The Pekingese dog breed originated in China during the eighth century. The breed has a small, compact body with naturally long, flowing fur that gives Pekingese a regal appearance but also requires weekly brushing. The outer coat is coarse with a softer undercoat. The natural fur direction forms a lion-like mane around the neck and shoulders. The fur along the top of the back is shorter than the mane, with longer side fur falling naturally to the floor. The legs, thighs, ears and tail have long, feathered fur.
Show dogs must allow the fur to grow naturally long with minimal trimming to accentuate the natural shape of the dog's coat. Many owners who do not show their Pekingese prefer trimming the fur to a shorter length for convenience.
Trim the fur on the undersides of the paws and between the pads of the feet with grooming scissors. This must be done whether you have a show dog or companion dog. When left untrimmed, the fur between the pads forms matted balls that make walking uncomfortable for the dog. Trimming the fur between the pads also gives the Pekingese better footing on slippery floor surfaces. Neaten the fur around the edges of the paws with scissors, following the natural shape of the paw.
The skirt of Pekingese show dogs is the fur that grows down from their sides and belly, touching the floor. Trim the skirt even with the floor using thinning shears if you plan to enter your dog into shows. Companion dogs can have a shorter skirt.
Cut the fur with thinning shears along the bottom of the skirt, going diagonally in one direction along the ends of the fur, and then begin again with a diagonal cut in the other direction along the ends of the fur to give a natural appearance. If you trim the fur in one direction only, the fur has a blunt look, rather than a feathered look. The thinning shears thin the bottom of the skirt; cutting in a crisscross pattern prevents a skirt that is too straight across the bottom.
Using scissors, trim the long fur behind the front and back legs to remove damaged, uneven ends. Lightly trimming the long, feathered fur on the tail makes it appear thick and healthy. Trim the fur on the ears only if it is matted or too long.
The fur on the top of the Pekingese head should lie as flat as possible. You can train the fur to lie flat using a brush and water, brushing it flat each day. If this does not work, use a stripping comb across the top of the dog’s head, following the fur direction. Only remove enough to allow the fur to fall flat across the top of the head. The stripping comb pulls out excess fur, rather than cutting it.
The lion cut is a short hairstyle for Pekingese dogs that do not enter dog shows. Trim the fur from the shoulders, across the back, sides and about half-way up the tail to approximately one-quarter inch in length, using electric grooming clippers. Leave a tuft of fur on the end of the tail, similar to a lion’s tail. Trim the underbelly fur with electric clippers, but leave it a bit longer than the fur on the dog’s back, resembling the underbelly fur of a lion. Clip the fur the same length as the back fur on all four legs. The fur on top of the head, ears and around the dog’s neck is long, forming the lion’s mane. You can neaten and shape the mane, using grooming scissors.
When Pekingese play with other dogs that pull on their fur, the fur can break and tear.
Excessive brushing and bathing can cause dry, flaky skin and a brittle, damaged coat.
References & Resources
More on Pekingese Care
How to Potty Train a Pekingese
Training and Raising a Pekingese
Healthy Eating for a Pekingese
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