Shar Pei in Chinese means “sandpaper-like skin”.
Chinese Shar Pei (pronounced “sharpay”)
Chinese Fighting Dog
Body: Medium size, strong and compact with sloping shoulders, deep chest and short back.
Coat: Primarily straight, short, and coarse but are also found with a longer, softer coat.
Color: Only solid and sable colors are accepted by the AKC. Other colors include: brindle, spotted (flowered), parti, cream, silver, fawn, red, chocolate, and black or any combination of patterns.
Ears: Tiny, dense, set wide apart, and lie close to the cheeks.
Eyes: Dark, deep-set, small, and almond-shaped.
Feet: Compact and firmly padded.
Head: Large with a well-padded muzzle, large nose, flat skull and moderate stop.
Neck: Moderately long with thick folds and well-set to the shoulders.
Legs: Forelegs are straight, muscular, well-boned, and sloping. Hind legs are powerful and somewhat angled.
Height is 18 – 20 inches (45.7 – 51cm)
Weight is 40 – 60 pounds (18 – 27kg)
Tail: High set, natural, and somewhat curved.
Recommended for experienced dog handlers.
Not recommended in families with children unless raised with them.
The Chinese Shar-pei is a breed by itself in looks. He is described by Chinese Standards as having “clamshell ears, a butterfly nose, a grandmother-like face, melon-shaped head, water buffalo neck, a horses buttocks, and dragon’s legs.”
Michele Welton, author of Your Purebred Puppy, describes him as a “dignified dog with wrinkled skin, hippopotamus head, and scowling expression.”
The wrinkles are abundant on puppies and lesson with age. The Shar pei is also characterized by their blue-black tongue (like the Chow Chow). They are one of the easiest of the purebred breeds to house train, and are generally quiet and well-mannered. Some Shar Peis may be aggressive with other dogs
He can be an aggressive dog best owned by an experienced dog handler. Firm, but respectful, training and early socialization are necessary. This is not a kennel dog. He is an independently minded dog who has strong hunting instincts and will chase any movement he perceives to be prey including cats and other small animals. If you are not out hunting with your Shar Pei, keep him in a securely fenced yard or on a leash.
AKC Group: Non-Sporting Group (dog fighting breed)
Used for dog fighting, herding, and for hunting wild boar.
Care and Grooming
Grooming: Careful attention to the skin is necessary to ensure no irritations or other problems arise due to their wrinkled folds.
Life Expectancy: 11 – 12 Years
Allergies – well known for having allergies.
Amyloidosis – a starch-like substance deposited in organs (such as the kidneys) and tissues.
Demodectic Mange – caused by bites from parasites such as ticks and fleas.
Dry skin (rich foods are not recommended for this breed).
Entropion (inward eyelashes) – caused by the excessive wrinkling of the skin and often resulting in eye infections.
FSF – familial Shar-Pei fever.
Inflammatory Bowel disease
Known to have negative reactions to drugs such as anesthesia.
Rich foods and diets high in protein are not recommended.
Country of Origin
China – 1500s