The Pekingese, one of the 14 ancient dog breeds, originated in China more than 2,000 years ago. I am a huge fan of the old-school, 8-bit Nintendo game, Destiny of an Emperor; its source material, Luo Guanzhong’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms; and many of the subsequent Dynasty Warriors games. These stories and games are all set among a tumultuous era of Chinese history, the Three Kingdoms period, which lasted roughly from 184 AD until 280 AD. It was in this time that the Pekingese became both popular and heralded dogs.
Pekingese puppies, which had come from the west of China with Buddhist monks, were embraced by royalty as their favored and exclusive companions. Peking (now Beijing) was a regional capital, and from the Han Dynasty onward, princes and emperors treasured this dog that had the spirit and appearance of a lion. First up in our parade of Pekingese puppies is Coco, who admittedly looks more like a bunny than a lion.
Pekingese puppies have long been admired for having bold, outsized personalities that seem at odds with their tiny bodies. This is Buda, who lives in Turkey, and is not at all shy about letting you know he’d like to go for a walk! Look into Buda’s pleading, but insistent eyes, and know that this Pekingese puppy will not accept “no” for an answer!
Although they were known in imperial China as “sleeve dogs” for being small dogs who could maintain a wonted perch on the sleeves of their owners, Pekingese puppies are even smaller. Here’s an intellectual Pekingese puppy, who fits conveniently in one hand! Pekingese puppies were honored at the court of Emperor Ling of the Han Dynasty, who conferred scholarly titles upon his favorite dogs. This little fellow is carrying on a noble tradition.
This is Parker, a Pekingese and Shih Tzu mix. When I came across this image, and after I uttered the obligatory “Aww!” I imagined a contemporary retelling of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. In it, Pekingese puppies sit attentively at the feet of those great heroes, Liu Bei, Zhang Fei, and Guan Yu, as they swear their oath of allegiance and brotherhood to each other in a peach garden. Of course, Pekingese puppies are not known to be particularly quiet, nor do I find many dogs in ancient illustrations of the oath, but that’s why it’s a re-imagining.
Meet Taro! Pekingese puppies need regular exercise or they are at risk of rapid weight gain. Taro is a good Pekingese, all decked out in athletic gear and ready to take to the streets of his neighborhood. Pekingese puppies also prize being the center of attention and make noise when they don’t get it. Taro seems pretty content.
Say hello to Summer! As much as Pekingese puppies like a good trot, they’re also perfectly suited to and comfortable with the indoor life. Excellent companions for apartments and homes, Pekingese puppies will happily claim a spot on the nearest couch, divan, chaise lounge, ottoman, or dog bed, and hold court for hours on end.
Like any other creatures who are accustomed to the royal treatment, Pekingese puppies require regular maintenance. Whether long or short-haired, Pekingese puppies must be groomed frequently. I haven’t the slightest idea what’s going on with Dee, our next Pekingese puppy, in this photo. There’s either been a mighty wind, or we find Dee in the middle of a good brushing session. I can already hear you all laughing as you enjoy these puppy pictures.
Bubbles loves the sporting life. No life of idleness for some Pekingese puppies. A tiny soccer ball is Bubbles’s toy of choice, and he’s brought it right to you! Don’t you want to play a game with him? Look at that tail, soon to become long and luxurious, wagging furiously with all the joy and excitement of puppyhood! Despite a dainty appearance, Pekingese puppies have strong sturdy bodies.
Pekingese puppies are an intelligent lot, and this is Zhuge Liang, named for one of the brightest and most active minds of the later Han Dynasty. Strategist, inventor, scholar, Zhuge Liang was a genius. Pekingese puppies are genius, too, as their flat little faces and fluffy little bodies have enchanted people for millennia.
Pekingese puppies are truly lion dogs; brash and brave, they do not back down from a challenge. Tilly lives in Italy. Here she is on a hike in Bulgaria, confronting a herd of native goats. These goats don’t stand a chance, and if they don’t want to be chastised, they’ll let Tilly pass. From their origins in ancient China, Pekingese puppies are now popular all over the world, making noise wherever they go.
Our look at the romance of Pekingese puppies wraps up here with Tilly, but the adventure continues! Do you own or regularly interact with Pekingese puppies or dogs? We’d love for you to share your adventures, stories, and photos of your Pekingese pals in the comments below!
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