(Please note that the following information is general in nature; every dog is different depending on what life brought to it. The information is a compilation of relevant material taken from the Rescue's own insights, Wikipedia, and Petwave.com.) PERSONALITY
The Pekingese, or "Peke" (also commonly referred to as "Lion Dog" due to its resemblance to Chinese guardian lions, or "Pelchie Dog") is an ancient breed of toy dog originating in China. The breed was favored by the Chinese Imperial court, and its name refers to the city of Beijing where the Forbidden City resides. They were held in high regard and often given as gifts among the nobility. This regal air is still common in modern Pekingese, who believe themselves to be royalty, and expect their families to treat them as nobility and not helpless lap dogs. The Pekingese breed is over 2000 years old and has hardly changed in all that time.
According to the AKC Standard, Pekingese "should imply courage, boldness, and self-esteem." Pekingese make excellent companions for older people who have the time to devote a lot of their attention to their dog. They adore their immediate family but are wary of strangers, which makes them excellent little watchdogs. Activity Requirements
Pekingese can be happy in a big home or an apartment, as they don't need a lot of vigorous activity to maintain health and happiness. They like to take walks, proudly strutting their stuff around the neighborhood, and will love playing outdoors, but as they get older they become less playful. Because of their build and low stature, Pekingese should always be walked using a harness to avoid putting pressure on the throat and trachea, as this can damage the trachea and lead to respiratory issues.
Exercise is extremely important since Pekingese can be picky eaters, and proper diet is necessary to avoid excess weight which can increase the possibility of harm to their spine, knees and heart. Health & Wellbeing
The Pekingese should not be kept outside, as their flattened face and nose can cause them to develop breathing problems, making it difficult for them to regulate their body temperature in overly hot or cold weather. Their long backs, relative to their legs, make them vulnerable to back injuries. Care should be taken, when picking them up, to give adequate support to the back: one hand under the chest, the other under the abdomen or bottom. Short legs give some Pekingese difficulty with stairs; older dogs may not be able to go up or down stairs alone.
The leading cause of death for Pekingese, as with many other toy breeds, is trauma. This is followed by congestive heart failure (which can be treated if identified early), back issues caused by jumping/or moving wrong, and eye issues. The eyes are one of the prettiest features of the Peke—but they are also very sensitive. (Thus the reason you see so many Pekes with one eye). Many Pekes also have dry eye, a condition that can be treated, but not reversed once identified.
Pekingese are said to be difficult to train. They believe they are in charge of the home, and many owners have a tendency to treat them this way. You must begin early with your Pekingese, establishing leadership and a chain of command with you at the top. They are “thinkers” in that they think about what you are asking them to do … and only do it if they want to. In this way they are very “cat” like: It is not that they don’t understand—it is more about whether or not they want to do it. (They are smart … but stubborn). Food is an excellent motivator, as is lots of excited praise. Keep sessions short and vary the activities in order to hold your Peke’s interest.
Poor eyesight and hearing can be contributing factors in the inability to train a Peke. Often, older Pekes who have diminished eyesight and hearing only know their special person via smell.
Pekingese are not recommended for families with small children. They are possessive of their toys and food and can snap or bite toddlers who do not understand how to respect a dog's boundaries. They demand a lot of attention and can become resentful of children who may take the focus away from them.
Pekingese are generally well-behaved and quieter dogs. It is recommended that people who work long hours not adopt a Pekingese, as they want to be with you much of the time. As companion dogs they are better suited for retirees or families with a stay-at-home or work-at-home parent.