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Peke-A-Tese (Maltese & Pekingese Mix): Info, Pictures, Traits

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Height: 5–9 inches
Weight: 5–13 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Colors: Most often white, but any color including lemon, tan, cream, red, fawn, black, or black and tan
Suitable for: Mild to moderately active families and individuals, city or suburban homes, apartment life, those willing to groom and style their dog’s hair daily
Temperament: Independent, Gentle, Regal, Affectionate, Playful, Good-tempered, Fearless, Dignified, Stubborn

Have you always wanted an affectionate dog with hair that you could style? Feast your eyes on the regal, pocket-sized, and luxuriously furred Peke-a-Tese! Though the name sounds like a Pokémon, the Peke-a-Tese is a hybrid of two ancient breeds. The Maltese and Pekingese have rich histories that span back to ancient Greece and Imperial China. Let’s get more familiar with the Peke-a-Tese by closely examining their ancestry.

Maltese dogs are a type of bichon from the Mediterranean. They are believed to be over 2,000 years old and were beloved companions to nobles. Ancient authors spoke highly of the beauty and grace of these silky dogs. The Greeks loved the Maltese so much that some even erected tombs for their dogs.

English travelers brought the Maltese home in the 16th and 17th centuries, but they did not make it to the United States until the late 19th century. Today, they are still a favorite companion breed. The Pekingese was developed in the Tang dynasty, and different types of Pekingese have been in China since the 8th century.

Ownership of the Pekingese was exclusive to nobility, and theft of one of the regal little dogs was punishable by death! They first came to the West in 1860 after British soldiers looted the Imperial Palace. Five Pekingese were stolen and brought back to England, and one was given to Queen Victoria. They came to the United States in the 20th century and remain companions today.

Divider 1Peke-a-Tese Puppies


Peke-a-Tese puppies start as adorable, tiny little balls of fluff. While they will develop quite a bit of personality as they age, one of the most desirable qualities of these sweet dogs is that they stay pocket-sized! They make perfect apartment dogs and love being toted around by their owners.

Though small, Peke-a-Tese are relatively long-lived dogs. As they regularly live well over a decade, you should be prepared to care for this compact canine companion for about 12 to 15 years.

Although both parent breeds have long lineages, their appearance in the United States is recent. It may be challenging to find a Peke-a-Tese up for adoption, so be prepared to search. Should you seek out a breeder, don’t be afraid to show up with a list of questions.


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3 Little-Known Facts About the Peke-a-Tese

1. The Pekingese Has Many Nicknames

The Pekingese has been around for a very long time and has many other names. Among them are the lion dog, pocket monkey, Peke, sun dog, and sleeve dog. The mythology behind the names “lion dog” and “pocket monkey” is as strange and adorable as the Pekingese.

Once, a lion and a marmoset fell in love, but their size difference made their love impossible. The lion went to the Buddha and told him of their plight, and the Buddha allowed the lion to shrink down to the size of a marmoset. The resulting child is the Pekingese!

2. The Maltese is One of the Smallest Dog Breeds in the World

Most Maltese weigh in between 4 and 7 pounds. As if that weren’t small enough, they also come even smaller in “teacup” sizes. These tiny dogs have been bred as small and sweet lapdogs for thousands of years. Roman ladies favored Maltese because they could fit in their sleeves, pocket, or purse!

3. The Peke-a-Tese Has a Big Attitude for Such a Little Dog

Though specifically bred to be compact enough to carry around, the Peke-a-Tese is quite the fearless little aristocrat. They are incredibly dignified dogs and demand respect and attention! Don’t think that their small stature makes them easy to dismiss; they can be vocal when ignored or mistreated.

Parent Breeds of the Peke-A-Tese
Image Credit: (L) T.Den_Team, Shutterstock | (R) Jumpstory

Divider 4Temperament & Intelligence of the Peke-a-Tese 🧠

The Peke-a-Tese is a small dog that needs lots of love. They were bred as companions for the wealthy, and they relish attention from their families. They have a quiet dignity and poised intelligence that fits perfectly with their majestic mustache and mane.

Many Peke-a-Tese develop a close bond with their owners. They do not like being left alone and also have a tendency toward separation anxiety behaviors like barking when their family is away. Those with long workdays and erratic schedules should think twice before getting a Peke-a-Tese.

They are good-natured, playful, and affectionate with their family. Around strangers, however, Peke-a-Tese are wary. While it may take a moment for these regal pups to assess your character, if you win their approval, you will have a loyal and fearless little friend!

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Peke-a-Tese are not unilaterally good with children, but if socialized properly or raised with kids, they are gentle and playful friends. And don’t forget that children need instructions on handling the dog. Mutual respect between the Peke-a-Tese and the kids is a must. Smaller dogs like the Peke-a-Tese are easier to bully, and they will not take kindly to rough or rude handling.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

While the Maltese parent gets along with other dogs and pets, the Pekingese temperament is often less accepting of other animals. Which parent your Peke-a-Tese favors will make a big difference in household harmony.

We recommend introducing your puppy to other animals in a supervised environment as early as possible. Socializing your Peke-a-Tese early with other pets will go a long way toward smoothing any possible friction and behavior problems.

Peke-a-Tese mixed dog close up
Image Credit: ssputnik, Shutterstock

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning a Peke-a-Tese

Dogs are a big commitment, even little ones like the Peke-a-Tese. Let’s take a look at the upkeep required for being a Peke-a-Tese owner.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

A high-quality, well-balanced commercial dog food is one of the best ways to give your Peke-a-Tese their daily nutrition. Look for food designed for small breeds with lean animal proteins, vegetables, and essential vitamins and minerals.

For the little Peke-a-Tese, any extra weight could seriously damage their health. Check with your dog’s vet about food portion sizes to ensure your pup gets the right amount.

Exercise 🐕

While these little lapdogs don’t need much exercise, we recommend taking your Peke-a-Tese for at least one walk a day. Peke-a-Tese are sensitive to heat (they can even sunburn!), so avoid outdoor exercise during the heat of the day.

They are generally low-activity dogs, but each dog is different. Maybe your Peke-a-Tese shows little interest in going outdoors and will appreciate having more toys indoors to amuse them.

Or maybe your pup gets bored easily, barking and making trouble, and will jump at the chance to leave the house at any opportunity to inspect their kingdom. Their size and relatively low exercise requirements mean the Peke-a-Tese is a great dog for older people and apartment dwellers.

Training 🦮

Regarding training, Peke-a-Tese dogs are often less eager to please and more eager to be pleased! They inherit quite a bit of stubbornness from the Pekingese, which can make training frustrating for a new dog owner.

On the upside, they are small and manageable enough that serious training is unnecessary. However, teaching your Peke-a-Tese their place in the family structure and how to follow directions can still be useful and enriching to your relationship.

Training a Peke-a-Tese should be approached with a firm but gentle attitude. They respond well to positive reinforcement, but you’ll need plenty of patience. If you have trouble communicating, consider searching out a professional dog trainer who can work hands-on with you and your pup.

Grooming ✂️

The Maltese and the Pekingese pass on long, silky, and fast-growing fur to this noble little hybrid. Peke-a-Tese are low to moderate shedders and need daily grooming to keep their fur tangle-free.

These dogs also need regular hair trims. If you prefer the short coat and less daily grooming, you must trim their fur at least once a week. If you let their coat stay long, you will need to brush them daily and trim them every few weeks.

Peke-a-Tese have long fur around their eyes, so you will need to keep their faces trimmed or tie their hair up in little bows of topknots. Not only will these hairdos let your Peke-a-Tese see better, but they’ll look cute, too!

Also, don’t forget about their ears, teeth, and nails under all that hair. Clip their nails every two weeks or so to prevent scratches and painful cracking. Ears should be swabbed or gently flushed about once a week to avoid infections. They also need a weekly tooth brushing to keep teeth and gums in tip-top shape.

Health and Conditions ❤️

As a hybrid, the Peke-a-Tese is a generally healthy breed. However, the two parent breeds have several predispositions and conditions that can be inherited. Here is a complete list of health concerns to be aware of for the Peke-a-Tese.

Minor Conditions
  • Heat sensitivity
  • Corneal ulceration
  • Stenotic nares
  • Umbilical hernia
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Skin allergies
  • White shaker dog syndrome
Serious Conditions
  • Anesthesia sensitivity
  • Brachycephalic syndrome
  • Intervertebral disk disease
  • Collapsing trachea
  • Liver shunt

Divider 5Male vs Female

The Male Peke-a-Tese is a little bit larger and is somewhat more likely to behave in sexually aggressive manners, like humping or mounting and excessive territory marking.

Female Peke-a-Tese have a more delicate build and are often more reserved.

Divider 3Final Thoughts on the Peke-a-Tese

So, is the Peke-a-Tese the right canine for you? If you are seeking an active, athletic companion to take hiking and swimming, then perhaps not. However, if you are an apartment dweller who is also a dog lover or seeking a lapdog to lavish your affection on, the Peke-a-Tese may be perfect!

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Featured Image Credit: ssputnik, Shutterstock

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