Originating from China, the Pekingese is undoubtedly a very popular little dog around the world. Believed as one of the most ancient of dog breeds, the Pekingese is said to have developed from the breeds of Asian foxes. Also, the name Pekingese was derived from China’s capital city of Beijing, which was then called Peking.
The Chinese regarded this breed as a Foo Dog or a Lion Dog, which was believed to cast away evil spirits. The Imperial Household favored this breed as an Imperial pet and has been the favorite of royals for centuries. The people of ancient China, in fact, bow before this breed and they consider it as a very respectable pet.
One of the adorable features of a Pekingese is its flat face but its small, compact and low level body is also as fascinating. The legs of this dog are unusually bowed and this prevented him to wander away from the palace. Moreover, the ears, legs and tail of this breed are covered with thick coat.
The Pekingese has a double coat that requires regular grooming in forms of brushing and combing everyday. Majority of this breeds coat come in colors of red, sable and gold. But colors such as black, white, cream, tan, and light gold are also widely accepted.
Some Pekingese, however, may also appear in rare colors of blue and slate grey. The hairy face of the Pekingese is dotted with its black-colored nose, eye rims and muzzle. When it walks, it gives out a funny rolling gait and this is caused by its bowed legs.
The Pekingese can weigh from 7 to 14 pounds and stand from 6 to 9 inches tall. There are some Pekingese, however, that weigh 6 pounds and below and these type are called the Sleeve Pekingese or simply, the Sleeves. The Sleeves are the smallest members of the Pekingese family and were very popular during ancient China.
The term Sleeve for these was coined because literally, they were carried by royals in the roomy sleeves of their robes. When the Second Opium War happened, Pekingese were executed so that the Westerners would never possess them. There were five Pekingese, however, that survived the slaughter and these were shipped back to Europe to be given as gifts to the royals.
According to the American Kennel Club, the temperament of the Pekingese can be described as a combination of regal dignity, intelligence and self-importance make for a good natured, opinionated and affectionate companion to those who have earned its respect. This breed is very independent and brave and may be difficult to housebreak at times. It is a very sensitive and affectionate dog, however, and makes an extremely good watchdog.