Origin: The Chinese Shar-Pei originated during the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD) in the village of Dah-Let near the South China Sea. These dogs were all purpose working dogs to guard the family, farms and temples. Even though the Shar-Pei was once known as one of the world’s rarest breeds of dogs in the 1970s, it is now through careful breeding that they are not so rare. The Shar-Pei or “Wrinkle Dog” are covered with wrinkles as puppies but can tend to grow out of these wrinkles as adult Shar-Pei the wrinkling is confined mainly to the forehead and withers.
Height: The height is 18 to 20 inches (45-50 cm) at the withers.
Weight: The weight is 40 to 60 pounds (18-27 kg).
Temperament: Known to be standoffish and aloof, this is not always true of today’s Shar-Pei. They make excellent and loyal family pets. Early and frequent socialization is a must for these dogs if they are to remain confident and happy outside the home with other people/children and dogs. The breed is a natural guard dog and will bark to alert the presence of visitors.
Colour: Any solid color is acceptable. Face may or may not have a mask. Pigmented dogs range in color from black, red fawn to cream.
Coat: The name “Shar-Pei” means “sand-skin”, but translates more loosely as “rough, sandy coat” or “sandpaper-like coat” and refers to two distinctive qualities of the Shar-Pei coat, off standing and harsh. There are 3 coat types: 2 correct coat types that must be under one inch in length – the Horse Coat – the shortest and harshest of the 3, the Brush Coat that is slightly longer and less harsh than the Horse Coat but still under one inch and the Bear Coat. The Bear Coat is a coat that is usually softer and longer than one inch in length it is a major fault. No coat is considered rare. The Shar-Pei tends to shed seasonal and needs minimal grooming.
Feeding: Any quality dog food and treats that is not too high in protein.
House Breaking: These dogs are innately clean and are very clean in their environment and train easily.
Crate Training: Crate training is advised.
Training & Obedience: They are very bright and learn quickly but can get bored with routine training. An intelligent and often stubborn breed, Shar-Pei ownership needs careful consideration. Early training and socialization are important to help this breed develop into a well rounded member of the family.
Exercise: The Shar-Pei is not a hyper breed and are more of a laid back dog that can do well in apartment living or in a home with a fenced yard. Shar-Pei need to be monitored when exercising to prevent overheating in extreme temperatures. They also have an intolerance to cold weather extremes. Shar-Pei should not be left in the sun for long periods of time as they can get over heated easily.