The Pekingese is a well-balanced, compact dog of Chinese origin with a heavy front and lighter hindquarters. Its temperament is one of directness, independence and individuality. Its image is lionlike, implying courage, dignity, boldness and self-esteem rather than daintiness or delicacy. It was one of several breeds created for the ruling classes of ancient China. These are sophisticated dogs of undying loyalty and many subtle delights.