The Pekingese's Origins and History Source: Wikipedia. Country/Region of Origin: China Original purpose: pet Name: from "Peking," old spelling of Beijing, capital of China, where the dog breed originated; also known as "Dogs of Fu" Historical notes: According to DNA analysis, the Pekingese dog breed is one of the oldest dog breeds. Chinese monks once revered these dogs, who resemble Chinese lions. In the later centuries of imperial China, the Pekingese breed was reserved for pet dogs of the Emperor and his family. Pekingeses first came to the West after British imperialist armies sacked the Old Summer Palace and stole the Pekingese dogs belonging to an elderly aunt of the emperor who had committed suicide. The dogs were given as gifts to various British royals, including Queen Victoria.