Table of Contents

The Pekingese is a small, regal breed with a rich history originating from ancient China. Characterized by their lion-like mane and distinctive flat face, they stand about 6-9 inches tall and weigh up to 14 pounds. Their luxurious double coat, coming in various colors, demands regular grooming. Despite their small stature, Pekingese possess a confident and sometimes independent demeanor, often forming a deep bond with one family member.

Ideal for apartment living, this breed requires minimal exercise but enjoys short walks and playtime. They are known for being affectionate with their family while maintaining a reserved attitude towards strangers. Prospective owners should be aware of health issues related to their brachycephalic nature, such as respiratory challenges, and prioritize regular veterinary check-ups. The Pekingese, with its unique combination of dignity and loyalty, makes a charming and devoted companion for those who appreciate its noble heritage and can meet its grooming and health care needs.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:

12 to 14 years



Maintenance Level:


Shed Level


Best For

The Pekingese is best suited for individuals or families looking for a low-energy, affectionate companion who thrives in a calm and stable environment. They are particularly well-suited for apartment living due to their small size and moderate exercise needs. Ideal owners should appreciate and be able to accommodate the breed’s high grooming requirements and be attentive to their specific health needs.

Pekingese Traits

Breed Characteristics

The Pekingese is a small, confident breed with a distinctive lion-like appearance, featuring a luxurious double coat and a flat face. They are known for their loyal and affectionate nature, coupled with an independent streak, and require regular grooming and specific health care due to their brachycephalic features.


Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Appearance

The Pekingese boasts a distinctive, regal appearance with a lion-like mane, featuring a long, flowing double coat that comes in various colors. They have a compact, stocky body, a characteristic flat face with large, expressive eyes, and a small, upturned nose, contributing to their unique and charming look.

1. Ears

The Pekingese has small, heart-shaped ears that lie flat against their head, blending seamlessly into their luxurious mane.

2. Eyes
Their eyes are large, round, and dark, giving them an expressive and soulful appearance. The eyes are a notable feature, often described as having a “melting” quality.
3. Nose
They have a short, flat nose, typical of brachycephalic breeds, which sits high on their face.
4. Height
The Pekingese typically stands about 6-9 inches tall at the shoulder.
5. Coat Length
They have a long, flowing double coat, with a thick, soft undercoat and a longer, straight outer coat.
6. Coat Color

The coat can come in various colors and patterns, including gold, red, sable, white, black, and combinations thereof.

7. Tail

Their tail is high-set and arches over the back, often with a profuse amount of fur, adding to their distinctive silhouette.

8. Weight
A Pekingese usually weighs up to 14 pounds, maintaining a compact and sturdy physique.

Pekingese Temperament

The Pekingese is a breed with a distinct temperament that reflects its regal and noble heritage. Here are key aspects of their personality:

  1. Loyal and Affectionate: Pekingese are known for their loyalty and affection towards their family members. They often form a particularly strong bond with one person in the household.

  2. Independent and Confident: Despite their small size, they have a confident and somewhat independent nature. This can sometimes be mistaken for aloofness, especially with strangers.

  3. Alert and Watchful: They are naturally alert dogs and can be good little watchdogs, often barking to alert their owners of anything unusual.

  4. Reserved with Strangers: Pekingese may be reserved or cautious around new people. Early socialization is important to help them become more comfortable in various social situations.

  5. Not Highly Energetic: They are not overly active dogs and are quite content with short walks and indoor play. Their exercise needs are moderate, making them well-suited for apartment living.

  6. Can Be Stubborn: Training a Pekingese can sometimes be a challenge due to their independent streak. They respond best to positive reinforcement techniques and require patience and consistency.

  7. Good with Older Children: While they can be good family pets, their small size and preference for a calm environment make them better suited for families with older children who understand how to interact gently with them.

  8. Not Highly Social with Other Dogs: They can coexist with other pets, especially if raised together, but might not be as playful or social with other dogs compared to some other breeds.

In summary, the Pekingese is a dignified, loyal companion with a touch of independence and self-importance. They thrive in a loving environment where they can be close to their owners, yet have their own space. Understanding and respecting their unique temperament is key to forming a strong, lasting bond with this breed.

How to Care for a Pekingese

Caring for a Pekingese involves regular grooming to maintain their long coat, including daily brushing to prevent matting and tangling. They require moderate exercise, like short daily walks and playtime, suited to their low energy levels. It’s also crucial to monitor their health, particularly their respiratory system due to their brachycephalic nature, and ensure regular veterinary check-ups to maintain their overall well-being.

Grooming a Pekingese is an important aspect of their care, given their long, luxurious coat. Here are the key steps:

  1. Daily Brushing: Their long double coat requires daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles. Use a high-quality brush and comb, paying special attention to areas prone to matting like behind the ears, under the arms, and on the chest.

  2. Bathing: Bathe your Pekingese every 3 to 6 weeks, or as needed. Use a gentle dog shampoo to keep their coat clean and healthy. Ensure you rinse thoroughly to prevent any soap residue, which can cause skin irritation.

  3. Eye and Face Care: Clean the area around their eyes daily to prevent staining and remove any discharge, as they are prone to tear staining. Wipe their face and nose fold with a damp cloth to keep it clean and dry.

  4. Ear Care: Check their ears regularly for signs of infection or wax buildup and clean them as recommended by your vet. Pekingese’s ears can be prone to infections due to their heavy coat.

  5. Nail Trimming: Regularly trim their nails to prevent overgrowth and splitting. This may need to be done every few weeks.

  6. Paw Care: Check and clean their paws regularly, especially after walks. Trim the hair between their paw pads to prevent matting and accumulation of debris.

  7. Dental Hygiene: Brush their teeth several times a week to maintain good oral health and prevent dental issues.

  8. Professional Grooming: Consider occasional visits to a professional groomer for a thorough grooming session, which can include trimming the coat for manageability, especially in warmer climates.

Regular grooming not only keeps your Pekingese looking their best but also provides an opportunity to check for any skin issues or parasites. It’s also a great way to bond with your pet.

Training a Pekingese, known for their independent and somewhat stubborn nature, requires patience, consistency, and understanding of their unique temperament. Here are some tips for effectively training a Pekingese:

  1. Start Early: Begin training and socialization as early as possible. Puppies are more adaptable and open to learning new things.

  2. Positive Reinforcement: Use treats, praise, and affection to reward good behavior. Pekingese respond well to positive reinforcement and are more likely to repeat behaviors that are rewarded.

  3. Short and Engaging Sessions: Keep training sessions short and engaging to hold their attention. Pekingese can become bored with repetitive or lengthy training sessions.

  4. Consistency is Key: Be consistent with commands and rules. Inconsistent training can confuse your dog and make it harder for them to learn.

  5. Socialization: Expose your Pekingese to different people, animals, environments, and experiences to help them become well-adjusted adults. This is particularly important for this breed to prevent them from becoming overly timid or aggressive.

  6. Patience with Potty Training: Pekingese can be challenging to housebreak. Be patient and consistent with potty training, and use crate training as a helpful tool.

  7. Address Barking: Teach them commands like “quiet” to curb excessive barking. Pekingese can be vocal, and it’s important to manage this behavior early on.

  8. Avoid Negative Reinforcement: Avoid scolding or punishment, as it can lead to fear and stubbornness. Focus on encouraging desired behaviors instead.

  9. Leash Training: Train your Pekingese to walk on a leash without pulling. Given their small size, they are sensitive to rough handling.

  10. Obedience Training: Basic obedience training, including commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘come’, and ‘down’, is beneficial for their safety and your peace of mind.

Remember, every Pekingese is an individual, and what works for one may not work for another. Be adaptable in your approach and celebrate small victories in training. If you encounter persistent challenges, consider enlisting the help of a professional dog trainer.

Proper diet and nutrition are crucial for the health and well-being of a Pekingese. Here are some guidelines to ensure a balanced diet:

  1. High-Quality Dog Food: Feed your Pekingese high-quality commercial dog food that is appropriate for their age (puppy, adult, senior), size, and activity level. Look for brands that use wholesome ingredients and have a good balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

  2. Portion Control: Monitor their food intake to prevent obesity, a common issue in small breeds like the Pekingese. Follow the feeding guidelines on the dog food package, and adjust as necessary based on your dog’s activity level and weight.

  3. Regular Meal Times: Establish a regular feeding schedule. Feeding them twice a day is a common practice. Avoid free-feeding (leaving food out all day), as it can lead to overeating.

  4. Limit Treats: Treats should be given sparingly and should not make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake. Choose healthy treat options.

  5. Fresh Water: Ensure that your Pekingese has access to fresh, clean water at all times.

  6. Special Dietary Needs: Be aware of any special dietary needs or food sensitivities your Pekingese may have. Some may require specific types of food, such as grain-free or limited-ingredient diets.

  7. Avoid Human Food: Many human foods are unhealthy for dogs and can lead to obesity and other health issues. Avoid feeding table scraps.

  8. Regular Weight Checks: Keep an eye on your dog’s weight and body condition. Adjust their diet and exercise if you notice weight gain.

  9. Consult Your Vet: It’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian about your Pekingese’s specific dietary needs, especially if you have any concerns or if your dog has special health needs.

A well-balanced diet is key to maintaining the health, energy levels, and longevity of your Pekingese. Paying attention to their nutritional needs and eating habits will help ensure they stay healthy and happy.

Caring for a Pekingese’s exercise needs involves understanding their physical capabilities and preferences. Here are some guidelines:

  1. Moderate Exercise: Pekingese require moderate exercise due to their small size and brachycephalic (flat-faced) nature. Overexertion, especially in hot or humid weather, can lead to breathing difficulties.

  2. Daily Short Walks: Short, leisurely walks are ideal for this breed. Two or three short walks per day can help them maintain a healthy weight and provide mental stimulation.

  3. Indoor Play: Pekingese often enjoy playing indoors. Interactive play sessions with toys can keep them active and entertained while avoiding the strain of excessive outdoor exercise.

  4. Avoid Extreme Weather: Due to their thick coat and flat face, Pekingese can overheat easily. Exercise them during cooler parts of the day and avoid intense outdoor activities in hot weather. Similarly, their small size and low body fat make them sensitive to cold, so they should be kept warm during winter walks.

  5. Gentle Activities: Gentle activities like leisurely strolls or light indoor play are preferable. Avoid high-impact activities that could strain their short legs and long back.

  6. Mental Stimulation: Pekingese are intelligent dogs and benefit from mental stimulation. Puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys, and gentle training exercises can keep their minds active.

  7. Socialization: While exercise is important, social interaction is also beneficial for their mental health. Playdates with other small, friendly dogs can be a good way to provide both physical and social stimulation.

  8. Monitor for Overexertion: Watch for signs of fatigue or breathing difficulties. If your Pekingese is panting heavily, struggling to breathe, or wants to stop, it’s time to end the exercise session.

Remember, every Pekingese is different, and their exercise needs can vary based on age, health, and energy level. Adjust their exercise routine accordingly and always consult with your vet if you have concerns about their physical activities.

Creating an ideal environment for a Pekingese involves catering to their specific needs and characteristics. Here’s how to ensure a comfortable and safe living space for them:

  1. Comfortable Indoors: Pekingese are indoor dogs and thrive in a comfortable home environment. They prefer cooler temperatures due to their thick coats and brachycephalic nature, so ensure your home is well-ventilated and not too warm.

  2. Soft Bedding: Provide soft, comfortable bedding in a quiet area where they can retreat and relax. They enjoy having their own space where they feel secure.

  3. Avoid Stairs: Due to their short legs and long backs, Pekingese can have difficulty with stairs and are at risk for back injuries. Minimize their need to climb stairs and consider using pet ramps if necessary.

  4. Safe Outdoor Space: If you have a yard, ensure it’s securely fenced so they can explore safely. However, always supervise outdoor time to prevent overheating and ensure they don’t overexert themselves.

  5. Moderate Temperature: Keep your home at a moderate temperature. Use air conditioning in hot weather and provide warm bedding or sweaters in cold weather.

  6. Accessible Essentials: Place food, water, and their bed in easily accessible locations where they don’t have to strain or jump to reach them.

  7. Grooming Station: Set up a comfortable area for regular grooming. This should be a calm space where you can brush their coat, clean their face and eyes, and attend to their nails.

  8. Stimulating Environment: Provide toys and puzzles to keep them mentally stimulated. Pekingese enjoy interactive toys that challenge them and provide entertainment.

  9. Quiet and Calm Atmosphere: They generally prefer a peaceful environment and can be sensitive to loud noises or chaotic situations.

  10. Regular Vet Access: Ensure easy access to veterinary care. Regular check-ups are important to monitor their health, especially for breed-specific issues.

By providing a living environment that caters to their physical and emotional needs, you can help your Pekingese lead a happy, comfortable, and healthy life. Remember, they were once royal companions and still enjoy a bit of pampering and luxury!

Pekingese Health

Pekingese, like all breeds, have specific health concerns that owners should be aware of. Regular veterinary care and awareness of these common health issues can help ensure a long, healthy life for your Pekingese:

  1. Brachycephalic Syndrome: Due to their flat faces, Pekingese are prone to breathing difficulties, snoring, and overheating. It’s important to keep them in a cool environment and avoid strenuous exercise.

  2. Eye Problems: Their large, prominent eyes are susceptible to injuries and disorders like ulcers, dry eye, and progressive retinal atrophy. Regular eye checks are important.

  3. Skin Issues: The folds around their face can harbor bacteria and yeast, leading to skin infections. Regular cleaning of these areas is necessary.

  4. Dental Problems: Their small mouths can lead to crowded teeth and increased risk of periodontal disease. Regular dental care, including brushing and professional cleanings, is important.

  5. Orthopedic Issues: Their short legs and long back can make them prone to intervertebral disc disease and other spinal problems. Avoid activities that put stress on their back and monitor for signs of pain or discomfort.

  6. Heart Conditions: Pekingese can be prone to certain heart diseases, such as mitral valve disease. Regular check-ups can help detect heart problems early.

  7. Obesity: They can easily become overweight, which exacerbates respiratory and joint problems. Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise is crucial.

  8. Heat Sensitivity: Due to their thick coat and brachycephalic nature, they are particularly sensitive to heat. It’s important to keep them cool in hot weather to prevent heatstroke.

Regular veterinary visits, a healthy diet, and an appropriate exercise regimen are key to managing these health concerns. Additionally, purchasing a Pekingese from a reputable breeder who screens for genetic health conditions can also help ensure the long-term health of your dog.

Pekingese Breed Comparison and Consideration

When comparing the Pekingese to other breeds and considering if they are the right fit for you, it’s important to look at various aspects such as size, temperament, grooming needs, and overall care requirements. Here’s a comparison with some popular breeds:

Compared to Shih Tzus:

    • Size: Both are small breeds, but Pekingese tend to be stockier.
    • Temperament: Shih Tzus are generally more outgoing and friendly with strangers, whereas Pekingese can be more aloof and independent.
    • Grooming: Both require regular grooming, but the Pekingese’s thick double coat might demand more frequent attention.
    • Exercise: Shih Tzus may have slightly higher energy levels compared to the more laid-back Pekingese.

Compared to Pugs:

    • Size: Similar in size, but Pekingese have longer coats.
    • Temperament: Pugs are typically more sociable and less independent than Pekingese.
    • Health: Both breeds are brachycephalic and can face similar health issues related to breathing and overheating.
    • Exercise: Pugs and Pekingese have similar low to moderate exercise needs.

Compared to Chihuahuas:

    • Size: Chihuahuas are generally smaller and more delicate.
    • Temperament: Chihuahuas can be more energetic and bold, while Pekingese are more laid-back and dignified.
    • Grooming: Pekingese require more grooming due to their longer coat.
    • Health: Chihuahuas don’t share the brachycephalic issues of Pekingese but have their own set of common health concerns.

General Considerations:

    • Space: Pekingese are well-suited for apartment living due to their size and exercise needs.
    • Family Compatibility: They are better with families with older children or adults who understand how to handle them gently.
    • First-Time Owners: Pekingese can be a good choice for first-time dog owners, but their grooming needs and independent temperament require commitment.
    • Health Care: Prospective owners should be prepared for the health care and costs associated with brachycephalic breeds.

In summary, the Pekingese is a great companion for those who appreciate their unique blend of independence, dignity, and affection. They are best suited for a more relaxed lifestyle and an environment where their grooming and health needs can be adequately met. Comparing these aspects with your personal lifestyle and preferences will help determine if a Pekingese is the right breed for you.


While their coat provides some protection against cold, they should not be left outside in very cold weather due to their small size and susceptibility to respiratory issues.

Pekingese can coexist with other pets, especially if raised together, but they may display a dominant attitude towards other dogs.

They are better suited to families with older children who understand how to interact gently with small, somewhat delicate dogs.

They require moderate exercise, typically satisfied with short walks and indoor play. Overexertion should be avoided, especially in hot weather.

They can be vocal, especially when alerting their family to strangers or unusual situations, but this varies by individual.

Training can be challenging due to their independent nature. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key.

Professional grooming every 3-6 months can help maintain their coat, in addition to regular at-home brushing.

They can be good travel companions if their needs, such as avoiding heat and managing anxiety in new environments, are met.

Yes, their small size and moderate exercise needs make them well-suited for apartment living.

They can develop separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. Providing toys and a comfortable environment can help.

Top Takeaways

When considering a Pekingese as a pet, here are the top takeaways to keep in mind:

  1. Grooming Needs: Pekingese have a luxurious double coat that requires regular grooming, including daily brushing and occasional professional grooming, to prevent matting and maintain coat health.

  2. Health Considerations: As a brachycephalic breed, they are prone to respiratory issues and can struggle with overheating. Regular veterinary check-ups are important to monitor and address any health concerns.

  3. Exercise Requirements: They need moderate exercise, satisfied with short daily walks and indoor play. It’s important to avoid overexertion, especially in hot weather.

  4. Temperament: Pekingese are known for their dignified and independent nature. They can be affectionate with their family but may be reserved around strangers.

  5. Suitability for Families: They are better suited to homes with older children or adults who understand how to handle them gently.

  6. Living Environment: Their small size and moderate exercise needs make them well-suited for apartment living, provided their daily needs for physical activity and mental stimulation are met.

  7. Training Challenges: Training a Pekingese can be challenging due to their independent streak. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key.

  8. Companionship Needs: They form strong bonds with their owners and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long.

  9. Adaptability: Pekingese can adapt to various living situations but do best in a calm and stable environment.

  10. Long-Term Commitment: Owning a Pekingese is a long-term commitment, with the breed having a lifespan of 12-15 years. Prospective owners should be prepared for the responsibilities of caring for them throughout their life.

Understanding these key aspects will help ensure that you can provide a loving, suitable home for a Pekingese and enjoy the rewarding companionship this breed offers.

Top Pekingese Names

Choosing a name for your Pekingese can be a delightful process, especially when considering their regal history and distinctive personality. Here are some unique names, inspired by various themes, suitable for both female and male Pekingese:

Female Names











Male Names











Scroll to Top