The Pekingese Dog, one of the world’s most recognisable breeds, was once the sacred dog of China. The Pekingese Dog derives its name from the Tang Dynasty (619 – 907 AD) and their regal lineage is reflected in the Peke’s modern day character. For the Pekingese, exercise is a leisurely affair; short strolls will suffice.
Conversely, grooming the Pekingese Dog is anything but leisurely. Dedicated and regular attention is essential to avoid a knotted ball of fluff with a humourless constitution.
The Pekingese Dog is a breed for dog devotees. The grooming can be laborious, but the benefits can be great. The Peke’s occasional flirtations with humour and its attentiveness to his master can conquer the hearts of even the most reluctant groomer.
The Pekingese Dog finds its roots in Tang Dynasty China about 1500 years ago. For centuries, the Peke was highly prized in China’s Imperial Court. In fact, for centuries, only members of the Chinese Imperial Palace were permitted to own the Pekingese Dog.
Interestingly, the Peke is one of the oldest breeds of dog in the world with its genetics still closely linked that of the Asian Wolf. Some historians claim that the modern appearance of the Pekingese Dog was dictated by Her Imperial Majesty, Empress Dowager Cixi (1835 – 1908)and the dogs were bred to meet her exact specifications. The dogs were sometimes called “Sleeve Pekingese” as it became fashionable to carry the Pekes in the voluminous sleeves of robes worn by the members of the Chinese Imperial household.
By the 1860’s, the Pekingese Dog’s population had exploded. After being introduced to England and to America in the early 1900’s the Pekingese Dog became a much beloved pet.
The Pekingese Dog is characterized by a broad head and very short muzzle and flat nose. While this feature is the Peke’s facial trademark, it can lead to serious breathing problems. To ensure a healthy Pekingese Dog, be sure to choose a responsible breeder.
The under jaw of the Pekingese Dog is strong, the muzzle wrinkled and the eyes are lustrous, large and round. The ears are large and pendulous with a thickish hair in varying lengths.
The coat will be long, but it should not impede walking. The undercoat is thicker than the outercoat which feathers nicely on the ears, feet and tail. The coat can be virtually any hue except liver and albino.
The Peke’s neck and body are short, but with a broad chest. The legs are short with the hind legs being slightly lighter. The tail, also a predominant feature, is feathered and curled. It tends to fall slightly over one side of the back.
The Pekingese Dog, while at times aloof, can be loyal and charismatic. They are typically fearless which can be at odds with their diminutive stature. The Peke can be affectionate and fiercely loyal to its owner but there is also an unmistakable element of self importance with this breed. Power struggles can occur and the Pekingese can refuse food during one of these episodes.
This breed interacts well with children, although older children are better and always under supervision.
The Pekingese Dog can be wary of strangers and will bark, so it can make a competent watchdog. In keeping with its immodest disposition, the Peke does not like to be disturbed during sleep (when it can snore)or during feeding. The Peke does not suffer fools lightly!
Pekingese Exercise Info
The Pekingese Dog is not one for vigorous exercise or long hikes through the country. Rather, the Peke prefers leisurely strolls and short walks. Sometimes the Pekingese Dog may refuse a leash and a harness makes a more agreeable choice. Overexertion is to be avoided, as common difficulties with breathing and with heat can lead to grave consequences. Because of its languid nature, be sure to not overfeed the Peke.
Pekingese Grooming Info
To keep the Pekingese Dog in top condition, the coat needs regular, daily grooming. This regiment should minimize matting. It is important to dry shampoo the coat regularly paying special attention to the hindquarters. Be sure to clean the wrinkles above the nose as these areas are prone to infection.
Pekingese Training Info
Training your Pekingese Dog can be an exercise in patience. The key is to be firm and consistent. Some experts suggest that your Pekingese puppy should be brought outside every hour or so until a regular habit is established. While this does require a sizable commitment from the owner, the alternative, a secret indoor facility behind a bed or sofa, is considerably less appealing.
Others swear by crate training and the notion that the Pekes will strive to keep their ‘den’ clean. The Pekingese will go immediately when brought from the crate to the outside.
The thing to remember is that Pekes, like all dogs, like to please their owners. Proper socialization and choosing a breeder who spends time with the puppies can make the world of difference. Finally, the Pekingese Dog will test limits to gain control. A responsible owner will use tone of voice, a firm grip and establish solid alpha-dog positioning. Don’t let your Peke’s cute and feisty behaviour make for an unruly, unmanageable pet.
Pekingese Health Info
As with any purebred breed of dog, the Pekingese is not without potential health problems that can be passed on from generation to generation – or skip a generation and show up in offspring from healthy parent dogs. It is extremely important to choose your Pekingese breeder carefully! You want a breeder who is very knowledgeable in the Pekingese dog breed and an expert on health issues that can affect the breed. Your breeder should follow a highly selective breeding program that focuses on the health, temperament and longevity of her puppies, in an attempt to produce healthy, attractive and temperamentally sound Pekingese pups, while improving and proliferating the breed.
There are no 100% guarantees when it comes to Pekingese health, even in the most careful breeding, but purchasing a puppy from a highly reputable breeder who health screens and offers a reasonable health guarantee on her puppies is your best insurance.
Health issues that can occur in the Pekingese dog breed include;
*Elongaged Soft Palate
*Skin Fold Dermatitis
Also of note: The Peke is sensitive to anesthesia and does not tolerate heat well. It is also prone to corneal abrasions.
Choose your breeder wisely, and you can be fairly well assured of acquiring a Pekingese puppy that is healthy and free from genetic disorders that can affect the breed.
Pekingese Right Breed Info
The Pekingese dog is a unique and charming breed of dog that is a good match for individuals and families alike. If you are looking for a breed that doesn’t need a lot of exercise, and is small enough to do well in an apartment, then this may be the breed for you – provided that you have the time and resources to attend to the rather strenuous grooming needs of this ancient dog breed.
As with all breeds of dog, make sure that you choose your breeder carefully. Make sure you buy a puppy only from a breeder who is very knowledgeable about the Pekingese dog breed and its traits. A responsible breeder will put the health and longevity of her dogs and puppies before all, and will have a highly selective breeding program that aims to produce Pekingese puppies that are free from congenital and other canine disorders.
If you choose the right breeder and acquire a healthy, long lived Pekingese puppy, you can be assured of many years of love and companionship with an adorable and unique canine friend.
More Information about the Pekingese Dog Breed
Pekingese on Wikipedia