Pekingese: Dog Breed Facts and Personality Traits

Country of origin: China
Shoulder height: 15 – 25 cm
Weight: 4 – 6 kg
Age: 10 – 15 years
Colour: all colors, except albino and liver
Use: companion dog, companion dog

The Pekingese is a small, long-haired companion dog. It is very idiosyncratic and dominant and hardly subordinates itself. It doesn’t need much exercise and feels at home in a city apartment.

Origin and history

The Pekingese originated in China and used to be reserved exclusively for the imperial family as a palace dog. For the Chinese, the little dog was a semi-divine being that is said to have protected Buddha by turning into a lion in case of danger. Ordinary mortals had to bow to him, keeping a Pekingese outside the yard was forbidden under penalty of death. The breed is named after the “Forbidden City” in Beijing, the seat of the Imperial Palace. In 1893, Pekingese were exhibited in Britain, and a year later they were recognized as a separate breed.


The Pekingese is a compact, small dog with a lion-like appearance. A striking feature of the breed is the lush, long coat with a mane that wraps around the neck like a scarf, and the relatively large head with a flat profile. The Pekingese’s eyes are large, round, and dark, the ears are drooping, set close to the head, and have plenty of hair. The tail is just as densely-haired and is carried slightly curved to one side over the back.

The long coat consists of a coarse top coat and a thick, soft undercoat. The Pekingese can have any coat color and pattern except albino and liver.


The Pekingese is – by its “courtly” past – a very self-confident, courageous, and dominant small companion dog that hardly subordinates itself and is equipped with a lot of stubbornness. It is not easy to train, can be very short-tempered, and does not allow itself to be bossed around. The fluffy fellow is not suitable as a playmate for children or a family dog. It prefers to concentrate its affection on a single person.

The headstrong Pekingese need a partner who accepts their personality and knows how to take it. Then it is a friendly, affectionate companion and cuddly, but only when he feels like it. The Pekingese are also a good watchdog. It doesn’t bark excessively but will bark immediately if strangers appear.

The Pekingese do not have a particularly great need to run. Therefore, it is also an ideal city or apartment dog and a suitable companion for lazy people or older people. However, the regular care of the long coat is time-consuming.

Because of the short nose, the Pekingese quickly suffer from shortness of breath during physical exertion or heat. Its large eyes also make it more prone to inflammatory diseases.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *