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Ways of the Pekingese


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Author Topic: Ways of the Pekingese  (Read 2407 times)
Jessie Phallon
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« on: March 09, 2008, 05:40:16 pm »

Appearance

The Pekingese breed is over 2000 years old and has hardly changed in all that time. One exception is that modern breeders and dog-show judges seem to prefer the long-haired type over the more-traditional spaniel-type coat.

All breed standards allow all sorts of color combinations. The most common is gold; this is the color of the majority of Pekingese exhibited. Although the breed once came in a variety of colours, the majority of Pekingese are gold, red or sable. Light gold, cream, black, white, sables, black and tan and occasionally 'blue' or slate grey have appeared in the breed. The latter often has poor pigment and light eyes. Albino Pekingese (white with pink eyes) should be bred cautiously due to health problems that have been associated with albinism.

A common misconception people make with the Pekingese breed is that they are inactive and slow dogs, usually judged by their long coats. Despite their appearance, the Pekingese is a very athletic breed of dog. The Chinese bred them to be companions to the Emperor of China and his ladies and eunuchs. They have short legs that are bowed. It is said that this was done to discourage wandering. However, they can and will keep up with the big dogs when allowed. The bowed legs makes their walk, run, or trot quite striking. The juvenile appearance of the Pekingese has been attributed to the artificial, perhaps inadvertent, paedomorphosis of an "ancestral" form of the dog through breeding.

Pekes weigh from 7 to 14 pounds (3-6 kg) and stand about 6-9 inches (15-23 cm) at the withers, however they can sometimes be smaller. These smaller Pekes are commonly referred to as "Sleeve" Pekingese or just "Sleeves". The name is taken from ancient times, when emperors would carry the smallest of the breed in their sleeves.

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