Breed of the Week: Chinese Shar-Pei
The Shar-Pei is a compact dog weighing in at 45-60 lbs while remaining under 20 inches at the shoulder. The typical Shar-Pei has a short rough coat with heavy wrinkling, though a slightly longer “bear” coat is also present in the breed. The bulbous nose of the Shar-Pei is also a classic feature along with the black/blue colored tongue.
An independent and regal breed, the Shar-Pei can be somewhat standoffish with strangers and does not accept change easily. This breed can do well with children and other pets if consciously socialized and trained from a young age. This is often a breed recommended only for experienced owners. Shar-Pei’s are also notably affectionate with family members and considered a very loyal breed.
Shar-Pei have a unique congenital fever concern that is present in some breeding lines. While a non-lethal condition, Familial Shar-Pei Fever does require extra care and medical attention. Issues of the skin and joints can also occur.
- An older breed, the Shar-Pei was created during the Han dynasty in 200BC.
- Shar-Pei translates to “sand skin” and accurately describes the rough texture of their coat, a softer coat is actually considered a fault.
- Though brought to the US in the 1960s, the Shar-Pei was not recognized by any major kennel club until the 1990s, when they became more popular due to their unique appearance.