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The Pekingese is a big dog in a small body. He fears very few other dogs, no matter how big they are, which sometimes gets him in trouble. He is a very sturdy dog with a heavy chest, short bowed legs and a head quite large for his size. His crowning glory is the beautiful flowing double coat that does not need trimming, topped by a high set tail with the plume carried well over the back.

There are many things to enjoy about this breed. They are very affectionate, obstinate at times, hard of hearing at times (until you open the refrigerator!) and easy to live with. They will match their mood to yours. If you want to play, they are willing. If you want to be quiet and read, they will sit at your feet. They are not high-strung yappy dogs but an all-round delightful pet, both in apartments and homes with yards.

While not a wash and wear breed, they are not as demanding as some other coated breeds. With the proper harsh textured guard coat, a complete grooming once a week will keep them looking their best.


The slow, dignified, rolling gait of the Pekingese is unique to this breed. It is a slight alternate rocking motion over the shoulders on either side of the rib cage as each foot reaches forward and drops to the ground. Therefore, it is the front of the dog that is rolling (or pivoting), while the rear moves straight forward with the legs relatively close. The correct gait produces very little bounce or sideways movement.

The front is very heavy boned, and though we do want free movement, it is reasonably slow due to the short, bowed front legs. Far too many exhibitors rush their Pekes around the ring, too fast for a judge to make an accurate evaluation of whether the dog rolls correctly or not.

Because the rear is lighter and the hind legs are straight and parallel to each other, the heavy front of the dog swivels on a narrow waist and short loin. This is permitted when the rear propels but does not drive the dog. If the dog has too much drive behind and/or is not heavy enough in front, there is no time for the roll and one sees an incorrect, choppy gait.

If a dog is “high on leg” it is probably because the chest is not slung between the legs. These can really race around the ring, but they will not have the proper roll. Too much side-ways movement is often the result of elbows that are not close to the body (out at the elbows) or loose shoulders. Also, when the tail moves from side to side when the dog is gaiting it is probably due to an improperly assembled rear.