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-faced 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.

Genetic Diversity
(Known as Coefficient of Inbreeding: 'COI'. It should be as low as possible.)

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

Gene Pool Size
(Known as 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.
  • Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) (also due to head shape)
  • Stenotic nares
  • Suffering in hot weather, due to the above and hair abundance.
  • Difficulty eating, due to mouth deformities.
  • Dystocia
  • Intertrigo (facial fold skin disease)
  • Hemivertebrae Caused by selection for curly tail.

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

Eye disease: Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) (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) : No EBVs are currently available for this breed

DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)

  • Chondrodysplasia (Type 1 IVDD)

Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test.

Other Breed-Specific Health Screening Schemes


Heart  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 disease
  • Abnormal dentition
  • Hemivertebrae
  • Patellar luxation
  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
  • Entropion
  • Distichiasis
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye)
  • Glaucoma
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Dystocia
  • Tracheal collapse

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.

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

The breeder should also be familiar with the CFSG/DBRG Code of Practice for Dog Breeding

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

Breed Health Information