Family Pet Guide > Dogs > Toy > Pekingese


Quick Checklist
with kids
with seniors
with other animals
with strangers
Energy & Exercise
Training Needs
Grooming Needs
Size: Extra Small (Under 10 lbs.)
Lifespan: Long (12 to 15+ years)
Similar Breeds:

Pekingese, or "Pekes" are independent and loyal little dogs, similar to the Japanese Chin but with short legs and a dense, double coat that were considered semi-deities in Imperial China. Other similar ancient breeds include the Pug, Japanese Chin, Shih-Tzu, and Lhasa Apso. Pekes are lap dogs that are loving to the point of jealousy or possessiveness. Toy breeds don't like to be left alone for more than a few hours, so if you work all day and no one is home, this is not the dog for you (even though most toy breeds are easily litter box trained). Pekes are happy with just a daily walk--indoor play will take care of most of their energy--and are easily trained. Like the Pug and Japanese Chin, the Pekingese has a short face and is prone to breathing issues, infections--and snoring. Pekes are sensitive dogs that pick up on and mirror the lifestyles of their owners, but can become obstinate and strong-willed. Pekingese, and toy dogs in general, are not recommended for families with small kids but make great companions for seniors.

General Care

Pekingese are elegant, dignified long-haired Oriental toy dogs, usually weighing up to 14 pounds. Pekes need to have their double coat brushed daily and groomed often or shedding and matting become an issue. Pekingese are popular with city and country families alike: they are natural lap dogs, and are casual, if opinionated, companions that make good watch dogs. Pekes are stubborn, courageous little dogs that will become aggressive towards a large dog without a second thought, and should be carefully supervised off-leash at a dog park or dog day care. Care in all aspects is generally minimized with toy dogs: cost, mess, shedding, grooming, and training. As the AKC mentions, it's always easier to control a ten-pound dog than one ten times its size. Depending on how they are raised, Pekingese are generally good with older kids, seniors, and strangers (although due to their tiny size, children under 6 should always be supervised around a toy dog). Common health problems include breathing, sensitivity to heat, colds, "reverse sneeze" or wheezing, obesity, eye and heart problems.

For more information on Pekingese ownership and care, check out the Pekingese Club of America.

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