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Pekingese: the most honest dog breed review you'll ever find about Pekingese temperament, personality, and behavior.

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Pekingese dog breed

Pekingese Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em

Pekingese Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2016

The AKC Standard says the Pekingese "should imply courage, boldness, and self-esteem rather than prettiness, daintiness, or delicacy."

Indeed, the Pekinges is dignified, supremely confident, and one of the most independent (and stubborn) of the toy breeds.

Calm and quiet indoors, he lies on the sofa cushions much of the time, observing his kingdom with his direct, inscrutable gaze. Yet he will also surprise you with sudden bursts of comic playfulness.

Most Pekingese are loyal to their owner without being cloying, undemonstrative (or polite) with strangers, and usually accepting of other animals.

This proud, self-possessed dog won't meekly submit to mischief or rough handling from anyone. He can be exasperatingly willful, but also sensitive, and resents being jerked around or even scolded. However, if he respects you, he will be well-mannered without much formal training required.

The Pekingese can be possessive of his food and toys. With his short face, he is a master of the four S's: snorting, snuffling, sneezing, and snoring.

If you want a dog who...

  • Is small but extremely sturdy, even chunky in build
  • Has a very short face, large expressive eyes, and a long thick coat that comes in many colors
  • Is one of the most dignified, supremely confident, and independent of the toy breeds
  • Is calm and quiet indoors and doesn't need much exercise
  • Is polite with strangers and usually accepting of other animals
  • If he respects you, will be well-mannered without much formal training required

A Pekingese may be right for you.

If you don't want to deal with...

  • Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
  • Snorting, snuffling, wheezing, loud snoring
  • Regular brushing and combing
  • Heavy shedding
  • Slowness to housebreak
  • Gassiness (flatulence)
  • A multitude of potential health problems

A Pekingese may not be right for you.

But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by
  1. choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
  2. or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
  3. training your dog to respect you
  4. avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy

More traits and characteristics of the Pekingese

If I was considering a Pekingese, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Minimizing the problems that can be caused by their short face. Read about these special health problems and make sure you're willing to take extra steps to care for your Pekingese:

    • His respiratory system is compromised, so don't smoke near him, don't use chemical cleaning products, and keep him away from allergenic pollen and freshly-cut grass.
    • Make sure your vet uses only the most modern anesthetics (such as isoflurane) and insist on a heart and blood pressure monitor. Many vets are NOT careful enough when anesthetizing short-faced breeds.
    • In hot or humid weather, minimize his outdoor activity and keep him in an air-conditioned home. Short-faced dogs have a high risk of heatstroke because they can't pant vigorously enough to lower their body heat.
    • Walk him in a Y-shaped harness that wraps around his chest, not his throat. A collar puts pressure on his windpipe and makes it harder for him to breathe.
    • Wash and dry the folds of skin on his face after every meal.

    Pekingese dog breed

  2. The strong temperament. Pekingese are not Golden Retrievers. They have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. Many Pekingese are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say. (Food is a great motivator with Pekingese, but if you give too much and don't provide commensurate exercise, you'll end up with a fat, unhealthy Peke.)
  3. Housebreaking. Expect four to six months of consistent crate training.

  4. book cover To learn more about training Pekingese to be housebroken and well-behaved, consider my dog training book,
    Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.

    It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Pekingese the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.

    Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.

  5. Lots of grooming. Without frequent brushing and combing, Pekingese become a matted mess.
  6. Heavy shedding. Pekingese shed a LOT. You'll find hair and fur all over your clothing, upholstery, and carpeting. Make sure you're really up for this.
  7. Pekingese sounds. Because of their short face, most Pekingese snort, snuffle, wheeze, grunt, and snore loudly. The sounds are endearing to some people; nerve-wracking to others.
  8. Slobbering. Some Pekingese, especially those with loose jowls, slobber water when they drink
  9. Gassiness (flatulence). All short-faced breeds gulp air when they eat, and that air has to go somewhere.
  10. Health problems. Because of unwise breeding practices and their deformed build, Pekingese suffer more than their share of health problems, especially eye diseases, joint disorders, and skin conditions.

    book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Pekingese puppy. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.

    If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether a Pekingese might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.

    book cover Once you have your Pekingese home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.

    My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need. Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.

Please consider adopting an ADULT Pekingese...

When you're acquiring a Pekingese PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.

But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Pekingese who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!

Save a life. Adopt a dog.

Adopting a Dog From a Dog Breed Rescue Group

Adopting a Dog From the Animal Shelter