The Chinese Shar-Pei dog breed has been around for hundreds of years, despite being the 134th breed recognized by the American Kennel Club. Unfortunately, they evolved to guard, hunt, herd, and later to fight. They are now recognized for their distinctive short, bristly coat, saggy, wrinkled skin, and love of their family. Despite being purebred dogs, you might find them in shelters or with rescue organizations.
Don’t forget to adopt! If you want to bring a dog home, avoid shopping. The Shar-Pei nowadays mainly relishes life as a beloved companion. They can even adjust to living in apartments. Your dog’s propensity for barking, however, might not be appreciated by your neighbors. Beginner pet owners should exercise caution because these dogs require extensive firm training that must be done consistently because of their innate stubbornness.
Early socialization is very important. If you can provide for the needs of the breed, you’ll have a devoted best friend and a guard dog. For a complete list of Chinese Shar-Pei characteristics and information, see below!
Chinese Shar-Pei Mixed Dog Breed Picture
Chinese Shar-Pei – Mixed Dog Breed Characteristics
|Adapts Well To Apartment Living
|Good For Novice Owners
|Tolerates Being Alone
|Tolerates Cold Weather
|Tolerates Hot Weather
|All Around Friendliness
|Affectionate With Family
|Friendly Toward Strangers
|Health And Grooming Needs
|Amount Of Shedding
|Easy To Groom
|Potential For Weight Gain
|Easy To Train
|Potential For Mouthiness
|Tendency To Bark Or Howl
|Potential For Playfulness
|Dog Breed Group:
|18 to 20 inches
|40 to 55 lbs
|8 to 12 years
His name, “sand skin,” alludes to his distinctive coat, which resembles bristles. But the Chinese Shar-Pei has other peculiar qualities as well. He looks like he’s wearing a big, bulky suit because of his solid mass of loose wrinkles and skin folds. His short muzzle, powerful head, and purple tongue are topped with tiny ears. A thick, round tail that curls over his back adds the finishing touch.
Undoubtedly, the Shar-Pei is an intriguing-looking dog, and many would-be owners choose this breed based solely on appearance. The Shar-Pei, however, is more than just his distinctive appearance. Because of their calm nature, this breed can reside in an apartment. He also has an independent mind and can be distant.
He makes an excellent watchdog and guard dog thanks to his fighting and guard dog heritage, but he must be trained to control his emotions around strangers and unfamiliar animals. For the Shar-Pei, a dog with a strong will, early training is crucial. He needs a leader who can establish authority firmly and with kindness, and he doesn’t usually respect a leader who can’t do that.
Training is typically simple for him because he picks things up quickly, so long as he doesn’t act stubbornly. The Shar-Pei is a cinch to groom. He is a naturally clean dog, so frequent bathing is neither required nor advised. However, because of all those wrinkles, he may be more prone to skin issues, necessitating extra care and attention there.
It’s actually better for the Shar-Pei breed that he isn’t as well-known as he once was. Popularity increases breeding, especially by dishonest breeders who don’t care about the animals’ health, temperament, or conformation. Unfortunately, the Shar-Pei experienced that in the 1980s. Responsible breeders have been working to improve or resolve the health issues and restore the breeds’ devoted, loving temperament.
- The Shar-Pei was formerly used as a guard dog and pit bull. Although he still has some fighting ability, he now serves primarily as a companion. It’s critical that he be socialized and trained from a young age because he has the potential to be aggressive toward other dogs or people.
- The Shar-Pei is susceptible to overheating because of his short nose. During the sweltering summer, keep him inside with fans or air conditioning. He has a propensity for snoring and wheezing and makes a terrible jogger, just like other short-nosed breeds.
- The Shar-Pei has a dark tongue, just like the Chow. By fans of dog shows, this is normal and even desirable.
- The Shar-Pei doesn’t need to be bathed often, but when you do, make sure to dry him completely. Fungal infections thrive in the creases and wrinkles of the skin.
- The Shar-Pei is loyal to his family, but he can also be obstinate and willful. He needs to find out who the pack leader is right away to avoid potentially competing for the position.
- Never purchase a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, a puppy mill, or a pet shop if you want a healthy dog. Find a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to ensure that they are healthy and free of genetic diseases that they could pass on to the puppies.
Originating in the southern provinces of China, the Chinese Shar-Pei was prized for his abilities as a hunter, herder, protector, and fighter. Despite the lack of concrete evidence, some historians think the Shar-Pei is an ancient breed. Although they also resemble the Chow and Pug, statues that resemble the Shar-Pei have been traced back to the Han Dynasty (200 B.C.).
The dog population in China was essentially wiped out after the founding of the People’s Republic of China. However, a small number of Shar-Peis were raised in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The Shar-Pei could have gone extinct if it weren’t for Matgo Law of Down-Homes Kennels in Hong Kong.
Because of him, a few Shar-Peis were imported into the country in 1973, and in 1974, breed enthusiasts established the Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America, Inc. In 1978, the first National Specialty show took place. The American Kennel Club accepted the Shar-Pei into its Miscellaneous Class in 1988, and it officially recognized the breed as a member of the Non-Sporting Group in 1991.
Males and females are both 40 to 55 pounds and between 18 and 20 inches tall.
The Shar-Pei dog breed is observant and independent. He is incredibly devoted to his family but distant with strangers. He is said to prefer human company over canine, and he enjoys spending as much time as possible with his owner. He is a calm, self-assured dog who appears to intuitively understand his owner or family. The Shar-Pei is as loyal as he is independent and determined.
He makes a great guard dog because he is devoted to his family and will defend them from harm. He can be hostile to other dogs because he was formerly trained as a pit bull. The Shar-Pei needs early socialization, or exposure to a variety of people, sights, sounds, and experiences, just like every other dog.
In order to ensure that your Shar-Pei puppy develops into a well-rounded dog, socialization is important. He should start by enrolling in a kindergarten class for puppies. Regularly hosting guests, taking him to crowded parks, dog-friendly shops, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will all help him hone his social skills.
Shar-Peis are more prone to certain illnesses, particularly skin conditions. Even though not every Shar-Pei will contract one or more of these illnesses, it’s important to be aware of them if you’re thinking about getting one.
Shar-Pei fever, also known as swollen hock syndrome, is characterized by swelling of the hock joint (and occasionally both joints), which makes the affected dog reluctant to move and causes vomiting, diarrhea, shallow breathing, and abdominal pain. Dogs experience one or more episodes of unexplained fever, with peaks between 103 and 107 degrees.
Although it can happen when the dog is an adult, the condition typically begins at 18 months of age. Treatment for the fever, which lasts for 24 to 36 hours, includes easing pain and fever.
- Hypothyroidism: This is a thyroid gland disorder. Epilepsy, alopecia (hair loss), obesity, lethargy, hyperpigmentation, pyoderma, and other skin conditions are thought to be caused by it. Diet and medication are used to treat it.
- Cancer: Signs and symptoms include abnormal swelling of a bump or sore, wounds that do not heal, bleeding from any body opening, and trouble breathing or urinating. Chemotherapy, surgery, and prescription medications are all cancer treatments.
- Elbow dysplasia is a degenerative condition that is similar to hip dysplasia. It is thought to be brought on by abnormal growth and development, which leads to a weak and deformed joint. The severity of the illness varies; the dog may simply develop arthritis or he may become lame. Surgery, weight loss, medical supervision, and anti-inflammatory drugs are all forms of treatment.
- Demodex mites, which a mother dog transmits to her pups in the first few days of life, are the root cause of demodectic mange, also known as demodicosis. Demodex mites live in hair follicles and typically don’t cause problems, but if your Shar-Pei has a weakened or compromised immune system, he can develop demodectic mange (the mite can’t be passed to humans or to other dogs; only by mother to pups). On the head, neck, and forelegs, patches of red, scaly, balding skin can be seen. Even though it frequently goes away on its own, you should still take your dog to the veterinarian to avoid it developing into the more severe generalized form of demodectic mange, which covers the entire body and spreads infection.
- Seborrhea is a condition that causes flaky skin and has a bad smell. It frequently occurs as a side effect of an allergy, infection, or other illness. In addition to administering medication-laced shampoo, treatment also addresses the underlying illness.
- Pyoderma is a bacterial skin infection that is another skin condition that affects the Shar-Pei breed frequently. It may be a primary infection or a secondary infection; the latter is brought on by a condition like an allergy or a hypothyroid condition. Antibiotics are used to treat pyoderma.
- Patellar Luxation, also referred to as slipped stifles, is a problem that frequently affects small dogs. The kneecap is the patella. Anatomical parts that have been dislocated, such as a bone at a joint, are luxated. Patellar luxation is a painful condition in which the knee joint (often of the back leg) slides in and out of place. Although many dogs with this condition live relatively normal lives, it can be crippling.
- In people with hip dysplasia, the thighbone does not fit tightly inside the hip joint. Dogs can exhibit lameness and pain in one or both of their hind legs, but not all of them do. In either case, arthritis can set in as the dog ages (X-ray screening is the most accurate way to diagnose the issue). If you’re buying a puppy, ask the breeder for documentation that the parents have undergone hip dysplasia testing and are healthy. Dogs with this condition shouldn’t be bred.
- Bloat, also known as gastric torsion, is a potentially fatal condition that can strike large, deep-chested dogs. This is particularly true if they only eat one substantial meal per day, eat quickly, drink a lot of water afterward, and engage in strenuous activity right afterward. Older dogs are more likely to experience bloat. When the stomach becomes distended with gas or air and twists (torsion), GDV occurs. The normal flow of blood to the heart is hampered because the dog is unable to belch or vomit to get rid of the extra air in the stomach. The dog experiences a drop in blood pressure and shock. The dog could die if not given immediate medical care. If your dog has a protruding abdomen, excessive salivation, and retching without throwing up, you should suspect bloat. He might also be agitated, depressed, lethargic, weak, and have a fast heartbeat. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s critical to take your dog to the vet right away.
- Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD): Usually affecting the elbows but occasionally the shoulders, OCD is an orthopedic condition brought on by improper cartilage growth in the joints. The dog’s elbow becomes painfully stiffened to the point of being unable to bend. As young as four to nine months old, dogs can already show signs of the condition. High-protein diets or overfeeding of “growth formula” puppy food may hasten its development.
- Cutaneous Mucinosis: The skin’s mucin substance is what wrinkles the skin. When a dog is injured, it is clear and stringy and acts like glue. However, some Shar-Peis have too much mucin, which results in the formation of clear bubbles on the skin that could burst and ooze. It is treated with steroid therapy and may be connected to allergies.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma is characterized by an increase in eye pressure and has two types: primary, which is hereditary, and secondary, which is brought on by a decrease in eye fluid as a result of other eye conditions. Vision loss and pain are among the symptoms, and the type will affect the prognosis and course of treatment. Treatment options for glaucoma include surgery and eye drops.
- Entropion: This is a condition in which one or both of the eyelids roll inward, usually the lower one. Before a dog turns a year old, it typically causes irritation and vision loss. When the dog is an adult, corrective surgery is a successful treatment.
- Find a reputable breeder who will provide you with the health clearances for both of your puppy’s parents if you are purchasing a puppy. Health certifications attest to a dog’s having undergone testing and being declared free of a specific ailment.
- You can anticipate seeing health certificates for von Willebrand’s disease, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and thrombopathia from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), thrombopathia from Auburn University, and normal eyes from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) in Shar-Peis. You can check the OFA website (offa.org) to confirm health clearances.
The Shar-Pei is at home in both the city and the countryside. He thrives in confined spaces like an apartment or condo as long as he exercises every day. He doesn’t need a backyard, but he does like to go outside and walk around. The Shar-Pei, in general, is content to simply hang out with his owner, wherever he may be.
As soon as you bring your Sharpei home, start training and socializing him, and make a commitment to doing so throughout his entire life. Given that he is not typically amicable to other dogs, he will require ongoing reinforcement. Owners must be steadfast and consistent in order to establish leadership because he can be stubborn as well. However, he generally has a desire to please and is receptive to instruction.
The best way to socialize your Shar-Pei is to take them wherever you go, as frequently as you can, including puppy classes, outdoor gatherings, busy parks, and friends’ houses. He won’t grow overly timid or protective as a result of this. The Shar-Pei should be kept on a leash in public because this breed has a history of attacking other dogs.
The Shar-Pei is categorized as a brachycephalic, or short-nosed, breed along with the Bulldog, Boxer, and Pug. They are poor running partners because of their short noses, which make them extremely heat-sensitive. These dogs should be kept indoors during hot weather with fans or air conditioning to prevent heat stroke.
1.5 to 2.5 cups of premium dry food should be consumed every day, split between two meals.
NOTE: The amount of food your adult dog consumes is influenced by his size, age, build, metabolism, and level of activity. Like people, each dog is unique, so they don’t all require the same amount of food. A highly active dog will require more than a couch potato dog, which should almost go without saying. The kind of dog food you purchase also matters; the better the food, the more effectively it will nourish your dog and the less you will need to shake into the bowl. See our recommendations for selecting the best food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog for more information on feeding your Shar-Pei.
Coat Design and Maintenance
His bristly coat is the second most iconic Shar-Pei trait after his wrinkles. It is straight up and varies in length from a really short “horse” coat to a longer “brush” coat, like a 1950s butch hairdo. It is available in a variety of hues, such as solid black, cream, fawn, red, sable, and blue. He doesn’t shed much. The Shar-Pei requires very little grooming to maintain his good looks, despite being a naturally clean dog with very little odor.
Dead hair and dirt can be removed with a thorough once-weekly brushing with a rubber curry or grooming mitt. He only requires a bath every 12 weeks or so if he hasn’t been playing in the mud. His skin can become irritated from frequent baths. The easiest grooming tasks for a Shar-Pei are brushing and bathing. Getting him dry after a bath is challenging but necessary.
A yeast or fungal infection is likely if you don’t completely dry the folds and wrinkles. To completely remove any moisture, wipe between the folds with a dry towel. At least twice or three times a week, brush your Shar-Pei’s teeth to get rid of tartar buildup and the bacteria that live there. Even better than twice-daily brushing is prevention of bad breath and gum disease.
If your dog doesn’t wear his nails down naturally, trim them once or twice a month to avoid painful tears and other issues. They are too long if you can hear them clicking on the floor. Because dog toenails contain blood vessels, cutting them too short can result in bleeding, which may make your dog uncooperative the next time the nail clippers are pulled out.
Therefore, seek advice from a veterinarian or groomer if you are unfamiliar with trimming dog nails. Every week, you should check his ears for redness or an unpleasant smell that could be an infection. To help prevent infections, clean your dog’s ears when you check them with a cotton ball dampened with a mild, pH-balanced ear cleaner. The Shar-Pei’s ears require extra caution because the canals are small and prone to irritation and infection.
Avoid cleaning your ears with a swab and avoid getting water in them while taking a bath. Simply clean the outer ear; avoid inserting anything into the ear canal. When your Shar-Pei puppy is young, start acclimating him to being brushed and examined. Dogs are sensitive when it comes to their feet, so handle his paws frequently and examine his mouth.
Lay the groundwork for simple veterinary exams and other handling when he’s an adult by making grooming a rewarding experience filled with praise and rewards. Check your pet’s feet, nose, mouth, eyes, and skin for sores, rashes, or infection-related symptoms like redness, tenderness, or inflammation as you groom them. Clear eyes without any redness or discharge are ideal. You can identify potential health issues early on thanks to your thorough weekly exam.
Kids and other animals
A devoted family pet, the Shar-Pei is protective of his family, including young ones. If he doesn’t live with them, he should be exposed to kids as he grows up in order to best learn how to get along with them. He’s best suited to families with kids 10 and older who understand how to treat a pet with respect because he’s such an independent breed.
In order to prevent biting or ear or tail pulling on either party, you should always teach kids how to approach and touch dogs. You should also always supervise any interactions between young children and dogs. Teach your child to never try to steal a dog’s food or approach a dog while he or she is eating or sleeping. Regardless of how friendly they are, dogs and children should never be left unattended.
The Shar-Pei should be raised with them from an early age on to give them the best chance of getting along with other dogs and animals. He can be combative with other dogs, so supervision is crucial.
Shar-Peis are frequently purchased without the buyer having a clear understanding of what it takes to own one. Consider contacting a rescue organization before visiting a breeder as there are numerous Shar-Peis in need of adoption and/or fostering.