Group: Toy Group

Origin: China

Weight: Up to 14 lbs (6.5 kg)

BIS.CAN.CH. Peke Easy Hot Toddy cgn
Photo courtesy of PekeEasy’s Pekingese

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Breed Profile

Earliest references to the Pekingese date back to the 8th century and it is believed that the breed is a miniature edition of the ancient “Foo Dogs” of China which were used to ward off evil spirits. Ownership of the Pekingese was restricted to members of the Chinese Imperial Court. The breed was first imported into the United States in the early 1900s and, in 1909, the Pekingese Club of America was founded. The breed was first registed in Canada the following year.

The Pekingese is a very dignified dog with an air of self-importance. The Peke, although calm, good-tempered, non-aggressive and fearless, can at times be extremely stubborn. He is naturally aloof with strangers and can be very protective of his home and family. This makes for a good watchdog, however, his protective nature can get to the point of becoming possessive which may require training to ensure that this guarding instinct does not turn into aggression.

The coat is profuse, long, straight and coarse in texture with a mane formed on the neck and shoulders. In movement, he has a distinctive rolling or swaggering motion. The Pekingese is considered a brachycephalic breed (flat-nosed) and, as such, when viewed in profile, the face should be flat with the nose well up between large, round, dark eyes. Because of this, he is also one of the breeds considered to be heat sensitive and great care must be taken in warm weather to ensure that a cool environment is available.


Health Issues

The Pekingese is considered a brachycephalic (flat-nosed) breed and, as previously stated, the breed is heat-sensitive. In addition, because of this flat face, the Peke’s eyes are very susceptible to injury. These breeds are also known to be challenging when it comes to anesthetics, due in part to abnormal airways, soft palates, and narrow tracheas. Prior to any surgical procedure, a discussion should be held with your veterinarian regarding anesthetics.

If you are considering the adoption of a Pekingese puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main General Information page.)

Additional Health Resources:


Grooming Information

The Pekingese sheds some of his undercoat and guard hair on a regular basis. Regular grooming will help minimize shedding and maintain the coat in good condition.

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

  • Toy Breeds — Housebreaking
  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

Breed Listing

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

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