The Chinese Shar-Pei is a unique and ancient breed. It originated in China and was bred specifically to be a fighting dog. Legend has it that this breed once defeated a lion in battle! This dog’s incredible strength and tenacity, as well as its distinctive skin texture, gave rise to the name “Shar-pei,” which actually means “sand skin.”
Today, the Chinese Shar-Pei excels as a watchdog and guardian of his family. His short coat requires only an occasional brushing. The wrinkles on his face should be cleaned regularly by hand or with a damp cloth to prevent sores from developing under the folds. He also needs regular exercise and lots of attention from his family members (he particularly loves children).
The Chinese Shar-Pei is a loyal and loving dog. He does well with children as long as they are taught how to display leadership to the dog, so he knows who the boss is. He can be suspicious of strangers, but once introduced, he will accept them.
Description: The Chinese Shar-Pei, being a large breed, has a lot of energy and needs daily walks or jogs (or both). A bored Shar-Pei can become destructive and even aggressive if not properly exercised. Initial training should focus on commands such as “sit” and “down.” The coat should be brushed weekly using a soft bristle brush. Bathing should only be done when necessary; the skin must stay dry in order for it not to grow excessively or lose its color.
The Chinese Shar-Pei requires plenty of attention from his family and other pets. He is extremely loyal to his immediate family but can be aloof towards strangers unless properly socialized by the age of two years old. If this happens to be the case with your Shar-Pei, special efforts should be made during his early training to correct the problem behavior while he is still young enough to learn better habits.
Height: The height for a male dog is typically around 19-21 inches at the withers (shoulders), up to 23 inches which can be considered as an extra-large size breed, while the female Shar-Pei ranges about 17-19 inches in height. The weight range typically runs from 30 to 55 pounds.
Coat Type: The Chinese Shar-Pei has a coat that is very thick in texture, with a short length of 1-2 inches in length. Shedding is not an issue for this breed but is prepared at times for some seasonal shedding if the dog gets too warm or too cold.
Coloring(s): The typical coat coloration for the Chinese Shar-Pei are solid colors such as fawn, red, cream, and blue, along with their tan points on both the muzzle and nose area, around the eyes, and also down to their chest area. Sometimes you may come across a black & silver or black & gold, which would indicate that their offspring have become both purebreds and/or been mixed with another breed.
Temperament: The Chinese Shar-Pei is a fearless and loyal dog. He makes a great guard dog but should be well socialized to avoid excessive aggressiveness or shyness. The Shar-Pei does best when he has plenty of human contacts and becomes anxious when left alone for extended periods of time. Because of his high energy level, the Chinese Shar-Pei is not recommended for apartment life. They do best in a home that has a large fenced yard where they can play fetch games or run off their considerable exuberance. This breed will go to lengths to please its owners! Training them requires patience and consistency; once trained, they are excellent dogs to have around children.