The Pekingese is a member of the Toy Group that has the look of a pampered lapdog, but the attitude of a fearless watchdog. Their bold character will not look for trouble but if a fight comes their way these dogs will not back down. With family and other pets in the house the Pekingese is a friendly dog, but tends to be reserved around strangers. Most have an independent personality and can be quite stubborn when it comes to training.
A Brief History of The Pekingese
The Pekingese dog breed dates back to the Ancient times and the area of origin is China. There was a time when the Buddhism (the Lamaist form) held the lion as the symbol of Buddha. Fu dogs were in existence which resembled miniature lions and were held to great respects. They were bred carefully to maintain this appearance. In time, they were actually referred to as “Lion Dogs”.
Further breeding continued under strict guidelines and the Lion Dogs became even more revered as symbols of respect during the height of the T’ang dynasty. Most of these dogs were treated as royalty. They even had personal servants to pamper them 24 hours a day. Small-sized Pekingese dogs were referred to as “sleeve dogs” because their Chinese masters could literally carry them around while tucked into the masters’ sleeves.
When the British looted the imperial summer palace in 1860, several of the dogs were taken away and brought back to England. Queen Victoria received one of the dogs and was immediately impressed by the appearance of the Pekingese. This of course created a buzz about the dog and more enthusiasts of the breed helped build its popularity.
Despite this good word, the breed still rose slowly in numbers due largely in part of being owned almost exclusively by the wealthy. In time, however, more and more people were exposed to the Pekingese and today it remains as a loving family companion and can regularly be seen in the show ring.
Upkeep Requirements For The Pekingese
This breed does not have high energy levels so exercise requirements can be met with a few short walks on the leash or a romp around the house each day. They love to run outside but like all members of the Toy Group, they should live indoors. The Pekingese also makes an ideal apartment dog.
They do not handle heat well but can tolerate moderately cool temperatures. In fact, it is common to hear about Pekingese dogs becoming sick and dying from overexposure to heat. Grooming requirements call for at least two weekly brushings. With its long hair the coat mats easily.
The average lifespan of the breed is between thirteen and fifteen years. There are no major health concerns. Minor health issues that run common in the Pekingese are trichiasis, KCS, elongated soft palate, skin fold dermatitis, patellar luxation, and stenotic nares. Veterinarians suggest getting the breed specifically tested for knee and eye problems.
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