Shar Pei is a Chinese imported dog that is popular worldwide. Its name translates into “sand skin”, referring to the texture of its coat. The breed originated in the southern provinces of China. There are pictures of Shar Pei in ancient Chinese pottery, suggesting this breed was present even during Han dynasty.
This erstwhile general purpose farm dog was bred for its intelligence, strength and amazing ability to guard homes and animals. The Asian Shar Pei is one of the ancient dog breeds that was used for dog fighting. But they are now preferred as pets or show dogs. It is the 134th breed recognized by AKC.
The Shar-Pei is a devoted family dog, protective and loyal to the family, especially children. As a calm and confident dog, it develops an instinctive understanding with its family members. It is an alert and independent dog that enjoys people’s company.
- Activity level: 3.5/5 (working dog and always ready to play with the owner)
- Intelligence level: 3.5/5 (quick learner)
- Curiosity: 3/5 (curious)
- Friendliness: 2/5 (can be aggressive with other dogs)
- Vocal: 1/5 (barks only while playing or when worried)
This short nosed brachycephalic breed dog is a naturally clean odourless dog that needs minimal grooming. The numerous folds in its coat give it a unique appearance. It’s face resembles that of a bull dog and it has a dark tongue.
- Fur: Shar-Pei is known for its wrinkles and bristly coat. The coat can be short or long. The coat colour can vary from black, fawn, red, sable and blue. The Shar-Pei sheds average fur.
- Eyes: The eyes are dark, with a dilute coloured coat. They are small sunken and almond shaped.
- Body structure: A mass of loose wrinkles below the neck gives it a unique appearance. Its tiny ears start where the big head with a short muzzle ends. The tail is short, thick and round, curling backwards.
- Facial features: Resembling a bull dog in facial features, it has square face with a broad flat head.
- Height: Both, males and females stand 18 to 20 inches tall.
- Weight: Both, males and females weigh between 40 to 55 pounds.
Shar Pei has a life span of 8-12 years. It is extremely sensitive to heat and can succumb to sun strokes. Hence, it should be kept in a well ventilated and aerated space. Frequent baths irritate its skin and hence regular brushing is advised. It is difficult to get it completely dry around the folds of skin after a bath, which can cause fungal infections.
The Shar Pei can be affected by numerous health issues like allergies, congenital Familial Shar Pei fever, Amyloidosis(kidney failure), entropion(an eye irritation), yeast infection in ears, Vitamin B12 deficiency etc. Tests like X-Ray screening are done to identify its joint swelling, Chest X-rays and ultrasound tests are also performed to identify liver and kidney abnormalities in Shar Pei’s which can be treated appropriately with a Vet’s help.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
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