Species C. lupus
The Pekingese is a tiny Chinese domestic dog breed. It has long, coarse hair and is known as the “Lion Dog of China” due to its aggressive and devoted character, despite its tiny size. Pekingese dogs may be one of the oldest domestic dog breeds, with a history dating back over 2,000 years.
Pekingese are little dogs that are known for their cuteness. They have a lengthy mane of straight hair and wide brown eyes. Their fur-covered tails are held high over their backs. Their coat is thick and long, and it is usually brown or ‘fawn’ in colour, although it may be any hue or mix of colours and patterns. In China, solid white Pekingese are very prized. Their coats are coarse, and show dogs’ coats are usually straight and considerably longer than the average domestic dog’s. They have a soft undercoat below the topcoat.
They are comparable in size to popular small breeds like Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas. They are, nevertheless, rather large for their stature, measuring just 6-9 in (15-23 cm) tall and weighing 7-14 lbs (3.5-6.5 kg). Because they were so little, they could ride about in the sleeves of the costly robes used by members of the Imperial Court of China. All very small animals were traditionally referred to as “sleeve dogs” in China.
The Pekingese are a Chinese ethnic group that have lived in China for at least 2 000 years and are called after the capital city of Peking (now Beijing). They are, in fact, one of the oldest dog breeds still in existence. They were maintained by noblemen in China for centuries and, finally, by Queen Victoria in England. Their popularity eventually expanded over the Atlantic, and the American Kennel Club recognised a Pekingese called Rascal in 1906. The AKC now lists them as the 49th most popular breed.
The Pekingese As a Pet
Because Pekingese are petite dogs, they are ideal for flat life. They are noted for their versatility and desire to work with people from all walks of life. They are, nevertheless, well-known for their propensity to bark. They are also apprehensive of strangers, which makes them an excellent guard dog for warning their owners, albeit their diminutive height does not lend itself well to actually guarding them from greater dangers. They are, nevertheless, very loyal and will go to great lengths if required.
Pekingese are bright, but they also have a strong sense of independence. As a result, it will take a large amount of time and effort to effectively teach them. They are self-assured, if not arrogant, and do not react well to heavy punishment. Their long, thick coats also need a lot of grooming and attention. As a result, getting the most out of these popular pets requires a patient and knowledgeable owner.
They are not suitable for homes with little children or other animals because of their fear of others. However, like with other dogs, it is critical that they get lots of socialisation early in life in order to effectively control their undesirable tendencies. On average, females give birth to small litters of 2-4 pups on average, and most individuals live for 12–15 years.
Much Confidence in a Small Package
Despite their diminutive size, Pekingese are known for their self-assurance. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the breed has long been regarded with respect in Chinese high society, especially at the Imperial Court of China.
Members of the breed behave quite self-important, as if still conscious of this, and will frequently be the first living creature in the room to welcome a newcomer, as if demanding a little attention and adoration. They were so revered in Chinese high society that when leaders of major Chinese armies approached the Imperial Court of China to talk with noblemen, they bowed to them.
A Monkey and a Marmoset
It’s no surprise that their genesis story is the stuff of legends, given their lengthy affiliation with the Chinese aristocracy. According to legend, a lion and a marmoset (a monkey-like creature) fell in love. The lion, however, was so much bigger than the marmoset that he prayed to Buddha to shrink him so that he might be with his marmoset lover while keeping his enormous lionheart. The progeny of these unusual lovers are claimed to have been “Fu Lin,” China’s lion dogs, or “Pekingese,” as they are known in the west.
Although physiologically incorrect, this mythology goes a long way toward explaining their tenacious attitude despite their small size. Given that it is one of the world’s oldest dog breeds, it is impossible to learn more about the breed’s history in any other way. As a result, it’s easy to see why a legend has taken the place of a more realistic origin tale.
From Peking to Buckingham
Eventually, the species found its way to the West during the Opium War in 1860, despite decades of restriction to China and even to the palaces of noblemen. Five individuals of the species were among the trophies of war returned to England when soldiers entered the imperial palace during the conquest of Peking, including one dubbed “Looty” who was handed to Queen Victoria herself. However, by the 1890s, more and more of these canines were being smuggled out of China, and they were becoming more widespread in England, Europe, and, finally, North America.
Even when resting, the Pekingese can maintain his status as the focus of attention. The ailment known as brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome, or BAOS, affects Pekingese as well as many other breeds developed to have shorter noses and faces. Although adorable, their exaggerated facial characteristics are accompanied by physiological obstacles like a tiny trachea, narrow nostrils, and a soft palate, all of which impact their breathing and contribute to their inclination to snore loudly.