Dating back to the eighth century, the Pekingese breed originated in China during the Tang dynasty. The breed gets its name from the ancient city of Peking, now known as Beijing, where Pekingese were once bred only for royalty. Also known as the "lion dog of China," these dogs were brought to England in 1860, where they gained popularity after one was gifted to Queen Victoria. The Pekingese's popularity continued in the U.S., and the breed was accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1906. With a loving home, your Pekingese will grow into a loyal, regal little companion.
Brush your Pekingese daily to prevent any mats from forming on the long, lion-like coat and mane. The coat has a straight outer coat and long, soft undercoat; a combination of a slicker brush and natural bristle brush will remove knots in the fur and excess hair from both coats. Without daily grooming for at least 10 minutes at a time, your Pekingese will require an hour or so of grooming each week.
Bathe your dog with a gentle dog shampoo to keep his coat shiny and bright, using conditioner to make brushing the hair easier after blow drying the coat. For show purposes, do not clip your Pekingese's hair.
Clean your Pekingese's eyes daily to prevent staining around the eyes from tears. Use a sterile saline solution on a wash cloth or damp paper towel to wipe away excess tears and stains around the corners of the eyes. Dry the area completely with a clean cloth. Trim stray hairs with a blunt pair of scissors to keep them from getting in your dog's eyes and irritating them.
Wipe your Pekingese's facial wrinkle above his nose daily with a damp wash cloth to keep it clean and prevent a skin infection, such as skin fold pyoderma, from developing. Dry the wrinkle with a clean cloth after wiping.
Exercise your Pekingese daily to keep him from gaining too much weight; show dogs are disqualified by the AKC if they are over 14 pounds. Because the Pekingese can be a bit of a couch potato, encourage your dog to play interactive games with you or take him for a brief walk on a leash. Exercise indoors, in a temperature-controlled environment, during exceedingly warm temperatures over 85 degrees Fahrenheit, cognizant of potential breathing difficulties outdoors given your dog’s snub nose. If when exercising your dog begins to pant, stop to give him a rest and bring him indoors to prevent heat stroke.
Take your Pekingese to a veterinarian for regular check-ups and required vaccinations. This breed can suffer from a number of health conditions that affect the eyes, including cataracts, entropion, keratoconjunctivitis sicca and distichiasis. They can also suffer from bone and joint conditions such as Intervertebral disk disease and atlantoaxial subluxation. Before any surgical procedures, ask your veterinarian if she has had experience anesthetizing a Pekingese, because this brachycephalic -- meaning short-skulled -- breed does not tolerate it well. This is especially important before routine surgeries such as neutering or dental cleaning.
Feed your Pekingese a primarily canned food diet and provide him with plenty of fresh water. The Pekingese is prone to struvite crystal formation in his bladder, and a diet high in water helps to prevent these stones. Follow the recommendations of the manufacturer when deciding on the portions for your dog to prevent overfeeding him. Obesity can contribute to the formation of bladder stones as well.
Take your Pekingese out for bathroom breaks at the same times each day to the same spot to eliminate. The Pekingese can be hard to housetrain, and a consistent routine helps to ensure your dog won't eliminate indoors. Frequent bathroom breaks, at least every four hours, also help prevent bladder infections and stones.
Teach your Pekingese basic obedience and proper socialization by exposing him to a range of other dogs and people. Use positive, reward-based training with a clicker to train him to be quiet on command; this breed can bark excessively if not trained properly.