Chinese Shar-Pei

It is easy to be drawn to the Chinese shar-pei's adorable wrinkles and unique face. While this dog can be an affectionate and devoted family member, the breed can be aloof toward outsiders and aggressive toward other dogs. Early and diligent training and socialization by an experienced dog owner is essential for bringing out the Chinese shar-pei's best qualities. The Chinese shar-pei is one of the ancient breeds that emerged out of China during the Han Dynasty. Over the years, Chinese shar-peis were utilized as farm hands to guard livestock and herd flocks. The dogs were also used to hunt wild boar, guard property and ward off evil spirits. Chinese shar-peis were also used as fighting dogs. When the Communists took over China, the dog population was reduced to endangered numbers. A handful of Chinese shar-peis were exported to the United States in 1966. The unique appearance of the breed appealed to westerners, and after they teamed up with a breeder in Hong Kong by the name of Matgo Law in 1973, the breed was saved from extinction and saw a surge in popularity. In 1922, the American Kennel Club recognized the Chinese shar-pei as a member of the non-sporting group.

The Chinese Shar-Pei is a large dog breed with a big head full of deep wrinkles all over its face. Its coat is very harsh, almost sandpaper-like. They have wide, strong jaws. Grooming needs are minimal, but facial wrinkles have to be cleaned and checked regularly. The sturdy, compact, medium-sized Chinese shar-pei stands 18 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 44 to 60 pounds. Shar-pei translates to mean sandy skin. There are two coat types for this breed. The short brush coat and the even shorter horse coat are both straight coats that stand away from the body, and the hairs are stiff and prickly when petted. People with sensitive skin may have a skin reaction when they come into direct contact with one of these dogs. The coat may be of any solid color or sable. Like the chow chow, the Chinese shar-pei has a distinctive bluish-black tongue. The breed’s other distinctive features include a head that is shaped similarly to that of a hippopotamus, loosely fitted skin and deep wrinkles on the head, neck and back. The tail is carried upward, curving to rest over the back or to the side. The ears are small and flip forward to lie against the head. Personality: The Shar-Pei is a loyal and devoted dog. It is very independent and can be stubborn and domineering if not trained properly. They can be territorial. They are good with children but not very playful. They need daily physical and mental exercise in the form of a long walk or a vigorous game. It can be aggressive towards strangers and other dogs. The Chinese shar-pei is a tough dog. The breed is loyal, territorial and fiercely protective of his family. It is aloof with strangers and often aggressive toward other dogs. This is not an ideal pet for young children, and it is not a good choice for a first time dog owner. This dog is strong, independent and stubborn. With an experienced dog owner, the intelligent Chinese shar-pei will train quickly, but it must be trained and socialized extensively from an early age. With proper training and socialization, the Chinese shar-pei is an affectionate and devoted family member. The breed is quiet, barking only when it is playing enthusiastically or when it needs to alert the family to perceived threats or intruders. Chinese shar-peis adapt well to apartment living as long as they are provided with daily walks and mentally stimulating play sessions.

Chinese Shar-Pei image
Breed Type
Pure
Origin
China
Function
Life Span
8-10 Years
Hypoallergenic
No
Other Names
Shar-pei, Sharpei, Chinese Shar-Pei

Chinese Shar-Pei Build Information

Size
Large
Length (Male)
13-20 in.
Length (Female)
18-20 in.
Weight
41 - 65 lbs
Litter Size
4 - 5 Puppies
Tail Dock or Crop
No
Preferred Climate
Cold

The Chinese Shar-Pei is a large dog breed with a big head full of deep wrinkles all over his face. His coat is very harsh, almost sandpaper-like. They have wide, strong jaws. Grooming needs are minimal, but facial wrinkles have to be cleaned and checked regularly. The sturdy, compact, medium-sized Chinese shar-pei stands 18 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 44 to 60 pounds. Shar-pei translates to mean sandy skin. There are two coat types for this breed.

The short brush coat and the even shorter horse coat are both straight coats that stand away from the body, and the hairs are stiff and prickly when petted.

People with sensitive skin may have a skin reaction when they come into direct contact with one of these dogs. The coat may be of any solid color or sable. Like the chow chow, the Chinese shar-pei has a distinctive bluish-black tongue. The breed’s other distinctive features include a head that is shaped similarly to that of a hippopotamus, loosely fitted skin and deep wrinkles on the head, neck and back. The tail is carried upward, curving to rest over the back or to the side. The ears are small and flip forward to lie against the head.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level
Energy Level
Independant
Good to Other Pets
Dominating or Submissive?
Guardian Skills
Barking
Aggressiveness Level

The Shar-Pei is a loyal and devoted dog. He is very independent and can be stubborn and domineering if not trained properly. They can be territorial. They are good with children but not very playful. They need daily physical and mental exercise in the form of a long walk or a vigorous game. He can be aggressive towards strangers and other dogs. The Chinese shar-pei is a tough dog. The breed is loyal, territorial and fiercely protective of his family.

He is aloof with strangers and often aggressive toward other dogs.

This is not an ideal pet for young children, and he is not a good choice for a first time dog owner. This dog is strong, independent and stubborn. With an experienced dog owner, the intelligent Chinese shar-pei will train quickly, but he must be trained and socialized extensively from an early age. With proper training and socialization, the Chinese shar-pei is an affectionate and devoted family member. The breed is quiet, barking only when he is playing enthusiastically or when he needs to alert the family to perceived threats or intruders. Chinese shar-peis adapt well to apartment living as long as they are provided with daily walks and mentally stimulating play sessions.

Appearance

Colors
Apricot Black Blue Chocolate Cream Fawn Light Brown Parti-color Red Sable
Shedding
Moderate
Grooming
Low Maintenance
Coat Type
Dense

The short coats of Chinese shar-peis can be maintained with a slicker brush once a week and occasional bathing as needed. However, the deep wrinkles of a shar-pei must be wiped out daily with a moistened cloth and then dried. This process removes any bacteria that may be trapped within the folds that would otherwise develop into infections.

Veterinarians may recommend more frequent brushing and weekly bathing for shar-peis that are particularly prone to skin allergies or infections.

The tight ear canals of a shar-pei should be cleaned and dried twice a week to prevent trapped bacteria and yeast from developing into ear infections. Brushing the teeth at home three times a week will maintain good oral and overall health.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Easy
Hunting Companion
No
Jolly for Jogging
Yes
Sighting Capabilities
No
Ideal for Tracking
No
Retrieving Skills
No
Pointing Breed
No
Herding Skills
No
Dutiful Watchdog
Yes
Security Guard Capable
Yes
Police Performer
No
Wet Water rescues
No
Assist Disable Owners
No
Dog Sledding
No
Able to Perform Dog Carting
No
Agile/Zippy
No
Fun with Lure Coursing
No
Obedient
Yes
Possible Schutzhund Work
No
Trainable for Tricks
No
  • The Chinese shar-pei originated in China
  • The Chinese shar-pei is commonly referred to simply as the shar-pei
  • The Chinese shar-pei is a fiercely protective guard dog that is independent, strong and confident
  • The Chinese shar-pei stands 18 to 20 inches tall and weighs 45 to 60 pounds
  • Chinese shar-peis have a moderate energy level
  • Chinese shar-peis require moderate to heavy grooming
  • The average lifespan for a Chinese shar-pei is 10 years

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Chinese Shar-Pei Training

The Chinese Shar-Pei was originally bred for hunting, guarding, herding and fighting. They are now known to be a very loving companion. These dogs do not become well-trained dogs easily, though. This breed is not recommended for the first-time owner as they are known to be difficult to manage. The Shar-Pei requires a great deal of repetition in training. Although they are highly intelligent, they are extremely stubborn and tend to only do what they “feel like doing” at the time.

Common Health Conditions in Chinese Shar-Peis

Chinese shar-peis live an average lifespan of 10 years. The breed is prone to numerous health conditions that potential owners need to be aware of. One problem is a breed-specific phenomenon called shar-pei fever, which presents as occasional bouts of high fevers and swollen joints. Another issue for Chinese shar-peis is the propensity for infections in their skin folds. Allergies, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, hypothyroidism and some eye conditions, including entropion, glaucoma and retinal dysplasia, have also been noted in the breed.

Chinese Shar-Pei Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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