The Pekingese has a royal, dignified past, dating to eighth-century China, when he lived in the Emperor's Court. This little fellow with the lush mane wasn't discovered by the Western world until 1860, when British troops raided the imperial palace. The American Kennel Club recognized the Pekingese in 1906.
Though dogs of this breed can vary in size and color, basically, a Pekingese is a Pekingese is a Pekingese. A full-size adult Pekingese may be 6 to 9 inches high. According to the AKC breed standard, he's compact and well-balanced, with a stocky, muscular body. If you pick up a Pekingese, you may be surprised to find he weighs more than you expect.
Though the AKC doesn't distinguish types of Pekingese, breeders categorize the breed according to size. If in your Internet searching you find a "sleeve Pekingese," you're looking at a dog weighing less than 6 pounds. If you come across a "mini Pekingese," this pup weighs between 6 and 8 pounds. The American Kennel International Club notes that the term "sleeve Pekingese" comes from ancient times, when the tiniest of the breed were carried in emperors' sleeves. However, the terms don't have any meaning beyond describing the dog's size. All Pekingese are the same breed, regardless of size.
The Pekingese has a lot of coat color options, including sable, red and gold, the most common of the colors. Other colors include black and tan, white, cream, light gold, slate grey and black. If you have one of these guys, get your brush out: He has a long, beautiful double coat that should be brushed a few times a week. If you're consistent in your grooming efforts, it won't be difficult to keep him looking beautiful.
This guy must have an inkling of his noble heritage, because he can be stubborn and independent. He is affectionate and loving with his pack, and if raised with the children of the house can live with them happily. If kids come to the house after he's already established himself, he may not be thrilled to share his parents. He does well with gentle and firm training, as he as a willingness to learn. If you can't handle barking, you may want to steer clear because this fellow loves the sound of his own voice.
Colds are common in the Pekingese, as is brachycephalic airway syndrome, which causes difficulty breathing. Other potential health issues in this pup include intervertebral disc disease, dislocated kneecaps and herniated disks. Eye diseases in the Pekingese include glaucoma, dry eye and progressive retinal atrophy. If you're pup is in basic good health, you can look forward to many happy years together, potentially up to 18 years.
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