Pekingese (also spelled Pekingese by ear in Germany) shouldn’t actually exist in Europe: Until the Second Opium War in the 19th century, the imperial dogs were only to be found in the Chinese imperial palace and were to be reserved for the emperor. Today, the little puppies with long hair are found all over the world – unfortunately to the detriment of general health, as they have been severely overbred in the last century.
External Characteristics of the Pekingese – Please not be Too Extreme!
Like the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu, the Pekingese is one of the Chinese lion dogs, reminiscent of small lions with their long coat and dignified posture. A specific size is not specified, but the withers hardly ever reach more than 22 cm, there are also specimens that measure only 15 cm at the withers. The FCI breed standard specifies a maximum weight of 5 kilograms for males, bitches should not weigh more than 5.4 kg. The stocky, surprisingly heavy body with strong bones is an important breed characteristic.
What is a Sleeve Pekingese?
Miniature Pekingese, which is particularly popular in Canada and the USA, is called Sleeve Pekingese. They weigh a maximum of 6 pounds (3 kilograms) and measure an average of 15 cm at the withers.
The typical features at a glance
- The large and broad head is flat between the ears without bulging, and the stop is very pronounced.
- The shortened and broad muzzle must stand out. In overbred Pekingese, the muzzle barely stands out from the face. Tongue and teeth must not be permanently visible, nose and lips are always black. The nose is quite flat and wide, with the nostrils wide open. The additional crease that runs from the cheeks over the bridge of the nose is typical of the breed.
- The round eyes are set wide apart and the lower lids are roughly level with the bridge of the nose. Dark lines are usually visible at the outer corners of the eyes and the lips are always black.
- Long feathering hides the heart shape of the close-fitting lop ears. They attach to the top of the skull and should not extend beyond the muzzle.
- The neck and body are short and broad, ribs are sufficiently sprung.
- The pasterns should not be too close together on the front legs. Shoulders and elbows are close to the body. The strong hind legs are not too close together.
- The long feathered tail is always carried over the back and bends slightly.
The same applies to the coat: lush, but not excessive
The long and slightly wavy topcoat is rather harsh and should not completely obscure the dog’s body shape. Under the long topcoat is a soft undercoat. The hair remains short on the face and muzzle, only the ears are long and finely feathered, and the hair also grows longer on the backs of the legs and on the toes. The feathering on the tail is sometimes more and sometimes less lavish.
Coat colors: Almost everything is allowed
- Albinos and liver-colored Pekingese are not suitable for breeding, as they always have light eyelids and noses.
- There are many different solid, bi-color, and tri-color varieties. Some colors are preferred in shows:
- Black or black with tan
- Fawn/Tan from reddish to gold to cream
- Dogs with graying factor lighten with age.
- Sable is the most common coat color and comes in different varieties (often red-black, gray-black, biscuit-black, golden-black). Light and dark hair is mixed, mostly dark shades are visible on the back, on the legs, or on the face.
Differences between Pekingese, Shih Tzu, and Lasa Apso
- The Lhasa Apso weighs up to 9 kg and is significantly larger than the other two breeds. He also sports a long mustache, which is not found in Pekingese.
- The hair of the Shih Tzu also grows long and straight down the entire head, while it stays short on the Pekingese. The hair between the eyes of the Shih Tzu can grow upwards and be shaped.
- The breed is similar to its close relative, the pug, but has short hair all over its body.
The Story of the Pekingese – The Lion Dog from the Chinese Imperial Palace
Originally, Pekingese were only to be found in the Forbidden City, where only members of the imperial family were allowed to keep them. Like the Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu, they are considered lion dogs that figure prominently in Buddhist myths and accompany Buddha. Jade and porcelain figurines from the 17th century show that they were particularly popular in the Qing dynasty. According to a Chinese legend, the breed originated when a lion fell in love with a marmoset. In order to be able to be close to him, the lion let the Buddha shrink him to his size – the Pekingese is the result.