The Pekingese is a small, well-balanced, compact dog. It has a stocky, muscular body that is slightly longer than it is tall. The head is large in proportion to the rest of the body, with the top of the head being massive, broad and flat. The front of the face is flat. The muzzle is broad and flat, thicker below the eyes, separating the upper and lower areas of the face. The skin on the muzzle is black.
The black nose is broad and short. Teeth meet in an under bite with a broad jaw bone. The large, prominent, round eyes are set wide apart with black eye rims. The heart-shaped ears are set on the front corners of the top of the skull, lying flat against the head.
They are well feathered so that they appear to blend with the head, giving it a rectangular look. The neck is short and thick. The legs are short, thick and heavy-boned. The tail is high-set, slightly arched and carried over the back. The outer coat is long and coarse in texture with profuse feathering. The undercoat is soft and thick. The coat comes in all colors, sometimes with a black mask.
Pekingese can be happy in a big home or an apartment, as they don't need a lot of vigorous activity to maintain health and happiness. They like to take walks, proudly strutting their stuff around the neighborhood, and will love playing outdoors, but as they get older they become less playful.
Pekingese tend to catch colds very easily. Very difficult births. Prone to herniated disks and dislocated kneecaps. Trichaiasis (lashes growing inwards toward the eyeballs). Breathing problems and heart problems are also common.
Food is an excellent motivator, as is lots of excited praise. Keep sessions short and vary the activities in order to hold his intereest.
Pekingese need a daily walk, where the dog is made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human.
Pekingese are not recommended for families with small children. They are possessive of their toys and food and can snap or bite toddlers who do not understand how to respect a dog's boundaries. They demand a lot of attention and can become resentful of children who may take the focus away from them.
It is important to give your Pekingese independence. Let him walk on a leash rather than tote him around in a bag and socialize him around people and other animals so that he knows how to greet and be greeted with proper manners.