The Shar Pei is a mid-sized dog that has a distinctive wrinkled skin. It is also sometimes known as the Chinese Shar Pei. This unusual looking dog has a broad flat head and a solid body and the Shar Pei’s tongue is similar to the Chow Chow because it’s also blue. The word Shar Pei means ‘dog with sandy coat’ in Chinese.
The American Kennel Club recognises two type of coat textures for the Shar Pei which are horse and brush. The horse coat is quite rough, harsh and prickly and it has been known to cause allergies in humans. The brush coat is smooth and slightly longer. There is a third type of coat which is softer and long but the American Kennel Club doesn’t recognise this coat in the show ring.
The Shar Pei is a good dog to have around the house because it doesn’t shed very much other than during the change in seasons.
This interesting dog comes in a variety of colours including black, red, red-fawn, fawn, black-pointed cream, sable and blue.
Male Shar Pei’s weigh around 25kg to 29 kgs and females weigh between 18 kg to 25 kgs. Shar Pei’s stand about 45 to 51 cms.
The average lifespan of a Shar Pei is about 10 years.
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The Shar Pei is great family dog that is devoted to and very protective of its family, but they can be a bit wary of strangers. The Shar Pei is also a good dog for families where children are just that bit older. This dog also needs consistent training to ensure that the dog knows its place in the family pecking order.
The Shar Pei will need to get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation and this means daily walks. These dogs also appreciate a good run but keep in mind they also suffer from the heat.
The Shar Pei is relatively straightforward to train, but training must also be consistent. They can also be territorial and strong willed and because of this fact it has been suggested that they are not the best choice for the first time dog owner.
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The Shar Pei has a long history and it is thought to have hailed from the provinces of China as far back as the Han Dynasty around 200 B.C. It is possible that the Shar Pei and Chow Chow have a common Chinese ancestry because of their blue tongue. Shar Pei’s were originally dogs that worked for farmers guarding stock and they were also used for other duties like guarding the homes of their owners, wild boar hunting and for dog fighting.
The breed was almost wiped out when China became a communist country and only a few dogs survived. Shar Pei’s were then bred in British Hong Kong and Taiwan and the Hong Kong Kennel club recognised the Shar Pei breed in 1968. In 1973 the dogs made their way to the United States where it became known as a very rare and sought after dog. It is because of its popularity in the United States that breeding increased and the dog was saved from extinction. The Shar Pei was registered by the American Kennel Club in 1992 and it is now one of the most recognised breeds in the United States.
Chinese Shar Pei Club of America: http://www.cspca.com/