breed are very old and not very clear. They can be found on bronzes from two thousand years BC. They have always been considered a sacred and precious animal and thus anyone who stole or killed a Pekingese in ancient China was punished by the death penalty. In 1860, after the destruction of the Summer Palace, only a few Beijing Dogs were found alive (they would have been killed to avoid them falling into the hands of enemies) and taken to England. One of these dogs was given to queen Victoria. Since then, the breed has been a huge success throughout Great Britain, who, along with China, has been attributed paternity of the breed.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 9 - Companion and Toy Dogs
Section 8 : Japan Chin and Pekingese
Physical characteristics of the Pekingese
Female : Between 6 and 9 in
Male : Between 6 and 10 in
Female : Between 7 and 11 lb
Male : Between 7 and 11 lb
For the Pekingese, all colours and shades are allowed except albinos and brown (liver). Parti colours evenly broken are accepted.
Type of coat
The coat is moderately long.
The coat is straight with a mane that extends to the shoulders forming a collar around the neck. The coat is double: the topcoat is rough, and the undercoat is thick and soft.
The coat of this toy dog should not be excessively abundant as this represents a defect according to the official standard.
The eyes are dark in colour.
The Pekingese is a small, robust dog with a short neck and short legs. The forelegs diverge slightly from the elbow. The head is strong, wider than it is high, with a pleated frontal furrow. The stop is deep. The muzzle is broad, wrinkled, with a flat profile. The eyes are large, round, bright and prominent. The heart-shaped ears fall back with long fringes of hair on the sides of the head. The body is short. The tail is placed high, carried rigid, slightly curved above the back, with abundant fur.
Good to know
Due to their brachycephalic morphology, the Pekingese can be very noisy (snoring, very loud breathing etc). Although it is not as bad as the French bulldog for example, it’s important to know this before adoption, even if it will often make you laugh more than anything else.
The Lion dogs are attached to their social group, but they don’t make it obvious. They may sometimes jump on their owner’s lap to be petted. However, this is uncommon.
They also have a cold and distant character. To gain their trust and affection, it is necessary to create a solid relationship of trust as soon as they’re adopted.
This dog is independent and stubborn, so not the most playful. Moreover, the Pekingese does not interact much with children and is therefore not an ideal playmate for them.
Particularly suitable for the elderly, this dog is very calm and does not need a lot of exercise to be fully satisfied.
Their intelligence is reflected in their ability to find tricks to avoid responding to obedience training. Otherwise, this dog isn’t an utility dog, with no particular skills but remains nonetheless a very clever little dog.
Exclusively a companion, the Pekingese has no particular predation instinct, clearly not made to hunt.
Fearful / wary of strangers
On one hand, the Pekingese is very cold and distant towards strangers. These dogs are only affectionate towards their owners (and sometimes not even that affectionate!).
On the other hand, they are neither fearful or aggressive. If your puppy has been properly socialised from an early age, he or she will be slightly on guard and alert at all times.
This dog is particularly independent, perhaps even one of the most solitary of the companion dog category. The Peke is stubborn and very self-confident, they do not need the approval of their master to act and an absent owner is not an issue.
Behaviour of the Pekingese
The Pekingese is very comfortable with the concept of loneliness as their independent temperament allows them to go about their business without worrying about their owner.
But this still requires a progressive and positive learning process to make the dog understand that absences are not synonymous with stress and anxiety, this can be achieved by using games, treats, chewing bones etc…
Easy to train / obedience
Obedience is not the primary quality of a Pekingese. They have a very strong character and it is necessary to have a firm, gentle and consistent attitude to achieve results with one.
Their training must begin from a very young age and must never be violent at the risk of losing the puppy’s confidence, or even worse, making your dog aggressive.
It is very important not to give into the gentle eyes of this little dog, who will use them to get away with mischief. Just because they are a small breed doesn’t mean you have to give them everything. Nevertheless, if a Pekingese interacts with a respectful, consistent and self-confident master, they will be cooperative. However, the help of an education and behavioural professional is encouraged to reduce the risk of developing bad habits.
This Peking Spaniel is not a big talker but can act as an alarm bell when someone knocks on the door. You should be able to teach your dog to control this reflex if it is not desired.