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Pekingese: Breed Characteristics, Training, Care & Nutrition

The Pekingese has many advocates among pet owners. Fans of mini dog breeds welcome the calm nature. But that is not the only decisive character trait. The Pekingese may be an option for many animal lovers because it is characterized by its high level of adaptability. While his character proves to be straightforward, it can be detrimental in other ways. In this breed portrait, you will learn what to look out for with the Pekingese.
The dog belongs to the FCI group 3 of companion dogs. He falls under section 8 with standard no. 207

Pekingese Dog Breed

Size: 15-23cm
Weight: 3-5.5kg
FCI Group: 9: Companion and Companion Dogs
Section: 8: Japanese Spaniels and Pekingese
Country of origin: China
Colors: black, cream, fawn-brindle, fawn, grey, black-brown
Life expectancy: 12-15 years
Suitable as: Companion and house dog
Sports: agility, dog dancing
Character: Stubborn, bossy, aggressive, good-natured, intelligent, affectionate
Outlet needs: rather low
Drooling potential: low
The thickness of hair: rather high
Maintenance effort: high
Coat Structure: Moderately long, straight, and thick, soft undercoat
Child-friendly: rather no
Family dog: medium
Social: rather no

Origin and breed history

The roots of the Pekingese are in China. However, his Asian origin has only been undisputed since 2017. Because his Chinese descent was doubted, genetic researchers were able to determine this result as part of a genetic analysis. The work was done with over a hundred dog breeds and thousands of dogs.

The Pekingese originally made its home in the palace of the Emperor of the Forbidden City in China. For this reason, the small, cute-looking four-legged friend is also called the Beijing palace dog. In addition to this naming, the term “lion dog” was also common. But not only the Pekingese was called the lion dog, but also the dog breeds Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso. According to a Chinese legend, the Buddha, who came from Buddhist teachings, enjoyed the little lion dogs on his travels.

In the real world, the faithful companions peaked in popularity during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). However, even in this time frame they were not dogs for the people. The dog was not allowed to live outside the palace walls. That changed during the second Opium War when the English conquered Beijing. The British took the captured Peking palace dogs back to their homeland. European breeding began with them. The dog breed was officially recognized by the British Kennel Club in 1898. Only two years later they were allowed to call Germany their new home.

Nature & Temperament of the Pekingese

The Pekingese is not a dog that excels in any particular activity. The opposite is the case. As the original palace dog, he learned to be a companion to humans. In this sense, the animal is one of the quietest representatives of its conspecifics. Compared to other dog breeds, he never got to know the world of workers during the industrial age like the Yorkshire Terrier did. In Great Britain, it was a welcome souvenir in smaller groups, especially among the upper classes. This is still the case today. As a lap dog in the women’s world, he feels particularly comfortable.
As far as space is concerned, the little dog is quite undemanding. He is happy both in a house and in a small apartment. The environment doesn’t matter either. Country or big city as habitats are possible. If you live in the city, you don’t have to worry about a lack of activities. As a rule, the Pekingese only needs his daily walks to be satisfied. Also, no long distances are necessary as long as his little nose always gets something to sniff.

As a trained companion and lap dog, he is used to being physically close to his mistress or master. Because of this, he loves to form close bonds with his favorite human. In addition to its emotional abilities, the hairy creature has intelligence.

The appearance of the Pekingese

Among other things, Pekingese are known for their striking appearance. The four-legged friend is one of the smaller dog breeds and is only 15-25 cm tall on average, with males usually being slightly larger than females. They are among the very light dogs and weigh between 1.5 and 4.5 kilos – depending on their size.
The coat colors are quite varied, because in the breed standard any color is allowed. But you often see brown Pekingese. The coat itself is usually long and dense. The physique of the small dog is rather delicate and delicate and the legs are short.

How big do Pekingese get?

Pekingese can grow up to 30 cm.

Upbringing & Keeping of the Pekingese – This is important to consider

Whether it’s a city apartment or a country house: the space available is secondary for the Pekingese. The dog owner can keep his little friend in a small apartment. As long as the four little legs get the necessary exercise through daily walks, everything is fine in terms of posture. Walks only on sidewalks can be sufficient. However, it also makes an undemanding mini dog happier if a well-kept park is the goal of a trip.
If the Pekingese is bred to be healthy and the hair is cut short, trips to the forest will not harm the dog. In a healthy breed, the eyes do not protrude in the form of googly eyes. Protruding small branches then do not pose a risk of injury. It is different with over-bred animals such as champion breeds. They always need better protection. This also applies to changing weather conditions. A Pekingese dog breed from this breeding does not tolerate rain or dirt.

The Pekingese is an extremely calm and content companion. He is characterized by his vigilance and his need for harmony. Training is easier in contrast to extremely idiosyncratic dog breeds, because the puppy does not have an inherently argumentative nature. However, the dog lover must not do without consistent training and leadership. If the educational project fails, this calm animal also knows how to cleverly assert its interests.

Nevertheless, the Pekingese is suitable for beginners because it is easy to train. As a quiet fellow, he doesn’t make it difficult for the people at his side.

Diet of the Pekingese

Basically, a Pekingese from a healthy breed makes no special demands on its diet. However, this breed of dog tends to become overweight when overfeeding meets lack of exercise. The energy consumption is not high. For this reason, the energy requirement is not. This circumstance makes a high-quality diet necessary to keep the dog healthy with less exercise.

The dog owner can choose between dry and wet food. BARF is also an alternative that is compatible with dogs. The dose of dog food should be adapted to age, body weight and the urge to move. Ideally, the feed that is well portioned according to these factors does not contain any grain.

Potential dog owners should get a scale, because regular weighing may be useful for this dog. A change in weight that has an adverse effect on health can then be reacted to in good time. If the dog becomes overweight and the dog is on a diet, the change in diet should not take place from one day to the next. The new feed should be gradually mixed in. This way the dog can get used to the new dog food without any digestive problems.

If the little companion lives up to its energy requirements properly, treats are also allowed. These should not contain sugar. In principle, high-quality feed should not contain any artificial flavors, preservatives, or additives.

What do Pekingese love to eat?

Pekingese like to eat food containing meat. The nutritional requirements should always be adjusted to the factors of age, weight, and health.

Health – life expectancy & common diseases

Life expectancy is 12 to 15 years. Within the years of life of the Pekingese, typical clinical pictures can appear. For example, breathing problems as a result of short snouts (brachycephaly) are a common problem. Unfortunately, this dog breed is officially one of the victims of torture breeding. The existing shortness of breath is bred by the flat muzzle and the overlying thick skin fold.

Things looked different 50 years ago: the dog was characterized by a clear muzzle, coat suitable for everyday use, normal eyes and well-functioning legs. With the supremacy of breeding in Great Britain, these characteristics have largely disappeared. Severely overbred dogs of this breed cannot live a life befitting a canine. Protruding eyes make sniffing in the woods impossible due to the risk of injury. The flat snout makes breathing difficult in hot weather. In this respect, the dog does not tolerate heat.

Unlike other miniature dog breeds, nature has equipped the Pekingese’s coat with an undercoat. It also protects the dog in the cold. Sensitivity to cold cannot be spoken of. However, dog owners describe the animal more as a couch potato who rejects the cold out of a subjective feeling.

The pet owner should also pay attention to the weight. Especially if the dog is only allowed to enjoy short walks. The energy level is then not high. The dog’s body uses less energy. Too much food that is not adapted to the current energy requirements can therefore lead to obesity.

Due to the many problems that an unhealthily bred Pekingese brings with it, visits to the vet are far more frequent compared to other dog breeds.

How old do Pekingese get?

Pekingese can live up to 15 years.

Care of the Pekingese

Because of the undesirable developments caused by breeding, the Pekingese fur requires intensive care. If the pet owner does not brush the fur daily, it can lead to matting. In addition, the coat is changed twice a year. Leaves or small branches can get caught in the long hair, especially after a walk. When overbreeding, the fur is often too luxuriant and too long. A brushing is then enough. The dog does not need to be washed with shampoos or bathed. The dog does not fall under the category of short hair.

Dog lovers only have to reckon with hair loss when they change their fur. Outside of this time it can be a symptom of illness. A visit to the vet is then necessary.

Pekingese – Activities and Training

The little lion dog is not a very active animal. If you plan to go jogging as a pet owner, you won’t get your money’s worth with this dog breed. Any kind of dog sport need not even be considered. Leisurely walks are what pet owners can do with the dog.

Various dog sports are no longer available because the former Beijing Palace Dog often has to struggle with a crippled gait due to its breeding. This means that there may not be long walks. In addition, the usually lush and too long fur is rather a hindrance for sporting activities.
Activities should be adapted to the physical condition of the Pekingese to avoid stress.

Good to know: special features of the Pekingese

The calm nature of the dog is particularly noteworthy. This is due to its nature and the task it has always been taught to act as a companion dog for humans. He is characterized by the ability to bond strongly emotionally.

How many cubs does a Pekingese have?

A Pekingese can have up to 15 young.

Disadvantages of the Pekingese

The disadvantage of the Pekingese dog breed is clearly the problem of overbreeding. Pekingese fans may need to expect more veterinary care. Breathing problems on very warm days only allow for short walks. Improper gait due to poorly developed legs also do not allow for long walks. Dog sports that promote an intimate relationship between humans and animals are also eliminated because the dog is simply not made for it.

Intensive grooming can also prove to be disadvantageous. The dog’s often long and thick coat should be brushed daily to avoid matting. Not every pet owner is after the desire.
But what else is considered a disadvantage depends entirely on the wishes and needs of the pet owner. The character traits of humans and animals should match each other, otherwise both will not be happy.

Is the Pekingese right for me?

The former palace dog is considered a lap dog. This is clearly shown in the historical development. Even with its appearance in Europe, this has not changed. As a valued souvenir, it fulfills the task of a companion dog in social circles.

The animal does not need much exercise. This is due to his calm nature, but also to his rather detrimental physical sensitivities that faulty breeding has bestowed upon him. Especially on hot days, the dog, who likes to sniff, suffers from shortness of breath due to its flat snout. Interested parties who still want to get a Pekingese don’t need much space in their own home. But you should take your time to pay attention. The animal is very devoted to its owner and needs a deep emotional bond to be happy.

A family gets along well with the small dog. It is also suitable for children to go for a walk. The Pekingese is also an ideal companion for seniors and singles. Above all, older people who can no longer move quickly benefit from the calm nature. This is where human and dog characteristics come together that go well together. If the dog is well trained, seniors do not have to expect the animal to constantly pull impatiently on the leash. The dog does not have to be kept on a leash. As a loyal companion, he always stays close to his mistress or master. Again, seniors can rely on the Pekingese.

Is a Pekingese a family dog?

The Pekingese is a family pet and compatible with children.

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