Pekingese is a very old breed known to have been in existence during the Tang Dynasty in China in the 8th century. These small dogs (also called lion dogs or sun dogs) were sacred, and were kept and bred only by the imperial family. When the British looted the Imperial Palace in 1860, several dogs were stolen and taken back to England.
The Pekingese is a toy-breed dog and stands 8 to 9 inches tall and weighs 8 to 14 pounds. The head is broad and flat, with wide-set eyes, a broad, short muzzle, and dropped ears. The body is heavier in the forequarters and lighter in the rear. The tail is carried over the back. There is a soft, thick undercoat and a profuse outer coat that stands out from the body. All colors are acceptable. The Pekingese coat requires considerable grooming, at least twice a week, but additional grooming is needed when the dog is shedding. The coat will tangle and mat if not brushed thoroughly. Pekingese owners often have the coat trimmed short for cleanliness and ease of care.
Although Pekingese puppies are playful, the adult Pekingese is a calm dog. The Pekingese enjoys walks but has not been bred to be an athlete and will prefer casual walks to brisk ones. The Pekingese was never a working dog; she was a watchful companion. As a result, training this dog breed can be a challenge. Pekingese is dignified, independent, and amazingly stubborn.
When training the Pekingese, owners must be consistent and very patient. The Pekingese is aloof with strangers, so early socialization is important. Housetraining can sometimes be a problem. Potential Pekingese owners should understand that a Pekingese dog breed does not worship her owners as so many dog breeds do; in fact, the Pekingese thinks she should be worshipped.
The Pekingese does not always get along with children and will not tolerate rough play. Also, the Pekingese is not necessarily good with other dogs, either, although she is usually fine with cats. Health concerns include a sensitivity to anesthesia, breathing problems in hot, humid weather, disc disease, and eye problems.