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Breeding and Care of the White Pekingese
Starting in 1997 with the purchase of Singlewell Tonic from the kennel of Pam Edmund in England I have been attempting to breed a champion line of white Pekingese. I already had several off-white bitches, but had nowhere to go to improve the color until I could use Tonic, who is an ice white. Since white is recessive to all colors, you must breed white to white in order to consistently produce white. If you breed two dogs of any other color together and one of them carries a strong gene for white you will get an occasional white puppy in the litter. These probably will not be what we call paper white or ice white, but will have some crème in the coat.

Before going further, I would like to explain what I mean by the color crème. A crème dog has only one color and that includes the hair on the face. There are no black hairs nor is there any mask as we know it. Crème is just a shade beyond what I consider creamy white and is not a fawn. A dog of this color bred to a white will produce ONLY white or crème no darker than he is. This has been tested several times at this kennel after importing another male: Sachiko Gold Digger From Pekehuis—a crème who is not white bred.

Since the American Standard calls for all colors to be equal and no longer states that a black mask is preferred, judges must be willing to look at the whites with the same eye that they look at the other colors with. This has not always been the case. Now, we must take this one step further and be willing to admit that the whites must be equal in quality to the other colors. No longer can we afford the statement, “it is pretty good—for a white”.

A good white must have excellent pigment around the eye rims, mouth, and pads of the feet, and the eyes should be so dark that you cannot see the pupil except in the brightest light. With these qualities in your line, you should be able to breed white to white for several generations without losing pigment. You will probably notice the first sign of poor pigment in the pads of the feet, then the nose. Newborn puppies are born very pink and white with no sign of black. They will be a few days old before you notice the darkening and if it takes longer than a week or ten days for the nose to completely turn black you will know that you are looking at a possible problem in the future.

Coat care is basically the same as for any other color, with a few exceptions! First of all, you may notice the eye staining on the face where you would not if the dog had a black mask. Not all whites have eye staining and I am attempting to breed away from this problem. If they do stain, there are a few things you can do to minimize it. First of all, keep the face cleaned daily with distilled water. You could also add a bit of boric acid powder to the water. Johnson’s baby shampoo can be used to wash the face with no fear of hurting the eyes.

Staining can also be more noticeable on the white coat. Minerals in the water will sometimes stain, and exercising on concrete, grass, etc. can produce staining. I, for one, refuse to keep my dogs up in wire bottom pens—they are free spirits here—so I am always on the lookout for products to keep the coat white. There are several good brands of white dog shampoos available on the market today; either from the dog show vendors or the mail order catalogs. Be careful with the “blue” ones, as repeated bathing will sometimes turn the coat blue! Experiment until you find the one, or ones, you like the best. A thermogenic shampoo, which you put on hot, is quite effective. I am careful to make sure my shampoo contains no bleaching agents or harsh chemicals, which will often dry the coat. A remoisterizing conditioner can be used between shows to keep the coat from tangling. One product that I like is Cowboy Magic’s Detangler & Shine, which you rub on the coat before brushing. It makes brushing much easier. After shampooing, Absorbine’s Show Sheen can be sprayed on the underside, which helps to keep the urine and dirt from staining the coat.