The Pekingese were originally bred in the Chinese Imperial Palace in Beijing, China. Chinese works of art depict the Pekingese as far back as 900 A.D. Five dogs were looted from the Summer Palace in 1860 and taken to England. Imports to the U.S.A. began in early 1900’s and the first of the breed were registered in Canada in 1910. The Pekingese toy size makes it a most endearing companion dog that will happily sit on a lap, go for walks or take part in obedience and agility.

General Appearance: The Pekingese is a well-balanced, compact dog of Chinese origin with a heavy front and lighter hindquarters. Its image is lion like, implying courage, dignity, boldness and self-esteem rather than daintiness or delicacy.

Pekingese Temperament: A combination of regal dignity, intelligence and self-importance make for a good natured, opinionated and affectionate companion to those who have earned its respect. Can be stubborn. Its temperament is one of directness, independence and individuality.

Size: The Pekingese, when lifted, has a centre of gravity towards its front end. It is surprisingly heavy for its size. It has a stocky, muscular body. All weights are correct within a limit of 14 lbs (6.3 kg). Overall balance is of utmost importance. The head is large in proportion to the body. The Pekingese is longer than tall when measured from the forechest to the buttocks.



Coat and Colour: It is a long, coarse-textured, straight, stand-off outer coat, with thick, soft undercoat. The coat forms a noticeable mane on the neck and shoulder area with the coat on the remainder of the body being somewhat shorter in length. A long and profuse coat is desirable providing it does not obscure the shape of the body. Long feathering is found on toes, backs of the thighs and forelegs, with longer fringing on the ears and tail. Presentation should accentuate the natural outline of the of the Pekingese. Any obvious trimming or sculpting of the coat, detracting from its natural appearance, should be severely penalized. Only trimming between the pads under the feet, to prevent slipping, is permitted. Removal of stray hairs poking the eyeballs is allowed. All coat colours and markings are allowable and of equal merit. Red, fawn, black, black and tan, sable, brindle, white and cream. The colouring of a particoloured dog must be broken on the body; white should be shown on the saddle. No large portion of any colour should exist.

A black mask or a self-coloured face is equally acceptable. Regardless of coat colour, the exposed skin of the muzzle, nose, lips and eye rims are black. Spectacles around the eyes with lines running to the ears are desirable.

Head: Face: The top skull is massive, broad and flat and, when combined with wide set eyes, cheekbones and broad lower jaw, forms the correctly shaped face. When viewed from the front, the skull is wider than deep, which contributes to the desired rectangular, envelope-shaped appearance of the head. In profile, the face is flat. When viewed from the side, the chin, nose leather and brow all lie in one plane, which slants very slightly backward from chin to forehead. Ears: They are heart-shaped, set on the front corners of the top skull, and lie flat against the head. The leather does not extend below the jaw. Correctly placed ears, with their heavy feathering and long fringing, frame the sides of the face and add to the appearance of a wide rectangular head. Eyes: They are large, very dark, clear, round, lustrous and set wide apart. They are placed frontally. The look is bold, not bulging or bolting. The whites of the eyes should not show when the dog is looking straight ahead. Nose: It is broad, short and black. Nostrils are wide and open, never pinched. A line drawn horizontally over the top of the nose intersects slightly above the centre of the eyes. Wrinkle: It effectively separates the upper and lower areas of the face. It is a hair-covered fold of skin extending from one cheek over the bridge of the nose in a wide inverted V to the other cheek. It is never prominent or heavy as to crowd the facial features, obscure more than a small portion of the eyes, or fall forward over any portion of the nose leather. Stop: Deep, it is obscured from view by the over-nose wrinkle. Muzzle: It is very flat, broad, and well filled-in below the eyes. Whiskers add to the desired expression and should never be removed (so as to protect the eyes). Mouth: Level lips, not showing teeth or tongue; broad level under jaw. Tight flews. Lippyness undesirable. Teeth: undershot. Reverse scissors bite unacceptable.

Neck: It is very short and thick.

Forequarters: They are short, thick and heavy boned. The bones of the forelegs are moderately bowed between the pastern and the elbow. The broad chest, wide set forelegs and closer rear legs all contribute to the correct rolling gate. The distance from the point of shoulder to the tip of the withers is approximately equal to the distance from the point of the shoulder to the elbow. Shoulders are well laid back and fit smoothly onto the body. The elbows are always close to the body. Feet: Front feet are turned out slightly when standing or moving. They are large and flat not round, well fringed, standing well up on feet not pasterns. The pasterns slope gently. Dew claws may or may not be present.

Body: It is pear-shaped, compact and low to the ground. It is heavy in front with well-sprung ribs slung between the forelegs. The forechest is broad and full without protruding breastbone. The underline rises from the deep chest to the lighter loin, thus forming a narrow waist. The topline is straight. The loin is short, with longer loin being acceptable in bitches.

Hindquarters: They are lighter in bone than the forequarters. There is a moderate angulation of stifle and hock. When viewed from behind, the rear legs are reasonably close and parallel, never cow-hocked or bandy-legged or straddled too far apart. Feet: The hind feet point straight ahead when standing or moving. They are smaller than the front feet. Dew claws may or may not be present.

Tail: The high tail set is slightly arched and carried well over the back, free of kinks or curls. Long, profuse, straight fringing may fall to either side.

Gait: Fore-action: slow, dignified, rolling gait caused by body being heavy in front and lighter hind-quarters, with forelegs being bowed and hindquarters being close and parallel. The typical rolling action is not to be confused with a roll caused by slackness of shoulders that will not flow freely. Hind-action: close, steady and free. Soundness essential. This motion is smooth and effortless and is as free as possible from bouncing, prancing or jarring. There is adequate reach and moderate drive.


  • Dudley, liver or grey nose
  • Pinched nostrils
  • Protruding tongue or teeth
  • Overshot, level, scissors bite or reverse scissors bite
  • Wry mouth
  • Narrow underjaw or weak chin
  • Light brown, yellow, blue or badly blemished eyes
  • Ears set much too high, low or far back
  • Roach or swayback
  • Straight-boned forelegs


  • Weight over 14 lbs (6.3 kg)
  • Albino or liver colour

Link: Pekingese video on Animal Planet.