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American Kennel Club

Pekingese Parent Club


Rodney Dayton | Create Your Badge






Pekingese Standards

Whether you want to breed, show, or just want a house pet, you should be aware of the breeds standards.

Recently, a new set of standards was approved by the PCA, and the AKC. Here they are:


The Pekingese is a well-balanced, compact dog with heavy front and lighter hindquarters. It must suggest its Chinese origin in its directness, independence, individuality and expression. Its image is lion like. It should imply courage, boldness and self-esteem rather than prettiness, daintiness or delicacy.


Size/Substance: The Pekingese should be surprisingly heavy when lifted. It has a stocky, muscular body. The bone of the forequarters must be very heavy in relation to the size of the dog. All weights are correct within the limit of 14 pounds, provided that type and points are not sacrificed.
Proportion: The length of the body, from the front of the breast bone in a straight line to the buttocks, is slightly greater than the height at the withers. Overall balance is of utmost importance.


Skull: The top skull is massive, broad and flat (not dome-shaped). The top skull, the high, wide cheek bones, broad lower jaw and wide chin are the structural formation of the correctly shaped face. When viewed frontally, the skull is wider than deep and contributes to the rectangular envelope-shaped appearance of the head. In profile, the Pekingese face must be flat. The chin, nose leather and brow all lie in one plane. In the natural position of the head, this plane appears vertical but slants very slightly backward from chin to forehead.
Nose:   It is black, broad, very short and in profile, contributes to the flat appearance of the face. Nostrils are open. The nose is positioned between the eyes so that a line drawn horizontally across the top of the nose intersects the center of the eyes.
Eyes:  They are large, very dark, round, lustrous and set wide apart. The look is bold, not bulging. The eye rims are black and the white of the eye does not show when the dog is looking straight ahead.
Wrinkle:  It effectively separates the upper and lower areas of the face. The appearance is of a hair covered fold in the skin, extending from one cheek, over the bridge of the nose in a wide inverted "V", to the other cheek. It is NEVER so prominent or heavy as to crowd the facial features nor to obscure a large portion of the eyes or the nose from view.
Stop:  It is deep. The bridge of the nose is completely obscured from view by hair and/or the over-nose wrinkle.
Muzzle:  This is very short and broad with high, wide cheek bones. The color of the skin is black. Whiskers add to the Oriental expression.
Mouth: The lower jaw is slightly undershot. The lips meet on a level plane and neither teeth nor tongue show when the mouth is closed. The lower jaw is strong, wide, firm and straight across at the chin. An excessively strong chin is as undesirable.
Ears: They are heart-shaped and set on the front corners of the skull extending the line of the top skull. Correctly placed ears frame the sides of the face and with their heavy feathering create an illusion of additional width of the head.
Pigment: The skin of the nose, lips and eye rims is BLACK on all colors.


Neck: It is very short, thick and set back into the shoulder.
Body: This pear-shaped and compact. It is heavy in front with well-sprung ribs slung between the forelegs. The broad chest with little or no protruding breast bone, tapers to lighter loins with a distinct waist The top line is level.
Tail: The base is set high; the remainder is carried well over the center of the back. Long, profuse straight feather may fall to either side.


Forequarters: They are short, thick and heavy-boned. The bones of the forelegs are slightly bowed between the pastern and the elbow. Shoulders are gently laid back and fit smoothly into the body. The elbows are always close to the body. Front feet are large, flat and turned slightly out. The dog must stand well up on feet.
Hindquarters: They are lighter in bone than the forequarters. There is moderate angulation and definition of stifle and hock. When viewed from behind, the rear legs are reasonably close and parallel and the feet point straight ahead.


Body Coat: It is full-bodies, with long, coarse textured, straight, stand-off coat and thick, softer undercoat. The coat forms a noticeable mane on the neck and shoulder area with the coat on the remainder of the body somewhat shorter in length. A long and profuse coat is desirable providing that it does not obscure the shapeliness of the body, nor sacrifice the correct coat texture.
Feathering: Long feathering is found on the back on the thighs and forelegs, and on the ears, tail and toes. The feathering is left on the toes, but should not be so long as to prevent free movement.


All coat colors and markings, including parti-colors, are allowable and of equal merit.


The gait is unhurried and dignified, with a slight roll over the shoulders. The rolling gait is caused by the bowed front legs and heavier, wider forequarters pivoting on the tapered waist and the lighter, straight parallel hindquarters. The rolling motion is smooth and effortless and is as free as possible from bouncing, prancing or jarring.


A combination of regal dignity, self-importance, self-confidence and exasperating stubbornness make for a good natured, lively and affectionate companion to those who have earned its respect.

THE FOREGOING IS A DESCRIPTION OF THE IDEAL PEKINGESE. Any deviation should be penalized in direct proportion to the extent of that deviation.


  • Dudley, liver or grey nose

  • Light brown, yellow, or blue eyes

  • Protruding tongue or teeth

  • Overshot upper jaw

  • Wry mouth

  • Ears set much too high, low or far back

  • Roach or sway back

  • Straight-boned forelegs


Weight over 14 pounds.


  • Expression: 5

  • Skull: 10

  • Nose: 5

  • Eyes: 5

  • Stop: 5

  • Ears: 5

  • Muzzle: 5

  • Shape of Body: 20

  • Legs & Feet: 15

  • Coat, Feather & Condition: 10

  • Tail: 5

  • Action: 10

  • TOTAL: 100

** Here's a few extras **

Expression: Must suggest the Chinese origin of the Pekingese in its quaintness and individuality, resemblance to the lion in directions and independence and should imply courage, boldness, self-esteem and combativeness rather than prettiness, daintiness or delicacy. Small, well-balanced thickset dog

Actions: Fearless, free and strong, with slight roll.

Mane: Profuse, extending beyond shoulder blades, forming ruff or frill round the neck.

Colors: All colors are allowable: Red, fawn, black, black and tan, sable, brindle, white and parti-color well defined black mask, (WHITE is the exception), spectacles around the eyes, with lines to ears are desirable.

Parti-color: (Defined) The coloring of a parti-colored dog must be broken on the body. No large portion of any one color should exist. White should be shown on the saddle. A dog of any solid color with white feet and chest is NOT a parti-color dog.

Size: A toy dog, medium size is preferred, extreme limit: 14 pounds



by Julia M. Crawford

If a Pekingese puppy has an umbilical hernia, it will be apparent by 6 weeks of age as a bubblelike protrusion at the navel. This occurs when the umbilical rings fail to close fully after birth. Umbilical hernias can be caused by heredity, cutting the umbilical cord too short, or excessive stress on the umbilical cord during delivery. The frequency of occurrence of this type of hernia in Pekes should indicate that heredity is a factor. The mode of inheritance is unknown. The concern that this condition poses for the future of the breed is small in comparison with far more weighty matters such as structural soundness, excellence in breed type and longevity.

In more than 30 years of experience with Pekingese, only once did our veterinarian feel surgical correction of an umbilical hernia was necessary The size of the protrusions we have seen range from minuscule to the size of a nickel at 6 weeks, and if makes note of the presence of a hernia, the pup is monitored. Not once have any of the puppies had a problem. In the highly unlikely event that an umbilical hernia becomes painful to the touch, swollen or red, the dog should be examined by a veterinarian within 24 hours. Experienced Peke breeders have found that bitches with umbilical hernias - some quite large - are unaffected by repeated pregnancies, even with large litters.

Some veterinarians are unaware that umbilical hernias can be a common occurrence in Pekingese. They alarm new owners with recommendations for surgical correction and a call to spay or neuter the pup regardless of its quality.

A Pekingese status as a candidate for future breeding should not be determined by the presence of an umbilical hernia. While concerns about the condition may be justifiable with some other breeds, not so with Bernese. The call for surgical repair is usually unnecessary, other than for cosmetic reasons.

One veterinarian actually told the new owners of a 9-week-old potential show puppy that the pup's small umbilical hernia (identified by the breeder and her attending veterinarian as being no problem)) would have to be repaired for the health of the dog even if it would disqualify the dog from showing because of the surgical alteration of appearance. In fact, the AKC's disqualification applying to all breeds regarding hernia surgery mentions only corrections of inguinal (in or near the groin), scrotal or perineal (near the anus) hernias, not umbilical hernias. Fortunately, inguinal, scrotal and perineal hernias are very rare in Pekingese.

The presence of an umbilical hernia should, of course, be called to the attention of the prospective owner. We have found it helpful to provide a written, referenced discussion of umbilical hernias in Pekingese Dogs that can be presented to the puppy's veterinarian to assist in making knowledgeable recommendations to the owner.