The Canine Chronicles Directory
The Chinese Shar-Pei is also known as the Chinese Wrinkle Dog. There are three coat
varieties in this breed: the horse coat, the brush coat and the rare bear coat,
which is not recognized by the AKC. Their coat is short, bristly and harsh to the
touch. The skull should be flat and broad with a moderate stop. There should be
fine wrinkles on the forehead and cheeks and these wrinkles should continue down
to form dewlaps. The teeth should be strong with a complete scissor bite. A bluish
tongue is preferred. The nose is large and wide and should be black. The eyes are
tiny, almond-shaped and deep set. The ears are very tiny and are like no other breed.
They are triangle shaped and lie flat against the head. The neck should be short
and strong with loose skin underneath. The tail should be rounded and narrow to
a point. It is carried high and curves in a tight curl over the back.
Chinese Shar-Peis are very independent, dominant and strong-willed dogs. Though
intelligent and highly responsive, they can be very dog aggressive. They are very
loyal to their handler, but do not always follow orders. They should be socialized
at a young age. They make good companions and are excellent watchdogs. This breed
needs a confident owner. They are very clean dogs and very easy to housebreak. Shar-Peis
hate the water and will go out of their way to avoid it. Puppies in this breed grow
very quickly and should be fed accordingly. They can tend to slobber especially
if they are in pain. Owners should seek a reputable breeder to prevent hereditary
skin problems as well as dog aggression.
Height: 18-20" ; Weight: 40-55 lbs.
This breed can be prone to hereditary skin problems. This problem can be avoided
if the dog is purchased from a reputable breeder. They are also prone to fever and
Chinese Shar-Pei can live fine in an apartment. They are relatively active indoors
and do fine without a yard. Keep this breed cool as they don't tolerate the heat
very well. Must have shade and water nearby.
This breed has a need for regular exercise. Keep them on a leash as they can be
very dog aggressive. Be careful with this breed in the heat as they can overheat
About 10 years
This breed is easy to groom by brushing regularly. Bathe and brush during the molting
season to remove dead hair. Some owners may be allergic to this breed's coat.
The Shar-Pei has existed for centuries in the southern provinces near the South
China Sea, with Dah Let, Kwantung Province given as its source. The breed aided
the peasants through hunting, herding and protection ? and provided them entertainment
through dog fighting. During dog fighting, the loose skin enabled the dog to turn
on its opponent even when grasped firmly in their opponent's jaws. They were said
to be capable of turning around in their own skin. The tiny ears and deep-set eyes
were other qualities used to prevent injuries. Even their short, bristly coat was
distasteful in an opponent's mouth. While the Chow Chow was gaining popularity abroad,
the Shar-Pei breed was being decimated at home in China. They finally disappeared
in mainland China, and only a few remained in Hong Kong. It was during that time
that a clever owner, Matgo Law, became concerned that his beloved breed might disappear
entirely. He wrote to an all-breed dog magazine, beseeching Americans to become
involved with the plight of the Shar-Pei. His mission was successful and brought
immediate response. During the 1970s, a few specimens where brought to the US and
they were considered the rarest dog in the world. Their unique features quickly
made them the darlings of the talk shows. They are recognized by both the AKC and
AKC Non-Sporting, UKC Northern Breed