Dog Breeds Articles

The Pekingese breed is often refered to as the “lion dog” The Pekingese originated in China very long ago in the first century A.D.

It was during the conversion to Buddhism of the Emperor Ming Ti that the new symbol of the religion was the lion, however, In all of China there were no lions. This created a problem. Until one individual noted that nothing resembled the lion more than the Emperor’s little Pekingese dog. Throughout this period Pekingese were bred selectively, they were breed more and more to resemble the lion. The Pekingnese were unable to leave the palace walls and were considered very valuable. There were harsh punishments for removing these dogs. One such punishment as recorded in “The Lion Dog of Pekin”, was death by stoning for the person responsible for the dog’s removal.


If there is one thing I know for sure is that there are a hundred and one different characteristics wraped into a 10 pound bundle of fur. Where to begin seems to be the question? Pekingese are the aristocrats of the dog world. They are both loveable and stubbern. Both haughty and bold. They are NOT bad tempered as so many are lead to believe. They are quite the opposite. They are always willing to please and quite the show-offs. They are great watchdogs, always alerting you of strange things or people. They never back down regardless of there size they show no fear toward other animals or people. They are also the ultimate lap dog. Always wanting your attention and praise. They are quite content setting in your lap. They are happy just to be near you.. They love to go places, and see things. Their characteristics are to a great extent formed by their owners, for they seem to sense your every mood. Usually there is one member of the family that the pet is more fond of and will obey more readily. These tiny dogs are very clean and love to show their coats off after a bath. They walk with pride holding their heads high as to say to the world ‘ look at me’ Pekes can be haughty with strangers, but it soon does not take them long to make up once they are convinced of your good intentions. One fascination of the Peke’s character is that you never know quite what they are thinking.

To breed or not to breed?

Letting your Peke have puppies is both rewarding and fun, but should never be undertaken without serious thought. You will not profet financially, when you take into the consideration, food and vet bills and the inconvenience that is sometimes involved. FAR TOO MANY UNWANTED PUPPIES ARE PRODUCED by irresponsible owners. Make sure you can sell your puppy at the going rate and not just cheap to get rid of them. This just increases the amount of unwanted dogs that pack the walls of the animal shelter. Most of these animals are needlesly but to rest. And breeding for poor stock does no one any good. It just causes sickness and alot of pain and suffering on the animals part and the owners.


The story of the lion and the marmset

Once ago in a far away land there was a magical kingdom where just about everything was perfect. The land was green, the food was plentiful, and the animals that dwelled there were happy. They had a great lion king, and though he was brave and fearless he was also merciful and kind. He ruled the land with gentle paws, and all that knew him loved him. Many of his servants brought gifts to him, to show their gratitude for all he had done. One day a young marmoset entered the majestic castle bringing fresh fruit for the king. She kneeled before him saying ” Your grace I have brought you a gift from my father, he wishes to thank you for all you have done for our family. It means much to us to know that our king is kind and understanding.” She then looked up at the great manned lion. Her large dark eyes meeting his. Then a strange thing happened. The lion felt his heart plunge deep within his chest. Those eyes….He had never seen such beautiful brown eyes. He collected his thoughts and said. “Thank you little marmoset, what is your name?”She was bewildered by his question for even though the king was a kind king he had never asked for anyone’s name. They were always refereed to as his servants. She began to tremble in fear, for why would a great king want to know her? She was no one just a peasant. She found courage to answer..” I am Miranda, your highness.” “Miranda” What a lovely name. “Miranda how would you like to take a walk with me? I will show you my castle” What was he doing? What would the gods think of him? He didn’t know the answer but he knew that his heart was reaching out to the marmoset called Miranda. And so they walked through the palace talking and listening to each other’s thoughts, and the more they talked the more in love he fell. Miranda was beginning to feel the same thing, her small heart was beating so hard that she thought for sure the king could see her chest moving. Oh why was she feeling this way? He was a king and non-the less a lion. It was impossible!!! And yet she could dream…. “Well Miranda how do you like the castle?” “I like it very well your highness” she replied. “You can come back and visit me anytime you like.” Said the lionMiranda looked up at him her eyes as big as ever. His heart jumped a thousand times and then he said, “Stay with me….” Miranda didn’t know what to say…. For here was the great king asking her to live with him… Her heart wanted to say yes but her mind spoke the truth “Oh lion it could never work” and she ran out of the castle tears running down her face. The great king was heart broken for he so loved her. I will petition the gods !! He said to himself they will listen they just have to. And so he went to the gods and petitioned them to make him small enough to be with his love, yet still retain his brave heart and lion sized nobility. And did the gods grant him his wish? That they did. For you see the offspring of the little marmoset and the great lion is what we now know as the pekingese- a dog with the size and face of the little monkey, and the mane and heart of a lion.

If you decide to breed make yourself aware

Pregnancy and birth causes a major metabolic change in the female. She should be physically fully mature and should be spared her first heat. Also be aware that Pekes sometimes need help with the delivery of their young do to their large head. Make sure your male and female are compatable both geneticly and phisically. This is very important to insure the health of the female and also the puppies. Discuss it with the breeder of your own dog and also your vet. Read all you can about the Pekingese and again ask questions.. Go in knowledgable so you know what to expect.

The mating cycle

Some breeders say that ten days after the beginning of the discharge is the best time for mating. others prefer 12 days. If you are using a stud dog take your female to him rather than the other way around. Most females are aggressive on home territory when introduced to a new male. And it is the male who needs to be assertive in this situation.

Questions and Answers

Are Pekes good with children?

Pekes are good with children if the child is taught to respect the animal. Pekes do not like to be awoke from a deep sleep by a child pulling their hair. They also sometimes get a little nippy if a toy is taken from them.

How old do they live to be?

Pekes generaly live to be around 14 or 15 years, however there are known cases of them living to be 18, 19, and even 20 years of age.

Can they be ouside dogs?

Pekes do not like the heat. They can become easily overheated.

What is a Sleeve Peke?

A sleeve peke is a peke that does not weigh more than 6 pounds.

Do they have many health problems?

Pekes sometimes develop eye and breathing problems.

Do they get along with other animals?

Generaly speaking pekes get along well with other animals if socialized. Socialization is a must for any breed.

Do they bark alot?

Pekes will only bark if there is something to bark at. They never bark just to be barking.

Are they easily house trained?

Pekes can be stubbern, therefor it is sometimes hard to house train them. If you let them know whos boss they learn faster.

Is it true that Pekes have to have a c-section in order to give birth?

Pekes can have difficulty giving birth due to their large heads. A c-section is sometimes the only means of a healthy birth.

Common concerns:

Eye diseases

1) CONJUNCTIVITIS the eye may be red and swollen: tearing and watering; purulent(pus) discharge especially on awakening.

TREATMENT: Wiping away matter and mucus, remove any hairs or eyelashes on the eyeball. Apply antibiotic drops in the eyes every two to three hours and apply before bed. Treatment is gradually reduced

2) DISEASE OF THE LIDS styes, like small boils.

TREATMENT Hot compresses of plain water for ten minutes or longer followed by antibiotic, 2 to 3 times a day.

3) DISEASE OF THE CORNEA The most important and most common of the eye diseases. This is due to their large eyes. Because of the sensitivity of the cornea it is possible for the dog to have a severe ulcer and still keep his eye wide open. This is sometimes viewed best in bright light, it is a grey discoloration of the cornea under the ulcer and sometimes white pus in the anterior chamber.

TREATMENT Small ulcer 1 or 2 mm, use antibiotics three times a day. Larger than 2mm use Hyoscine or Atrophine drops once daily. Guard against medicine running into mouth it is toxic. several ulcers Use Atropine drops three times a day, hot compresses for 15 min. every two to three hours followed by antibiotic drops which in turn are followed in five minutes by antibiotic ointment. Seek professional help.

4)PIGMENTARY DEGENERATION OF THE CORNEA .Brown or black pigment which may cover the cornea.

There is no known treatment.

5)GLA UCOMA large pupil, hazy cornea and hard eye balls gives tempory relife, disease responds poorly to medication.

6)CATARACT the pupil, instead of being black, becomes white or grey. This is very uncommon in pekes but can occur.

TREATMENT removing the opaque lens.

7)PROPTOSIS OF THE EYEBALL eyeball is bulged forward with lids in back of it. The dog is in pain. This is caused by dog fights or holding a peke to tightly around the head.

TREATMENT apply an oinment or vaseline to eye and push the eye back in place gently. This is an emergency. If more than a few minutes go buy the dog could loose its eye.Seek a vet

These diseases and treatment were taken down from “The Pekingese Book by Marie Katz ” Copyright 1962 by T.F.H. Publishers, Inc.

Breed Standard

General Appearance

The Pekingese is a well-balanced, compact dog with heavy front and lighter hindquarters. It must suggest its Chinese origin in its directness, independence, individuality and expression. Its image is lionlike. It should imply courage, boldness and self-esteem rather than prettiness, daintiness or delicacy.

Size, Substance, Proportion

Size/Substance – The Pekingese should be surprisingly heavy when lifted. It has a stocky, muscular body. The bone of the forequarters must be very heavy in relation to the size of the dog. All weights are correct within the limit of 14 pounds, provided that type and points are not sacrificed. Disqualification – Weight over 14 pounds. Proportion – The length of the body, from the front of the breast bone in a straight line to the buttocks, is slightly greater than the height at the withers. Overall balance is of utmost importance.


Skull – The topskull is massive, broad and flat (not dome-shaped). The topskull, the high, wide cheek bones, broad lower jaw and wide chin are the structural formation of the correctly shaped face. When viewed frontally, the skull is wider than deep and contributes to the rectangular envelope-shaped appearance of the head. In profile, the Pekingese face must be flat. The chin, nose leather and brow all lie in one plane. In the natural position of the head, this plane appears vertical but slants very slightly backward from chin to forehead. Nose – It is black, broad, very short and in profile, contributes to the flat appearance of the face. Nostrils are open. The nose is positioned between the eyes so that a line drawn horizontally across the top of the nose intersects the center of the eyes. Eyes – They are large, very dark, round, lustrous and set wide apart. The look is bold, not bulging. The eye rims are black and the white of the eye does not show when the dog is looking straight ahead. Wrinkle – It effectively separates the upper and lower areas of the face. The appearance is of a hair covered fold of skin, extending from one cheek, over the bridge of the nose in a wide inverted “V”, to the other cheek. It is NEVER so prominent or heavy as to crowd the facial features nor to obscure a large portion of the eyes or the nose from view. Stop – It is deep. The bridge of the nose is completely obscured from view by hair and/or the over-nose wrinkle. Muzzle – This is very short and broad with high, wide cheek bones. The color of the skin is black. Whiskers add to the Oriental expression. Mouth – The lower jaw is slightly undershot. The lips meet on a level plane and neither teeth nor tongue show when the mouth is closed. The lower jaw is strong, wide, firm and straight across at the chin. An excessively strong chin is as undesirable as a weak one. Ears – They are heart-shaped and set on the front corners of the skull extending the line of the topskull. Correctly placed ears frame the sides of the face and with their heavy feathering create an illusion of additional width of the head. Pigment – The skin of the nose, lips and eye rims is black on all colors.

Neck, Body, Tail

Neck – It is very short, thick and set back into the shoulder. Body – This is pear-shaped and compact. It is heavy in front with well-sprung ribs slung between the forelegs. The broad chest, with little or no protruding breast bone, tapers to lighter loins with a distinct waist. The topline is level. Tail – The base is set high; the remainder is carried well over the center of the back. Long, profuse straight feathering may fall to either side.


They are short, thick and heavy-boned. The bones of the forelegs are slightly bowed between the pastern and elbow. Shoulders are gently laid back and fit smoothly into the body. The elbows are always close to the body. Front feet are large, flat and turned slightly out. The dog must stand well up on feet.


They are lighter in bone than the forequarters. There is moderate angulation and definition of stifle and hock. When viewed from behind, the rear legs are reasonably close and parallel and the feet point straight ahead.

Soundness is essential in both forequarters and hindquarters.


Body Coat – It is full-bodied, with long, coarse textured, straight, stand-off coat and thick, softer undercoat. The coat forms a noticeable mane on the neck and shoulder area with the coat on the remainder of the body somewhat shorter in length. A long and profuse coat is desirable providing that it does not obscure the shapeliness of the body, nor sacrifice the correct coat texture. Feathering – Long feathering is found on the back of the thighs and forelegs, and on the ears, tail and toes. The feathering is left on the toes but should not be so long as to prevent free movement.


All coat colors and markings, including parti-colors, are allowable and of equal merit.


The gait is unhurried and dignified, with a slight roll over the shoulders. The rolling gait is caused by the bowed front legs and heavier, wider forequarters pivoting on the tapered waist and the lighter, straight parallel hindquarters. The rolling motion is smooth and effortless and is as free as possible from bouncing, prancing or jarring.


A combination of regal dignity, self-importance, self-confidence and exasperating stubbornness make for a good natured, lively and affectionate companion to those who have earned its respect.

The foregoing is a description of the ideal Pekingese. Any deviation should be penalized in direct proportion to the extent of that deviation.

Faults to be Noted

Dudley, liver or gray nose.

Light brown, yellow or blue eyes.

Protruding tongue or teeth.

Overshot upper jaw.

Wry mouth.

Ears set much too high, low or far back.

Roach or swayback.

Straight-boned forelegs.










Legs and feet










Shape of body


Coat, feather and condition







Weight over 14 pounds.

Approved June 13, 1995

Effective July 31, 1995

Additional Resources

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