|Ten questions About Pekingese
- WHAT IS THE SINGLE MOST DEFINING CHARACTERISTIC OF THE BREED?
It is a tossup between head and coat when trying to pinpoint the most defining physical characteristic of the Pekingese. How many times have we heard people say that it is "a head breed". However, what first draws your eye to the Pekingese in the ring is its total outline, unlike any other breed in the world. Then, if on closer inspection it has the proper head, i.e., broad topskull with properly set-on ears, wide cushiony muzzle with correct nose placement and width of underjaw, it is truly a sight to behold.
- WHICH BEHAVIORAL CHARACTERISTIC MOST TIPLIFIES THE BREED?
I believe the characteristic that most typifies the Pekingese is its aloof, regal demeanor. As a breed, they want to look you over good and then decide if you should become their friend. Often there is a hint of arrogance in the way they look at you, as if to say, "I'm Royalty, who are you?"
- WHAT IS THE SINGLE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT THE BREED?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that they are all coat with no body. Once you put your hands on a correct Pekingese you realize just how much dog there is in such a small package. Properly constructed, they look small, but pick up heavy, and you find many Judges picking them up off the table for this reason. They should have a broad chest, good spring of rib, and heavy bone. A poorly built Pekingese will be narrow of chest, a fault that usually goes along with longer, straighter front legs.
- WHAT ATTRIBUTE LENDS ITSELF ESPECIALLY WELL TO THE SHOW RING?
Who cannot give a second look to a glamorous Pekingese strutting around the ring, properly conditioned and trained, and shown to perfection. It is quite a sight to behold! The Toy Group does not have any shortage of glamour, but the Pekingese certainly is a standout.
- WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON JUDGING MISTAKE IN THE BREED?
Many Judges today do not understand the proper structure of the Pekingese. Several have told me that it is the hardest of the toys to judge. One of the reasons for this is that the front and rear assemblies are totally different from each other. In order to have the proper roll the dog must have a massive chest, short bowed legs set on correctly, with elbows that fit close to the chest. When viewed from the front the toes point slightly out and the movement is wide. The rear movement is very similar to the movement of any four square dog in that the feet point straight forward and are reasonably close together. This difference between front and rear is what gives the Pekingese the very distinct roll over the shoulders. Sometimes a side to side rear movement is mistaken for the roll. This is very definitely incorrect! If the tail is lying properly on the back it has very little side to side movement.
- WOULD YOU PREFER THE BREED TO BE JUDGED STANDING OR MOVING?
I really don't think you can make a choice between these and still properly access the whole dog. All too often we see a beautiful dog on the table and then see it fall apart when it moves. Movement, viewed from the front, rear, and side are all necessary. Going over the dog to see what is under the coat is just as necessary. Then you put the two together and come up with your opinion of the best dog on that day.
- WHAT IS THE GREATEST CONCERN TO BREEDERS TODAY?
It is my belief that the greatest concern breeders have today is to breed healthy dogs. We are all concerned with conformation, as that is what is needed in the show ring. However, when we disregard the fact that Pekingese can live as long as 18 years, we have to consider more than just their years in the spotlight. We must continue to concentrate on healthy respiratory and circulatory systems. The only reason that a Pekingese cannot walk around the block with its owner without gasping for air is because we are not paying enough attention to what happens internally. Heart problems are the #1 killer of our breed. We can breed by combining pedigrees and considering conformation and come up with a beautiful specimen, but think before you breed that bitch or use that male at stud. Is it worth it to come up with one beautiful puppy for the ring if you have to sell the others as pets because of pinched nostrils, elongated soft palettes, or collapsing tracheas? We do our breed and the buyers of our puppies a great disservice if we do this.
- WHAT IS THE MOST ENDEARING QUALITY ABOUT THE PEKINGESE?
I have been a Pekingese lover and breeder for more than 40 years and I can say without reservation that the most endearing quality about them is their absolute devotion to their person. Most Pekes will pick one person to attach to and they can do no wrong. Don't make them mad though, or they can give you the cold shoulder for days!
- WHAT THREE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE THE PEKINGESE?
In my opinion, the three words that best describe the Pekingese are: aristocratic, glamorous, and devoted.