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  • pekingese<Back to Dog Breeds
    Other Names: Peke
    Dog Group Kennel Club: Toy (AKC, KC)

    The Pekingese has been known, both in the Orient and in the West, as the “lion dog”-presumably because of its appearance, although it is also acclaimed as having a lion-like independence and courage. They have a characteristically short, flat face, and long ears.

    The Pekingese has an extravagant, long, straight-flowing coat that has profuse feathering. The Peke can be any of a variety of colours, the most common being fawn and black, red or parti-coloured.

    Weight: 11 – 12 lbs

    Average Life Span: 11 – 15 yrs

    Pekingese are brave, independent, stubborn, intelligent little dogs. The Peke, although calm, non-aggressive and fearless, can at times be extremely stubborn They are good with children only if they have been raised with them otherwise they can be quite jealous. They are good with other pets if socialized at a young age as they have a tendency to be suspicious of other dogs. They make a good watchdog as they are very suspicious of strangers. Pekingese also have a tendency to be bossy and they like to be pampered.

    They can be stubborn and independent, not the easiest dog to obedience train.

    Daily combing and brushing of the very long, double coat is essential. This routine should be established early in the dog’s life. Some owners take great pride in keeping the coat of the Pekingese very full. However, most owners find this an overwhelming task and keep the coat cut back to a moderate length.

    Minimal requirements, they will get enough exercise running and playing around the house and garden. Short walks would also be appreciated by this happy little dog.

    Pekingese Health Issues
    Pekes can sometimes have difficulty in whelping due to size and shape of the puppies’ heads thus making caesarean sections necessary.

    The pekingese has a unique “flat faced” nose and head structure which is technically called “brachycephalic”. Dogs with this structure feel the effects of warm surroundings and exertion sooner than dogs with more typical nose and head structure. They pant more readily to cool themselves.

    Hot weather can be fatal to these little dogs, they don’t even need to be moving about in it to succumb to the heat. Please make sure that any exercise is given early in the morning or late in the evening, don’t be tempted to go for a nice Sunday afternoon stroll when it is very sunny or hot. Also please don’t allow your dog to lay out in the sun for long periods, they do not know when they have had enough and it doesn’t take long for their panting to become out of control. Click here For More Information

    Umbilical Hernia: Protrusion or tear in the muscle of the abdominal wall through the navel

    Inguinal Hernia: Protrusion near the groin under the skin.

    Luxating Patella Slipping knee joints (also referred to as luxating patellas, slipped stifles) are a common problem in small breeds. In this condition, the kneecap slips out of its groove and moves against the thighbone (femur) instead of along its natural groove. Although this has been found to be a heritable condition, small, active breeds are likely to aggravate it through the course of their natural activities (jumping up and down) around taller objects such as furniture.

    Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): is a family of diseases all involving the gradual deterioration of the retina. It is diagnosed by a retinoscopic exam or by means of an electroretinogram (ERG). Early in the disease, affected dogs become nightblind and lack the ability to see in dim light; later on daytime vision also fails. As their vision deteriorates, affected dogs adapt to their handicap very well, as long as their environment remains constant. Certain breeds are affected early in life, whereas in other breeds, PRA develops much later in onset.

    Dry Eye: Caused when natural tear production slows or stops. Symptoms include green gungy eyes, especially in the morning and a dry appearance or blue haze to the eye itself. Can be confirmed by your vet who will perform a dry eye test with blotting type paper to see how much moisture can be soaked from the eyes surface. Artificial tears will need to be applied to the eye for life, your vet can prescribe this.

    Hypothyroidism: an endocrine disease that results in the abnormally low production of thyroid hormones. The symptoms of hypothyroidism include lethargy, mental depression, weight gain and a tendency to seek out warm places. Hypothyroidism can also affect the coat and skin, causing hair loss and excessive dandruff.

    Pekingese History
    Earliest references to the Pekingese date back to the 8th century and it is believed that the breed is a miniature edition of the ancient “Foo Dogs” of China which were used to ward off evil spirits. Ownership of the Pekingese was restricted to members of the Chinese Imperial Court.

    On ceremonial occasions they had certain functions to perform, such as carrying the hem of the Emperors robes in their mouths and barking to announce his arrival. In the Han Dynasty it was known as the Sleeve dog. They were used as a a source of warmth, as they were small enough to be put inside the sleeves of a garment.It was not until 1860 that the Pekingese was to become well known outside China. For centuries only the Emperors, their families and courtiers at the Imperial Court in Peking were allowed to own these lion dogs. Although hundreds of them lived at the royal court, only the finest of the breed were kept in the Emperor’s apartments. Considered to be sacred and much cherished, the theft of one of these dogs was punishable by death.In 1860 the Summer Palace was stormed by British and French troops. All dogs in the Palace were killed by the Chinese to prevent them falling into foreign hands.

    Five dogs belonging to the Emperor’s aunt, who had taken her own life before the arrival of the enemy, survived and were brought to England. One small fawn and white dog, named Looty, was given to Queen Victoria by the commanding officer, General Dunne.

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