Pekingese dogs, also referred to as Fu dogs, are one of the oldest breeds on record. These animals originated in Imperial China, and were considered guardians against evil spirits. Pekingese dogs have short, bowed legs, usually weigh between 8 and 10 lbs. and stand 6 to 9 inches tall. This breed comes in many colors, including cream, gold, black and even albino.
Albino Pekingese dogs look exactly like normal examples of the breed, except that they lack melanin. Their skin is light pink, and their hair white or cream colored. Moles and freckles do appear on the skin of albino animals. Some parts of the dog may be more strongly pigmented than others, as albinism does not usually occur uniformly.
Albinism may also affect behavior in dogs. According to the Facts About Albino Dobermans website, albino dogs may have trouble learning new tasks and may suffer from fearfulness and aggression. This may make an albino animal less suitable as a household pet, or it may require owners to take special care with their albino Pekingese.
The American Kennel Club and several other breed registration groups do not register Pekingese dogs with albinism. The condition is considered a disorder, and albino dogs are not permitted in AKC shows. The UK Kennel Club also disqualifies Pekingese dogs with albinism. While albino Pekingese may be attractive, they cannot compete formally in most shows.
It's easy to mistake an all-white Pekingese dog for an albino, but there are some significant differences. White Pekingese dogs have black noses and mouths, and black skin around the eyes, while albino examples have pink skin in these areas. Many people believe that an animals must have red eyes to be an albino, but mammals with this condition often have blue or light brown eyes instead.
Warning: A number of health problems have been linked to albinism, including sensitivity to the sun, eye problems or blindness, defects of the inner ear, skeletal defects, intestinal problems, skin cancer and decreased intelligence. Not all albino animals have these problems, however. Breeding albino Pekingese should be done only with care and good knowledge of the animals' genetic background.
By G.D. Palmer
About the Author
G.D. Palmer is a freelance writer and illustrator living in Milwaukee, Wis. She has been producing print and Web content for various organizations since 1998 and has been freelancing full-time since 2007. Palmer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and studio art from Beloit College in Beloit, Wis.