Existed and well-known as a royal pet dog by Chinese emperors during the imperial dynasties, the Chinese Imperial dogs are so treasured that they are carried around on the emperor’s laps or sleeves.

These are small breed dogs that originated from the family of Shih Tzu dogs. It was believed that these dogs had lived further back around 2,000 years ago.

Chinese Imperial Dogs

Because of their small stature and affectionate trait, the Chinese Imperial dogs have caught the attention of many dog lovers so much so that their reputation has reached the Western hemisphere where they are popularly recognized as Pekingese dogs since their kind originated from Peking, China or Beijing of today.

There were stories then that tell how these dogs were very much valued such that it was an honor for a Chinese noble to accept these Chinese Imperial dogs as a gift and had been customary to a Chinese Empress to give out Imperial dogs as a commemorative gift to foreign dignitaries.

Traits and Behavior

Cheerful and playful with their owners, no doubt these dogs are perfect as pet dogs. They are fond to be cuddled with and placed on the owner’s laps. They are sometimes referred to as ‘foot warmers’ because they easily get the attention or have a natural knack for warming up to people.

Chinese Imperial Dog tongue out

These Imperial dogs are also sturdy, intelligent such that they easily obey instructions and can perform specific tasks or tricks.

It is also in their nature to be outgoing. Therefore, there’s a need for them to do outdoor activities like walking, running or playing around.

Their small size is not a deterring factor for them to respond to a command.

They can be good companions for travel or on vacations. They also are adaptive to environments that allow them the ease and comfort of being considered as pet dogs.

Their small stature is perfect for small places like in an apartment or condominium living since they don’t necessarily need a big space to be playful and do their usual stuff.

With proper training, they can be relied on as good companions and pets for children and the elderly.

Pet Care and Diseases

Occasional trimming is necessary for the Imperial dogs.  A regular bath, cleaning of the ears to check for infection or mucous plugs to prevent bulging of the tympanic membrane is also important.

Chinese Imperial Dog indoor

This dog is also a shedder so it is obligatory to comb or brush using a firm bristled brush regularly.

For its exercise regime, frequent long walks at least every two to three days must be conducted so as not to invite unwarranted, behavior problems.

Their food intake must be monitored and managed as they are delicate pets and can easily fall into serious health problems due to poor nutritional intake.

Hypoglycemia is a common health problem of this dog.


They are similar to Shih Tzu dogs; however, they vary in size and shape of head and body. Body built is as half-sized as the Shih Tzu dogs.

Chinese Imperial Dog looking up

They possess a lengthy, smooth coat which gives much of hair covering almost to its body chest and feet.

They stand about 23 cm and weigh about 4.1 kg. Their heads appear bigger in proportion to their body structure.

They have large black eyes, with a wide eye rim and a definite small nose and muzzle. Coat colors are usually black and white, solid tri-colored or bi-colored, black and cream to brown in color.

Ears are floppy and, sometimes, hang loosely on both cheeks.

General Information

Their life expectancy ranges from 10-12 years. The average litter size is about 2-3 puppies. Other names include Chinese Imperial Shih Tzu, Imperial Shih Tzu, Miniature Shih Tzu, Teacup Shih Tzu and Tiny Toy Shih Tzu.