Pekingese

Toy Group

Pekingese dog sitting in front of a white background

Height at Shoulders

6-9 in

Weight

<15 lbs

Life Expectancy

12-14 yrs

History

The Pekingese originated in China, although when and how is unknown because it is such an old breed. It was very common in China for nobles to breed small, flat-faced companion dogs, such as the Pug, Pekingese, and Shih-tzu. The Pekingese was unknown in the west until during the Second Opium War, British and French troops found 5 Pekingese that belonged to the Xianfeng Emperor's aunt in the Old Summer Palace in Beijing. During the invasion of the palace, most other members of the royal family had killed their Pekingese, as they believed that was better than their dogs falling into the hands of the enemy. Two of these dogs were gifted to the Duchess of Wellington, two were gifted to the Duke and Duchess of Richmond and Gordon, and the last was gifted to Queen Victoria. This gave the breed plenty of exposure in the western world.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Pekingese will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★☆

★★★★★

★★☆☆☆

★★☆☆☆

★★☆☆☆

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆☆☆

★★☆☆☆

★☆

★★

★☆

Intelligence

★★★★☆


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★☆☆☆


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★☆☆☆


Exercise Needs

★★☆☆☆


Energy Level

★☆☆☆


Sensitivity

★★☆☆☆


Noise Level

★☆


Prey Drive

★★


Shedding

★☆

Common Traits

Affectionate with whole family but tend to pick a favorite

Aloof and wary towards strangers, making them great watchdogs

Can become defensive in response to scolding or being handled roughly (like around children)

Very adaptable and make great therapy dogs

Have a self-important attitude and think they're in charge of any situation

Intelligent, independent, and stubborn, making training a bit challenging- they've even been known to go on hunger strikes