Teacup Pekingese- Complete “SLEEVE” Pekingese buyer’s guide

The Teacup Pekingese is a miniaturized version of the already small Pekingese dog breed that originated from China. This Teacup dog is also commonly known as the “Sleeve Pekingese” or the “Mini Pekingese.”

The Teacup Pekingese is not a separate breed from the standard Pekingese size dog breed.

These elegant pocket-sized dogs are known to have a laid back temperament but before deciding to get this dog there are some things that you need to know about him.

So, stick with us as we look at these things.

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The Teacup Pekingese

About the Teacup Pekingese

The Sleeve Pekingese is a flat-faced dog that originated from ancient China.

This is a dog that has had his fair of royalty and to the point where stealing one of these dogs was punishable by death.

Members of the Imperial Chinese Household would carry these teacup dogs in the sleeves of their robes and hence the name “Sleeve Pekingese.

This was more of an Italian tradition that the royal Chinese inherited which led to the breeding of smaller Pekingese dogs and using other methods to stunt their growth.

Some of the methods that were used to miniaturized the Pekingese Lion dog were forbidden by Empress Cixi Dowager. Examples of these growth stunting methods include;

  • Holding the puppies tightly for hours
  • Giving the pups rice wine
  • Putting the adorable pups in a tight-fitting wire mesh waistcoats.

These Teacup Pekingese were loved and were very popular with white and cream being their most desired coat colors.

Today, the most common method of creating mini versions of popular dogs is the breeding of runts.

This is just one of the methods that are used.

Let us look at the methods of Pekingese miniaturization.

Breeding of runts

This involves the repeated breeding of the smallest dogs in the litter to eventually create Teacup Pekingese.

When this is done the genetic makeup of the dog is maintained.

However, there is a disadvantage of using this breeding method as it could make the teacup dog susceptible to some health issues in some cases. This happens in the case where unhealthy runts are bred.

You should note that while most Teacup dogs will grow to be normal, some may suffer from some health conditions.


The introduction of the dwarfism gene is another popular method of Pekingese miniaturization.

However, you should know that the Pekingese is a dog breed that is affected by a condition chondrodysplasia (a type of dwarfism).

This condition is characterized by the dog having short and curved legs.

6 Mini Pekingese fun facts

  1. The Pekingese originated from a region in China known as the Peking district.
  2. This dog was reserved for royalty in the early days.
  3. The Pekingese is believed to have been used in the development of the Shih Tzu, another Chinese dog breed.
  4. This dog is regarded as the sacred guardian of Ancient China.
  5. They are also known as Lion dogs due to their close resemblance with lions.
  6. Miniature Pekingese were very popular dogs for the Imperial Chinese household members.

pekingese-teacup size

Pros and cons of the Sleeve Pekingese


✓ These dogs are great with children.

✔ They are great companion dogs.

✓ He is a very loving and affectionate dog.

✔ They are very adaptable.


✗ Maybe susceptible to many health issues, especially if they are poorly bred.

✘ Difficult to housebreak.

✗ They have high maintenance needs.

Prone to suffering from separation anxiety.

General appearance and characteristics of the Teacup Pekingese

Teacup Pekingese summary table
Height 4-6 inches
Weight 3-6 pounds
Lifespan 12 to 15 years 
Breed Type Toy breed
Purpose Companion
Suitable For All families
Grooming requirements High
Color Variations White, cream, black, fawn, brindle, gray, brown, black and tan, fawn brindle
Health concerns Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), ear infections, Degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD), Breathing problems
Temperament Protective, Independent, Intelligent, Lovable, Loyal, Self-assured, and Proud
Other names Sleeve Pekingese, Mini Pekingese, Teacup Peke, Mini Pelchie

Height and weight

The Teacup Pekingese is a compact toy dog that weighs between 3 and 6 pounds and stands at a height of below 6 inches.

You may also be interested in the Pekingese Poodle mix.

The physical appearance

These dogs are well-balanced and should have lighter hindquarters with a heavier front giving them a resemblance to small lions hence the name “Lion Dog.”

They are brachycephalic meaning that their skulls are shortened making their faces flat with brown eyes that are slightly prominent.

Their heart-shaped ears lie against their heads.


Shedding level and coat appearance

The Teacup Pekingese is an extravagant double-coated with a thick and soft undercoat and long, coarse, straight, and hairy outer coat.

Typically, this long coat should hang on the side of their bodies. They also have fringes and feathering on their underside, chest, and ears.

And as you would expect with any double-coated dog, the Sleeve Pekingese sheds. However, he does not shed as much as other double-coated but will need consistent and considerable grooming to get rid of loose and dead hair.

This dog is also not hypoallergenic and if you are an allergy sufferer, this is not the pooch for you.


The Teacup Pekingese comes in several colors and color combinations that include;

Black  Cream White Red
Blue and tan Fawn sable Fawn Red Sable

They can also have black muzzles, black muzzles with white markings, black faces with white markings, black mask, or a black mask with white markings.

You have a wide array of color options to choose from when it comes to the Pekingese’s coat.

Personality traits and temperament of the Mini Pekingese

The Teacup Pekingese is a dignified and proud dog, exactly what you would expect from a dog with royal and luxurious Chinese ancestry. 

And for this reason, anyone planning to get this pooch should be ready to treat him with respect.

With that in mind, you should know that this Miniature version of the Pekingese makes a great companion. This aristocratic doggos will always demand all the attention and love that you can give.

He is great for;

  • Seniors
  • Singles
  • People that live in apartments
  • Anyone looking for a couch potato

These dogs are also independent as much as they are affectionate and this makes them have somewhat of a stubborn streak.

They are reserved around strangers and but can be slightly wary of them.

However, with proper and frequent socialization, they should learn to be trusting of strangers as long as they do not perceive them as a threat.

This teacup dog does not have ay aggressive or destructive tendencies but when frightened or stressed they may act out by biting, barking, and doing other destructive behaviors. These behaviors are typical for a dog in distress.

Mini Pelchies are very vocal dogs and they will have a lot to talk about by barking. You should beware of this if you have neighbors next door.

They are most likely to bark at moving objects, when someone passes by the house, or even when the door is rung. This is another great reason to properly socialize them early and consistently.

A minature Pekingese

Is the Sleeve Pekingese a good family dog?

For most families, the Sleeve Pekingese is a great pet and companion that is also very adaptable.

They are, however, better suited for families with older children due to their fragile nature. These dogs do not tolerate rough play and easily get frightened.

When around children, you should be there for careful supervision to reduce the risk of injury.

Finding a puppy

A good and reputable Teacup Pekingese breeder will be hard to come by.

But if you happen to find any breeders you should be careful to make sure that it is not a puppy mill or a backyard breeder.

You should be even more careful of breeders that you find online. Make sure that they have the necessary documentation to prove they are good and certified.

Get to know the breeding method that the breeder used and make sure that both parents have bee tested and cleared of any health issues.

A good breeder should also be willing to show you some of the pups that he has bred and how healthy they turned out. The pups should be able to breathe normally and their nostrils should be open enough for free-flow of air.

Do not take any chances when looking for a Sleeve Pekingese puppy.

You can check out our guide on how to find a reputable breeder to see some of the red flags that you should be aware of.

How much does a Teacup Pekingese cost?

A Sleeve Pekingese will cost between $700 and $1500. The price could go upwards of $2000 for superior Pekingese lines and pedigrees.



The Sleeve Pekingese may be small but he is high maintenance and will need regular grooming.

Daily brushing will be needed to prevent the formation of tangles that may eventually lead to the formation of hard mats. Brushing will also help to minimize shedding in this dog by removing any dead or loose hair.

Their faces will also need special care. You can do this by using wet wipes to clean between the folds to remove any food and dust.

The long coat will also need to be trimmed after several months.

Diet and nutrition

You should choose a special diet that is formulated for toy breeds.

Feeding this dog too much food or too little is very easy but the general rule of thumb is to give the pooch 30 calories for every pound that he weighs. This will help to meet his daily calorie requirements.

Teacup Pekingese Daily Food Consumption
Calories 100-200
Cups of Kibble 🍗

If you choose kibble as your main diet make sure that it is high-quality and should not have any fillers or additives. It should also be high on proteins and low on fats and carbs.

Feeding this dog on raw bones, raw meat, or wet food is not recommended. 

Teacup Pekingese exercise requirements

This couch potato will need some form of daily exercise. It is not all about letting him snuggle on your lap all day.

Daily mental and physical stimulation is crucial for this dog’s wellbeing and health.

You can fo this by taking him for two 10-minute walks every day and spending some playtime with him.

It is very important that when taking the Teacup Pekingese for a walk you use a dog harness instead of a collar. This is because he is a fragile dog and a dog collar could lead to tracheal collapse.

Also, provide the dog with as many chew toys, balls, and other interesting toys that he can use for self-entertainment.

Number of walks 2(10 minutes each)
Exercise needs 20 minutes

If you are stuck at home, here are some great dog indoor exercise ideas.


How to train a Teacup Pekingese

The independent and stubborn nature of this dog makes him difficult to train, especially during housebreaking.

However, with the right motivation, training these spoilt dogs will get easier. Praises, treats and lots of hugs are some of the ways that you can motivate this pooch to work wonders and make training him easier.

You will also need to socialize dog when he is still young and should continue even as he gets older.

Known health concerns

Poor genetics and poor breeding practices can cause many health issues in this Sleeve Pekingese.

Bacterial infections are common if the folds on his face are not well cleaned. You should make sure that the folds are cleaned after every meal and make sure that they are kept dry.

Other common issues with this dog are;

  • Tracheal collapse
  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
  • Ear infections
  • Degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD)
  • Brachycephalic airway syndrome which causes breathing problems

How long does a Teacup Pekingese live?

A Teacup Pekingese has an average lifespan of between 12 and 15 years.

Breed summary

Whether you are a new or experienced dog owner, the Teacup Pekingese will have something to offer you.

They are historical companion dogs and should not have a problem adapting to your lifestyle.

However, you should note that his frisky personality can throw an owner in a loop.

He is a great lap dog and that means that he has no problem being carried by his loved ones but you should always remember to handle his fragile body with lots of care.

Do you think you have what it take to be a Sleeve Pekingese owner?

Give us your feedback and share any questions and thoughts that you may have in the comment section below.

There you go, WOOF!!