It wasn’t until 1860 that the Pekingese reached the West. When British and French troops invaded the Summer Palace in China during the Second Opium War, Chinese Imperial Guards were ordered to kill the Pekingese in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of “foreign devils.” Only 5 survived. They were taken to Queen Victoria, and from those 5, the Pekingese descended. They were first seen in Britain in 1893, and were recognized in the United States in 1909.
The Pekingese is feisty, courageous, and independent. A brave little dog, loyal, and very affectionate with its master; loving to the point of jealousy. They are affectionate and sensitive, and thrive on human attention. Pekingese are leery of strangers, and sometimes they can be a bit stubborn. They are loyal and tend to be very protective of their owner.
It is important to socialize Pekingese at an early age to avoid aggressiveness towards other animals. The Pekingese is a large dog in a small body. It expects to be respected and will not tolerate being treated otherwise. A combination of regal dignity, intelligence, courageousness and self-importance make for a good-natured, opinionated and affectionate companion to those who have earned its respect.