Photo by szymonir

Pekingese - Breed Profile:

Origin: China
Colors: Any
Size: Small
Type of Owner: Novice
Exercise: Very little
Grooming: Regular
Trainability: Easy to train
Combativeness: Friendly with other dogs
Dominance: High
Noise: Likes to bark

Physical characteristics

The Pekingese is a small compact dog with a recognizable flat face and long straight coat. Even though they are small, Pekes are rather muscular and surprisingly heavy for their size (up to 14 pounds with 8 inch height). The dark eyes are round, large, and wide set. All Pekes have a black nose, lips and eye rims, regardless of the coat colour. They often have a black mask, too. The pendent ears are relatively large. The short legs are bowed, which gives the breed a specific rolling gait. Often, there is a distinctive "smile" on a Peke's face.


Like many other small dogs, Pekes have a very proud and dignified personality. Don't let the size mislead you: even in a small body there can be a big dog's soul. Pekingeses are confident but naturally well-behaved. They can be very stubborn at times, especially if they feel their owners are diffident and meek. With proper human leadership, however, these dogs become loving, sweet, and obedient companions. Slightly wary of strangers, but can be surprisingly courageous if necessary. They will bark at anything that they feel is out of the ordinary and can make excellent watchdogs. This breed is not generally recommended for children though, because Pekes tend to bite if teased. However, they usually get on well with older, considerate kids and with other animals and pets.

Coat and grooming

Pekingeses have a double long coat with a distinctive mane and abundant feathering around the ears, tail and legs. This luxury needs daily grooming. Any colour is acceptable in this breed, with or without a black mask on the muzzle.


Pekes are prone to eye, spine and respiratory problems. They also tend to wheeze and snore - a common problem of short-faced dogs. Sensitive to hot weather. The lifespan is 11 to 12 years.

Differences between Pekingese and Japanese Chin

While the Japanese Chin is usually white with black patches (although red and tan patches are also allowed), the Pekingese can be any colour. The face of Chins is less foreshortened than that of Pekes. Additionally, the Pekingese appears lower to the ground and weighs slightly more.