The Pekingese

The Pekingese
From the palace to the people: The history behind a little prince of a puppy.


Once upon a time in a faraway land, there lived a great lion. The lion fell in love with the most unlikely romantic candidate: a marmoset. Yes, the tiniest monkey in the kingdom. In order for our lovesick hero to wed his chosen lady, he did what any beast in his position would. He had a chat with Ah Chu, the Chinese patron saint of animals, requesting that Ah Chu shrink him to the size of a pygmy. But he asked that he be able to keep his great lion spirit.

The lovechild of this mismatched affair-according to folklore-was the Lion Dog of China, otherwise known as the formidable, wrinkly-faced Pekingese.

Old urban myth aside, the breed has a history that dates back millennia. Collins Gem Dogs (2004) identifies the Pekingese as having the most ancient lineage of all Far Eastern toy breeds. The American Kennel Club (AKC) reports that the earliest known record of these dogs is traceable to China's Tang Dynasty of the 8th century.

A favourite of the Chinese Imperial Court, the Pekingese was first bred to represent the spirit of Buddha and the dogs were frequently given titles such as "Viceroy" or "Imperial Guardsman." In fact, it was the custom for emperors to select four to act as bodyguards on state occasions. (Stop laughing, it's true.) Two would announce his approach with sharp, piercing barks, and two would hold the hem of his robe in their mouths. (No matter how big her possé, not even Mrs. Britney Federline has a bodyguard who will do that.)

During China's Toa Kuang period from 1821-1851, Pekingese popularity reached its most manic height, and injury to one such Viceroy or theft of one such Guardsman was punishable by death. ("Put the Pekingese down. Back away from the Pekingese.")
While official records of pedigrees weren't kept, Imperial Dog Books-complete with illustrations of the most attractive dogs-were used as a standard. Breeding theories were plentiful; however, pre-natal impression was the method most commonly practiced. Expectant Pekingese mothers were shown pictures of the most beautiful dogs several times a day and would sleep on sheepskins in order to encourage the desired profuse coat.

In 1860, when allied troops occupied Peking (now called Beijing), five Pekingese were found hovering beside their deceased attendants, who had committed suicide to avoid capture. One of these dogs was taken by a General Dunne and given to Queen Victoria, who named her new friend "Looty." To this day, Looty's portrait hangs on the walls of Windsor Castle.

The AKC first registered the Pekingese in 1906 and the Pekingese Club of America became a member of the AKC in 1909.
The AKC breed standard describes the Pekingese as "a well-balanced, compact dog." Its temperament is one of "directness, independence, and individuality" and its image is "lionlike," implying dignity and boldness. While making an ideal apartment lapdog, this toy breed is anything but dainty. More stocky football player than feather-light ballerina, it stands a sturdy 6 to 9 inches high and is surprisingly heavy for its size, weighing up to 14 pounds. Courageous to the point of being ridiculous, the Pekingese is every bit the barky watchdog when necessary.

As if genetically engineered for crown adornment, the skull is massive and flat. The face in profile is also flat and is perhaps the breed's most recognizable feature. The muzzle, which undeniably creates the push-faced effect, is dark and broad and the folds of its wrinkled skin require careful cleaning. As well, teeth crowded into small mouths demand much in the way of proactive dental care to prevent early loss. Eyes are large, dark, and round. Ears are heart-shaped and lie flat against the head. The tail, slightly arched, is carried well over the back, free of curls or kinks. Long and coarse, the coat forms an impressive mane on the short, thick neck, and shoulders. Feathering over the ears, legs, and tail is reminiscent of Farrah Fawcett in days gone by.

Like many royals, your little prince will require much in the way of grooming. Although loyal, he is a bit aloof, and-like many members of the monarchy-born to command, not obey. His lifespan will be approximately 12 years.

China's passionate love affair with the breed eventually came to an abrupt end in 1911. Court officials killed virtually all Pekingese upon the death of Empress Dowager Tsu Hsi, who had surrounded herself with the little "Lion Dogs" in order to gain prestige. Luckily, the Pekingese was already established in the West and was not lost to the world. It could be argued that the transporting of Looty and her friends was the single most important event to contribute to the happy ending of this fairy tale. Because, as any glance at a dog park near you will confirm, they continue to live happily ever after.

Add a comment

Comments (5)

OMG ! We have a rescue peke and he is WONDERFUL ! He is a social butterfly. It just amazes my husband how friendly and outgoing he is. He attracts plenty of a attention too. He's a firey little red head with a personality to match. He is by far the smartest and most stubborn dog I've ever had. Just love him.
Thu, 08/02/2012 - 05:27
Every reunion believe are joy,<a href="">Mont blanc bags</a> like I saw your web site, its structure is rich, web page optimization near perfect work, this gives me me a lot of enlightenment, and I believe I will to mining provides some things, then become yourself can have the resources, that is not a successful result, hehe!
Mon, 09/17/2012 - 21:07
Your <a href="" title="cheap ray ban sunglasses"><b>cheap ray ban sunglasses</b></a> dress yourself in are going to be without difficulty <a href="" title="ray ban sunglasses cheap"><b>ray ban sunglasses cheap</b></a> recognizable, <a href="" title="ray ban sunglasses sale"><b>ray ban sunglasses sale</b></a> as being a number one type <a href="" title="ray ban aviator sale"><b>ray ban aviator sale</b></a>, which are often worn out every day <a href="" title="cheap ray ban wayfarer"><b>cheap ray ban wayfarer</b></a> so that you can a special event <a href="" title="oakley sunglasses cheap"><b>oakley sunglasses cheap</b></a>. There is certainly its not necessary for you to neglect <a href="" title="discount oakley sunglasses"><b>discount oakley sunglasses</b></a> away on this subject designer type if you dress yourself in <a href="" title="cheap oakley eyeglasses"><b>cheap oakley eyeglasses</b></a> approved a pair of glasses.
Mon, 01/07/2013 - 00:44
<p>Gucci is recognized as among the world's leading designers, but how did they will get there? What were the <a href="">cheap Gucci belts</a> origins and exactly how did they will build this type of impressive empire? The Gucci Company was actually created by Guccio Gucci in 1921. Guccio was not merely the founder, though the main custom for the Businesses luxury <a href="">cheap Gucci hats</a>. Many of his or her signature pieces date back for the early 1900's. The particular bamboo splashes, which embellish his <a href="">cheap Gucci men shoes</a>, now has turn out to be an intricate aspect in his view designs, while have the horsebit condition and the <a href="">Gucci watches on sale</a>. Producing an appealing and well recognized model was second nature to Gucci, but working with his family ended up being another <a href="">cheap Gucci sunglasses</a>. His / her sons set foot in to help run and also expand the business, but this warm blooded Italian family did not constantly see attention to eye. The disputes were abundant, but that didn't hold <a href="">Gucci men clothes on sale</a> from distributing their chicken wings through the United states of america and Europe. After many years associated with turmoil from the family, <a href="">cheap Gucci men shoulder bags</a> ultimately went general public in 1998. This selection saved the organization and made sure its productive future.</p>
Tue, 04/09/2013 - 20:17
louis vuitton handbags they casted average dress code). An absolutely surreal experience! There is nothing like walking a tiger up the road to make you feel alive. There are many different things to do at the tiger temple. However, if money is an issue, buying bags in a similar, " inspired by" style is fine. If you DO choose to wear unauthentic designer wear, be prepared to tell the truth. Any avid bag lover can spot the difference depending on the quality of the knockoff.
If you are one of the fashion savvy individuals who cannot accept anything but the best in terms of quality as well as design, then the online clothing outlet is the place for you to shop from. Despite the immense progress in ecommerce technology that has made internet shopping a highly pleasurable experience, many people still think twice about making their purchase from the online outlet for clothes. The truth is that you are losing out on a number of benefits if you are not shopping for clothes online.. louis vuitton sunglasses money and other valuable items With her beauty business in the doldrums, she has more time on her hands these days and for anyone nearby with fake hair that can only spell disaster. As the seasons change and the sorrows of winter become the joys of spring, the thoughts of our WAG wannabe turn from learning how to say 'labioplasty' and return to her favourite subject - how to become more tanned. with whiter teeth .
louis vuitton - louis vuitton key pouch damieryou may buy an individual bag that anyone with spouse will get to experience depending on whose turn it is.6. They last a long time. Vuitton as being a label has been online for many years which is since the brand has not yet failed its customers.
louis vuitton luggage february 2013 birth club theodora richards and tommy hilfiger Born to Keith Richards and supermodel-turned-actress-turned-dedicated mother Patti Hansen in 1986, Theodora had the pedigree to make it big with little or no effort. She could have coasted on her father name or relied exclusively on the good looks she inherited from mom. In reality, she did a little of both, using Keith name to garner Tommy Hilfiger attention as a 16-year-old wannabe model, and using those beauty genes to earn a spot in his 2002 campaign (alongside her younger sister Alex)..
Thu, 05/16/2013 - 10:32

Dog of the Week!

Meet: Fallon