Weight: 7 to 14 pounds
Height: 15 – 23 cm (Adult, At the withers)
Colors: Black, Fawn, Black & Tan, Cream, Fawn Brindle, Grey
Life Span: 12 – 15 years
The Pekingese originated in the Imperial courts of China. 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. According to the AKC Standard, Pekingese "should imply courage, boldness, and self-esteem rather than prettiness, daintiness, or delicacy." Pekingese make excellent companions for older people who have the time to devote all of their attention to their dog, as this breed demands a lot of attention. They adore their immediate family but are wary of strangers, which makes them excellent little watchdogs.
The Pekingese has a median lifespan of 11.4 years in a UK Kennel Club survey. It is normal, however for them to live anywhere between 12 and 15 years.
The leading cause of death for Pekingese, as for many other Toy breeds, is trauma. Top leading causes of organ systems include neurologic and cardiovascular, e.g., congestive heart failure. When diagnosed early and successfully treated with medication, a Peke with this problem can expect to live many years. A heart murmur is a potential sign of a problem, and must be evaluated by a veterinary cardiologist. Very often, the problem does not surface until the dog is 6 or more years old, so it is very difficult to screen the problem in a pup.