PEKINGESE. The Pekingese is a well-balanced, compact dog of Chinese origin with a heavy front and lighter hindquarters. They are small dogs but are not to be considered delicate or dainty. Their image is lion-like, implying courage, dignity, boldness and self-esteem. Earliest known record of Pekingese existence is traceable to the Tang dynasty of the 8th century. However, the very oldest strains (held only by the imperial family) were kept pure, and the theft of one of the sacred dogs was punishable by death.