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Pekingese: The Ultimate Guide

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When you are considering bringing any new dog into your home, it is really important to do some research into the breed to make sure that they would be the right fit for you and your lifestyle. The Pekingese is an excellent breed of dog, but they come with their own challenges. 

Knowing everything there is to know about the breed will help you be as prepared as possible for the future. It will also help you to make sure that you are making the right decision based on your lifestyle, family life, and living situation.


Not every dog will be the right match for everyone, which is something that all future dog owners should be aware of.

In this article, we will provide you with a complete guide on the Pekingese breed, full of all the information you need to know about them. You will be able to consider both the pros and the cons to decide if they are the perfect furry companion for you.

Pekingese Key Facts

Before we get started, it can be helpful to be aware of some important information about this breed of dog, including their lifespan, exercise requirements, monthly costs, and more. We will explain more about this below.

Average Lifespan

On average, the Pekingese dog is known to live between 12 and 15 years of age.

Minimum Exercise (Per Day)

Pekingese dogs have moderate energy levels and will need around 30 minutes of exercise per day. However, due to the fact that they have flat noses, it is really important to not overdo their exercise, as they may struggle to breathe. A few shorter walks with some time off of the lead should be plenty. 

Coat Length

Pekingese dogs have a long, straight outer coat and a soft and thick undercoat. This often means they are very high maintenance when it comes to grooming, which is definitely something to consider. 

Minimum Cost (Per Month)

If you are considering getting a Pekingese dog, you will need to factor in the cost of owning this dog breed into your monthly budget. It will cost a minimum of $40 a month to care for this dog, which should cover their food, insurance, treats, and more. This is a relatively low cost in comparison to some other dogs. You will need to ensure that you can afford at least $40 a month before you get this dog, but you should also keep in mind that it can cost more. 


Pekingese dogs have long bodies, and they are low dogs with limbs that are almost bowed. They are most often recognized by their shortened muzzles, prominent large eyes, and ‘v’ shaped nose wrinkle between the muzzle and the eyes. Their ears will hang long off their round heads, and the tail is carried over the back.


Pekingese dogs are small in size, and they are also actually quite heavy for their size. Even though they are small, they still have stocky and muscular bodies.

Average Height

Pekingese dogs will usually stand tall, between 6 and 9 inches.

Average Weight

These dogs will typically weigh between 9 and 14 pounds.


Even though these dogs look cute and timid, they are a stand-up character that is tougher and braver than their appearance would suggest. They have regal dignity, self-importance, confidence, and a stubborn streak, all of which come together to form a lively, affectionate, and good-natured dog. Pekingese dogs will respect you if you respect them and are both loyal to and protective of their families.

These dogs will bark in warning if confronted with someone they don’t know, and you will be able to train them with a firm and kind consistency.

You can use positive reinforcements like food rewards and praise to get them to do anything you want them to do. If you can persuade the dog that doing something was their idea and not yours, then you will always succeed. 

The temperament of Pekingese dogs can be affected by lots of different things, including their heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments will be curious and playful, willing to approach new people and be held by them.

When you are choosing the puppy, if you are looking for one with a good temperament, you shouldn’t pick the one that is hiding or the one that is the center of attention. Instead, choose the one that is somewhere in between.

It is also really important to meet at least one of the parents, as this will help to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you will be comfortable with. You might also want to meet siblings or other parents’ relatives to help evaluate what the puppies will be like when they grow up.

Apartment Living

Pekingese dogs will be happy whether they live in an apartment or a mansion. They can adapt well to apartment living as they are small dogs that do not need a lot of space.

Good for Novice Owners

Pekingese dogs can live with just about anybody as long as they are as friendly and loving as they are. These dogs will get along well with novice owners, so it doesn’t matter how much dog experience you already have. As long as you do your research, you will both get along just fine.

Sensivity level

Pekingese dogs can be quite sensitive at times, and they do not like to be messed around or scolded. 

Tolerates Being Alone

Unfortunately just like with many other small dogs, the Pekingese dog breed is not one for enjoying their own company. They are not big fans of being left alone for long periods of time as they are known for developing separation anxiety.

It is not ideal to leave these dogs alone for more than 4 hours at a time, as they can resort to destructive behavior to work out their anxiety. If you are not going to be home for much of the day, then this might not be the right breed of dog for you.

Tolerates Cold Weather

Pekingese dogs thrive in the cold winter weather, and they can tolerate cold weather well. They have a heavy coat that will protect them from the harshness of the cold and help to keep them warm.

Tolerates Hot Weather

On the other hand, Pekingese dogs do not tolerate hot weather very well at all. One of the main reasons for this is that their flat noses can cause breathing difficulties when the weather is hot, which is why it is important to try to keep them cool.

They are also unable to cool themselves down as well as some other dogs, so it is best to not let them stay outside in the sun for too long.

Affectionate With Family

Pekingese dogs are well-known for showing affection to their families in many different ways. You can expect these dogs to sit on your lap, follow you around the house, bop you with their head, and lick you when they are trying to show you their affection. 


Whilst these dogs are very friendly and loving to all members of the family, including children, they are still quite fragile and delicate. This means that children that maybe play a little too rough at times could accidentally injure a Pekingese quite easily. This is why they are best suited to families with older children or adult-only households.

Dog Friendly

Pekingese dogs will typically get on with other dogs and pets, but this will depend on whether or not they have been properly socialized. It is really important for them to be socialized with other dogs from a young age so that they can get used to their presence. 

Friendly Toward Strangers

Pekingese dogs can be a bit nervous around strangers at times, and it might take them some time to get used to the presence of new people.

Health And Grooming


Now that you know all about the temperament, personality, and appearance of the Pekingese dog, it is important to learn more about what they need from you regarding their health and training. There are some health conditions that you may need to keep an eye out for, and these dogs can be quite high maintenance when it comes to grooming.


Pekingese dogs have a long, straight outer coat with a soft, thick undercoat that will shed moderate to heavy amounts all year round. They are a fairly high maintenance breed when it comes to grooming, so if you want to keep the shedding to a minimum, you are going to need to spend quite a bit of time brushing their coat.


Pekingese dogs do drool moderately, but they should not drool excessively. 


You will be able to brush your Pekingeses coat on a weekly basis with a small bristly brush, curry brush, or shedding comb. Before you brush them, it is recommended to mist the coat lightly with water in order to prevent the hair from breaking.

You should brush all the way down to the skin. If you simply go over the top of the coat, you will not be able to get out the dead hair that forms mats and tangles, which is something that is really important. 

You should then continue to mist the hair as you brush each area of the body. You can use a metal comb on the feathering and fringing on the legs, ears, and tail. These areas will tangle easily, which is why they need to be combed daily.

You will also need to clean the face and around the eyes daily with a damp cotton ball to prevent any problems with the skin folds that are in the area. You should try to keep skin folds clean and dry in order to prevent infections. Any time your dog gets wet, you must thoroughly dry the skin folds until no dampness remains.

You should also bathe your Pekingese once or twice a month, as needed.  You can use a shampoo that is specifically designed for dogs so you don’t dry out their coat.

You can also shake on a dry dog shampoo and then brush it out. Another thing that you will need to do is trim the hair on their feet to prevent mats from developing and foreign objects from becoming tangled there. 

You should trim their nails on a regular basis, around every two or three weeks. If you can hear their nails clicking on the floor, they are too long. You should also be brushing their teeth as often as possible.

Weekly will suffice, but daily brushing is recommended. This can help prevent dental disease later in life, a common problem in small dogs.

General Health

Generally, Pekingese dogs are quite healthy. However, just like all dog breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions. While they are not guaranteed to develop any of these conditions, it is important to be aware of them if you are considering getting this breed.

Common Health Problems

Some of the most common health problems for Pekingese dogs are:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome
  • Cataracts
  • Cleft Palate

Potential For Weight Gain

These dogs may or may not gain weight but are not necessarily prone to gaining weight. However, it is possible if they are overfed, given lots of leftovers, or given too many treats. It is important to ensure that you are providing your dog with a healthy and balanced diet with the correct portion sizes.


Just like any other dog, a Pekingese will require early socialization, which is when you expose them to as many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences as possible when they are young. Socialization will help ensure that your Pekingese puppy grows into a well-rounded dog. 

Otherwise, they may develop unwanted behaviors, like barking at new people in your home or showing signs of aggression when unfamiliar with certain situations, people, or animals. It can even be helpful to enroll them into a puppy class, invite visitors into your home more regularly, and take them to busy dog parks. All of these things will help them to work on their social skills.

Easy To Train

Due to the fact that these dogs are quite clever, they are often quite easy to train. However, this might not be the case for every Pekingese dog, as some will need more time training than others will.


These dogs are moderately intelligent, which can be helpful when it comes to training. They usually won’t struggle to learn new behaviors or tricks, and they tend to pick up new things quickly.

Potential to Bite

Pekingese are dogs that like to form boundaries. Even though they are typically loving and friendly dogs, they do have the potential to bite if they feel threatened or that someone is getting too close to their personal space.

Tendency To Bark Or Howl

These dogs will usually only bark if they see something that they are unfamiliar with or if they feel like they need to protect their families or their home.


The Pekingese is an ancient breed, and DNA evidence has confirmed that they are one of the oldest dog breeds. It is thought that they have existed in China for as long as 2000 years. They were even named after the then capital city of Peking. They were companions to nobles, princes, and members of the imperial family, and commoners bowed to them.

These dogs were closely guarded and never allowed to leave the palace, let alone the country. However, they were noticed by the Western world after the Opium War in 1860. British troops entered the imperial palace after invading Peking, and this breed was discovered. The dogs that were found became prizes of war and were taken to England and were presented to the Duchess of Wellington, Duke and Duchess of Richmond and Gordon, and Queen Victoria.

They became popular across the Atlantic to the United States, and were officially registered by the American Kennel Club in 1906.


You can expect to pay anywhere between $750 and $3000 for a Pekingese puppy.

Pekingese Fun Facts

  • Pekingese are very loyal and affectionate
  • Pekingese are very intelligent and strong-willed
  • They can make good guard dogs
  • They like cold weather and are built to handle it well
  • They have a distinctive walk as they sway from side to side
  • These dogs are actually quite heavy in comparison to their small size

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.