Breed of the Month–Chinese Shar-Pei

1March 2013

Chinese Shar-Pei

Color:  Solid colors & sable, no white
Height:  17-20 inches
Weight:  40-60 lbs
Life Span:  9-10 years

Breed Health Concerns:  Shar-Pei Fever, cherry eye, hypothyroidism, pyoderma, hip dysplasia, entropion, patellar luxation, and skin problems.

Coat:  Straight, single, harsh coat, length varies.
Country of Origin:  China

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

It is believed that the Shar Pei has ancestors in the Chow Chow and Mastiff breeds, but its exact origin is unknown.  The Shar Pei was used for protection, hunting, and herding for many centuries and can even be seen on pottery drawings dating over 2,000 years ago.  When the breed was brought to the United States in the 1970s, its popularity quickly grew due to his unusual features.

The Shar Pei is a devoted and loyal member of his family.  He is calm, alert, and dignified.  With his scrunched up face, abundant wrinkles, and tiny ears, its easy to see why many people fall in love with the unique look of the breed.

A good brisk walk once a day is plenty of exercise for this breed.  It is important not to allow the breed to overexercise in the summer because he is very sensitive to heat.

The Shar Pei’s coat should be brushed regularly and weekly baths are recommended.  Special care must be taken to make sure the skin folds do not stay moist, which can lead to irritation and infections.

Although usually easy to potty train, the Shar Pei must be socialized and trained right away.  Training this breed requires a firm but gentle approach.  Training must be made fun to keep the Shar Pei interested.  He has a willing nature but must be taught right away to respect the trainer, or the breed can easily become dominant.