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Pekingese Temperament – Are You Ready To Butt Heads with The Stubborn Peke?

The Pekingese temperament makes her a  keeper. She can easily form a strong bond of loyalty and friendship, particularly with the recognized alpha leader of the pack. However, don't be taken for a fool: she is neither dainty nor delicate.

Her little body belies her boldness and courageous disposition.

She is a brave little dog with an independent spirit, and her bold and daring streak makes her a good watchdog.

Pekingese Temperament and Personality

The royal bearing of a Pekingese is a reflection of the breed’s history. Specifically, the nobility of ancient China’s Imperial courts held these cute little dogs in high esteem.

The Pekingese’s origin is still very much present today and has exerted a great influence on the opinionated Pekingese temperament.

Small Dog Syndrome

The Peke is prone to developing Small Dog Syndrome. You must therefore never give her the chance to become the ruler of your household.

Photo of Pekingese Dog

For example, letting your Pekingese get away with misbehaving because it’s “cute” or “funny” paves the way for the development of negative behavior.

More often than not, this syndrome is the result of human encouragement.

This is the weak link that your Peke is looking for, and believe me, if she finds it, she will surely exploit this weakness for all its worth. You need to step in with a firm resolve to correct bad behavior and put her in her rightful place in your “pack.”

Answering Only to the Alpha Leader

The Pekingese answers to no one except her recognized Alpha Leader – this means you!

If another person in the “pack” commands or forces her to do something, she may resort to growling or snapping as a way of telling you she doesn’t like your proposal.

This is why your Peke should receive basic obedience training at the very least.

In order to enjoy the company of a well-behaved Pekingese, you must be willing to put in the time to mold her properly.

Who's To Blame for the Negative Pekingese’s Temperament Traits?

There are Pekingese owners who complain of having snapping, headstrong and jealous pets on their hands.

These are not default Pekingese traits, nor are they the default traits of any other small dog breed. These undesirable behaviors are solely the result of a dog owner’s complacent and self-indulgent behavior toward their pet.

When this happens, the Pekingese will reign over your household and act as if the other members of the pack are at her beck and call. You need to teach her that, sorry, that's just not how things work in your household.

As Stubborn As Dogs Can Be

The best word to use to describe a Pekingese is “stubborn.” If you’re not careful, you’re going to have problems with her.

Like the Chihuahua and Dachshund, a Peke's bullheadedness can escalate to aggression towards other dogs in either the household or the neighborhood.

This is another reason why a Pekingese should receive early socialization.

By nature, the aggressive Pekingese temperament makes her less receptive to other dogs and pets in the pack. However, she can learn to tolerate them if given the time and effort.

A Pekingese is not a dog that is out to please her owner by nature. She would much prefer to behave in such a way as to indulge her own desires.

Training and Socialization- Putting a Tight Rein on the Pekingese Temperament

Many Pekingese owners often have a hard time housebreaking their pets.

A Pekingese needs a strong and firm hand to control and prevent negative behavior from becoming established.

Obedience training and socialization should start as early as possible.

Your dog should know what behavior is acceptable and what is not. Never give your dog the chance to tell you what to do. Doing so will give your Pekingese the idea that she can sway your resolve anytime she wants.

The kinds of negative behaviors that the Peke may exhibit without the proper training include growling, obsessive barking, biting, and even separation anxiety.

These are all ways your dog will try to manipulate and control you.

Photo of Pekingese Outdoors

Therefore, you must train your Peke if you want her to behave properly.

The affectionate Pekingese temperament means that once she forms a bond with you, nothing can break it. This is very helpful for training purposes.

If you're the only one she will listen to, that's fine, so long as you use that opportunity to teach her right from wrong.

The Peke is an independent little dog by nature, and she is highly alert, which makes her a good watchdog.

However, be sure that her barking does not become a problem. She should not bark for the sake of hearing herself.

Train your Peke to understand that she should only bark when trying to alert her owners of something they should pay attention to.

When in the presence of children, the Peke can tolerate a child's moderately rough treatment. However, you should still supervise both of them and reprimand them if they start getting overly rough with each other.

Ultimately, the intelligent Pekingese temperament means she will understand what you want from her and how she should do it. Though, her independent nature may interfere when what you want is not what she wants to do right now.

If you are up for the fun and challenge of training your Pekingese then check out these videos from The Online Dog Trainer.


The Pekingese has a double coat, so while she sheds seasonally, she still requires her fair share of grooming and maintenance.

Brush her for at least one hour a week to remove the dead hairs from her coat and keep down the mats.

You can gently work out any tangles or mats you find with a metal comb. Give her an occasional bath when she starts to look funky.

If you're looking for a hypoallergenic dog, you will never trulyfind one because it doesn't exist.

Photo of Pekingese Puppy

The only way to know for sure if you're allergic is to spend time with the dog you're interested in.

When it comes to haircuts and the Peke, the decision is all yours.

This is not a breed that needs a haircut, and if you're going to show your dog, then you definitely should not cut her hair. Her long hair is her defining characteristic when it comes to show.

But, if you're not showing your dog, and you want to give her a little lion cut so she has short hair for the summer, then go crazy.

Just DO NOT attempt to cut her hair yourself.

A bad haircut has the potential to be a lifelong problem for a dog if you cut her hair the wrong way.

Let the professionals do it.

Pekingese colors include black, fawn, fawn brindle, black and tan, cream, and grey.


The Peke is a rather calm breed, so she doesn't need exercise per se.

However, she does enjoy participating in low-level activity, and at her own pace.

So, if you have a disability that does not allow you to engage in vigorous exercise, the Peke is perfect for you.

Most other dogs require some level of exercise to stay fit, but the Peke is happy with the bare minimum.

Pekingese: Staying Healthy

Most Pekingese are healthy dogs, but there are certain health issues you should still be aware of and watch out for, including:

A healthy weight for a Pekingese is between 7 and 14 lbs. for an adult Peke. Her life expectancy is between 12 and 15 years. 

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Finding the Perfect Pekingese

So, after reading up on the good-natured Pekingese temperament, you've decided that you'd like to add one to your family. First off, congratulations!

You can find a Pekingese for sale from a breeder, or possibly up for adoption through your local rescue or adoption agency.

Pekingese Puppies for Sale

The average Pekingese price is between $400 and $600.

This is truly not a bad price, especially when compared to what some of the other breeds can go for. However, if this price is still a bit too steep for your budget, perhaps consider adopting a Peke instead.

Pekingese Adoption and Rescue

If you want to adopt a Pekingese puppy, you might be able to find one through a local rescue organization or adoption center, depending on the shelter's “stock.”

A Pekingese for adoption will always cost less than one purchased from a breeder.

Photo of Pekingese Closeup

Not only that, but shelters always spay/neuter their dogs prior to adoption, so you can kill two birds with one stone there.

While Pekes may be uncommon in most shelters, it is still a good idea to stop by your nearby shelters and put in an application. That way, in case a Peke comes in, the shelter will know to call you and let you know.

Pekingese Breeders

When it comes to picking a Pekingese breeder, it is crucial that you remain patient.

You must do your research to make sure that your Peke is coming from an ethical source and not a puppy mill.

Never purchase Peke puppies over the internet or from a pet store.

The best way to find a good breeder is to ask for a referral.

If you don't know anyone who has a Peke, try a dog show or canine sporting event.

Once you have your referral, be sure to visit the breeder in person. Get a good look at the environment the dog is living in to make sure it is clean and humane.

And don't forget to ask for the medical records of the dog you're interested in.

So Does The Bold and Daring Pekingese Dog Temperament Sound Like A Winner?

The Pekingese temperament helps her thrive well in small areas like apartments.

While indoors, the Pekingese can be relatively inactive, so be careful of how much you feed her. Else, she may fall victim to obesity.

Although many people see Pekes as willful, they can also be sensitive and highly affectionate toward their masters. Because of these endearing traits, people consider the breed as a warm and loving companion.