Pekingese is an ancient toy breed of dog, originating in China. They were the favoured imperial pet. Good-natured and happy, these dogs enjoy family environments, but require regular cleaning if in outdoor environments. more...
Their eyes are very delicate as they sit above the socket rather than within the socket.
These dogs are also called Dogs of Foo (or Fu) by the Chinese, and how much they are revered can be seen in the number of Chinese artworks depicting them. They were considered a guardian spirit as they resembled Chinese lions (see Lion dance).
The Pekingese breed is over 2000 years old and has hardly changed in all that time. One exception is that modern breeders and dog-show judges seem to prefer the long-haired type over the more-traditional spaniel-type coat.
All breed standards allow all sorts of color combinations. The most common is red sable; this is the color of the majority of Westminster Pekes. Black and tan is popular as well, but the dog show people seem to prefer blondes over the black and tans. The solid white (except face) or solid black Pekingese is quite striking. The face is usually black with deep brown eyes. There was, supposedly, in a British Pekingese line, a blue (gray) pekingese. Albino dogs are not within the standard.
The Pekingese gait is like no other in the dog world. Because the Chinese originally bred them to be companions to the Emperor and his ladies and eunuchs, they are bowlegged to discourage wandering. However, they can and will keep up with the big dogs when allowed. The bowleggedness makes their walk, run, or trot quite striking.
Pekes weigh from 7 to 14 pounds (3-6 kg) and stand about 6-9 inches (15-23 cm) at the withers.
These dogs can be stubborn and jealous. This is not a dog for someone who wants a dog that always comes when it is called. Pekes are sometimes aggressive, especially to other dogs. It may take a long time for Pekes to get used any other dogs except puppies, mates, and siblings. However, Pekes can be properly socialized with dogs and other types of pets and can become fast friends. It is easy to believe that Pekes know that they are royalty and expect you to know it, too. This might make them unsuitable for the first-time dog owner. The Pekingese personality has been compared to a cat, although this isn't quite right. Where a cat can be trained, a Pekingese needs to be convinced that the training is beneficial to him as well as to you. But, if they love you, they will do anything for you, even fight to the death to protect you.
The Pekingese is generally a one-person dog. They decide who they like best, and it might surprise you. They more than tolerate the others in their person's life, but that person might have to withhold some attention from the Peke if there is a danger that the Peke sees a child as a rival. Most healthy and well-trained Pekes are fine with children. Unfortunately, because they are among the 'cute and I know it' breeds, many people don't properly train their dogs and end up with difficult jealousy problems.
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