Did you know?
A Pekingese named Sun Yat Sen was one of only two dogs who survived the sinking of the Titanic.
A Pekingese is not a pet dog; he is an undersized lion. – A. A. Milne
Known as the “lion dog” in China because of his resemblance to the Chinese guardian lions, the Pekingese has been a symbol of good luck in China for hundreds of years, with Chinese works of art dating back to 900 AD depicting the little dogs. Also known as the Peking Lion Dog or Pelchie Dog, they were originally bred in the Chinese Imperial Palace in Beijing and only members of the Chinese court could own a Pekingese.
The Peke first came to the attention of the outside world in 1860 when the British overran the Summer Palace. Courtiers had killed all but five of the dogs so they would not fall into outsiders’ hands. The remaining five were brought to England where they were an instant hit. The first Pekingese were registered in Canada in 1910.
Interestingly, DNA testing and analysis confirms that the Pekingese is one of the oldest breeds of dog, and one of the most closely related to the wolf.
Today the Peke is a pampered pet.
Photos displayed courtesy of Pauline Plowman, AnnWyn, Newfoundland
The Pekingese is a small but compact dog weighing in at no more than 14 pounds (6.3 kg).
He has a long, straight, coarse, and abundant double coat with a noticeable mane around the neck. The Peke’s coat comes in all colours: red, fawn, black, black and tan, sable, brindle, white and cream. His face commonly shows a black mask but a self-coloured face is equally acceptable.
All that fur requires daily grooming. He also sheds and may not be the best fit for the fussy housekeeper.
The Peke’s short nose and adorably wrinkled face means he is prone to snorting, snuffling, sneezing, wheezing, and snoring.
A loyal, devoted, and protective little dog, the Pekingese makes a good watchdog. His air of dignity and self-importance harkens back to his royal heritage. The Peke can also be a lively, affectionate, and spirited playmate for those he respects.
The Peke is independent, self-centered, and proud. He can be stubborn, in fact he’s one of the most independent and stubborn of the toy breeds. He likes to get his own way! His owner will need to be firm and strong and have lots of patience. He’s intelligent and opinionated so training can be a challenge, and socialization should begin early as the Peke is naturally suspicious of other dogs and people.
Bred to be a lapdog companion, he fits well into the smallest accommodation. He enjoys being petted and fussed over and makes a good pet for older children. A great dog for the couch potato, he requires minimal exercise.
The Peke’s median lifespan is just over 11 years.