The Pekingese, with its regal bearing and lush mane, has captivated people for centuries. These diminutive companions boast an imperial lineage, having once guarded the palaces of Chinese emperors and graced the courts of nobility. Today, the Pekingese continues to charm dog enthusiasts around the world with its dignity, affection, and air of exotic elegance.
The Pekingese traces its ancestry to ancient China, where it was treasured as an esteemed palace guardian. According to legend, the Pekingese descended from the Foo Dogs, mythical lion-like creatures that protected Buddhist temples. Over time, these lion dogs found their way into imperial palaces, where they were zealously guarded.
Origins and History
- The Pekingese has existed in China since antiquity, with references dating back to the 8th century BCE
- They were considered sacred animals and owned exclusively by Chinese nobility
- During the Tang Dynasty (7th-10th centuries), the Pekingese became popular pets among the imperial families
- They were seen as bringing good fortune and protection
- Pekingese were occasionally given as gifts to foreign dignitaries as a sign of honor
The Pekingese was so revered in China that for centuries exporting them was punishable by death. Despite such restrictions, some Pekingese made their way out of China in the late 1800s. The first Pekingese exhibited in Western shows appeared in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, quickly gaining fame for its unique appearance and air of exotic nobility.
The Pekingese in the West
- First officially presented at English dog shows in the 1890s
- Quickly became popular among Western aristocracy and the wealthy
- Often given elaborate accessories such as jeweled collars
- Remained rare and expensive for decades due to export restrictions from China
- Numbers increased after WW2 and the breed spread to the middle classes
- The Pekingese Club of America was founded in 1909
Today the Pekingese remains popular for its regal bearing, gentle companionship, and connection to Chinese history. It continues to win over admirers worldwide as it carries on the dignified elegance of its imperial ancestors.
Personality and Temperament
Despite its aristocratic heritage, the Pekingese makes for a charming and affectionate pet. Pekingese are known for being:
- Intelligent and headstrong
- Devoted and opinionated
- Gentle and good-natured
- Aloof with strangers
- Courageous and self-important
They adore spending time with their families while retaining an air of feline independence. While relatively low energy indoors, they enjoy short walks outside where they can show off their bold and adventurous spirit. Their small size makes them well-suited to apartment living.
The Pekingese is a unique dog breed that captivates with its distinctive appearance and regal bearing. Though small in stature, these dogs have larger-than-life personalities blending charm, confidence, and affection.
The Pekingese turns heads with its unleashed flowing mane, feathered tail, and stocky body.
- Compact, muscular build weighing no more than 14 pounds
- Broad head with large, dark eyes and heart-shaped visage
- Abundant long coat forming a mane around neck and shoulders
- Feathering along ears, tail, and limbs
- Rich red, silver, sable, or black coat colors
The breed’s flat face and large eyes give it almost supernatural expression. Its confident gait and curling tail suggest the aura of a miniature lion on the prowl. Graceful yet powerful, the Pekingese’s distinctive form reflects its Chinese imperial history.
Living with a Pekingese
Despite its small size, the Pekingese has a big personality. They make charming but stubborn companions.
- Require regular, extensive grooming to maintain their long coats
- Sensitive to heat and humidity due to their flattened muzzles
- Need minimal exercise beyond short walks
- Can adapt well to apartment living
- Prone to snoring and wheezing due to their facial structure
- Make excellent watch dogs, sounding the alarm at any disturbance
While independent, Pekingese are also highly affectionate pets. They thrive when treated as elegant companions.
For those seeking a noble pet in a petite package, a Pekingese puppy may be the perfect fit. Though tiny in stature, Pekingese puppies have outsized appeal.
Finding a Reputable Breeder
As with any breed, finding a responsible Pekingese breeder is essential. Ideal breeders:
- Focus on health and temperament over appearance
- Maintain small breeding programs
- Screen breeding dogs for genetic issues
- Allow interaction with puppies and parents
- Provide health certificates and guarantees
Avoid breeders who seem focused solely on profits or producing exaggerated features. Do research to find breeders dedicated to Pekingese wellbeing.
What to Expect with a Peke Puppy
Pekingese puppies are absolutely captivating. Expect:
- Diminutive bundles of fur weighing 2-3 pounds
- Inquisitive, confident, and often stubborn personalities
- Charming playfulness paired with periods of independent exploration
- Need for regular grooming from an early age
- Minimal exercise needs but lots of affection and companionship
Raising a Peke puppy takes dedication but pays off in delightful companionship. Invest time socializing these naturally independent dogs. Though small, they require training, supervision, grooming and responsible care.
When purchased from quality breeders and properly socialized, Pekingese puppies mature into wonderful companions. They retain their inquisitive and opinionated personalities while developing strong bonds with their families. Their compact size makes them ideal city pets, blending apartments and urban living with imperial elegance in a portable package. Though initially demanding as puppies, grown Pekingese pay back the effort with years of devoted companionship.
The Pekingese’s regal heritage has captivated people for over a millennium, gracing imperial palaces and noble houses alike. Today it remains a popular, confident companion dog blessed with innate dignity and grace. For those seeking a loyal pet with an aristocratic air, the Pekingese fits the bill. These Lion Dogs continue to conquer hearts just as they once charmed emperors with their exotic charm and elegance through the ages. Their lush manes and bold gazes serve as a living bridge to China’s storied past, condensed into an enchanting furry form.