Pekingese enjoy the status as one of the most popular dog breeds available today. They are revered for their size, intelligence, and looks and their distinct personalities and temperament make them a well loved dog breed in China and around the world. In this brief guide, we will study their temperament, some fun facts, characteristic traits and other important things owners should know when raising a Peke.
Fun facts about Pekingese dogs
- Like the Japanese Chin dogs, Pekingese were so highly revered in China in the early days that they had their own servants to look after them. At one time, only royals were allowed to own these dogs. Stealing this breed was an offence that was punishable by death.
- Legend states that Pekingese breed came into existence after a lion mated with a monkey he fell in love with. That is the main reason why this cute dog looks like both animals.
- The breed is named after the city of Peking in China. Today, Peking has been renamed Beijing.
- Emperors of China supposedly kept the Peke as guard dogs and these small animals took this role rather seriously. After an Emperor died, his dog was also sacrificed with him so that they could join each other in the afterlife.
- Pekingese are also known as Peking Palasthunds.
- Height of a Pekingese is between 15-23 centimeters or 6-9 inches.
- Weight of a Peke is up to 6kg or 14 lb.
- As stated before, this dog breed resembles both-a monkey and a lion. They have a thick double coat which can be of any color including brown, black, tan grey and combinations thereof. They all have black ‘mask’ on the face. Exception in coat colors is the albino and liver colors. Outer coat is long and coarse in texture while inner coat is soft and furry.
- Pekes have short, flat faces. They are a brachycephalic dog breed.
- Pekingese lifespan is, on an average, 13 years.
Where to find a Pekingese
If you have decided to bring home a Pekingese puppy, then the best thing to do is find a breeder near you. The right approach to doing that is visiting the Pekingese Club of USA website. This site lists details of registered breeders who conform to a code of ethics and they are genuinely concerned about the well being of their pets and the breed as a whole. Talk to several breeders and if possible visit them. It is important to meet your potential pet’s parents. Dogs with good temperament and health are more likely to breed puppies having healthy temperaments too. Good breeders will usually have long wait times as most don’t have more than one or two litters per year. Depending on the breeder, expect to pay anywhere between $500 and $2000 for a pure breed Pekingese having good bloodlines. Ethical breeders will ask for a fair price and would be more concerned about the health and well being of their pet. So be prepared to answer several questions about yourself and your household before you are allowed to take your puppy home.
This dog is not called a lion dog without reason: here is a breed with no fear about anything or anyone. He won’t hesitate to bark at a dog twice, even three times its size. At the same time, they are affectionate and friendly pets and are like Velcro dogs-they won’t leave your side for a minute. Pekingese are highly territorial breeds and do not like it if a stranger comes snooping around their premises. For this reason they make excellent guard dogs. They also do not take too kindly to other dogs. Therefore, you must socialize your from an early age if you want him to get along with other household pets. Do note that this breed is highly prone to barking, snapping, growling and even biting. So training and socialization are a must if you want these behaviors curtailed. Pekes mostly prefer gentle kids and they love the company of adults.
Training your Peke
Training your Pekingese can be quite challenging; these dogs tend to be quite stubborn. Start early-almost as soon as you bring your pet home. Make sure you show him the rules of the house. Crate training is ideal for the Peke as it helps give them a secure place to sleep and will also get him housetrained early on. Use reward based, positive training and speak to your pet in a firm yet gentle voice. Note that this breed has an imperial history so they love to void indoors. You must set the house rules and let your pet know where it is and isn’t okay to void. Keep training gentle, consistent and patient.
Although your Pekingese will love a daily walk with you, he is not too fussy about exercise. He will get all the exercise he needs by simply following you around the house. However, young puppies have tremendous energy, so make sure you help expend it with daily romps around the block. Also, a bored puppy is a destructive puppy and that could mean unwanted behaviors like excess barking, chewing of furniture and so on. Note that this brachycephalic breed has very little heat tolerance. So do not over tire your pet, especially during summer months. Also run an air conditioner for him indoors when the mercury rises.
Pekingese need a lot of grooming. They shed their double coat twice a year, so expect to have hair all over the place unless you brush your pet every day. Use a slicker brush to capture the fine loose strands of hair and your life might just get a tad bit easier. Pekes do not need too much bathing-once or twice a month is generally enough. If you walk your pet daily on a tarred or asphalt surface then its toenails will be trimmed naturally. Else you need to clip them every few months. Make sure you inspect your pet’s ears every now and then to prevent mange, mites, and ear infections. Also wipe down his eyes and face from time to time. You must have your Peke’s anal glands expressed from time to time. He will show you when he needs that done by scooting or rubbing its rear against the wall or furniture.
As they are brachycephalic, these dogs tend to develop breathing issues from time to time. They are snorers as well. Pekes cannot tolerate heat and can even die from heat prostration. They also tend to have skin problems. Do not over-feed your pet as they have the tendency to put on weight.