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The Pekingese, named for the capital of China, was once called the Lion Dog for his golden mane and sturdy frame. He was also called the Sleeve Dog for the ability of his master to carry him inside his sleeves. Considered a sacred dog during the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-906), the breed is probably older than that. Thousands roamed the royal palaces and no one outside of nobility was allowed to have one. During the second Opium War in 1860, the imperial family ordered that all of the dogs be destroyed so the foreign invaders could not obtain them. Many escaped this massacre, however, and an English officer brought five of them home thus introducing the breed to the West. in the late 1800s, gifts of the breed by Chinese royalty to westerners added to the basic stock from which the modern breed in the West descends. The breed was recognized by the Kennel Club of Great Britain in 1893 and the American Kennel Club in 1909.
Despite his sweet looks, the Pekingese can be independent, assertive and stubborn. He is not aggressive but is very bold. He has a strong sense of territory and will protect it against all threats. He makes an excellent companion.
The Pekingese head is wider than it is deep. The skull is flat and deep between the eyes. The ears are heart-shaped but cannot be seen as they are covered by long coat. The eyes are large, round and dark. The drop off between skull and muzzle (stop) is very pronounced and deep. The muzzle is short and wrinkled. The nose is black, broad, short and flat. The body is heavy in front with a broad chest. The back is level but not too long for the body. He has slightly bowed forelegs with toes that turn outward. The tail is set high, lying well over the back to either side. The coat is long and straight with an undercoat. Featherings exist on neck, legs, tail and toes. A flowing mane covers the neck. Coat colors include red, fawn, black, black-and-tan, sable, brindle, white and parti-color. A black mask that extends to the ears and eyes is desirable. Average height is between six and nine inches. Weight should not exceed fourteen pounds.
firstname.lastname@example.org of California writes:
Delightful addition to our family.
We bought our first Pekingese one and a half years ago. He turned on his charm and managed to turn my husband (who did not care for dogs) into a complete dog lover. We have been so delighted with him and his charming personality, that we decided to buy a second Pekingese. She is only five months old and is going through (what we call) her terrible twos. Although she is very mischievious, her personality is very much like the male. She is independent and stubborn. However she has the ability to melt our hearts when we try to correct her when she has done something she is not supposed to do. She has also turned on her charm with my husband. He calls her his "little girl".
Both dogs have turned us into Pekingese lovers. Although we own a male and a female, we have decided to leave the breeding to the experts.
email@example.com of Mississippi writes:
I rated the Pekingese as three stars ­p; maybe I should have said four ­p; I'm not sure ­p; maybe a three-and-one-half! We have a beautiful three-year-old male Peke that we have owned since he was five weeks old. I know, I know, he was too young but if we hadn't bought him, somebody else would have! He was neutered early (around eight weeks) and he lives with two cats and a Japanese Chin. Our baby is very smart ­p; interestingly enough, since we've read that they are not all that intelligent. Maybe it's because we all took so much time with him. He knows the names of all his toys and will fetch the right one, he can roll over, speak, potty on command, etc. The good things about a Peke is that they are not yappy, running around all the time, wanting you to DO something. He just hangs with the family. He sleeps in the bed with us, he sleeps until we get up, then he slowly gets up. He's really easy to be with. He loves his family. His best friend is actually our cat, the Maine Coon. The two of them will play and run around the house, wrestle a little. The Japanese Chin is too delicate for him. They don't play together although they do sleep together at times. Another good thing is he's manly ­p; he loves the men in the family, especially my husband who calls him "our son." There is nothing "sissy" about him at all. He's bold and sassy. He also absolutely adores children; another thing I've heard Pekes don't do. I don't know if that was socialization because he was always surrounded by them or not but he LOVES them, loves being the center of attention, and is very patient with them.
Now for the bad stuff. He has that male dominance thing ­p; he does NOT like other dogs ­p; I can't even take him to PetsMart anymore he acts up so bad. He barks, growls, and acts like a fool. (HIS dog at home is okay, other dogs are NOT okay.) Also he is a little bit too independent. I would rather he would cuddle more. If I want to cuddle him, I have to go to him, pick him up, settle him down. Now after that, he will stay forever, let me pet him, kiss him, etc. But he very rarely approaches me for loving. He hangs with me but just close by, not a lap dog like my Chin. The other thing is we CANNOT cut his nails; I really think he would bite us if we did. We have to have them done professionally (he does not bite but he makes it clear he does not like it!). Also we NEVER take a food item away from him. If he has something in his mouth we want out, we offer him an alternative and he drops the offensive item and we pick it up. I'm not saying he will bite on purpose, and I think he'd be sorry afterwards, but I do think he would bite. He has bitten only once when he was less than a year old and I took a food item out of his mouth. He was sorry afterward and felt guilty, but we're not idiots. After that, we made sure we didn't put ourselves or him in that position again. I know all this sounds negative but it's really not. We are crazy about him; we just know that there are places you don't go with a Peke. And we're pretty brave people. I bathe both cats and I am never wary of them or of the Chin. I just think a Peke is more independent and their nature is more self-serving. But we love the breed and will probably always have one. You just have to know the limitations.
firstname.lastname@example.org of South Africa writes:
Best pet dog for the house.
I have had Pekingese dogs for a few years now and as a pet dog in the house, I have still to find better. They give more love than any other breed. They are also receiving all the love that can be given.
email@example.com of Grand Junction, CO writes:
Very loyal, smart and loving.
We were owned by a beautiful Pekingese male for many years. He was always very in-tune to my feelings and was very stouthearted, even chasing off a Doberman at one point. He was a very active, happy dog, who was content to be rough-and-tumble, or to cuddle. He was not at all prissy, but a king of beasts, who accepted everyone, no matter if they were canine, feline, or human. Unless, of course, they threatened his family. The only fault he could be said to have was that he loved adventure too much, as he was hit by a car one day when he took himself for a walk without our knowing.
firstname.lastname@example.org of Illinois writes on 3/21/01:
Great lap dog.
My husband and I own a four -year old Peckingese. She is the second that we have owned. I also grew up with this breed my mother owned several. While a pekingese isn't exactly great with children, they will bond with children who are taught to treat them with respect.They are for the most part a one person dog. They tend to pick out one person as theirs and merely tolarate the other people in the household. They are fearless and would gladly give their life for their master. I could'nt ask for a better house dog. She never does anything wrong in the house. If she does, a firm word is all it takes and she will follow me for hours begging forgivness.A perfect companion for an older person.
email@example.com of the Orland Park, IL writes on 2/18/00:
Very pretty dog, and he knows it!
Growing up, my mother always had Pekingnese. At one point we had five! They are an independant breed, really pretty self sufficient. My dog likes to be fed, watered, walked, and paid attention to from time to time. Other than that he likes to lie around and look good. They are nice and small and do not take over the house, however they do like to have their own space. We have a bed for ours, it is actually meant for a cat. It looks like an alligator, and he sleeps in the mouth. This is HIS, and he does not let others move in on his space. I like these dogs because they are nice lap dogs, and I like the nice silky long coats. They do shed, but not as bad as one may think. I have three kids, and training the kids not to be too rough on him was harder than training him.
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