The Pekingese Dog Breed Standard of 1916

Read all about the breed standard for the Pekingese dog breed back in 1916.

From the Archives of Dog World: Enjoy this all-access pass to dog history from the pages of the longest published dog magazine. This content remains in its original form and reflects the language and views of its time. Health and behavior information evolves and only the most current advice should be followed. Dog World magazine Jan 1916

The Pekingese Spaniel or otherwise known as the Palace Dogs of China are becoming very popular and fashionable in America, and especially in the East where the entries at shows out number any other variety of the Toy Specimens and, I might say, all breeds. To begin with they are a very hearty breed. Very attractive when in full bloom. Very active, good disposition and full of life at all times. Also his large full eye, his broad, short, flat face and nicely feathered ruff, cobby body and sturdy little bowed legs and his lacking ways and faithful attachment endears him to every owner.

The standard of perfection as recognized by Judges and the Pekingese Club of America is as follows: 
1st Expression- Must suggest the Chinese origin of the Pekingese in its quaintness and individuality, resemblance to the Lion indirectness and independence and should imply courage, boldness, self esteem and combatiness, rather than prettiness, daintiness or delicacy.

2nd Head. Massive broad skull, wide and flat between the ears (not domed shape), wide between the eyes.

3rd Nose. Black, broad, very short and flat.

4th Eyes. Large, dark, prominent, round and lustrous.

5th Stop. Deep.

6th Ears. Heart shaped, not set too high, leather never long enough to come below the muzzle, not carried erect, but rather dripping, long feather.

7th Muzzle. Very short and broad, not underhung nor pointed, wrinkled.

8th Mane. Profuse, extending beyond shoulder blades, forming ruff or frill round front of neck.

9th Shape of body. Heavy in front, broad chest falling away lighter, lion-like and not too long in the body.

10th Coat, feather and condition. Long with thick undercoat, straight and flat, not curly nor waivy, rather course but soft, feather on thighs, legs, tail and toes long and profuse.

11th Color. All colors are allowable, Red, Fawn, Black, Black and Tan, Sable, Brindle, White, and Parti-Colored, black masks and spectacles around eyes, with lines to ears are desirable.

12th Legs. Short, forelegs heavy, bowed out at elbows, hind legs lighter but firm and well shaped.

13th Feet. Flat, not round, should stand well up on toes, not on ankles.

14th Tail. Curled and carried well up on the longs, long, profuse, straight feather.

15th Size. Being a toy dog the smaller the better, provided type and points are not sacrificed; anything over 18 lbs. must disqualify. When divided by weight classes should be over 10 lbs. and under 10 lbs.

16th Action. Free, strong and high, crossing feet or thowing them out in running should not take off  marks. Weakness of joints should be penalized.

The first known specimen of the Pekingese, as far as we can learn, were imported to England nearly 50 years ago, after the Sacks of the Summer Palace. In 1860 the English and French then in alliance, found it necessary to bring China in submission. In China, the original breed is said to have come from Manchuria.

They were little known except in Pekin itself, and went by the name of Lion Dogs, Sun Dogs, and Slave Dogs (so called when particularly small). The punishment meted out to any one removing from the palace one of them, however young, was severe. It had been in recent years, death by stoning; but as a rule the penalty was long protracted, and was known as “death by the thousand slices.”

After the loot of the palace, a pair of these dogs was given to the late Duchess of Richmond by a relation of the Duke, who was present at Pekin at the time.

Few of them dogs were found in an apartment of the Emperor’s aunt, who committed suicide in the approach of the troops. The color of the two dogs was a rich chestnut brown with black markings and weighing from 5 to 6 lbs. Lord John Hay, who was at that time Captain of H. M. S. Odin, brought away another pair from the palace. General Dunne secured a fifth specimen of fawn, white, which he presented to her late Majesty Queen Victoria, it being so small as to sleep curled up in his forage cap, the portrait of this little dog, painted for the Queen by Landseer is said to be now at Windsor.

Excerpted from Dog World magazine, January 1916, Vol. 1, No. 1. For back issues of Dog World, click here.


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