The History of the Pekingese Dog: A Regal Companion to the Chinese Imperial Court

Learn about the fascinating history of the Pekingese dog, from its origins as a cherished pet of Chinese emperors to its status as a beloved companion breed around the world.

Origins of the Pekingese Breed

Discover the ancient roots of the Pekingese dog and its connection to Chinese royalty.

Chinese Imperial Court

In the illustrious annals of history, the Pekingese dog stands as a regal companion to the esteemed Chinese Imperial Court. Delving into the captivating past of this esteemed breed, one discovers a tale cloaked in opulence and reverence. With origins tracing back thousands of years, the Pekingese breed finds its roots interwoven with the splendor of Chinese royalty. Cherished as a cherished pet by the emperors themselves, these majestic canines held a position of unparalleled favor within the courtly confines. Nestled within the inner sanctum of the Forbidden City, this breed flourished under the watchful eye of the imperial household, where they were treated as esteemed members of the royal family. Their luxurious coats, fit for emperors, bestowed an aura of majesty that was recognized far beyond the palace walls. Renowned for their unwavering loyalty and regal demeanor, the Pekingese dog emerged as an emblem of honor, grace, and prestige. Through the ages, the allure of this breed transcended borders, captivating the hearts of dog lovers across the globe, as the Pekingese journeyed from the hallowed halls of the Chinese Imperial Court to becoming a cherished companion breed worldwide.

Lion Dogs

Lion Dogs, an apt moniker for the majestic Pekingese breed, embody a regal charm that harks back to a bygone era. These remarkable canines, with their lustrous coats cascading like ripples of golden silk, exude an air of magnificence. Delving into their lineage, we unearth a captivating tale steeped in rich history. Originating in ancient China, the Pekingese holds an esteemed position as a cherished companion of Chinese emperors, who revered them as symbols of fortune and revered protectors of the Imperial Court. Renowned for their lion-like appearance, characterized by a robust mane and a distinctively courageous disposition, these noble creatures embody a remarkable blend of grace and resilience. Designed for adulation and admiration, the Pekingese breed continues to captivate hearts worldwide, adorning countless homes and instilling a sense of reverence through their captivating presence.

Buddhist Legend

Beneath the regal demeanor of the Pekingese breed lies a captivating Buddhist legend that weaves together enchantment and reverence. According to ancient tales, a revered lion resided in celestial realms, guarding the hallowed halls of the imperial heavens. Seeking to display his unconditional loyalty, this celestial lion descended upon Earth, disguising himself as a humble, yet spirited dog. Entrusted with the task of safeguarding Chinese Buddhist sutras by the compassionate deities, this divine creature transformed into the auspicious Pekingese. Adorned with glorious flowing mane reminiscent of its celestial origins, the Pekingese became a cherished companion to Buddhist monks, symbolizing devotion and enlightenment. Revered for its gentle demeanor and steadfast loyalty, the Pekingese transcended its earthly existence, embodying the timeless wisdom and tranquility of the Buddhist teachings. Thus, the Pekingese dog gracefully embodies not just a history of royal companionship, but also an ethereal connection to the world of ancient legends and spiritual enlightenment.

Rise to Popularity

Explore how the Pekingese dog became one of the most coveted lapdog breeds in the Western world.

Gifts to European Royalty

During the peak of its popularity, the exquisite Pekingese dog made its way into the hearts of European royalty, solidifying its reputation as a treasured gift from China. Notable figures such as Queen Victoria and Empress Dowager Cixi of China's Qing dynasty were among the fortunate recipients of these regal companions. Adorned with their luxurious flowing coats and distinctive flattened faces, these enchanting canines captured the attention of the European elite, who were mesmerized by their enchanting presence. Renowned for their unwavering loyalty and endearing nature, Pekingese dogs became cherished members of royal households, adding a touch of majestic elegance to the lives of their noble owners. Their unique physical attributes and captivating personalities transformed them into sought-after status symbols, symbols of prestige and privilege, and their presence was like an exquisite painting adorning the halls of opulent palaces. The influence of these remarkable dogs transcended borders, cementing their place as one of the most coveted treasures to grace the courts of Europe. So profound was their impact that even to this day, the Pekingese breed continues to enchant dog enthusiasts worldwide, a testament to their enduring charm and timeless allure.

Appearance at Dog Shows

As the Pekingese dog rose to popularity, its exquisite appearance captivated the hearts of dog enthusiasts worldwide. This regal breed gained significant attention on the dog show circuit, where its striking features truly shone. With their profuse, flowing manes and bold, lion-like expressions, Pekingese dogs instantly stood out amidst the sea of competitors. Judges marveled at their compact yet sturdy build, adorned with luxurious double coats that effused an air of opulence. The Pekingese's distinctively flattened face, accentuated by wide-set, expressive eyes, further accentuated its charm and grace. In the show ring, their dignified yet playful demeanor set them apart, as they trotted with an ineffable elegance that left spectators in awe. Blessed with a magnificent array of coat colors, ranging from gold and red to black and white, each Pekingese seemed to possess a unique beauty, further adding to their allure. Time and time again, these noble little beings stood atop the podium, captivating the audience with their undeniable charisma and enchanting presence.

Pop Culture References

Pop Culture References:
The Pekingese's storied past and inherent charm have allowed it to infiltrate various facets of popular culture. This regal companion has made appearances in literature, art, and even film, solidifying its status as an icon. In classic novels and poetry, this majestic lapdog is portrayed as a symbol of nobility and loyalty. Renowned authors have beautifully woven tales of its unwavering devotion and captivating presence, captivating readers worldwide. Additionally, celebrated artists have immortalized the Pekingese in their brushstrokes, capturing its distinct features and endearing expressions. From renowned oil paintings to delicate watercolors, the Pekingese has become a beloved muse, adorning countless art galleries. Furthermore, this captivating breed has won the hearts of filmmakers, gracing the silver screen with its infectious personality. In a multitude of movies and television shows, the Pekingese exudes elegance, adding an undeniable allure to every scene it inhabits. Its enchanting presence has earned it a prominent place in the realm of popular culture, ensuring the Pekingese remains an enduring symbol of grace and companionship.

Pekingese Characteristics

Learn about the unique physical and behavioral traits that make the Pekingese breed stand out.

Small Size

One of the most notable aspects of the Pekingese breed lies in its diminutive size. This regal canine possesses a small stature that only adds to its charm and allure. Despite its small dimensions, the Pekingese radiates an aura of grandeur and grace, captivating all who lay eyes upon it. With an elegant yet sturdy frame, this breed showcases a harmonious blend of delicacy and strength. Its compact build is adorned with a lavish, flowing double coat, further enhancing its enchanting appearance. Beyond its physical attributes, the small size of the Pekingese also contributes to its endearing personality. These dogs possess an innate confidence and independence that surpasses their tiny stature. They exude an air of self-assuredness, unaffected by their smallness. This remarkable combination of physical and behavioral traits sets the Pekingese apart, making it truly one-of-a-kind amongst the canine kingdom.

Flat Face

One of the distinguishing features of the Pekingese breed is their unmistakable flat face. This facial characteristic sets them apart from many other dog breeds and adds to their allure. The Pekingese possesses a uniquely compressed muzzle and a slightly upturned nose, granting them an endearing expression that captivates all who lay eyes upon them. Their flat faces lend an air of regality and charm, evoking images of the Chinese Imperial Court, where these noble canines once held a privileged place. With their distinctively broad forehead and wide-set, luminous eyes, the Pekingese exudes elegance and grace. These captivating facial features, combined with their luxuriously dense coat, imbue the Pekingese with an undeniable aura of distinction and majesty.

Double Coat

One of the distinguishing features of the Pekingese breed is its luxurious double coat, which adds to its regal allure. This exquisite coat consists of a profuse outer layer and a dense, soft undercoat, providing the Pekingese with both protection and an elegant appearance. The outer coat, comprised of long, flowing hairs, cascades gracefully down the dog's body, while the undercoat serves as insulation, keeping the Pekingese comfortable in varying climates. With a diverse range of color combinations, including gold, red, black, and white, each Pekingese showcases its individuality through its coat. Furthermore, the texture of the double coat is truly remarkable - it is silky to the touch, beckoning one to run their fingers through it. Despite its beauty, maintaining the Pekingese's coat requires diligent care, as it can easily become tangled or matted. Regular brushing and grooming sessions ensure that this lustrous double coat remains in pristine condition, emphasizing the breed's majestic yet delicate nature.

Independent Personality

One characteristic that truly sets the Pekingese apart is their independent personality. With an air of regality, these dogs exude confidence and self-assuredness. Their discerning nature is evident in their every move, as they navigate their surroundings with grace and poise. Displaying an unwavering sense of self, the Pekingese possesses a unique ability to make decisions based on their own instincts and intuition. With an array of expressions that convey an astute awareness of their surroundings, these dogs possess an astute intelligence that allows them to make choices independently. This distinctive attribute is further amplified by their perceptive nature, which enables them to evaluate situations and react accordingly. Endowed with this remarkable characteristic, the Pekingese embodies a breed of dog that is not easily swayed by external influences, opting instead to follow their own path with confidence and dignity.

Challenges of Owning a Pekingese

Understand the potential health and behavioral issues that come with owning a Pekingese dog.

Breathing Problems

Breathing problems can be a concerning aspect of owning a Pekingese dog, as this breed is particularly susceptible to certain respiratory conditions. One of the main issues is brachycephalic airway syndrome, which can cause difficulties with breathing. Due to their flat faces and shortened nasal passages, Pekingese dogs often struggle to take in sufficient oxygen, leading to persistent snoring, snorting, and wheezing. These respiratory struggles can be exacerbated by excessive exercise or exposure to heat, further compromising their breathing ability. Consequently, owners must remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to prevent overheating and avoid strenuous activities that might exacerbate these respiratory challenges. Regular visits to the veterinarian are essential for monitoring and managing any potential breathing obstructions in order to ensure a healthy and comfortable life for these regal companions.

Eye Infections

One of the challenges that can arise when owning a Pekingese dog is the occurrence of eye infections. These infections can be quite concerning and require prompt attention from a veterinarian. While Pekingese dogs are adored for their distinctive round eyes, this very characteristic can also make them more susceptible to certain ocular issues. Eye infections in Pekingese dogs may manifest as redness, discharge, or excessive tearing, and they can be caused by various factors such as allergies, anatomical abnormalities, or even foreign objects. It is crucial for Pekingese owners to be vigilant and observant in order to detect any signs of discomfort or irritation that could indicate the presence of an eye infection. Seeking immediate veterinary care and following prescribed treatment plans can help alleviate these concerns and ensure the overall well-being of these regal and beloved companions.


Aggression can present itself as a challenging aspect when it comes to owning a Pekingese dog. Given their compact stature and strong-willed nature, these regal companions may display bouts of assertiveness, which require diligent attention. It is essential for owners to comprehend the potential triggers and scenarios that can provoke aggression in Pekingese dogs. With a diverse array of temperament assessments and training techniques, it becomes feasible to curtail and manage any aggressive tendencies. Nonetheless, it is crucial to emphasize that aggression is not an inherent characteristic of this breed, but rather an unfortunate consequence of inadequate socialization or past experiences. By offering a firm yet gentle approach and maintaining consistent boundaries, owners can establish a harmonious and safe environment for their Pekingese, fostering a mutually fulfilling bond based on trust and understanding.


One notable challenge of owning a Pekingese dog is their tendency towards stubbornness, which can prove to be both endearing and frustrating for their owners. With a diverse range of vocabulary, one can describe the Pekingese's inclination to be unyielding or tenacious, showcasing their strong-willed nature. This breed may exhibit an unwavering determination when it comes to certain behaviors or commands, necessitating patience and persistence from their owner. Pekingese dogs, characterized by their lion-like persona, possess a distinct sense of independence, making it crucial for their owners to strike a delicate balance between gentle guidance and firmness. While their regal demeanor evokes admiration, their stubborn streak can present challenges in training and obedience. However, with proper understanding and consistent, positive reinforcement, one can overcome the stubbornness of a Pekingese dog and foster a harmonious relationship built on mutual respect and loyalty.

Pekingese in Modern Times

Discover how the Pekingese dog has adapted to the changing world and remained a beloved companion for centuries.


Companionship lies at the core of the Pekingese dog's existence, forging an everlasting bond between this regal breed and their human counterparts. Renowned for their unwavering loyalty and affectionate nature, these captivating canines have seamlessly adapted to the shifting tides of the modern world, while preserving their revered status as cherished companions for centuries. With their captivating gaze and endearing presence, Pekingese dogs have enraptured the hearts of individuals from all walks of life, transcending borders and cultures to become a cherished and treasured presence in countless households around the globe. Their adaptability and ability to wholeheartedly embrace change, while still exuding the elegance and grace synonymous with their heritage, is a testament to their steadfast dedication to providing unwavering support and companionship to their beloved human counterparts. Whether strolling through bustling city streets or enjoying peaceful country retreats, these delightful creatures continue to captivate and enchant, offering solace, joy, and a sense of connection to all fortunate enough to have them as their faithful companions.

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs, harnessing their innate empathy and gentle nature, have seamlessly integrated into our modern society. These remarkable canines, with their unparalleled ability to connect with individuals, have become indispensable companions in various settings, such as hospitals, schools, and retirement homes. With their diverse vocabulary of comforting gestures and intuitive responses, therapy dogs offer solace and support to those in need. Whether it's through a wagging tail, a soulful gaze, or a delicate nuzzle, these extraordinary creatures forge a unique bond with humans, providing emotional relief without judgment or expectation. Furthermore, they adapt effortlessly to the ever-changing world, seamlessly navigating through bustling crowds and unfamiliar situations, making them versatile in their role as trusted companions. With their commitment to serving others and their unwavering loyalty, therapy dogs continue to bring comfort and joy to countless lives, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of those they meet.


In light of the ever-evolving world, the Pekingese dog, a steadfast companion for centuries, has ingeniously adapted to new challenges through crossbreeding. By selectively merging its noble heritage with other breeds, the Pekingese has embraced a diverse gene pool, resulting in a striking array of physical attributes and temperaments. This deliberate amalgamation has not only invigorated their lineage but also enriched their enduring charisma. Through this process, the Pekingese has deftly integrated the virtues of adaptability, resilience, and versatility into their regal disposition. Such crossbreeding has not only continued to captivate enthusiasts worldwide but has also fostered an enduring appreciation for these majestic canines.


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