PEKINGESE-(2).jpg
Breed Group Group 12: Companion and Toy Breeds
Sub-group 12-B: Asian Breeds
Origin Country China
Weight Males: 7-14 pounds. Females: 6-14 pounds.
Height Males: 6-12 inches. Females: 6-12 inches.
Other Name(s) Lion Dog, Peek, Peke, Sleeve Dog, Sun Dog
Breed Type Pure
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Pekingese

Breed Group Group 12: Companion and Toy Breeds
Sub-group 12-B: Asian Breeds
Origin Country China
Weight Males: 7-14 pounds. Females: 6-14 pounds.
Height Males: 6-12 inches. Females: 6-12 inches.
Other Name(s) Lion Dog, Peek, Peke, Sleeve Dog, Sun Dog
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

The Pekingese is named after its city of origin, Peking, known today as Beijing. Like his cousins the Shih Tzu and the Pug, the Pekingese (or Peke) breed is descended from royalty and is recognized as one of the oldest companion breeds in existence. These small dogs have been known to exist in China since the eighth century. Surviving for more than thirteen-hundred years, the breed was first referenced in the ancient artwork of the Tang Dynasty. Like the Pug and the Shih Tzu, the Peke was believed to be a type of ancient Chinese “Foo Dog,” possessing the power to expel evil spirits. Therefore, the Peke was regarded as sacred and divine. He served as a companion to Chinese royalty only, since it was illegal for anyone other than those in the emperor’s court to own a Pekingese. In fact, stealing one of the little dogs was a crime punishable by death. While this law kept the Peke strains pure, it almost resulted in the breed disappearing as well.

The breed reached the peak of its popularity in the early to mid-1800s, when it was said that thousands of them were kept at various palaces. Tensions between China and Western European countries became strained during the mid-1800s, leading to what would be known as the Second Opium War. It was during this time that Beijing experienced an age of persistent conflict and warfare. Eventually, devastation broke down the door of the Chinese Imperial Palace in Peking in 1860 during the British invasion. Fearing that these prized dogs meant only for the laps of Chinese royalty would be exposed to the rest of the world, the royal family ordered that all dogs be destroyed. Most of the dogs were eliminated, however, a few remaining Pekingese were found and brought back to England. Though thousands of the little dogs were tragically lost, freedom soon followed for the remaining few, and the Pekingese was able to emerge from the confinement of the palace walls, exposing the breed to the rest of the world.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Broader than deep, rather brachycephalic skull-type, moderate in size, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The head, skull, and face appear wide and rather flat when viewed from the front. The cheeks and temporalis areas are fairly filled, adding to breadth of the face and forehead. In profile, the forehead appears rather tall and is accentuated by the head coat. The head should never appear rounded, apple-headed, or domed. A perceptible muzzle is preferred over a completely flat profile. The head may exhibit some minimal wrinkling, but never in excess or with exaggeration. A clean, minimally wrinkled head is preferred.
Eyes: The eyes are medium to large in size, dark in color, and round or lemon-shaped. The eyes are never bulging or almond in shape. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes and prevent them from appearing to protrude or bulge. Wall-eyes or exposed whites are incorrect. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed.
Ears: Small to medium in size, set high on the edge of the skull, V-shaped, and drop or button. They are level with the plane of the skull, or just below.
Muzzle: The muzzle is short and broad. It should protrude sufficiently from the stop to a distance that it is easily perceptible in profile and from the front. The upper and lower jaws are broad and have good bone substance, appearing strong and well-developed, never appearing snipy or weak. The lower jaw may be equal to, or just slightly longer than, the upper jaw. It is just slightly turned up, giving the Pekingese a slight pout when viewed from the front. In profile, the muzzle may be squared, with upper and lower jaws level, or rounded, with a slightly pronounced lower jaw. However, the lower jaw should never protrude beyond the break of the lips. The teeth and tongue must be completely concealed when the mouth is closed.
Nose: The nose sits slightly further back than the end of the muzzle, but it should never appear completely pushed in. The nose is well-pigmented and black. The nostrils are well-opened. Pinched or narrow nostrils and heavy nose wrinkle extending beyond the nose leather are all unacceptable and should be penalized.
Neck: Rather thick, of a moderate length to allow for proud head carriage, and strongly muscled with an arch. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows, or just below it.
Body: Compact, cobby, solid, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes or feet that are hare-like in appearance. Feet should have tough pads.
Tail: Set high on the croup. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. It may be short to medium in length and straight or gently curved over the back to either side. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked.
Movement: The Pekingese’s movement should be steady, strong, and purposeful. A slight rolling action is forgivable, so long as it doesn’t appear constrained, cumbersome, or inefficient. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The Pekingese is an even-tempered breed that exhibits a regal air about itself. He is known for his calm and seemingly self-important nature. The Pekingese is intelligent and capable of learning many commands and tricks. He is also devoted to his family, a suitable lapdog, and a lively character. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 12: Companion and Toy Breeds

Proportions: Off-square to slightly rectangular in proportions with length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump, being just slightly greater than the height at the withers. The ideal body height to length ratio is between 5:4 and 10:9. The build is compact and cobby, with good substance and medium bone. The body is well-knitted, or well put together, never appearing leggy, rangy, or racy. The Pekingese should never appear overly low-slung or wide. The dog should be able to move freely, effortlessly, and efficiently, with no sign of waddling motion or breathing difficulty.

Head

General Appearance: Broader than deep, rather brachycephalic skull-type, moderate in size, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The head, skull, and face appear wide and rather flat when viewed from the front. The cheeks and temporalis areas are fairly filled, adding to breadth of the face and forehead. In profile, the forehead appears rather tall and is accentuated by the head coat. The head should never appear rounded, apple-headed, or domed. A perceptible muzzle is preferred over a completely flat profile. The head may exhibit some minimal wrinkling, but never in excess or with exaggeration. A clean, minimally wrinkled head is preferred.
Expression: Curious, alert, and intelligent.
Stop: The stop is definite, preferably forming a 90-degree angle between the topskull and muzzle. A wrinkle or roll over the stop is not to be penalized.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is 8:1, with the topskull being longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is convergent.
Muzzle: The muzzle is short and broad. It should protrude sufficiently from the stop to a distance that it is easily perceptible in profile and from the front. The upper and lower jaws are broad and have good bone substance, appearing strong and well-developed, never appearing snipy or weak. The lower jaw may be equal to, or just slightly longer than, the upper jaw. It is just slightly turned up, giving the Pekingese a slight pout when viewed from the front. In profile, the muzzle may be squared, with upper and lower jaws level, or rounded, with a slightly pronounced lower jaw. However, the lower jaw should never protrude beyond the break of the lips. The teeth and tongue must be completely concealed when the mouth is closed.
Lips or Flews: Lips are somewhat clean, broad, and thick, yet fit snuggly over the teeth and jaws. The teeth, tongue, and lower jaw are completely concealed by the lips. Lips meet in an inverted “V” in the front.
Nose: The nose sits slightly further back than the end of the muzzle, but it should never appear completely pushed in. The nose is well-pigmented and black. The nostrils are well-opened. Pinched or narrow nostrils and heavy nose wrinkle extending beyond the nose leather are all unacceptable and should be penalized.
Cheeks: The cheeks are smoothly muscled but should not appear chiseled or coarse. Some wrinkling around the cheek, extending from the outer corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth, may be present.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level, reverse-scissor, or slightly undershot, and less than 1/8 of an inch of space between upper and lower incisors is permissible. Contact preferred between the top and bottom incisors.
Eyes: The eyes are medium to large in size, dark in color, and round or lemon-shaped. The eyes are never bulging or almond in shape. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes and prevent them from appearing to protrude or bulge. Wall-eyes or exposed whites are incorrect. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed.
Ears: Small to medium in size, set high on the edge of the skull, V-shaped, and drop or button. They are level with the plane of the skull, or just below.

Body and Tail

General Description: Compact, cobby, solid, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Rather thick, of a moderate length to allow for proud head carriage, and strongly muscled with an arch. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows, or just below it.
Topline: Level from withers to croup. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut, flat and level, or slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never swayed or roached.
Croup: Flat and level with the back, or gently sloped.
Underline: Slight tuck-up present, or the underline may run parallel to the topline. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, and oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set high on the croup. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. It may be short to medium in length and straight or gently curved over the back to either side. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm, all of which are of a moderate length, neither long and leggy nor short and dwarfed in appearance.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The distance from the withers to the brisket may be equal to, or just greater than, the distance from the elbows to the ground.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, of moderate bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are equal in length, strong, sturdy, of moderate bone, and
well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes or feet that are hare-like in appearance. Feet should have tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: The Pekingese comes in two coat varieties: the standard coat and the flat-coat varieties.
Standard coat variety: Double-coated with a long, coarse, straight, and stand-offish outer coat, and a short, thick, soft undercoat. A thick and profuse mane and ruff is visible on the neck and shoulders. Longer fringing and feathering can be found on the backs of the legs, underline, ears, and tail. Excessive trimming or shaving should be penalized. Excessive coats should be penalized.
Spaniel (Flat) coat variety: The flat coat is better suited for temperate climates. It lies flatter and closer to the body. It may be softer and silkier in appearance.
Coat Color or Pattern: All color and patterns except white and liver permissible.

Movement

The Pekingese’s movement should be steady, strong, and purposeful. A slight rolling action is forgivable, so long as it doesn’t appear constrained, cumbersome, or inefficient. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The Pekingese is an even-tempered breed that exhibits a regal air about itself. He is known for his calm and seemingly self-important nature. The Pekingese is intelligent and capable of learning many commands and tricks. He is also devoted to his family, a suitable lapdog, and a lively character. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.