Meet the breed: Pekingese


Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We're here to help you meet the breed that's right for you. If you're looking for a compact companion to add to your pack, find out everything you need to know about the Pekingese.
Pekingese |


  • checkLong lifespan
  • checkPleasant temperament
  • checkEnvironmentally adaptable
  • checkHigh-maintenance grooming
  • checkApartment-friendly


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Bred for greatness, Pekingese have often been called "lion dogs" for their close likeness to the petite Chinese guard dogs of long ago and, of course, their larger-than-life hair. Despite their small stature, Pekes tend to have an immense sense of self. Weighing between 7 and 14 pounds with an average height of 6 to 9 inches, these compact companions don't let size define their limits. Stubborn and demanding, the Pekingese is in a league of its own.

Breed standards

  • AKC group: Toy
  • UKC Group: Companion Dog
  • Average lifespan: 14 - 18 years
  • Average size: 7 - 14 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Long, straight, coarse
  • Coloration: Varies
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Other identifiers: Small, compact body frame, "lion-like" appearance
  • Possible alterations: None

Is this breed right for you?

This friendly, loving and tiny breed makes a perfect fit for an apartment lifestyle. Pekingese require only moderate exercise and are perfectly happy playing indoor games. Due to their strong personalities, some Pekes may not do well with small children, as they thoroughly enjoy being the center of attention. This breed also does not do well in warm climates and shouldn't be outdoors for extended periods of time. Potential owners should also be warned: Pekingese are known to snore. If you're going for the best-in-show look, be ready to spend a lot of time and money on grooming. Pekes' long locks need to be brushed on a regular basis to prevent matting, particularly the long and coarse top coat.

pekingese breed characteristics

A dream day in the life of a Pekingese

Getting groomed and pampered like the kings and queens they are, Pekes love nothing more than being the center of attention. They excel in social settings and their compact size make them the perfect breed to tote around. Treat this adorable pup like royalty with plenty of toys and treats and you'll have a happy companion by your side.

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Comments on "Meet the breed: Pekingese"

Virginia March 12, 2012 | 8:06 PM

Hi Gladys, There is always a chance a dog might bite regardless of the breed. I would recommend asking your friend if her dog has a history of being aggressive, if so, then find out what circumstances made her dog become aggressive and try to avoid those situations. A good rule of thumb when approaching any dog is to be gentle and never pet them or approach them in a way that may scare them and catch them off-guard as it may cause an defensive and sometimes aggressive reaction. Hope this helps!

gladys March 10, 2012 | 9:50 AM

I have heard that pekingese dogs might bite, my friend wants me to watch hers for a week, how do I approach so that they will take to me?

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