Chinese Shar Pei

Other names/Nicknames:
  • The Wrinkly Dog
Country/Date of origin:
  • China
  • 1500′s
  • 18 to 20 inches
  • 45 to 60 pounds
  • The Shar Pei has an oriental nature.
  • It is regal and aloof.
  • This dog does not fawn and beg for attention.
  • A good watchdog.

The Shar Pei is an ancient Chinese fighting dog.  In 1978, it was called the rarest breed in the world.  Now, it seems about to break the records for a comeback.  From a handful of the wrinkled warriors that remained in Hong Kong, the breed has spread around the world.  In 1988, when the Shar Pei was accepted into the American Kennel Club (AKC) Miscellaneous class, there were almost thirty-thousand dogs registered in the United States alone.  In 1992, it was given full membership in the AKC and it has already hit the top twenty breeds in popularity.

Body Type:
  • Known for the folds of loose skin covering its body, especially its head, which gives it a permanent frown.
  • The high-set, thick tail curls over the back, or to either side of the back, and is not altered.
  • The small, folded ears are never altered.
  • Two types of coat are found in this breed.  The horse coat is short.  The brush coat is harsh and about one-inch long.
  • Permissible colors are solid cream, fawn, red, black, and chocolate.
  • In a twist, the Shar Pei has more wrinkles when it is a baby than when it is older.  However, there must be wrinkles at all ages.
  • A great deal of care must be taken to ensure that the folds are kept free of fungal or bacterial infections.
Health and Wellness:
  • Cutaneous mucinosis.
  • Demodicosis.
  • Ectropion.
  • Entropion.
  • Skin fold pyoderma.
  • Folliculitis.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency.
  • Patella luxation.
  • Elbow dysplasia.
  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Upper airway obstruction.
  • Hiatal hernia.
  • Megaesophagus.
  • Ciliary dyskinesia.
  • Shar Pei fever.
  • Renal amyloidosis.
  • Atopy.
  • Food allergy.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
  • Otitis externa.
  • Mast cell tumor.
What you should know:
  • Shar Pei means sandy coat and it refers to the gritty feel of the stiff, bristly hair.
  • The tongue is always blue-black, a characteristic found in only two other breeds—the Chow Chow and Thai Ridgeback—indicating that perhaps these three are closely related.
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