The Pekingese is an ancient breed from China, getting its name from the capital city Peking, now called Beijing around 800 a.d. There are three legends about how this breed came to be; the first is the mating of a lion and a marmoset, the second is the mating of a lion and a butterfly, and the third is the mating of a lion and a monkey. Since it is believed the Buddha had a hand in any of these couplings, the breed was a temple dog thought to be able to destroy little demons in the palace or temple. At the time of the Tang dynasty, only royalty could own a Pekingese and the punishment for taking one was death. When the British overtook the Chinese in 1860 they returned home with several of these prized dogs, and this is thought to be the first exposure of this breed to the outside world. Pekingese have a thick, long double coat that can be any color and must be given a thorough 1 hour long brushing at least weekly. This long lived little companion weighs 7 to 14 pounds and stands 6 to 9 inches tall at the withers. The AKC recognized this breed in the Toy Group in 1906.
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