(Chinese Shar-Pei) The Shar-Pei is a medium-sized dog with a moderately substantial build and distinctive facial features. The breed has a broad, deep chest and a short, close-coupled back. The brisket extends to the elbow and rises slightly under the loin. Their croup is flat and the base of the tail is set extremely high. Tails of this breed are round, thick, and taper to a fine point. They curl over to either side of the dog’s back. Their shoulders are well-muscled sturdy, and sloping, and their forelegs are straight and moderately spaced. Elbows of this breed are close to the body. The limbs are substantially boned, but they are neither heavy nor excessively long. Their feet are medium-sized, compact, and firmly set. They have strong, muscular, well-angulated hindquarters and hocks that are short and perpendicular to the ground. Their medium-length neck is full and properly set into the shoulders. Moderate to heavy folds of loose skin are present around the throat and neck. The breed’s topline dips slightly behind the withers, and it rises slightly over the loin. The head of the Shar-Pei is large in size, proudly carried, and covered with profuse wrinkles. These facial wrinkles start at the dog’s forehead and continue into side wrinkles that frame the dog’s face. The skull is broad and flat, and the stop is comparatively pronounced. The Shar-Pei’s muzzle is one of the most distinctive physical characteristics of the breed. It is broad, full, and “hippopotamus”-shaped. Their nose is large, wide, and darkly pigmented, and their strong teeth close in a scissors bite. Eyes of this breed are small, almond-shaped, and dark. Dogs with diluted coats may have eyes that are lighter in color. Their very small ears are thick, triangular, and slightly rounded at the tips. The coat of the Shar-Pei is very harsh, absolutely straight and off-standing across the dog’s body, and generally flat over the dog’s limbs. The coat does not appear glossy or lustrous, but it looks healthy. It is less than 1” in length. While the Shar-Pei’s coat is solid or sable in color, shading may exist down the dog’s back and over the dog’s ears.
The Shar-Pei is playful, courageous, dominant, and energetic. By nature, they are very loyal to their owner. They are an intelligent breed that does not respond to commands slavishly. If properly trained and socialized from an early age, they generally get along well with cats, children, and strangers. Despite the breed’s frowning expression, they are easy-going, calm, and devoted. They are great watchdogs and companions. Because they are stubborn and bold, they need firm, consistent training from an assured owner. This breed usually despises water, and they will do anything they can to stay away from it. They are clean and often housebreak themselves. Because they have been so over-bred, there are significant differences in personality and health. The temperament of these dogs will vary according to their lineage. Well-bred Shar-Pei lines will get along quite well with other dogs.
Most males, and several females, are very possessive and over-protective of their families. This was bred into them in Ancient China. They were used as bodyguards. It's best to socialize this breed from birth to make sure it blends with other dogs and humans. They adapt easily to one's lifestyle and they can vary from highly energetic and agile to sluggish and sleepy heads.
The Shar-Pei is susceptible to hereditary skin problems. It is important for potential owners of this breed to find a reputable breeder. Dogs exhibiting fevers of unknown origin or swollen hocks may be in the early stages of kidney failure. This breed has an average life expectancy of up to 10 years.
The exact origin of the Shar-Pei is unknown. Many believe the breed is a descendant of the Chow Chow, however, the only clear link between these two breeds is the purple-colored tongue. There are pictures on pottery that suggest the Shar-Pei was in existence throughout the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.). For many years, the Shar-Pei was utilized as an all-purpose farm dog in the Chinese countryside. The scowling face, intelligence, and strength of the Shar-Pei made it a perfect choice for hunting, protecting stock, and guarding the family and home. Later, the Shar-Pei was used in dog fighting. Because of their loose skin and prickly coat, opponents had a difficult time grabbing and holding on to them. Throughout the Communist Revolution, the Shar-Pei was in danger of becoming extinct. Several of these dogs were rescued by a Hong Kong business man named Matgo Law. This man captured the attention of Americans in 1973 through a dog magazine that promoted the concept of rescuing the Shar-Pei. From the specimens Matgo Law managed to rescue, the Shar-Pei was saved. The breed’s popularity has grown immensely over the past few decades.
They were used to guard Chinese Royalty and Samurai Warriors.
The short-haired coat of the Shar-Pei should be brushed on a regular basis. During the shedding period, bathing once per week and brushing on a daily basis will help to remove dead hair and promote new hair growth.
The Shar Pei is content to live in a small household or apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. They are a comparatively active breed indoors, and they do not require a yard. This breed is sensitive to hot weather. As long as they receive daily physical activity, they will be very peaceful indoors.
If you're having problems training your dog or getting control, you should read our review of DogProblems.com. Adam will do whatever it takes to help you whip your dog into shape. I've used them to help with my Great Dane as well as help friends train their dogs. It's the first place I go to help answer users Questions. Many training issues are too extensive to answer in this forum, which is why I refer a lot of the load to his site.
Update: I've been using and recommending DogProblems for three years now. I, as well as my users, value the techniques we've learned. I get weekly emails from users who have become better owners from the information they received.
Find your new Pooch
Discuss this breed in our Forum!
Shar Pei Q&AAsk a Question
- Shar pei allergies
My shar pei has real bad allergies, I have taken her off dog food and put her on deer meat and rice, she is still breaking out in hives and loosing her hair, what can I do besides feed her benedril all the time. Please helpAsked by Anonymous - 1 answers
- whats good to use for their itchy skin??
whats good to use for their itchy skin??Asked by Anonymous - 11 answers
- how hard are they to take care of? I've heard there realy hard because of all there medical ...
how hard are they to take care of? I've heard there realy hard because of all there medical problemsAsked by Anonymous - 1 answers
- is the pei good with kids
is the pei good with kidsAsked by Anonymous - 3 answers