Shar Pei History

The Shar Pei was formerly a very popular breed, but political upheaval in China in the twentieth century took its toll. It was on the verge of extinction by the 1970s. In 1973, Matgo Law, a Hong Kong businessman, appealed to the global community, including The American Kennel Club, to assist in saving the breed. With only 60 remaining in the late 1970, they were named by The Guinness Book of Records as the world’s rarest breed.

The media attention led to a high demand for the dogs in the United States, and unscrupulous breeders in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan crossed their remaining purebreds with other breeds, such as the Bull Terrier, Pug, and Bulldog, and sold the offspring to unsuspecting American buyers. The results of these crossings created a dog with a much fleshier mouth, which became known as the “meat-mouth” Shar Pei.

Shar-Pei Dog Breed Appearance and Breed Characteristics

The Shar Pei is a medium-sized dog that is known for its distinct appearance. The most notable features of the Shar Pei are its wrinkled skin and short coat. These wrinkles can be found on the face, neck, and body, and they give the breed a very distinct appearance. The Shar Pei is also known for its melon-shaped head, blue-black tongue and folded ears. Their tail is also unique in that it is straight and carried over their back.


The Shar Pei’s distinctive coat is one of the breed’s most defining features. The short, bristly hair is stiff to the touch and lies close to the body, providing excellent protection against the elements. The Shar Pei can come in a variety of colors except for white. They have a solid, short coat.

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The Shar Pei is a medium size dog breed that typically weighs between 16 and 29 kg (35 to 64 pounds). Their height usually falls between 44 and 51 cm (17 to 20 inches).

Chinese Shar-Pei Dog Breed Maintenance

Most dog breeds need to be brushed on a regular basis to remove loose fur and keep their coat healthy. However, the Shar Pei is a bit unusual in that it has a very short coat that doesn’t shed very much. As a result, many people assume that brushing isn’t necessary. But while they may not need to be brushed as often as other breeds, Shar Peis still benefit from occasional brushing.

Brushing and Bathing

The process helps to remove dead skin cells and stimulate circulation, which can keep the coat looking shiny and healthy. It can also help to reduce the amount of shedding. So even though it’s not strictly necessary, brushing your Shar Pei can be a good way to keep them looking their best. The breed is one of the cleanest canine breeds, and bathing is necessary only when your Shar Pei gets dirty.


The best diet for a Shar Pei is one that is nutritionally balanced and tailored to their individual needs. Your veterinarian can help you choose the right food for your dog, based on their age, weight, activity level, and any health concerns. Shar Pei are prone to allergies, so it is important to choose food that does not contain any potential allergens. Some common allergens for dogs include soy, wheat and chicken. Shar Pei should be fed with a specifically formulated dry food.


In general, Shar Peis can be stubborn and independent, which can make training more challenging. But with patience and consistency, most Shar Peis can learn basic obedience commands and tricks. Shar Peis are very intelligent dogs, so they can be easy to train if you use the right methods. Start training your Shar Pei early and be sure to use positive reinforcement techniques. With time and patience, you should be able to successfully train your Shar Pei.

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Activity Level

The Shar Pei is not a particularly active breed, however they do require some daily exercise to stay healthy both mentally and physically. A short walk or play session in the yard will suffice for most dogs of this breed. Some may even be content just lounging around the house all day, but it’s important that they get up and move around every so often to avoid weight gain and joint problems.

Chinese Shar-Peis Common Health Problems

Unfortunately, this dog breed is also known for its many health problems and relatively short lifespan. The most well-known health problem associated with the Shar Pei is Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD). CHD is a condition that affects the hip joint and can cause pain, lameness, and even arthritis. Other common health issues are skin fold infections, patellar luxation, allergies, autoimmune diseases, and eye problems.

Shar Pei Fever

Shar Pei fever is a disease that is specific to the Chinese Shar-Pei breed of dog. It is characterized by swelling of the hocks, fever, and lethargy. The exact cause of Shar Pei fever is unknown, but it is thought to be an immune-mediated reaction to an infection or other trigger. This disease can lead to a liver failure and death if not treated promptly


The Shar Pei is not a particularly long-lived breed, with an average lifespan of only 9-11 years. They are not considered the healthiest bread either, so if you want to add a Shar Pei to your family, be prepared for some extra vet bills. However, with proper care and nutrition, your Shar Pei can enjoy a long and happy life.

Shar Pei Temperament and Personality

Shar Peis are alert and intelligent, which makes them excellent watchdogs. They are also very protective of their families and can be aggressive toward other dogs if they feel they are threatened. However, Shar Peis are also very loving and affectionate dogs that enjoy being around people. Early socialization is important for Shar Peis, as is obedience training. They are strong-willed dogs and can be stubborn, but they are also very responsive to positive reinforcement.

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For Whom?

The ideal owner for a shar pei dog is someone who is experienced in dog ownership and can provide the necessary training and attention that these dogs require. Shar peis are not recommended for novice owners, as they can be quite independent and strong-willed.

They also tend to be dominant towards other dogs, so it’s important to socialize them from a young age if you want them to get along with other pets. However, shar peis can make excellent watchdogs for families with older children. They are very protective of their loved ones and will bark at strangers or anything that seems out of the ordinary.

Shar-Pei Puppy Price

How much does a Shar-Pei puppy cost? The answer to that question depends on several factors, including the breeder’s reputation, the pup’s pedigree, and whether the dog is show quality or pet quality. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $3000 for a Shar-Pei puppy.

If you’re looking for a top-quality show dog, you can expect to pay on the higher end of that price range. For a pet-quality pup, you’ll probably be looking at the lower end of the price range.

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