With its wrinkled face and very unique look, there is something so distinctly adorable about the Shar Pei. It’s almost impossible not to notice this dog when you see it thanks to the fact that its face is unlike any other. There are some that say this is a breed that is just not cute, but sometimes it’s the dogs that are the least cute that make the cutest creatures. The Shar Pei falls along those lines, and it does have a lot to offer to his people. If you have your eye on a Shar Pei, perhaps you might get to know the breed a bit better. Aside from its adorable face, this breed has a lot going for it.
Personality and Temperament
With a strong bond between dog and owner, the Shar Pei is one of those dogs that comes across as very loyal because that’s precisely what it is. With so many amazing qualities it is no wonder that this breed is so popular around the world. It’s independent, but affectionate. It’s very loyal to its owners and bonds deeply and instantly with them, but it is not a dog that treats strangers with disrespect or aggression. It’s good with other animals and as long as it spends time with kids when it is a small dog, it will grow up to love them, too.
Very calm and laid-back, this is not a breed that will bark often or overreact to many of the things that other dogs tend to react to. However, the Shar Pei is a dog that requires a knowledgeable owner. You have to be confident and dominant, and you have to know what you are doing. If you are unfamiliar with this breed, you will want to go ahead and ensure that you are familiar with dogs in general. Not recommended for those who have never owned dogs in the past, this is a breed that will not respond well to your uncertainties.
Shar Peis make great pets because they are very easy to housebreak, but they do not love water. What this means is this is not the dog that you can take on the boat with you and expect it to have a great time when you’re at the lake on vacation. Ironically, it’s a very slobbery dog that will make a huge mess of its slobber on everything that you own. That’s one of those things you have to know about the breed, because it is often a deal-breaker for those who did not previously know these dogs are so slobbery and wet.
Lifestyle and Expectation
The Shar Pei is the kind of dog that you want to know more about before you bring it home because it’s a dog. You want to know things about dogs before you get yourself into a situation you cannot get out of without disappointing a dog and yourself. Does it live long? Is it a healthy breed? Does the Shar Pei fit in with your family and your lifestyle? What about your house; is it big enough for a dog like this? Is this a big dog? What is it about the Shar Pei that we can expect when we get it home?
In terms of size, the Shar Pei is not a huge dog, but it’s not a small one either. It can grow to become as big as 20 inches tall and weigh as much as 55 pounds, and it has a life expectancy of up to 10 years. Sadly, the Shar Pei is a breed prone to a few health issues that are quite serious, which might explain why they don’t live all that long.
Kidney failure is a big deal for the Shar Pei. Also, this breed tends to have some skin conditions. Many believe it’s the wrinkles that cause the skin issues, but it’s not. It’s actually a hereditary condition that that comes from its parents and its history. The problem comes from over population and breeding back in the 1980s when breeders were creating unhealthy litters to help raise the numbers and sell puppies, and it’s one that has now become a problem for many dogs. Additionally, you might notice that the Shar Pei is also prone to something called the mast cell tumor, which is not a good thing. However, frequent trips to the vet and careful care for the dog means that you are less likely to see any health issues.
As far as your lifestyle and your living conditions, your Shar Pei will do all right in a small home or even in an apartment if it has proper exercise. It’s not one that’s overly active inside, so that helps. You want to make sure your dog has a long daily walk and some time to go ahead and play in the yard for a while every day.
Do note, however, that Shar Peis have very thick skin and fur and that means they don’t do overly well in the extreme heat. Your dog is more likely to do well when temperatures are moderate or cool. Furthermore, the dog has a coat that does require regular brushing. It’s not a huge shedder, but it will have to shed a little bit throughout the year. Just keep him brushed and it won’t present much of an issue.
No one is particularly certain where the Shar Pei actually begins its journey in history. It seems that the dog was around as far back as 206 BC thanks to artwork and other evidence, but it’s not certain. It’s also believed that it might be a long time family member of the Chow Chow breed, and that it was used to work on farms as well as hunt back in centuries long since passed. There is even a rumor that the breed was once thought to ward off evil spirits thanks to its wrinkles – probably long before plastic surgery was famous and no one wanted wrinkles anymore.