With legends that can be traced back to ancient Chinese dynasties, the Pekingese is truly a regal creature. The small, maned dogs resembled the symbol of Buddha, the lion, and were developed to accentuate this resemblance. Later, Queen Victoria was given one, causing great demand for the dogs in Britain. First registered by the AKC in 1906, the Pekingese continues its role as charming, loyal companion.


Small, less than 14 pounds (dogs 6 pounds and under are called sleeves, because they could be carried in the sleeves of their Chinese masters).


All colors, but the exposed skin of the muzzle, nose, lips, and eye rims is black.


Regal, intelligent, independent, and self-important. Affectionate to family; often aloof with strangers. May not be sturdy enough for a child’s handling.

Energy level:


Best owner:

Low-key owner who is a gentle and patient trainer, and tolerant of snoring.


Leisurely walks or indoor romps, regular combing, air conditioning, daily cleaning around nose wrinkle and hind end.

Life expectancy:

13 to 15 years.