Boy, this month is flying by. Can you believe we're halfway through November and I haven't tried a single designer dog? Time to remedy this situation.
Ah, the Pekeapoo; lovechild of a Pekingese and a poodle. Honestly, to my indifferent eye, they look just like every other poodle hybrid running around. If you lined up a cockapoo, a Shih-poo, a schnoodle, and a Pekeapoo and told me to tell them apart, I'd probably fumble and stammer a lot. (Take a look, smartie-pants. How sure are you that I haven't mixed those links up?) Nevertheless, they're taking off as another trend breed.
My first experience with a Pekingese came from my grandparents' dog when I was growing up, Meg. My twin sister and I used to call her "googly-eyed Meg" and chase her around the dining room. (She wasn't that nice to us either, so it evens it.) She snorted and snuffled and snored when she slept. So I'm already heading into this mix with low expectations.
THE PROS: They're low-shedding, much like other poodle hybrids out there. And, erm... I guess that's it. I mean, they seem to have inherited the Peke's lion-heart and sense of dignity, but depending on your preference in temperament, that can be a good or bad thing.
THE CONS: [cracks knuckles] Let's see... Well, like I just said, they tend to come with the classic Peke attitude. This means they take themselves very seriously, and training them can be a trial, say the honest breeders. By the sounds of it, commands are likely to be met with a typical Dog Look ("Are you kidding me?") unless they can see the benefit of it for themselves. They're not so hot at recall either. To be fair, though, they're certainly not the only dogs who often view training as a bit of a joke, and it's not like it's impossible. Just aggravating, especially if you buy into the "poodle genes = perfect family dog" idea. Yes, people, even hybrids can be a handful!
Pekes are also, by and large, one-person dogs, and since owners are mostly describing their Pekeapoos as having gotten their temperament from the Pekingese parent, I'm going to take a gamble and say that the Pekeapoo will probably stick close to one owner, too. This is a complaint of some (read the first testimonial). Pekes aren't stars with other pets or children, either (darn that googly-eyed Meg). BUT, some Pekeapoo owners are claiming theirs get along fine with pets and kids, so the right socialization may balance things out.
Also, they require frequent grooming, just like Mom and Dad.
HEALTH ISSUES: The usual risks in breeding small dogs - slipped knees, hip dysplasia. Some eye issues, like entropion. Pekes also come with breathing problems due to those squashed muzzles. Some breeders will insist that the poodle genes eradicate this problem, but, well - you be the judge. Same thing going on with the sometimes-seen underbite in Pekingeses - breeders can tell me that poodle genes are essentially magical until they're blue in the face, but the results speak for themselves.
One last note: I'd give all these same warnings to anyone interested in buying a Pekingese, since mostly it's the Peke parent all these issues stem from. The trouble is that people who want a Peke typically know why they want one and what they're getting into - whereas designer dogs have the bad habit of slipping into the wrong hands.