Though we’ve been bred for centuries as lap dogs for Chinese emperors, today you don’t need to be royalty to enjoy my curious charms. Despite my diminutive size and glam locks, I’m a feisty breed who won’t shy away from fights with larger foes. I’m not overly playful or affectionate—except with family—and making friends isn’t a high priority because I’m far too regal, even a bit snooty, for such things. I will even nip at bothersome children.
A short stroll or indoor game will meet my limited exercise needs, though I’m highly prone to heat prostration. I’m stubborn and a bit dim, so training can be a challenge. I’m ideal for life in a high-rise apartment, looking down on all the little people. Go easy on the bonbons because I can put on weight.
My long, lion-like coat requires a good deal of attention—and I do shed a lot. Weekly brushing will control my hair and avoid matting; a light mist of water beforehand keeps my hair from breaking. The folds on my face should be washed and dried daily to avoid infection. My colors include black and tan, fawn or red brindle, or a parti-color mix of white and a second color. I can be from 6 to 9 inches tall and from 7 to 14 pounds.
With proper diet and care I’ll be a quietly devoted member of the family for 13 to 15 years. I am prone to a variety of minor health issues, including an elongated soft palate, undersized nostrils, kneecap luxation, dermatitis, and eye problems.