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Pekingese Dog Breed Info & Characteristics

Originally bred to be royal dog companions for emperors, Pekingese dogs have been around for decades. This breed of Chinese origin is often referred to as the “lion dog”, with legends claiming that Buddha took a lion and shrunk it into a Pekingese! In today’s world, these dogs make for the ideal family pet, thanks to their protective, loyal, and charming nature. Let’s learn more about this breed’s personality, rich history, lifespan, and more.


  • Temperament

    Pekingese dogs are all about the finer things in life. They love to bond with their family but are not that open to strangers. They are natural observers, they will bark and let the entire neighborhood know if there is anyone unknown approaching their home. While Pekes are not aggressive, they do not shy away from expressing discomfort vocally.

  • Physical Activity

    Pekingese are small-sized dogs that have low energy levels and need minimal exercise. Instead of playing with their family and friends, they would rather watch the world go by. Though they do not need to exercise much, complete rest is not recommended. Take your Pekingese for 20 to 30-minute walks to keep them active.

  • Sociability

    Pekingese dogs like to bond with their family but are not fans of interacting with strangers. While they do not mind being around children and other pets, they will not be tolerant of mischievous kids or other pets that are a little too active.

Pekingese dogs make for excellent watchdogs, alert of their surroundings and ready to protect their family. 


  • Grooming

    Maintaining the beauty of this royal toy breed is an important part of caring for it. These popular “lion” dogs love flaunting their lustrous long hair; hence, here are a few tips that can help you keep your Pekingese groomed to perfection:

  • Brushing

    You will have to dedicate at least an hour a week to brushing your Pekingese’s coat, to free it from tangles and dead hair. You can also divide these 60 minutes into smaller daily brushing sessions. Use a slick brush or a de-shedding tool to do so.

  • Bathing

    Bathing your Pekingese once every month or two is more than enough. You can also bathe it once a week during shedding seasons (spring and fall).

  • Oral care

    You need to brush your Pekingese dog’s teeth at least twice a week. However, if you can manage to brush its teeth every single day, it can be a game changer for your Pekingese’s dental health. Brushing its teeth daily will keep dental conditions like gum diseases and plaque at bay.

  • Nail trimming

    Check your Pekingese dog’s nails at least once a week. If you hear its nails tapping on the floor, it is time for a trimming session.

  • Ear and eye cleaning

    Check your Pekingese’s eyes and ears every other week. This dog breed has long hair which can lead to the accumulation of moisture, dirt, and grime in its ears since they are always covered. Check for any redness, pus, or inflammation to rule out the chances of ear infections. If you notice that your dog’s eyes are watering too much or have turned red, take it to the vet.


This breed was born for the palace life. Start training at a young age so that it does not get used to having its way every single time. 

  • Positive reinforcement

    Positive reinforcement goes a long way for all dog breeds. The best way to train your Pekingese dog is by praising it for good actions and rewarding it with treats and toys.

  • Socialization

    Since these dogs don’t do well around strangers or children and pets that are too playful, it is best to socialize them at a young age. This will help them get used to being around other pets, guests, and children.

  • Consistency

    Training a Pekingese should not be neglected because it can quickly get used to getting its way. Establish a daily routine and make sure you stick to it. Consistency is key with this breed since they are observer dogs, disinterested in exercise and movement.

  • Obedience training

    Start with simple obedience training and teach basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘go’, and more to your Pekingese. You can also teach it commands like ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to establish good and bad habits.


The Pekingese dog breed has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years and is generally healthy. However, just like any other dog breed, there are some diseases that pet parents should be aware of: 

  • Heart conditions

    Pekingese dogs can suffer from mitral valve disease, a condition that causes a heart murmur, which can go undiagnosed for a very long time. Your best bet is to take your floof for regular health checkups.

  • Patellar luxation

    Kneecap dislocation is known as patellar luxation. This condition is common in small dogs and can also be inherited. Take your dog to the vet if you notice any abnormalities in its walk.

  • Back problems

    Since Pekingese have short legs and long backs, they can suffer from back conditions like intervertebral disc disease. Don’t let your dog jump from heights and always use a ramp instead of steps to avoid any back problems.

5 facts about the Pekingese dog breed 

  • Pekingese dogs may have a small build, but they can bark very loudly. 
  • The Pekingese dog breed was originally bred to be royal dogs for emperors and was often given as gifts to royalty.
  • Pekingese are also known as “lion dogs” because of their long and lustrous mane. 
  • Pekingese are not as light as they look and weigh up to 6-7 kg.
  • Pekingese dogs have a unique walk that is often a crowd-pleaser at dog shows.


  • Are Pekingese dogs good pets?

    Pekingese dogs are perfect family pets. They are loyal and protective of their family and enjoy bonding with them.

  • What are Pekingese dogs known for?

    Pekingese are known for their unique walk, impressive mane, and compact size. 

  • Are Pekingese high-maintenance dogs?

    While Pekingese dogs are not high maintenance, they require frequent brushing due to their long and dense hair. 

  • Are Pekingese hard to train?

    As long as you are using positive reinforcements in the form of praises, toys, and treats, Pekingese dogs should not be hard to train. 

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