Breed of the Week: Chinese Shar-Pei

Shar Pei

Breed of the Week: Chinese Shar-Pei

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.

Health Concerns:

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.

Fun Facts: 

  • 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.