The Pekinese (also spelled Pekingese) is a breed of toy dog, originating in China. The breed was favored by royalty of the Chinese Imperial court as both a lap dog and companion dog, and its name refers to the city of Peking (Beijing) where the Forbidden City is located. Because of its desirable characteristics, the Pekinese has been part of the development of designer crossbreeds, such as the Peekapoo (crossed with a poodle) and Peke-a-tese (crossed with a Maltese).
The Pekinese's flat face and large eyes are some of the breeds most obvious characteristics. The body is compact and low to the ground. Pekinese also have a muscular and durable body. The breed's unusual rolling gait may have been deliberately developed by breeding to prevent the court dogs from wandering in ancient times.