30 June 2023

Let’s talk about… Pekingese: what are they?

  • The Pekingese is a charming and ancient breed with origins in China.
  • They are a small-sized dog known for their distinctive appearance and regal demeanour.
  • Pekingese were treasured by Chinese royalty, and today, they are beloved family pets and cherished for their affectionate nature.
  • Pekingese have a compact and sturdy build with a long, flowing double coat that gives them a majestic look.
  • Males and females typically have a height of around 15-23 cm.
  • They weigh between 3.2-6.4 kg
  • Their average life expectancy is between 12 and 15 years.

Pekingese  Exercise Needs: 2/5 Grooming Ease 3/5 Trainability 3/5

What is the temperament of Pekingese like?

  • Pekingese have a charming and affectionate temperament.
  • They form strong bonds with their families and are known for their loyalty. While they may appear aloof or independent at times, they thrive on human companionship and enjoy being part of the family activities.
  • Pekingese are generally good with older children and adults, but they may not be as tolerant of rough handling or excessive noise, making them better suited for families with older kids.
  • They can be a bit barky, but they tend to bark for a reason, although that reason can be someone passing by the house.
  • Early socialisation is important to help them become more comfortable around strangers and other animals.
  • Pekingese have a dignified and confident nature, which can sometimes lead to stubbornness.
  • They may have a tendency to exhibit a "small dog syndrome" if not properly trained and socialised, so it's important to establish consistent rules and boundaries.
Mia, the Pekingese

How much exercise do Pekingese need?

  • Pekingese have relatively low exercise needs and are well-suited for apartment living.
  • They require approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise per day. This can include short walks, playtime indoors, or gentle activities that stimulate their mind and keep them engaged.
  • It's important to note that Pekingese have a brachycephalic (flat-faced) structure, which can make them more sensitive to heat and respiratory issues. Avoid excessive exercise in hot weather and be mindful of their breathing during physical activity.
  • Keep them well-hydrated and provide ample shade and rest breaks during outdoor exercise.
  • Pekingese puppies have delicate bones and joints that are still developing, so their exercise should be limited and controlled. Short play sessions indoors and gentle walks on soft surfaces are suitable for puppies.
  • As a very general guideline, puppies can start with around 5 minutes of exercise per month of age, up to twice a day, but your vet can advise on your specific pup.
  • Pekingese typically reach their full exercise capacity at an adult level around 12 to 18 months of age. Individual dogs may vary, so it's important to monitor their energy levels and adjust their exercise accordingly, and as per advice from your vet.
Tinker, the Pekingese

Do Pekingese need a lot of grooming?

  • Pekingese require regular grooming to keep their coat healthy and prevent matting. Their long, flowing double coat requires brushing several times a week to remove loose hair and prevent tangles. Pay special attention to areas such as the chest, armpits, and hindquarters, where mats can form more easily.
  • Pekingese have a facial coat that can collect food and debris, so regular cleaning of their face is important.
  • Some Pekingese owners choose to trim their dog's coat to a shorter length for easier maintenance, while others prefer to keep the traditional long coat. Regular bathing, typically once every 4 to 6 weeks, helps keep their coat clean and healthy. A professional groomer can advise on whether coat trimming is useful for your pooch.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Winnie, the Pekingese

Are Pekingese easy to train?

  • While individual dogs will vary, Pekingese are generally considered to be more challenging to train compared to some other breeds, due to their independent and sometimes stubborn nature.
  • However, with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can achieve successful training outcomes with your Pekingese.
  • Early socialisation and basic obedience training are crucial for their overall development. Introduce them to various people, animals, and environments to help them become well-rounded and confident dogs.
  • Keep training sessions short and engaging, as their attention span may be limited. Consistency is key, and repetition will help reinforce desired behaviours.
  • Pekingese can be naturally cautious around new people and unfamiliar situations. Proper socialisation from a young age is essential to help them feel comfortable and confident in different environments. Expose them to a variety of people, animals, sounds, and experiences in a positive and controlled manner.
  • Pekingese can have a strong protective instinct towards their owners, which can manifest as possessiveness. Early socialisation and exposure to different people and situations can help minimise these overprotective tendencies.
Tyson, the Pekingese

What do Pekingese eat?

  • Proper nutrition is essential for the health and well-being of Pekingese. Puppies have specific dietary needs to support their growth, while adult Pekingese require a balanced diet to maintain their weight and overall health.
  • Pekingese puppies should be fed a high-quality puppy food that is formulated for small breeds. Follow the feeding guidelines provided by the food manufacturer and consult with a veterinarian for personalised recommendations based on your puppy's age, weight, and specific needs.
  • Puppies should be fed 3-4 times a day until they are 6 months old when this can be reduced to twice daily.
  • They can transition to an adult small breed dog food at around 10-12 months old.
  • Choose a high-quality commercial dog food that meets their nutritional requirements. The amount of food will depend on factors such as age, activity level, metabolism, and overall health. It's important to monitor their weight and adjust their portions accordingly to prevent obesity.

Are Pekingese healthy?

Pekingese are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they may be prone to certain health conditions. Some common health concerns in Pekingese include:


  • Corneal Ulcers - open sores on the cornea of the eye
  • Distichiasis - when extra hairs grow on the inside of the eyelid and rub on the surface of the eye
  • Dry eye - an ongoing condition where the tear glands in the eyes don’t produce enough protective tear film, which can lead to discomfort, infections and damage of the eye
  • Ectropion - with this condition the eyelid rolls out, which can expose the eye to dryness
  • Entropion - this is where the eyelids roll in, causing eyelashes to rub onto the surface of the eye


  • Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) - narrow airways which can make breathing and temperature regulation difficult.


  • Skin fold dermatitis - inflammation, and possible infection of the skin between two skin folds.

This list is by no means comprehensive, if you have any concerns about the health of your dog, or if you want to discuss further if a Pekingese is right for you, consult with your vet.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Pekingese

BorrowMyDoggy has 212 Pekingese members.

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian.  Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive.  If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health contact your local vet.

Toy Breed Dogs Breed Guides


Long Coated Chihuahua

Miniature Pinscher





Shih Tzu

Yorkshire Terrier

Hey there!

Want to hear about a different kind of dog care that both you and your dog will love?

Or perhaps you're a dog lover who can't have one of your own right now?

We have the pawfect solution, BorrowMyDoggy!

How it works
Dog speaking
Old Tyme Bulldog

Old Tyme Bulldog

Learn facts about the Old Tyme Bulldog dog breed from the BorrowMyDoggy community in our Old Tyme Bulldog guide!

Read article
Norwegian Elkhound

Norwegian Elkhound

Learn facts about the Norwegian Elkhound dog breed from the BorrowMyDoggy community in our Norwegian Elkhound Terrier guide!

Read article
Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Learn facts about the Dandie Dinmonth Terrier dog breed from the BorrowMyDoggy community in our Dandie Dinmonth Terrier guide!

Read article
American Bulldog

American Bulldog

Learn facts about the American Bulldog dog breed from the BorrowMyDoggy community in our American Bulldog guide!

Read article