Delightful, Loyal, Opinionated: The Pekingese Dog Breed

pekingese dog breed

Often referred to as a lion dog or sun dog, the Pekingese dog breed has long been revered as a sacred breed. The Pekingese dog breed’s personality is unique in that they can quickly check you with their royal attitude and simultaneously charm you with their soft round eyes, full mane, and playfulness. 

Do Pekingese Bark a Lot?

For being a small dog, the Pekingese isn’t considered yappy like fellow toy breeds; however, they tend to bark a lot. While a Pekingese tends to bark for a good reason, each dog is unique. Genetics and environment can affect a Pekingese’s temperament and behavior, as can a lack of socialization during puppyhood.

close up of pekingese with dark mask

How to stop a Pekingese from excessive barking

Before you can reduce your pet’s barking, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • All dogs bark! Barking is a dog’s primary form of communication with humans and other canines. For this reason, never seek to quiet your dog completely; rather, seek to reduce excessive barking. For more on that, see BarxBuddy’s guide to dog barking.
  • Safety first! Because a dog’s bark can mean they are in pain or injured, you need to ensure your pet’s barking isn’t health-related.
  • Be consistent! Although a Pekingese tends to be a one-person dog, all household members must follow the same approach you set. This effort will show your pet he can’t get away with an undesired behavior behind your back.
  • Patience! Practice patience with your Pekingese, as this breed can be exasperatingly willful and test your resolve. Changes to his behavior will not occur overnight but over time.

Tips for controlling your Pekingese’s bark-fest

The first step in controlling your dog’s barks requires you to figure out what your pet’s triggers are. Is your Pekingese compelled to hover around a window or door so he can bark at everything and everyone that passes by? Perhaps your pet simply barks out of boredom or when left alone. 

The Pekingese dog breed has a protective personality and may bark at every little sight or sound. If this is the case, try cloaking these triggers. Remove your dog’s ability to see or hear people, animals, and vehicles by closing windows, doors, curtains, and blinds. If you need to mask audible triggers, create noise inside the house with a radio, television, or smart speaker. Another option for visual or audible stimuli is to distract your pet from the situation altogether with an activity, like hide-and-seek using treats. 

pekingese puppy

The problem with cloaking and masking is that they simply remove triggers; they don’t teach your dog when it’s OK and not OK to bark.  

We recommend using a training device to get your dog’s attention. Then, while you’ve got it, you issue a “quiet” command. Each time he attempts to resume the barking, you again use the device to interrupt him, issue a quiet command. This is our train, treat, repeat method for training dogs.

Does the Pekingese Dog Breed Need a Lot of Exercise?

This breed is a lower-energy breed that requires about 60 minutes of daily exercise and mental stimulation. However, because Pekingese is a brachycephalic (broad, short skull) breed, they have little endurance for vigorous exercise and are vulnerable to heatstroke and exhaustion.

pekingese dog breed in red and white

Break up your Pekingese’s exercise routine into two or three shorter sessions to avoid exhaustion and other health risks.

For more information on exercise requirements by breed, read “How Much Exercise Dogs Need by Breed.”

Facts About Pekingese

Although this flat-faced breed’s true origin is unknown, Pekingese have been companions to Chinese nobles for centuries. This breed, while active, requires about an hour of daily exercise. Due to their shortened muzzle, Pekingese don’t do well in hot or humid weather. They thrive on attention and get along better with older children. Supervision around children is a must as a Pekingese will become defensive against rough-housing children.

  • Size: Pekingese range from 6 to 9 inches in height and weigh up to 14 pounds.
  • Life expectancy: Pekingese have an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years.
  • Coat: A Pekingese coat is long (resembles a lion’s mane) and comes in various red shades. 
  • AKC group: Pekingese belong to the AKC toy group.

Is the Pekingese Dog Breed Easy to Train?

Pekingese is a very intelligent and strong-willed breed. Together these traits allow a Pekingese to take charge of most situations and can make training difficult. Well-known for their performances at dog shows, the Pekingese do excel at obedience, given the right approach by their owners. You must establish yourself as the leader and avoid using harsh discipline and training. Otherwise, your pet may become defensive and bite. Positive reinforcement dog training with praise and treats is a better option, as Pekingese are highly motivated by food. Don’t overindulge your pet, though, because Pekingese can become overweight.

Do Pekingese Need Grooming?

Yep, and plenty of it! The thick double-coat of a Pekingese makes it one of the more high-maintenance breeds. Deemed seasonal shedders, hour-long brushing a few times a week will remove any loose hairs, keeping them from accumulating on your clothes and furniture.

pekingese with short hair

Brushing should further prevent matting; however, if you miss any or come across stubborn mats or tangles, work them out with a slicker brush or metal comb. Occasional baths will help ensure your pet’s coat looks its best and regular nail trims will prevent overgrowth, which can cause your dog pain. If you intend for your pet to be a show dog, consider routine professional grooming.

What If My Breed Is a Pekingese Mix?

Pekingese, dignified and aloof, can lend for some interesting mixes. While you may never exactly know what to expect from mixing breeds, researching both breed parents can offer some idea of the traits the offspring may possess. Although Pekingese enjoy good overall health, they’re prone to health conditions, including cataracts, fold dermatitis (infection between folds in the skin), and brachycephalic syndrome (problem breathing in short-faced breeds).

Here are some popular Pekingese breed mixes:

Resource Links for More Pekingese Info