Pekingese History


The Pekingese is the ultimate lap dog and devoted companion. They are very small dogs, but very furry and and fluffy. Their fur sometimes makes them look much bigger than they actually are. Pekingese have drop ears that are medium length, and short, flat muzzles between two protruding eyes. Equipped with short, bowed legs, the Pekingese can get around quite well for being vertically challenged. They will adapt to their environment and surroundings well. Even though they have a mind of their own and like to get their own way, their independent spirit is their most endearing characteristic. A firm hand will let them know who is master. Pekingese are very suspicious of strangers. They are also an affectionate, noble dog who are both self-centered and stubborn. Although they can be suspicious, they are never aggressive toward strangers. They can be very loving with their owners and like the attention. Pekingese are very confident and self-willed. They have charm, dignity and purpose, but can also be fearless when called upon. They have always been used as a companion dog, giving affection and comfort to whoever is willing to pamper them.

Other Names: Lion Dog, Peking Palasthund, Foo (or Fu) dog, Peke

Type: Companion Dog

Height: 6 - 9 inches.
Weight: 6 - 14 lbs. There are varieties that are only up to 6 lbs., 6 - 8 lbs., or 8 - 14 lbs.

Colors: All colors and markings are permissible. They are often red, fawn, black, black and tan, sable, brindle, gold, white and parti-colored. Black masks and "spectacles" (rings around the eyes of different coloring), and lines on the ears are desirable in the show ring.
Coat: Long, straight, harsh, profuse double-coat with a coarse top coat, thick and ample undercoat and profuse mane and feathered tail. They have a heavy feathering? all over. Some have the spaniel-type coat, while others have the longer coat. The long coat is preferred in the show ring.

Temperament: Pekingese are independent, stubborn and lively. They enjoy the affection of their owners, and give affection in return. They are happy, playful and alert. Pekingese make faithful companions, with confidence and charm. They can be fearless when they need to be. Pekingese are suspicious of strangers, but never aggressive toward them. They are not very obedient, and can sometimes get jealous. This is more of a one-person breed.

With Children: Yes, but not suited for young children as they do not like to be disturbed while sleeping. More suited for older, quieter, children.
With Pets: Yes, if socialized at a young age. They have a tendency to be suspicious of other dogs and if they have never been around other dogs other than their siblings, they are likely to not get along with a new dog. But if socialized, they will do fine with other dogs.
Special Skills:
Companion dog.

Watch-dog: Very High. Pekingese are very suspicious of strangers.
Guard-dog: Very Low. If threatened or the one they love is threatened, the Pekingese will fight to the death, but otherwise this breed should never show aggression.

Care and Exercise: Daily grooming with a brush or comb, taking extra care around the hindquarters which can become soiled or matted. Female Pekingese will shed their undercoat when in season. Dry shampoo regularly. Pekingese will not benefit from long walks, but they do need some form of exercise or activity.
Training: Training can be difficult. You can not be overly bossy with your Pekingese, but they do need basic training to be a well adjusted companion. Praise them when they do something right, but do not punish harshly when they do something wrong. Pekingeses can be very difficult to train.
Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Very Low. Problem Solving - Low.

Activity: Low.
Special Needs: Attention, training, socialization and grooming.
Living Environment: The Pekingese is just as at home in a small apartment as a large house. The owner of a Pekingese needs to be a patient leader who does not expect an instant response. Pekingese also have a tendency to be bossy and they like to be pampered. It is thought that they must be "convinced" to do what you ask.

Health Issues: Congestive heart failure, problems birthing, breathing problems and their eyes are sensitive and prone to corneal ulcers.

Life Span: 13 - 15 years.
Litter Size:
2 - 4 puppies.

Country of Origin: China
History: Folklore has a wonderful little story that the Pekingese in that it was an offspring of a lion and a marmoset. In reality, they date back some 2000 years ago in China. For centuries they were the sacred dog of China, being coveted and treasured for their quaintness and individuality. Many dogs were prized among royalty in the past, but few compare to the luxury enjoyed by the Pekingese. They were so protected by the royal palaces it was said that death was the punishment for those who tried to smuggle them into the outside world. For a time, 4000 eunuchs in the Peking Imperial Palaces were in charge of breeding and taking care of the Pekingese. When slave women's daughter's were slaughtered expendably, they would care for a Pekingese instead. There was one type of Pekingese at the time called a "sleeve". Sleeves were so small they could fit in the folds of a Chinese sleeve. This tiny version of the Pekingese is rare but is still bred in China today. Buddhism in China put much emphasis on lions, calling them protectors of the faith. Therefore, when this little "lion dog" was produced, they were greatly sought after. They reached the height of their popularity in the 19th century, in which the Emperor would appear with the bark of two Pekingese, while two more Pekingese would follow behind daintily carrying the hems of his robe. Unfortunately in that same century Britain and France sacked the Empire, in which the imperial family was given instructions to kill all the Pekingese if the "foreign devils" got in in order to protect the breed from leaving the country. When they were overthrown, officers found five little Pekingese guarding the body if the aunt of the imperial family, of whom had slain herself to die with honor. In 1860, these five little dogs were taken back to England from Peking. All were under 6 lbs. Little is known of the breed after this until 1896 when a famous pair of black Pekingese were imported by Mrs. Loftus Allen. In 1909 the breed was accepted by the AKC, and by England in 1910. One famous Peke named "Fifi the Peke" is known as the girlfriend of Pluto, Mickey Mouse's pet dog. Another, named "Manchu", was owned by Theodore Roosevelt's daughter. Today they still mostly serve the same purpose as they have in the past - to be royally pampered by their owners!

First Registered by the AKC: 1915
AKC Group: Toy Group
Class: Toy
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 9), KC (GB), UKC









慈禧太后曾將幾隻北京狗送給了幾個美國人,包括John Pierpont Morgan和Alice Roosevelt

愛爾蘭首隻北京狗是由Heuston醫生引進的。他在中國進行天花疫苗接種,影響巨大。為了感謝他,中國大臣李鴻章送給他一對北京狗,起名叫「Chang」和「Lady Li」。



In order to introduce you to this delightful breed that we all share, the Pekingese, it is necessary to go back in time so that you will have a little insight into their origin, we will also reveal how it was that they came to our shores fro that far-off nystical land, China.

In 1644, from the north-east of China came the Manchurians who established the Qing dynasty on the Imperial Throne. Before they had invaded the Throne ,a mention was made in the annals of Chinese history of a small dog in the Imperial Palace, referred to as fu-lin dogs. It is also known that the Manchurians themselves brought with them from their homelands, their own harbo-go dogs. However, as with a lot of our breed’s history, the facts around this period are unfortunately more than a little hazy.

During the reign of the Emperor Tao-Kuang( 1821-50), there is a reference to a Pekingese type. There was the long-haired type and the lo-sze, a short-haired pug, and it is thought that there is more than a strong possibility that the two types were crossed. It is also considered that the Shih Tzu or rough-coated Tibetan Lion Dog was most probably crossed with these two dogs.

On the death of the Emperor, his son Hsian Feng succeeded him and, upon his death, his wife Tzy-An, together with Yehonala, the mother of his son, were awarded the title of Dowager Empress. Yehonala became known as Tzs His, a name that hasbecome hynonymous with the Pekingese as much of today’s ancient breed history revolves around her.

However, we return now to 1857, a time when there was serious
discontent without the country of China due to the stringent trading restrictions imposed by the Chinese on the outside world. The final straw eventually came when the British Trading Quarter was literally burnt to the ground by some of the local inhabitants, and because of this, Britain and France launched an expeditionary force that captured the city of Conton in the same year. After an unsuccessful request for ore lenient trading terms, the army continued its march until it eventually reached the Imperial City itself.

On reaching the Summer Palace, it was discovered that the Emperor, together with his entourage, had already fled, although it is rumoured that one of his relatives was found dead, guarded by her little dogs.In the conclave, three members of the British Force, Lord John Hay, Lieutenant Dunne, and Sir George Fitzroy, eventually came upon five little dogs.Lord John Hay took possession of two of the little dogs who became known as Schlorff, a male, and Hytie, a black and white bitch. Hytien he presented to his sister, the Duchess of Wellington, while Schlorff remained with him, living to a ripe old age of eighteen.
Sir george Fitzroy’s two little acquisitions were also given as gifts; he presented them to his relations the Duke and Duchess of Richmond and Gordon. It is not known quite what happened to these two dogs, except that their son Lord Algernon Gordon-Lennox and his wife became one of the pioneers of the breed, establishing the now famous strain of Goodwood. In fact, one day this good gentleman and his wife were amazed to see, while walking down a Londo street, two more specimens of the breed.

They consequently introduced themselves to their owners, Mr and Mrs Douglas Murray.
It transpired that Mr and Mrs Murray had imported their two dogs from the Imperial Palace ; they were the faous Ah-Cum and Mimosa. Eventually these two partnerships got together and produced the very first English Champion, Goodwood Lo.
The last little dog to be taken from the Palace was brought home to England and was presented to Queen Victoria by Lieutenant? Dunne; and this was the aptly named Looty.
As the years passed by, several more dogs found their way to Britain from China. In 1893, Captain Loftus Allen, the master of a trading ship, managed to buy a dog for his wife who was already an avid fan of Japanese Spaniels, and this dog became known as Pekin
Peter. It is thought that he was more than likely smuggled out of the Imperial Palace before being sold to the Captain. It has to remembered that these little palace dogs were so highly revered the Royal Family and the hierarchy that anyone trying to purloin one of them would have suffered the direst consequences.

However, Pekin Peter safely reached the shores of England and not long after his arrival here he was exhibited at the Chester Show. Three years later the Loftus Allens acquired two more specimens, a dog and bitch, Pekin Prince and Pekin Princess, who were both black.
Another very important bitch who played a part in the development of the breed here was Fantails. She had been brought into the country in 1889 and was a very pretty parti-colour. She was a present to Mrs Browning from Commander Gamble and it was from this little girl that the Brackleys emerged.

Fantails had actually been born in China and bred by a Mr George Brown who had been assigned to the British Consul out there. On his return home he put a bitch named Pinkee, whom he had produced from a bitch called Siaorr'h by an unknown sire, to AhCum. The result of this alliance was a bitch called Tai Tai who was eventually owned by a Mrs A. Gray. Tai Tai was then put to a dog named Pekin Paul, who was a son of Pekin Prince and Pekin Princess, and the result of this was the production of the breed's first Bitch Champion, Champion Gia Gia.
Champion Gia Gia was owned by a Mrs Lilburn MacEwen who, together with two puppies from matings of Mimosa to Ah-Cum and later to Champion Goodwood Lo, also established a niche in the breed with her Manchu prefix.

From the Manchu dogs came one of the early greats, Sutherland Avenue Ouen Teu T'ang, a prominent stud dog in those early days. Champion Gia Gia also proved to be strong in the foundation of the breed for, not only was she the first bitch Champion, her grandson was the famous Champion Chu-Erh of Alderbourne owned by Mrs Ashton Cross, who established a Pekingese dynasty.

Another name in the breed that must not be passed over is Greystones. A dog and a bitch, Chang and Lady Li, were presented to Major Heuston in recognition of his service in China by a highly respected minister of that time, Li Hung Chang. They made their home with their new master in Ireland eventually.
It was in 1898 that the Kennel Club first officially recognised the breed and a Standard of points was drawn up. Also, in that sameyear, classes were scheduled for the first time at the Ladies Kennel Association show where Ah-Cum won his class, as did Pekin Pretty. Two years later, in 1900, that famous show, Cruft's, decided to put on classes, but in those infant years just one dog was entered, Pekin Yen how different from the classes of today.

While the breed was beginning to take root here, things were far from quiet in their country of origin. Once again there was unrest, this time from a group commonly known as the Boxers. These latter-day terrorists were hell-bent on drivig the ‘foreign devils’ from their land. They eventually besieged Peking, the Diplomatic Legation being the prime target, and the occupants of this quarter were placed in a desperate situation for quite some time until the arrival of a relief column eased their plight. On the force’s arrival at the City, it was once again discovered that the Royal Family had quickly taken their leave.
On the previous occasion the allied troops had entered Peking, they had raided the Summer Palace alone. This time they entered the Forbidden City itself. It is not thought that many dogs were found on this occasion; however, two Pekingese did leave the Palace. Shortly before the force gained entry to the city, Major Gwynne was among the army surrounding the palace. Prince Qing, a highly influential member of the palace hierarchy from inside the palace made a bargain with the Major. This was not a pact entered into lightly on the Prince's part for he requested safe passage from the palace through the lines, and, in return, the Major requested a pair of the palace dogs. After much consideration, the Prince finally agreed . As we mentioned before, these little dogs were practically gods to the inhabitants. The dog and the bitch became known as Boxer and Quaema. It is thought that these are virtually the last two dogs to have come directly out of the old Imperial Palace.

With the breed firmly establishing itself in the British Isles, it must not go without saying that it was becoming equally popular in the United States. In fact, the Dowager Empress, Tzu Hsi, gave several of her little companions away to selected people. One of these was the American artist Miss Carl who had been commissioned to paint the Dowager Empress. The Empress rewarded her with parti-colour Melah. Another of these generous gifts was presented to Dr Mary Cotton and called Chaou Ching Ur, destined to become the first female Champion in the USA.

Several other Pekingese were imported into America but it is not thought that many of these were bred from to a great degree.Many of the original winning blood lines coming from Pekingese imported from the United Kingdom. In 1905, in the USA, classes were put on for the breed at the Westminster Show and shortly afterwards America's first Champion was made up: Champion Tsang of Downshire.

Back in Britain, in 1902, the Japanese Spaniel and Asiatic Spaniel Association divided. Originally known as the Japanese Spaniel Club, it had been formed in 1898 and was one of the major influences on the breed involved in the drawing up of the Standard of points. After the division, the Pekingese Club was founded by twenty-nine members and two years later the Pekin Palace Dog Association was formed. Both societies are still in operation. However, they lived a little more grandly perhaps in those days.

When the Pekingese Club was originally formed, they had placed within their Standard a weight limit of 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms). Over the years this was altered by a majority vote for the weight limit not to exceed 18 pounds (8 kilograms). A short time after, the weight limit was scrapped altogether. This would appear to be one of the reasons for the formation of the Pekin Palace Dog Association. Two of the club's founder members were Mrs Ashton Cross and Lord Gordon-Lennox, and the club set a Standard which included the reintroduction of the 10-pound weight limit.

Mention must be made at this point of a Colonel Barratt who was serving with the Indian Army in Peking. On returning home to India, he took with him two Pekingese, a dog and a bitch -Jabberwock and Howdie.The result of their eventual liaison being Chinky-Chog who was brought to England where he gained his title and went on to become extremely influential as a stud dog.Chinky-Chog was a bigger type (as was Boxer) than many of the dogs brought over originally. For instance, Schlorff and Hytien weighed a mere 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) apiece. Pekin Princess weighed 6 pounds (2.7 kilograms) although Pekin Peter was 2 pounds (1 kilogram) heavier. Ah-Cum and Mimosa, it is thought, weighed 5 pounds and 3 pounds (2.3 and 1.4 kilograms) respectively.

This particular chapter would be incomplete without the reputed words of the late Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi about her beloved 'Lion Dogs' that had become a very integral part of life in the Imperial Palace. They were favourites of the Dowager Empress and many of the high court officials and eunuchs, although it is believed that the latter were less than scrupulous on many occasions in some of their methods of husbandry. These little dogs were guarded and cared for in the confines of the palace with a passion, and as we mentioned previously, anyone attempting to spirit one away suffered the dire consequences of his or her action. Small wonder that Prince Ch’Ing dallied over his decision with Major Gwynne.

Therefore, let us close this story with the ‘pearls’ that are reputed to have ‘dropped from the Lips of Her Imperial Majesty Tzu His, Empress of the Flowery Land’ concerning the Imperial Pekingese:

Let the Lion Dog be small; let it wear the swelling cape of dignity around its neck; let it display the billowing standard of pomp above its back.
Let its face be black; let its forefront be shaggy; let its forehead be straight and low.
Let its eyes be large and luminous; let its ears be set like the sails of a war junk; let its nose be like that of the monkey god of the Hindus.
Let its forelegs be bent, so that it shall not desire to wander far, or leave the Imperial precincts.
Let its body be shaped like that of a hunting lion spying for its prey. Let its feet be tufted with plentiful hair that its footfall may be soundless and for its standard of pomp let it rival the whick of the Tibetans' yak, which is flourished to protect the Imperial litter from flying insects.
Let it be lively that it may afford entertainment by its gambols; let it be timid that it may not involve itself in danger; let it be domestic in its habits that it may live in amity with the other beasts, fishes or birds that find protection in the Imperial Palace.
And for its colour, let it be that of the lion a golden sable, to be carried in the sleeve of a yellow robe; or the colour of a red bear, or a black and white bear, or striped like a dragon, so that there may be dogs appropriate to every costume in the Imperial wardrobe.
Let it venerate its ancestors and deposit offerings in the canine cemetery of the Forbidden City on each new moon.
Let it comport itself with dignity; let it learn to bite the foreign devils instantly.
Let it be dainty in its food so that it shall be known as an Imperial dog by its fastidiousness; sharks fins and curlew livers and the breasts of quails, on these may it be fed; and for drink give it the tea that is brewed from the spring buds of the shrub that groweth in the province of Hankow, or the milk of the antelopes that pasture in the Imperial parks.

Thus shall it preserve its integrity and self-respect; and for the day of sickness let it be anointed with the clarified fat of the legs of a sacred leopard, and give it to drink a throstle's eggshell full of the juice of the custard apple in which has been dissolved three pinches of shredded rhinoceros horn, and apply it to piebald leeches.
So shall it remain but if it die, remember thou too art mortal.