The Pekingese, considered a lap dog, was bred for keeping Chinese and British royals company. Although they can be a little “self important,” according to the American Kennel Club, a Pekingese should never be aggressive. Any signs of aggression should be treated as abnormal and the cause investigated.
The Pekingese has a number of personality traits that could develop into aggressive tendencies if he is not properly trained. One particular problem is “small dog syndrome,” which can be caused by owners who treat their Pekingese too leniently when he misbehaves because he's so cute. Pekingese are a little jealous, and this can lead to aggression if not kept in check by the owner.
When an otherwise delightfully mannered pet becomes aggressive, a responsible owner will seek veterinary advice at the earliest opportunity: Aggression can be caused by illness or injury. The Pekingese are prone to progressive retinal atrophy, which leads to blindness. If your pooch is struggling to see, the aggression may be linked to this. When a dog begins to lose his sight, he can become startled when stroked or touched. In some cases, the first reaction to being startled is to react aggressively. If your Pekingese is suffering from back pain, he may become aggressive when picked up.
For a small dog, the Pekingese is remarkably courageous. He is happy to step up to tackle anyone or anything he perceives to be a threat to his home. In some cases, a Pekingese may go from being courageous and bold to plain old aggressive, especially toward other dogs. Monitor what is going on in your pet’s environment to determine the cause of his aggression. If he’s aggressive only when four-legged friends come over, he's likely dog-aggressive.
To solve aggression, identify the cause. Once your vet has ruled out a health problem, monitor his behavior to spot patterns in his aggression. It may be the doorbell, a certain person, dog or the vacuum cleaner, but something is causing your pet to act out. Use positive reinforcement to encourage desirable behavior and use distraction to stop unwanted behavior before it develops. When your Pekingese acts passively and calmly in the presence of the aggression stimuli, give praise and a treat. This breed loves affection, so use it as a positive reinforcer. If you believe your dog is about to act aggressively, use distraction to disrupt his behavior pattern. Then once he’s calm, bring in the positive reinforcement.
Simon Foden has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He began his writing career after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in music from Salford University. He has contributed to and written for various magazines including "K9 Magazine" and "Pet Friendly Magazine." He has also written for Dogmagazine.net.