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Originally bred as companion dogs to the ancient Chinese imperial family, Pekingese have historically been revered as sacred in China—according to one legend, they’re lions shrunk to miniature size by the Buddha. They were unknown in the Western world until the 1860s, when British invaders brought them from China back to England. To this day, they’re known for their lion-like qualities of dignity and strong-mindedness. 

Thinking about bringing a Pekingese into your life? Here’s what you need to know:

1. Pekingese are very loyal and affectionate.

Bred to be close companions to Chinese royalty, these dogs bond very closely with their humans, making them wonderful house pets. They’re especially well-suited to loving families where they can avoid any rough play.

2. Pekingese are very intelligent and strong-willed.

Pekingese owners often describe their pets as “opinionated.” Maybe this comes down to their royal heritage, too: these dogs are smart, they know their own minds, and they’re not afraid to communicate their feelings. Obedience classes are a good way to make sure these lion-like qualities don’t spill over into stubbornness.

3. Pekingese can make good guard dogs.

In Ancient China, the smallest Pekingese with fierce personalities were kept in the royals’ sleeves and used as miniature guard dogs. These traits haven’t been lost; Pekingese owners often report that their pets are vocal about intruders or other suspected danger.

4. Those beautiful Pekingese coats require serious maintenance.

The Pekingese needs to be brushed several times a week and requires occasional baths—if not cared for properly, the fur can become matted. Some Pekingese owners also trim the fur above the eyes, to help the dog see, and clip the coat in hot weather, for the dog’s comfort. Pekingese also shed seasonally.

5. Pekingese need daily exercise, but they won’t wear you out.

All dogs should get enough activity to stay physically and mentally healthy, but since Pekingese were bred for companionship, not sport, you won’t need to take them running for miles every day. A couple of moderately long walks per day should be enough.

6. Pekingese enjoy cold temperatures.

Bred to thrive in the long, cold winters of Beijing (formerly known as Peking), the Pekingese does well when the temperature drops. Some Pekingese owners travel with ice packs to keep their pup comfy.

7. Pekingese are known for their distinctive walk.

The Pekingese has a rolling gait, in which the body sways gently from one side to the other. It’s a distinctive walk that contributes to the dog’s dignified disposition.

8. Pekingese are surprisingly heavy.

They might look small and fluffy, but Pekingese have a surprisingly stocky and muscular body beneath their fur. The breed standard weight is up to 14 pounds.

9. If you’re looking for a Pekingese, try to find one with wide, open nostrils on a moderately sized nose.

The Pekingese Club of America notes that, like all flat-nosed breeds, Pekingese can have trouble breathing. Reputable breeders will select their breeding dogs with this in mind, producing dogs with the best chances of respiratory health.

10. Pekingese perform very well in dog shows.

Thanks to their looks and intelligence, Pekingese have become famous for their performances at dog shows, particularly in Conformation. The Pekingese is tied for the fourth-most wins at Westminster, having won four times.

Purchasing and Registering your Pekingese.

Think the dignified Pekingese is the breed for you? Check out Pekingese puppies on the AKC Marketplace.

After becoming the owner of a Pekingese, it is important to register your dog. Why? The AKC is the only purebred dog registry in the United States that maintains an investigation and inspection effort. The AKC conducts thousands of inspections each year to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of dogs and the environments in which they live.

After you register your dog. you will receive your official AKC certificate in the mail. There are many other benefits, including a complimentary first vet visit, 30 days of pet insurance, and eligibility to compete in AKC events and sports.

Pekingese Products You May Like:

Pekingese Embroidered Tote Bag
Love Pekingese? This cotton tote bag is embroidered with an artistic image of the breed. The heavy-duty canvas material and generous size will make this tote your everyday go-to. Price: $40

Pekingese Pendent
This is a novel way to show off your favorite dog breed. The Pekingese pendant is high-quality solid silver with a hand-rubbed finish. We like that it comes in three styles, so you can use it on a necklace, a charm bracelet, or a bead bracelet. Price: $45

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