With a name like Peekapoo, they’ve got to be cute, right? These little dogs are definitely that. They also happen to be cuddly, smart, and small enough to thrive in homes of all sizes.
One glimpse of a Peekapoo is all it takes to see why this crossbreed has been popular for over 70 years.
While many of the exact details of the Peekapoo’s early history are unknown, we do know that the mixed breed was developed in the 1950s with the hopes of creating an adorable mix who would inherit the hypoallergenic coat of the Poodle and the compact body and broad face of the Pekingese.
By the 1960s, the Peekapoo had established quite the following.
As one of the oldest Poodle crosses, the Peekapoo was the inspiration for other Poodle crosses that are popular today. Unlike other crosses, however, the Peekapoo is usually not bred past the first generation.
They’re created by breeding a purebred Pekingese with a purebred Toy or Miniature Poodle. Breeding two Peekapoos together is not a common practice.
Peekapoos are generally affectionate, gentle, fiercely loyal, and playful and love the great outdoors. Their personalities may resemble a Pekingese’s in that they can be quite independent, challenging to housebreak, and regal in attitude (but still charming and loving, of course). However, they may take after their Poodle mom or dad and be incredibly smart, agile, and highly trainable.
Ideally, and as is often the case, a Peekapoo inherits the best personality traits from both parents. Two traits that are common among Peekapoos are a desire to protect their families and a tendency to be distrustful of strangers at first.
These two qualities make Peekapoos better watchdogs than you might have thought. They won’t hesitate to bark whenever someone approaches the house or if they sense that something isn’t right, though you’ll want to be diligent with early training to prevent their barking from turning into nuisance behavior.
Is a Peekapoo a Good Family Dog?
Yes, a Peekapoo is a loving, devoted companion, who, when well trained and properly socialized, can be the perfect addition to families wanting a playful, entertaining, affectionate pet.
Peekapoos are energetic and love being involved with outdoor family activities such as walking, hiking or playing fetch but will be just as happy inside relaxing on the couch.
Are Peekapoos Good With Kids?
Both of a Peekapoo’s parent breeds are known to be gentle, but, because they are both small breeds, can’t tolerate any form of rough play and may instinctively growl or nip if handled roughly or stepped on. Peekapoos are generally the same way.
Peekapoos usually do quite well with older children and will have no trouble keeping up during outside playtime, but Peekapoo puppies are quite fragile and could be unintentionally but permanently harmed by a small child.
When Peekapoos and young children are raised together, an adult should always be present to supervise during all interactions to avoid any inadvertent injuries to either the dog or the child.
Because Peekapoos are a mix of two purebred dogs, physical appearance can vary greatly, even in puppies from the same litter. Most often, they’ll be a beautiful combination of their parents, but it’s possible that they’ll look a great deal like either a Pekingese or a Poodle.
These small dogs often appear to be little fluff balls with bright and alert eyes, inquisitive-looking faces, and long tails either held normally or curled over their back. Peekapoos resembling their Pekingese parent will exhibit short muzzles and broad faces.
Although there are no breed standards in place and no organizations dedicated to this mixed breed, most Peekapoos will be less than 11 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh anywhere from 4 -20 pounds. The size of a Peekapoo is largely dependent on whether the Poodle parent was a toy or miniature size.
Most Peekapoos will have a single coat of medium to long length with soft, gentle waves and a cotton-like texture. Though an undercoat is possible, thanks to the double-coated Pekingese, it’s rarely seen.
Both parent breeds come in a variety of colors, and the same is true of their offspring. Peekapoos can have either a solid-colored coat or have interesting combinations of colors and markings. The colors possible include silver, gray, black, sable, red, cream, fawn, white, buff, apricot, and chocolate.
Do Peekapoos Shed?
Peekapoos are generally considered to be low-shedding dogs because they usually inherit their Poodle parent’s low- to non-shedding tendencies. However, this isn’t always the case. Pekingese are moderate shedders, and if a Peekapoo takes after their Pekingese parent in terms of shedding quantities, he too will shed moderately, particularly as warm spring weather draws near.
Care and Maintenance
Like all dogs, Peekapoos do need a certain amount of daily care and grooming rituals performed regularly. Once you and your dog establish a routine, these tasks will quickly become second nature and will transform from being mundane, necessary chores into being sweet times of bonding.
How Much Exercise Do Peekapoos Need?
Thanks to their Poodle parent, Peekapoos are active, energetic dogs that will need daily exercise to remain fit and prevent obesity. A couple of short walks per day or a few outdoor play sessions with the kids is usually enough. They’ll also get plenty of exercise indoors while their little legs are busy following family members all around the house.
Do Peekapoos Need to Be Groomed?
Definitely. In addition to trimming his nails every month or so, brushing his teeth several times a week, and cleaning his ears as necessary, Peekapoos need regular brushing to prevent painful mats, reduce the amount of shed hairs in your home, and evenly distribute natural oils throughout the coat.
Peekapoos left untrimmed will need daily brushing, but those with short hairstyles can get by with being brushed every few days. Depending on the dog’s coat, a pin brush, slicker brush, or a wide-toothed comb will get the job done nicely.
If you opt to keep the coat clipped, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with the groomer every 6 – 8 weeks.
How Often Should You Bathe a Peekapoo?
A bath no more than once a month or so is usually sufficient. If he gets unusually dirty or smelly when playing outside, an extra bath won’t hurt, but try to avoid bathing too often or he’ll likely wind up with dry, itchy skin that can lead to other, more serious problems.
If you decide to get his coat clipped regularly by a professional groomer, your Peekapoo will receive a bath and a blow dry before his haircut. That’s one less job you’ll need to worry about.
When you do bathe your dog at home, be sure to use a gentle shampoo created for dogs, not people. A nourishing, detangling conditioner isn’t required but sure will help to keep tangles at bay.
The importance of early socialization can’t be emphasized enough, especially for dogs like the Peekapoo who tend to be protective and possessive of their owners.
Introducing them to a wide variety of new people, other pets, and different environments, like pet-friendly stores and dog parks, will tremendously help your pup grow up to be a well rounded, confident dog who behaves well in all types of situations.
Providing your Peekapoo with challenging activities is critical for his mental well being. Mental stimulation:
- Relieves boredom.
- Can reduce or eliminate behavioral issues.
- Helps to lower stress levels and prevent depression.
- Coupled with increased exercise help to calm hyperactivity.
- Keeps the brain functioning normally.
Teaching new tricks, walking different routes, offering interactive puzzle toys and treat-dispensing balls, playing hide-and-seek, or laying a trail of treats through the yard are just a few ways to give your dog some much needed mental enrichment.
Food and Nutrition
Feeding a high-quality kibble for small breeds will ensure that a Peekapoo receives the correct amount of nutrients each day, and the crunchy pieces will help to remove plaque from their little teeth.
Home-prepared diets are another option, but meeting all of a dog’s nutritional needs can be tricky. Consult with your veterinarian and research carefully before you make the switch.
Do Peekapoos Have Health Issues?
Like all crossbred dogs, Peekapoos may be troubled by the same health conditions commonly found in either parent breed.
To avoid this, breeders should screen their breeding stock before mating occurs for hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, Von Willebrand’s disease, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, patellar luxation, and eye disorders such as glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy.
Purchasing from a breeder that routinely health screens her dogs is an important preventative action on your part, but selecting a puppy with a longer muzzle is important too.
Pekingese dogs are brachycephalic, meaning that they have a very short muzzle which can lead to breathing difficulties and related issues such as heat stroke. The longer the muzzle your Peekapoo puppy has, the less you’ll need to worry.
Monitor your Peekapoo carefully when he’s exerting himself or becomes overly excited. Keeping him in a cool, air-conditioned house as much as possible during the hot summer months is recommended.
The Peekapoo is bred mainly for companionship. Their loving, gentle personalities and ability to form strong bonds with their owners make them ideal companion pets, perfectly content to snuggle up on your lap after a hard day of play.
Their outgoing, sweet-tempered nature also makes them well suited for positions as therapy dogs. Partnering with your pet to help others is a rewarding experience and a noble undertaking. To learn more about getting your dog trained and certified as a therapy dog, visit the Alliance of Therapy Dogs.
Cost: Breeder and Adoption Tips and Cost
Most of us today are confined to a budget of some sort, so knowing the expected price of buying or adopting a Peekapoo can be helpful when you’re still in the planning stages.
How Much Does a Peekapoo Cost?
Peekapoos can cost as little as $275 and as much as $1,500 or more. Prices are dependent on the quality and reputation of the breeder, the pedigrees of the parent dogs, the breeder’s location, genetic tests and health screenings performed on the parent dogs, and current demand for the breed.
What to Look for in a Quality Breeder
To ensure that you’re bringing home a healthy puppy with a good disposition, it’s important to steer clear of puppy mill breeders, pet shops, and backyard breeders. A quality, reputable breeder will go to great lengths to consistently produce healthy litters with sound temperaments and will be your best bet when looking for a Peekapoo.
Quality breeders will:
- Encourage you to visit their facilities to choose your puppy and to meet the parent dogs.
- Ask you questions to determine if you can provide a loving, permanent home for a puppy.
- Take the time to answer your questions and educate you on the breed, routine puppy care, vaccinations, etc.
- Have records of health tests performed prior to the breeding.
- Maintain clean facilities and raise the puppies indoors alongside the family.
- Have paperwork and a contract for you to sign which clearly outlines your responsibilities as the new owner.
Adopting a Peekapoo
Sadly, some Peekapoos do wind up on the streets or in animal shelters due to various unfortunate circumstances. The luckiest of these will eventually find themselves in loving foster homes of rescue organizations waiting to be permanently adopted.
If you’re willing to open your heart to one of these Peekapoos, be prepared for one grateful dog. Adopted dogs seem to know that they have been given a second chance at happiness and will show their gratitude by being extra loving and eager to please.
Good places to find adoptable Peekapoos include your local animal shelter or humane society, Petfinder, Rescue Me!, Poo Mix Rescue, and Adopt-a-Pet.com.
Other avenues to pursue are rescue groups for the parent breeds as they’ll often accept mixes in addition to purebreds. Here are a few to get you started:
- Pekingese Rescue
- Alura Always and Forever Pekingese Rescue
- PNC Midwest Rescue
- Mid-Atlantic Poodle Rescue
- Poodle Club of America Rescue Foundation
- NorCal Poodle Rescue
The costs associated with adopting a dog typically run between $100 and $400. Keep in mind that shelters or rescue groups often spend more than that on medical care, food, and sterilization on each dog and do not make any kind of profit.
In fact, it’s only the adoption fees and generous donations from the public that allow them to keep rescuing dogs in need.