The Pekingese, or “Peke,” is one of the more popular dog breeds, especially for people who are looking for a toy-sized pet. These dogs can easily travel on planes and pretty much any common mode of transportation. Their regal appearance with a lion-like mane and independent personalities that are frequently described as reflecting their breeding history. Originally from China, the Pekingese was a favorite of the royal/ruling class for centuries. Along with a distinctively fluid gait, it’s not hard to understand why many people today from every background have grown to love the Pekingese.
Size and Travel Options
This is a shorter, compactly-framed toy dog breed. With a height of 6-9 inches and an average weight of 10-14 pounds, these dogs do best with a soft-sided carrier more for the width than the height to ensure a comfortable flight. Like other snub-nosed or short-faced dogs, you should refrain from flying a Pekingese in the cargo hold of the plane. The good news is that this breed is also one of the most reliably small breeds. With the right travel carrier, you should have little trouble qualifying your Peke for travel in the cabin of the plane. While we don’t recommend cargo travel because of their snub-nosed profile, their thick coat of fur means they generally do better with cold weather than hot weather destinations.
Personality as a Travel Companion
Frequently described as independent and even stubborn, they can still make for reliable travel companions. This is because they’re relatively calm, loyal to their owners, and generally not too freaked out about strange situations. They frequently do fine with airport and airline travel. They have a relatively low risk of separation anxiety, but they may take an extra minute to coral when they have a different opinion of the situation. Again, they mimic their royal heritage. Ever alert, Pekingese make good watchdogs without being overly aggressive or posing a threat to the general public.
Moderate shedding and grooming needs means you’ll want to plan for brushing at least a couple times a week as well as the occasional bath to prevent mats and help keep your Peke looking its best. It also means the Pekingese is NOT hypoallergenic.
Health and Longevity
The average life expectancy of Pekingese is 12-14 years. They enjoy a generally healthy breed history, but they do have a few respiratory health struggles related to their short-faced profile, as well as a number of rare genetic conditions. Try to look for a Pekingese puppy with wide-open nostrils which can help minimize respiratory issues. Another thing to watch out for is eye irritants. Their short muzzle also makes their eyes more prone to injury and infection. Avoid overpacking travel carriers, and make sure your dog can comfortably sit, stand, and turnaround in their carrier.
Pekingese Breeders and Adoption Centers
Working with a reputable breeder greatly increases your chances of getting a healthy and beautiful Pekingese who will serve as your faithful travel companion for years to come. Because of their calm temperament and beautiful fur, they’re frequently part of breed mixes, as well as purebred Pekingese. At an adoption or rescue center, you might find a Pekingese puppy for $300-$600 to help cover the general expenses of the shelter and animal care. Working with a reputable breeder is more likely to cost between $750-$2,500+, depending on the pedigree of the animal and regional breeding costs.