Pekingese: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health

The Pekingese or Pekingese dog breed is the best known of all Chinese breeds. Peculiar companion dog, independent, affectionate but reserved. It has a lion-like appearance, with an alert and intelligent expression. Despite its size, it retains a guardian spirit in its behaviour. At Petlifey, we explain the temperament and characteristics of the Pekingese.

Character of the Pekingese breed

The Pekingese is a small animal but with a big heart and with strong character, temperament and bravery, much more than its appearance and size could appear. Its demeanour is that of an affectionate but reserved dog.

It is sensitive and independent, at the same time it is very affectionate with its owner, since it has been conceived primarily as a companion dog, although it can also be considered an excellent guard dog.

Indeed, the owner of this dog cannot expect its pet to defend them from possible aggression, but it can be sure that it will warn them of any strange presence in a very strident way.

This dog can become very suspicious of strangers and even be elusive.

In short, the character of the Pekingese dog breed is courageous, fearless and determined. With a haughty and dignified attitude, it is somewhat distant, independent and distrustful of strangers, but never aggressive or shy. Friendly and loving, it is sensitive and somewhat stubborn .

  • Energy: Medium. It is not a very energetic animal and does not require much exercise.
  • Temperament: It is a living animal, independent, somewhat distant and proud. It is not overly shy, but it is reserved, and can be fearless or fearless.
  • Adaptability: High. It adapts to living in almost any environment, as long as it is close to its master.
  • Sociability: Medium. It is affectionate with its owner, but does not tolerate strangers well and it is likely that other animals will clash.
  • Health: Normal: You may suffer from eye, respiratory and joint problems.
  • Longevity: High. From 12 to 15 years old.
  • Utility: Company. It can do guardianship and therapy tasks, but it is basically a companion dog.

Is it a good family dog?

Despite its somewhat stubborn and ‘special’ temperament, the Pekingese is an excellent family dog that may be the right choice for an inexperienced owner. The same thing happens with the chihuahua.

You prefer to live indoors, and as long as you are in good shelter and close to family members, you don’t care if the home is a small apartment or a large country house.

This small dog with such a peculiar appearance and somewhat similar to the apes, the most it enjoys being at home, without moving much and keeping its owner company, with whom it is affectionate, loyal and brave. It is all that this dog needs to feel happy.

How do you behave with children?

If the children are part of the family, then the relationship is usually correct, but if they are strangers, the most likely thing is that the dog keeps their distance and avoids their presence.

Therefore, it is very important to educate children about the characteristics of this dog, its capacity and how they should treat and play with it.

How does it behave with other animals?

Its relationship with other dogs depends largely on the individual character of each dog. If it is a very dominant one (especially a male) it is possible that it is aggressive towards its peers, but if it is one subjected to an adequate socialization work, the relationship may be very correct.

Pekingese behavior problems

It is very common to treat companion dogs as if they were a member of the family, but if this is done with the Pekingese it is very likely that the dog will end up suffering from the small dog syndrome .

This can cause them to show, therefore, a deviant behaviour from what is naturally expected of them, with character variations, signs of dominance, jealousy, separation anxiety, loud behaviour and obsessive manias, among other things.

What activities can be done with a Pekingese dog?

It is true that due to its physical characteristics it is not a dog with which you can perform multiple activities, but it sure enjoys taking it out for long walks and if, in addition, it is allowed to run and play at its own pace. full nature from time to time.

In addition, its owners do not have to limit themselves to having their pet as a mere companion dog, as this dog also works very well working as a therapy dog, as long as it is properly trained

Pekingese breed characteristics

The general appearance of the Pekingese dog is that of a lion-like dog, with an alert and intelligent expression.

The Pekingese is small, well balanced, with a robust appearance and great dignity, it is endowed with heavy bones and a strong body structure.

How is the Pekingese physically


The body of the Pekingese is small and not bulky. It has a short but heavy and robust body, especially in the front. With a lion like appearance, its structure is rectangular, since the length of its body exceeds its height at the withers, which is around 20 cm.

It has large and flat feet, the front ones are slightly turned out, while the rear ones appear straight, facing forward. They have hair between the fingers.

The tail is set high and is characterized by its upright bearing and by forming a profuse tuft of long, dense and soft hair. The dog usually wears it curved on its back.


The head is large and has a broad muzzle, with a strong lower jaw. The nose is framed by a wrinkle in the shape of an inverted “V” that runs from the cheeks to the bridge of the nose.

Its eyes are large and quite round. They are usually dark pigmented and very shiny. The edge of the eyelids is usually black.

Hair. The whole body is covered by a long, straight coat with abundant hair that forms a showy mane around the neck and long fringes on the tail, ears and legs.


The Pekingese’s coat is double-layered. The undercoat is characterized by being dense and soft, while the very abundant outer coat is rough in texture and falls straight, extending beyond the shoulders and forming a mane around the neck.

It also has many long fringes on the ears, on the back of the limbs, on the tail and between the toes. The coat is long and voluminous, but it does not prevent the proportions of the animal’s body from being appreciated.

Pekingese breed standard

  • Origin: China / UK Patronage.
  • Size: Miniature.
  • Height at the withers: between 15 and 25 cm both males and females.
  • Weight: between 5 and 5.5 kg both males and females.
  • FCI classification: FCI nº 207. GROUP 9 – Companion dogs. Section 8 – Japanese and Peking Spaniels.
  • Use: Companion dog.
  • Other names: Pekingese / Épagneul példnois.
  • General appearance: Small, robust and with a lionlike appearance, it has a strong and balanced body structure, very dignified.
  • Back: It is well levelled.
  • Chest: It is wide and is suspended between the forelimbs. The ribs are well sprung.
  • Tail: It is set high and erect. The dog carries it slightly curved on its back or deviated to either side. It has a long and very abundant fringe.
  • Forelimbs: They are short, thick and have strong and heavy bones.
  • Shoulders: The shoulder blades are well tilted back and are gently attached to the body.
  • Forearms and arms: The bones of the forearms are slightly arched between the metatarsals and the elbows.
  • Elbows: They are well attached to the body.
  • Head: Large in size, proportionally wider than long. It has a flat profile and the upper part of the nose is aligned with the eyes.
  • Skull: It is broad and flattened between the ears, without taking on a domed shape, and remains broad between the eyes.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): It is pronounced.
  • Muzzle: It is wide and short. Above the nose, a crease runs from one cheek to the other, continuously, or interrupted, over the bridge of the nose, drawing a kind of wide inverted “V”. The lips are pigmented black.
  • Nose: Also short and broad, it is black and has large, well-open nostrils.
  • Jaws: The lower jaw is strong and firm, and the bite is made in the form of a scissor. The teeth are solid.
  • Eyes: Large and round, they are dark and shiny. The edge of the eyelids is pigmented black.
  • Ears: They are inserted at the level of the skull and fall close to the head, without exceeding the height of the dog’s muzzle. They are heart-shaped and feature long, copious fringes of hair.
  • Neck: It is short and thick.
  • Body: Short and heavier at the front than at the back, it is easy to identify where the waist is, as it is clearly marked.
  • Hindquarters: They are lighter than the forelimbs and have a moderate angulation. Seen from behind they are reasonably close together and parallel, so the dog’s appearance is firm at the joints.
  • Legs: They are strong and firm.
  • Knees: Well defined and moderately angled. Hocks: They are solid.
  • Feet : They are large and flat, but not round, they support the weight of the dog well, which has good poise. The front feet are slightly offset outward, while the rear feet are straight facing forward.
  • Movement: The front limbs move with a slow, dignified and balanced gait, without being particularly exaggerated. The hind legs advance together with the forelegs.
  • Coat: the hair is long, abundant and very dense. It has a very thick and soft undercoat, and a rough, straight and very voluminous outer coat. On the neck it forms a good mane, and fringes appear on the legs, tail and ears.
  • Color : There are specimens of all colors, and sometimes they are bicolor or have different colored markings.

Health and diseases of the Pekingese breed

This breed does not need to do a lot of exercise, but it does need to be in good shape, which is achieved with long daily walks on a leash and occasionally letting it play freely in a confined and safe place.

In fact, one of the biggest problems of the breed is obesity, due in large part to the typical sedentary lifestyle of its owners and to the breed having been associated with older people or people with an urban lifestyle, who prefer not to take out or properly exercise their dog and to whom they give care that often borders on pampering and excess.

And another reason is the gluttony of the Pekingese, since they love to eat and have a great tendency to gain weight.

But it is convenient to avoid being overweight, as it increases the incidence of respiratory problems and exponentially increases the chances of suffering from cardiovascular or joint diseases.

Thus, the best health advice is to keep the animal at the proper weight by using a balanced and healthy food, and subjecting it to the appropriate doses of exercise for its age and condition.

Some other possible conditions to which this breed is exposed, due in large part to its morphology, are those of a respiratory nature, especially colds, of different consideration.

Being a brachycephalic breed, that is, with an almost round skull and a very short muzzle, these respiratory problems are aggravated. Especially if the nose is small and underdeveloped, with insufficient opening of the nostrils, if the nose is not long enough or if the wrinkle that forms above the nose is too prominent.

Obviously, being overweight, weak or insufficient musculature, or the fact that the animal is not in the proper physical condition, does not help in this regard either.

Its body constitution means that it is also predisposed to suffer from herniated discs and different knee problems, such as hip dislocation or dislocation of the kneecaps.

And on the other hand, eye complications are also common, since it is a dog with very prominent eyes, almost bulging, so sometimes it even has difficulties to completely close the eyelids.

Finally, some heart conditions are not at all unusual, which are aggravated in the case of elderly or unfit individuals.

Despite what has been said, the Pekingese is generally a fairly healthy and long-lived dog, as it easily exceeds 15 years of age under normal circumstances.

Many of the diseases or health problems that it suffers from are controllable by its owner and depend largely on the selection made by the breeder and the procreation process that has been followed. If they have been responsible, it is likely that many of the complications mentioned will be avoided.

However, once the owner has its Pekingese puppy at home, the best health strategy it can follow is to act preventively by going regularly to the veterinarian to complete the relevant vaccination, revaccination and deworming programs, internal and external.

In the same way, so that you thoroughly check the state of the animal’s mouth, eyes, ears, skin and hair . In addition to keeping a strict control of the evolution of weight in the different stages of your life through which you go through.

Pekingese breed diet

It is very important to provide the Pekingese with a diet rich in nutrients that keep their muscles in shape and that provide the level of fat necessary for the proper functioning of the skin, hair, eyes, etc.

And the fundamental thing is to avoid, as far as possible, that you are obese. Therefore, together with the feeding program, very specific exercise guidelines must be designed, so that the animal remains active and maintains the muscles and joint system in good physical shape .

Pekingese care and maintenance

Within the vital routine Pekinese, your hairdresser, your arrangement and aesthetic spruced up a very important section, because they are essential tasks to undertake regularly if you want to be in perfect condition profuse and delicate mantle of this beautiful race .

When deciding to share life with a particular breed of dog, it is necessary to be very clear in advance what their temperamental and physical characteristics are, what their needs are and, therefore, what are the obligations that are contracted when making said choice.

Pekingese hair care

It would be ridiculous to choose a certain dog and then not have it in the conditions established by its nature or established by tradition. Here, we detail some tips:


First of all, to keep the Pekingese’s abundant coat in good condition, it is essential to give it a good, regular and intense brushing.

For this, it is important to work in depth on the undercoat, and not only on the covering layer, using a rake-type tool and a metal bristle brush. It is also very useful to resort to working with your hands to be able to get well to the root.

Next, the covering mantle is worked, which is combed and aired well with a metal bristle brush.

It is also possible to use a brush that combines these metallic bristles with natural bristles, and comb the dog trying to get the coat to be well stretched, in its natural form and, above all, free of tangles and knots.

To achieve the final effect of volume and give it the proper shape, you can use a good metal comb.


The bath can be reserved for when the dog is really dirty, or it can be done as a regular maintenance, if you want the pet’s coat to look in its best condition.

To do this, it is important to use a suitable shampoo for the type of hair and rinse well without leaving any trace of soap before drying.

As the coat of the Pekingese is, above all, very dense, it is necessary to try to dry it well, without leaving wet areas, as this breed is easy to suffer from colds and respiratory problems.

Thus, it is highly recommended to use a powerful ejector in combination to help remove all the water that has been retained by the undercoat, and then a good hot air dryer for the final finish.

You can take advantage of the time of the bath to check the state of the nails and trim them if it is considered necessary, always taking care not to reach the fleshy part.


The Pekingese does not need to be subjected to a particular or too complicated haircut, since a few small touches are enough to have its coat in perfect condition.

One of the areas that requires more attention is the face, especially the wrinkle that forms on the nose, as it is a delicate part that must be kept dry and free of excessive fur.

The hairs in this area can be pulled out with the fingers or trimmed with smooth round-tipped scissors. And to keep it dry and clean it is recommended to use special drying powders.

Other areas that may need some repair are the feet and hands, from which excess interdigital hair must be removed, leaving them in the proper shape.

You can also trim the coat by highlighting the silhouette of the dog and removing all the hairs that protrude so that the result is truly amazing and spectacular.

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