Chinese Shar-Pei


Overview of Chinese Shar-Peis

  • Chinese Shar-pei temperament, personality, training, behavior, pros and cons, advice, and information, by Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Behavioral Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books This sober and dignified dog with the wrinkled skin, “hippopotamus” head, and scowling expression stands firmly on the ground with a calm, confident stature.
  • Chinese Shar-Peis are known for their characteristic wrinkly skin and square heads.[1]
    Research source

    Their fur is bristly and varies in length, from a shorter “horse” coat to a longer “brush coat.” With their pronounced wrinkles, Shar-Peis are more prone to skin irritation and infections.

  • Chinese Shar-Pei are prone to a hereditary inflammatory disorder called familial Shar-Pei fever (Shar-Pei fever or FSF), which includes symptoms which include extremely elevated temperature, pain, swelling in the hocks, lethargy, and loss of appetite.
  • Chinese Shar-Peis, Fox Terriers, German Shepherds, Great Danes, Irish Setters, Labrador Retrievers, Miniature Schnauzers, Newfoundlands; often part of laryngeal paralysis-polyneuropathy complex in Dalmatians and Pyrenees Mountain Dogs
  • The Chinese Shar-Pei is an ancient breed—not only do statues from the Han Dynasty and earlier depict the Shar-Pei, their DNA shows them to be a basal breed that predates modern dog breeds that emerged in the 19th century.
  • Chinese Shar-Pei owners will instantly recognize their breed in the post title because in addition to muzzle types, their breed also comes in three coat types.
  • The Chinese Shar-Pei is known to have a strong personality that’s hardly flexible, making it a lousy pet choice for first-time dog parents.
  • Chinese Shar-Peis shed minimally most of the time, but twice per year during spring and fall they do shed more hair than they normally do.
  • Chinese Shar-Pei German Shepherds seem to have average-sized litters of 5 to 6 puppies; however, litters as large as 9 are not unheard of.
  • Chinese Shar-Pei need only moderate exercise (several brisk daily walks), so they do quite well in the city or suburbs.
  • Breed

    An ancient breed, the Chinese shar-pei is believed to have originated in China about 200 bc.Chinese shar-peis are recognized by both the American and British kennel clubs.Its numbers continued to dwindle in the late 1940s, as the Chinese Communist Party levied high taxes on dogs and eventually banned dog breeding.Originally used for hunting and guarding, it became a popular fighting dog but fell out of favour after the introduction of larger breeds from the West.Surrounding regions, notably Hong Kong, continued to breed Chinese shar-peis, and pleas to save the animal resulted in increased demand, particularly in the United States, where the breed was introduced in 1966.


    All suspicious lumps should be tested and any questionable lump should be surgically removed as soon as possible.Many cancers are cured by surgically removing them, so early detection and removal is critical.Mast cell tumors are a particularly nasty type of skin cancer found more often in Chinese Shar-Peis, and the sooner they are surgically removed the better.Trouble is, they often look just like other kinds of skin lumps and lesions, some of which are harmful, and others not.


    They are naturally very clean dogs and won’t need to be bathed frequently, making them a relatively easy dog to groom.

    Genetic Predispositions

    At the end of the article, we have also included a description of what you can do at home to keep your Shar-Pei looking and feeling her best.This guide contains general health information important to all canines as well as the most important genetic predispositions for Chinese Shar-Peis.This information helps you and us together plan for your pet’s unique medical needs.You will know what to watch for, and we will all feel better knowing that we’re taking the best possible care of your pal.


    By knowing about health concerns specific to Chinese Shar-Peis, we can tailor a preventive health plan to watch for and hopefully prevent some predictable risks.That is why we have summarized the health concerns we will be discussing with you over the life of your Shar-Pei.We know that because you care so much about your dog, you want to take good care of her.


    Chinese Shar-Peis are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections — the same ones that all dogs can get — such as parvo, rabies, and distemper.Many of these infections are preventable through vaccination, which we will recommend based on the diseases we see in our area, her age, and other factors.


    Instead, give her a hug, brush her fur or teeth, play a game with her, or perhaps take her for a walk.It is a serious disease that may cause or worsen joint problems, metabolic and digestive disorders, back pain, and heart disease.Obesity can be a significant health problem in Chinese Shar-Peis.She’ll feel better, and so will you!Though it’s tempting to give your pal food when she looks at you with those soulful eyes, you can “love her to death” with leftover people food and doggie treats.


    The breed got registered in the AKC in 1992 and rank 50th in the breed list.The Chinese Shar-Pei is gaining a lot of popularity nowadays with their lovable and affectionate personality.

    Do Shar-Peis Shed a Lot?

    Shar-Peis are moderate shedders.They don’t shed that much on a day-to-day basis but expect that they will blow their coat during spring or fall.If you own a horse coated Shar-Pei, you are fortunate because they shed the most minimal among all the three varieties.

    Do Shar Pei’s shed or cause allergies?

    As a rule of thumb, Chinese Shar Pei’s do not shed year around, but they do shed seasonally.If you suffer from allergies, it is recommended to spend some time around the breed before bringing a Shar Pei into your home.

    Is a Shar Pei dangerous?

    The Shar Pei can be friendly with other household pets if you raise them together, but they are generally wary of strangers and can become aggressive.And they can show even greater hostility toward other dogs.

    Are Chinese Shar-Peis Good With Kids?

    Shar-Peis are recommended with older children only.Children should be taught to respect the power and unique personality of the Shar-Pei.

    Are Chinese Shar-Peis Hypoallergenic?

    No.Shar Peis aren’t hypoallergenic because they do shed hair and, like most dogs, produce dander (dead skin).They also drool a fair bit, and when that saliva dries it can cause allergies like sneezing.

    Are Shar Pei Dogs Aggressive?

    Shar Peis were bred at one point to be aggressive, to other animals and even to people.

    Do Shar-Pei Puppies Change Color When They Grow?

    The skin and coat of your Shar-Pei will go through color transitions as they age.But this does not mean that they would magically turn to red if they are solid black.

    Do Shar Peis Make Good Family Pets?

    It is possible to have one make a good family pet in certain scenarios.

    How bad do Shar Peis shed?

    Chinese Shar-Peis shed minimally most of the time, but twice per year during spring and fall they do shed more hair than normal.So, overall, are considered average shedders.

    Do Chinese Shar-Peis Shed?

    Chinese Shar-Peis are an ancient dog that was bred by Chinese farmers to hunt, herd and guard their livestock.They’re a stocky, medium sized breed that is known to be loyal, affectionate and protective.

    Should You Adopt a Shar-Pei?

    Shar-Peis originate from southern China, where they were once used by local farmers over 2,000 years ago to hunt small game, as well as herd and guard their livestock.

    Are Shar-Peis Hypoallergenic?

    Shar-Peis are not hypoallergenic since they somehow produce specific allergens just like other breeds.Nevertheless, they can still serve as companions of those who have less severe allergies since they do not shed that much.

    How much is a Chinese Shar Pei puppy?

    Chinese Shar Pei puppies can cost around $600 to $1,200.

    Are They Child-Friendly?

    Yes, Chinese Shar-Pei dogs are good with children because they are devoted family dogs which are protective of their family and children.They are good with children of all ages but are best for homes which have older children who can treat them the right way.

    What if I have a show dog?

    Whether you have a show dog or a companion quality dog, the same basic care is given regarding nutrition, socialization, and hygiene. The difference is the conditioning of the dog and conformation training. It is always quite helpful if your breeder can help mentor you to lead you in the right direction upon entering the wonderful world of dog shows. A great place to start is with the national breed club like the Chinese Shar Pei Club of America, Inc,

    What Are the Standard Colors of Shar-Peis According to Different Kennel Clubs?

    The best reference to identify if your Shar-Pei is of the standard color is by consulting the breed standards published by various kennel clubs such as AKC, CKC, UKC, and FCI.Usually, they dedicate a section describing the type of coat and the breed’s different colors in full detail.

    How Much Does a Shar Pei Puppy Cost?

    These pups don’t come cheap.

    Does Canine Color Really Matter?

    While most breeders would tell you that canine color doesn’t matter, there is already much scientific evidence that would disapprove of such.

    Who should get a Chinese Shar Pei?

    There are many factors to consider when thinking about introducing a Chinese Shar Pei into the family.

    Are they good with children?

    The Shar Pei has a very strong temperament and an independent mind of their own. Because of this, this is not the best breed to have around young children.

    Size: How big does a Chinese Shar Pei dog get?

    As per the AKC breed standard, a full-grown Chinese Shar Pei can reach a height of 18 to 20 inches (46 to 51 cm) and can weigh 45 to 60 pounds (20 to 27 kg).

    Do They Drool Much?

    Shar-Peis drool fairly heavily which means they can make a mess of you, your home and vehicle.Also, dried saliva, once airborne, can cause allergies to flare up more so than dogs that drool less.

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    How Do You Stop a Shar Pei from Shedding?

    You cannot stop any dog from shedding completely, this is a natural occurrence whereby the old hair falls out, and new hair takes its place.However, you can reduce shedding, and the best way to do this is through regular brushing.

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    Does Shar Peis have health problems?

    With a balanced diet and necessary care, the Shar Pei has an average life span of 9 to 11 years.However, this breed is prone to certain health conditions that potential owners should be aware of.

    What Is a Dilute Shar-Pei?

    You have heard the word dilute countless times in this guide, so I know you pretty much have an idea about what it means.However, I’m still going to explain it one more time just in case you’re a bit confused.

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    What Kind of Diet Does a Shar Pei Need?

    Shar Peis need a diet that takes their potential for food allergies into consideration.It is recommended that you monitor their eating habits closely and consult a veterinarian if they have any adverse reactions to their diet.These could manifest as gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea or skin issues like itching and redness.

    Did Original Shar Peis Have the Same Health Issues?

    The original had only has small wrinkles around the face.

    Is the Shar Pei a Dangerous Dog?

    Any dog improperly raised or handled has the potential to be dangerous.

    How long do Shar Peis Live?

    This breed’s average lifespan is reported as 8 to 12 years.Sadly, this is not backed up my scientific research.

    Do Shar Peis Make Good Family Dogs?

    Chinese Shar-Peis make good family dogs because they are loyal, loving and protective of their family.However, it is a good idea to train and socialize them early on to ensure they get along with other dogs and cats, and play well with small children around the home.

    What is a common problem in Chinese Shar Pei?

    Like all pure breed dogs, the Shar Pei has its fair share of health issues. This is a brachycephalic breed. The Shar Pei does manifest Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome that is composed of a number of anatomical abnormalities.Eyes are another major issue in this breed. Entropion, where the eyelids roll in, is a major concern. If it is not treated, a cornel ulceration can occur which can lead to blindness.

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    Shar-Pei Coat Genetics: Why Do They Have Many Different Colors?

    Shar-Peis possess two essential pigments called eumelanin and pheomelanin.Certain genes modify the production of these pigments, which result in a variety of coat colors.

    Temperament: Is a Shar Pei a good family dog?

    Shar Peis are intelligent, alert, loving, independent, and somewhat aloof toward strangers.

    Did Their Wrinkles Have a Purpose?

    Their wrinkles are thought to have historically served a purpose.

    What does a Shar-Pei dog look like?

    The Chinese Shar Pei is a wrinkled dog with a ‘hippopotamus’ muzzle, terrier-like stature, and many folds of skin.

    What do Shar Peis look like?

    This breed has a very unique appearance.

    Grooming: Does Chinese Shar Pei shed?

    The Shar Pei doesn’t shed much, but they aren’t hypoallergenic either.And they tend to shed more around spring and autumn.

    Do they require a lot of grooming?

    Despite the fact that this breed is naturally clean, regular baths are recommended at least every 4 weeks.

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    What Are the Three Types of Shar-Pei Coat?

    Shar-Peis have three coat varieties which are called horse, brush, and bear.The horse coat is the shortest among the three and is also the coarsest.The second is the brush coat which is slightly longer.And lastly, the rare bear coat which is long and soft.

    What Are the Rarest and Most Common Colors of Shar-Peis?

    Now you may be wondering about the rarest and most common colors for this dog because you are trying to gauge which best fits your budget.I completely understand; that’s why I made this list for you.

    What Are They Like to Groom?

    Shar Peis are fairly easy to groom given they have a short, single coat.All you need to do to keep on top of the grooming side of things is brush once per week.

    Where Is the Shar Pei From?

    The Shar Pei is believed to an ancestor of the Han Dog, which originated in Ancient China.They also share physical similarities with Mastiff breeds and the Chow Chow.Early breeders sought to maintain the wrinkly nature of their skin, since it benefitted them in battle and prevented traumatic injuries.

    Where Is the Shar Pei From?

    The Shar Pei is believed to an ancestor of the Han Dog, which originated in Ancient China.They also share physical similarities with Mastiff breeds and the Chow Chow.Early breeders sought to maintain the wrinkly nature of their skin, since it benefitted them in battle and prevented traumatic injuries.

    What Are the Non-Standard Shar-Pei Colors?

    The Shar-Pei colors listed below are labeled as non-standard and are not allowed to join conformation shows because their coat isn’t exactly expected from the breed.Nevertheless, they can still enter other contests that involve skills.

    Why is the Shar Pei wrinkled?

    The excessive skin in some dog breeds, including the main subject of this article, is caused by the mutation of the HAS2 gene.It sounds smart, right? But what does that actually mean? The HAS2 gene is responsible for the synthesis of hyaluronic acid.Its mutation causes folding of the skin in Shar Pei.Unfortunately, it also contributes to familial Shar Pei fever.

    History of Chinese Shar-Peis

  • in 1888 and currently sits at number 63 out of 194 on the American Kennel Club’s list of America’s most favorite breeds.
  • In 1949, the People’s Republic of China was established.
  • In 1966, the first Shar-Pei were imported into the United States.
  • In 1968, the Hong Kong Kennel Club recognized the breed and a resurgence of the Chinese Shar-Pei occurred in Taiwan and British Hong Kong.
  • In 1971 Dogs magazine ran an article about saving the endangered breeds, “Who’ll Save Our Endangered Breeds”.
  • In 1973 a Hong Kong businessman named Matgo Law acquired a few of these dogs in an attempt to save the breed.
  • In 1973, Matgo Law made his plead for American dog breeders to help save the Chinese Shar-Pei.
  • In 1978 it was recognized in the Guinness Book of Records as the rarest dog breed in existence.
  • In 1978 the Guinness Book of Records listed it … 323 results for mini shar pei.