Everything You Need to Know About the Pekingese Dog Breed

If you’re looking for a small, loyal, and affectionate companion, then the Pekingese dog breed may be just what you need. These adorable pups have a rich history and unique physical characteristics that make them stand out from other small dog breeds. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Pekingese breed, from their origins in ancient China to their temperament and common health issues.

A Brief History of the Pekingese Dog Breed

Origins in Ancient China

The Pekingese breed originated in China over 2,000 years ago. It is believed that they were specifically bred to resemble the Chinese guardian lions, also known as Shi Tzu, which were considered to be protectors of sacred places. These dogs were highly respected and often given as gifts to foreign countries.

The Pekingese were not only bred for their appearance, but also for their temperament. They were trained to be fiercely loyal and protective, making them ideal companions for royalty and nobility.

The Pekingese as a Royal Companion

The Pekingese became popular among Chinese nobility and were often kept as lap dogs and companions. In fact, the Pekingese dog breed was considered to be so valuable that stealing one was punishable by death. The breed was forbidden from leaving China for many years, and it wasn’t until the 1800s that they began to appear in the Western world.

Due to their popularity among the Chinese nobility, the Pekingese became a symbol of wealth and status. They were often seen in paintings and artwork, depicted alongside their royal owners.

The Breed’s Journey to the Western World

The first Pekingese dog was brought to England in 1860 by a British soldier who had looted the Imperial Palace during the Second Opium War. The dog, named “Looty,” was presented to Queen Victoria, who fell in love with the breed and started breeding them herself. The breed quickly became popular among British royalty, and Pekingese were soon introduced to the United States as well.

As the Pekingese became more popular, breeders began to focus on their appearance rather than their temperament. This led to health issues such as breathing problems and eye infections. However, responsible breeding practices have helped to address these issues in recent years.

Today, the Pekingese remains a beloved companion dog and is recognized by the American Kennel Club as a member of the Toy Group. Their unique appearance and rich history continue to fascinate dog lovers around the world.

Physical Characteristics of the Pekingese

The Pekingese is an ancient breed that originated in China, where they were highly valued as companions to the imperial family. Today, they are still prized for their unique appearance and loyal personalities. Let’s take a closer look at the physical characteristics that make the Pekingese so special.

Size and Weight

As mentioned, the Pekingese is a small breed, but don’t let their size fool you! They are sturdy and well-built, with a muscular body that belies their small stature. In addition to their height of 6-9 inches at the shoulder, they typically weigh between 7-14 pounds. This makes them an ideal pet for those who live in apartments or smaller homes.

Coat and Colors

The Pekingese has a thick, luxurious coat that is one of their most distinctive features. Their fur is long and silky, with a dense undercoat that provides insulation against both heat and cold. They come in a variety of colors, including black, silver, sable, cream, and white. Some Pekingese have a two-tone coat, with a darker color on their back and a lighter color on their chest and legs.

Because of their long, thick fur, Pekingese require regular grooming to keep their coat healthy and free of mats and tangles. This can be a time-consuming task, but many owners find it to be a relaxing bonding experience with their pet.

Distinct Facial Features

Perhaps the most recognizable feature of the Pekingese is their flat, wrinkled face. This is due to their brachycephalic (short-nosed) skull, which gives them a unique appearance and can sometimes lead to breathing difficulties. Despite this, Pekingese are generally healthy and active dogs.

Their large, round eyes are another distinctive feature, and are often described as “bug-like” in appearance. They are dark and shiny, and are set wide apart on their face. Their short, broad nose is also a defining characteristic, and is often referred to as a “snub” nose.

Pekingese have droopy ears that are covered in long fur, giving them a regal and dignified appearance. Their tail is another notable feature, and is high-set and plumed, often curled over their back.

In conclusion, the Pekingese is a unique and fascinating breed with many distinctive physical characteristics. While they require some extra grooming and care, they make wonderful companions for those who appreciate their loyal and loving personalities.

Pekingese Temperament and Personality Traits

The Pekingese is a breed with a rich history and unique personality traits. Originally bred as a lap dog for Chinese royalty, they have become a beloved companion for many families around the world. In this section, we will explore some of their most notable temperament and personality traits.

Loyalty and Affection

One of the most endearing traits of the Pekingese is their unwavering loyalty and deep affection for their owners. They are known to be devoted companions who thrive on attention and love nothing more than spending time with their human family. They are often described as “velcro dogs,” as they love to be close to their owners and will follow them from room to room.

Despite their small size, Pekingese have big personalities and are not afraid to show their love. They will often demand attention and affection from their owners, and will happily snuggle up on laps for hours on end.

Intelligence and Stubbornness

While the Pekingese is considered to be an intelligent breed, they can also be stubborn and difficult to train. They have a strong independent streak and may refuse to learn certain commands. This can make training a challenge, but with consistency and patience, Pekingese can be trained to follow basic commands and even learn some impressive tricks.

It’s important to remember that Pekingese respond best to positive reinforcement training methods. Harsh or punitive training methods can cause them to become fearful or aggressive.

Socialization and Interaction with Other Animals

Pekingese are generally good with other pets and animals, but they can be protective of their families and may exhibit some aggression towards strangers or unfamiliar animals. Proper socialization and training from an early age can help minimize these tendencies.

It’s important to expose Pekingese to a variety of people, pets, and situations from a young age. This can help them develop into well-adjusted and confident dogs who are comfortable in a variety of environments.

Pekingese are also known for their strong prey drive, and may chase after small animals like squirrels or birds. It’s important to supervise them when they are outside and keep them on a leash if necessary.

In conclusion, Pekingese are a unique and beloved breed with a range of personality traits. From their unwavering loyalty and affection to their stubbornness and independent streak, they are sure to capture the hearts of anyone who meets them.

Health Issues Common to the Pekingese Breed

Breathing Difficulties

One of the most common health issues in Pekingese dogs is breathing difficulties. Their short snouts make it difficult for them to regulate their body temperature, and can also cause issues with breathing and respiratory problems.

Eye Problems

Pekingese are also prone to eye problems, including cataracts and corneal ulcers. Regular visits to the veterinarian and proper eye care can help minimize the risk of these conditions.

Joint and Skeletal Issues

Due to their small size and compact build, Pekingese are also prone to joint and skeletal problems, such as patellar luxation and hip dysplasia. Adequate exercise and proper nutrition can help keep their bones and joints healthy.

In conclusion, the Pekingese dog breed has a long history and many unique characteristics that make them a wonderful choice for a devoted and loyal companion. With proper care, love, and attention, a Pekingese can be a cherished member of your family for many years to come.

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