Lifestyle Needs



The Pekingese (‘Peke’ or ‘Lion Dog’)  is one of the smallest of the toy dog breeds.  His is extremely flat faced, short legged and hairy.  Typically a lap dog but a dog with strength of character.  His long, thick coat  needs daily grooming and this, together with his flat features, means that he must be kept cool in warm weather.  He is unable to walk fast or for long distances but should be gently exercised daily.

Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 8.1% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Effective Population Size - EPS


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

  • Brachycephalic ocular syndrome, due to the Pekingese’s extremely short head and consequential shape and position of the eyes.  Prone to several eye conditions causing chronic irritation and pain.
  • Brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome (BOAS) (also due to head shape) – obstruction of the larynx and trachea (windpipe), causing breathing difficulties and exercise intolerance.
  • Stenotic nares (closure of the nostrils by excess skin) – also contributes to breathing difficulties.
  • Suffering in hot weather, due to the above and hair abundance.
  • Difficulty eating, due to mouth deformities.
  • Dystocia (difficulty giving birth)
  • Intertrigo (facial fold skin disease)
  • Hemivertebrae (abnormally shaped vertebrae causing spinal cord compression, pain and hind limb weakness)  Caused by selection for curly tail.

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Eye disease: Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) (gradual loss of vision) (annual testing)
  • The Pekingese is one of the 15 high profile breeds designated by the Kennel Club as requiring particular monitoring by reason of visible conditions which may cause health and welfare concerns.

Identified by the UK Kennel club as part of their Breed Health and Conservation Plan.

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:

DNA Tests Available

None known

Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes

Heart health scheme.

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Heart disease: Mitral valve diserase (degeneration of the mitral valve – can lead to heart failure)
  • Pyloric stenosis (thickening of stomach muscles causing obstruction, vomiting and inabilty to digest food)
  • Patellar luxation (dislocated kneecap)
  • Intervertebral disc disease (causing back pain and sometimes weakness and paralysis)
  • Entropion (inward turning of the eyelids, causing irritation and damage to eye)
  • Distichiasis (abnormal hairs on eyelid margins, causing irritation and damage)
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye)
  • Glaucoma
  • Corneal ulcers (ulcers of the front of the eye)
  • Cancer: perianal gland tumors
  • Cryptorchism (failure of descent of testicles with failure to mature)

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents.  Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding:

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

List of Dog Breeds