Exactly when the old “Tibetan Spaniel” type Pekingese emerged is lost in antiquity, but historians trace a short muzzle dog in China back to 200 BC. It is likely that Pekingese descended from early Maltese obtained from Muslim traders in China and that all Chinese toy dogs go back to those imports.

Around 800 AD, the breeding of toy dogs escalated in China, but was replaced by a predominance of cat breeding from 1368-1628. During the Manchurian rule of Beijing (then Peking) from 1644 -1911, Pekingese and sleeve dogs became objects of trade with the
Europeans. Pekingese with black-spotted tongues were a particular favorite in Europe.

General Appearance

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


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.


The Pekingese, when lifted, is surprisingly heavy for its size. It has a stocky, muscular body. All weights are correct within the limit of 14 pounds. Disqualification: Weight over 14 pounds.


All coat colors and markings are allowable and of equal merit. A black mask or a self-colored face is equally acceptable. Regardless of coat color the exposed skin of the muzzle, nose, lips and eye rims is black.

Learn more at the The Pekingese Club of America.