(Original Article: Pekingese Dog Breed Profile)
|15y.o. Pekingese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Pekingese is a toy breed with a chunky, sturdy build. This dog is only 6 to 9 inches at the shoulder and will weigh between 8 and 10 pounds. The long, flowing coat is instantly recognizable as is the pug face and long ears. The coat is found in a variety of colors, with red, gold, and sable being the best known. The coat can also be black, sable, or cream among other colors. The Pekingese has a life span of 10 to 15 years. This dog is also called the Peke or Peking Palasthund.
The Pekingese was considered by the Chinese Imperial Court to be a sacred dog. It was thought to be a manifestation of the mythical Foo Dog, which could drive away evil spirits. Ordinary people had to bow to the Pekingese and to steal one meant death. As this dog was thought to keep evil spirits at bay, an emperor's Pekingese was killed when the emperor died so that it could guard him in the afterlife. The breed was almost rendered extinct when the British overran the Chinese Imperial Palace in 1860. The order was given to kill all the Pekingese so that they could not be taken by 'foreign devils'. Fortunately for the breed and mankind, five of the dogs survived and were brought to England. All Pekingese today are descended from these five dogs.
The Pekingese is first and foremost, a companion dog. This dog tends to bond closely to one person and will expect plenty of attention from them. The Pekingese is quite happy to lie in its owner's lap for hours on end. This dog will be jealous if its owner's attention is not focused on it. It tends to be somewhat distant with strangers and is best with older children. The Pekingese may be small, but it has a strong personality.
As all Pekingese are descended from only 5 individuals, they do suffer from a multitude of health problems. Congestive heart failure is the most serious that this breed can experience. If this condition is caught early, when first detected as a murmur, it can often be treated medically. The Pekingese can catch a cold easily, and should not be kept outside for long periods. Because this dog has such a flat face, it experiences breathing problems such as snoring, snorting, and wheezing.
The luxuriant double coat of the Pekingese needs to be brushed every day. If this is not done, the coat will become matted and tangled. As the Pekingese has facial wrinkles, these should be cleaned and dried as needed. The rather prominent eyes of the Pekingese should be attended to when the wrinkles are cleaned and kept free of debris.
Needless to say, this is strictly an indoor dog. The Pekingese is not suited in any way to living outdoors. This dog will be perfect for an apartment, as its exercise needs are small. Most importantly, the Pekingese needs to be close to its chosen person as much as possible. The Pekingese should not be walked or exercised in hot weather because it short face makes it susceptible to heat stroke.