Pekingese - Information and NZ Breed Standards

Membership ID


General Information - Pekingese



13-15 years

Very little

Very high

Very hard

Watchdog Ability:
Very high

Protection Ability:
Very low

Area of Origin:

Date of Origin:
Ancient times

Other Names:
Lion Dog, Peking Palasthund

Original Function:


Pekingese where regarded as manifestation of the legendary Foo Dog that drove away spirits. They were venerated as semi-divine by the Chinese. Commoners had to bow to them, and were punished by death if they stole one. At the height of their favour (during the T'ang Dynasty from A.D. 700 to A.D. 1000) many of these Lion Dogs were literally treated as royalty, pampered by personal servants. Smaller Pekingese were called sleeve dogs because they could be carried in the large sleeves of their Chinese masters. When an emperor died, his Pekingese were sacrificed so that they could go with him to give protection in the afterlife. In 1860 the Pekingese reached the West. British and French troops overran the Imperial Summer Palace during the Second Opium War. Imperial Guards were ordered to kill the little dogs to prevent them from falling into the hands of the "foreign devils," but five Pekingese survived and were taken to Queen Victoria, who named appropriately, Looty. It is from these canine spoils of war that the modern Pekingese is descended.


The Pekingese is a very controlling dog breed and often does not understand who is the master of the house. The Pekingese can be difficult to housebreak. Very suspicious of strangers, this dog breed makes an excellent watchdog. It is known to be stubborn.


The Pekingese enjoys a leisurely walk outdoors, but it is equally happy to romp inside. It can easily die of heat prostration. It must be kept cool in warm weather. It can spend time outside in cool weather, but it should sleep inside. It is an ideal apartment dog. The coat will mat unless combed at the very least weekly, preferably more often. The over-nose wrinkle should be cleaned daily to avoid infection. The coat around the rear must be inspected daily for soiling. Pekingese tend to snore!

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