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Lovable Wrinkles

Updated on October 5, 2015
Jacques is a Shar-Pei that had to overcome A LOT in his life. He is urgently looking for a home or foster home prior to 15-Jan-2012.  Contact: Jessica Rosman
Jacques is a Shar-Pei that had to overcome A LOT in his life. He is urgently looking for a home or foster home prior to 15-Jan-2012. Contact: Jessica Rosman | Source
Jacques is a Shar-Pei that had to overcome A LOT in his life. He is urgently looking for a home or foster home prior to 15-Jan-2012.  Contact: Jessica Rosman
Jacques is a Shar-Pei that had to overcome A LOT in his life. He is urgently looking for a home or foster home prior to 15-Jan-2012. Contact: Jessica Rosman | Source

The Wrinkles people like to see!

Two or three years ago I was posting for the local horror shelter (aka Animal Control shelter, but this one is still one of the most horrible ones in NC), when I came across a Shar-Pei. I looked online and found a few different Shar-Pei rescues. One actually responded!

I was not a fan of a dog that just didn't look wolf/dog at all. For me they were just one of those poor creatures where breeders went for looks and left their natural needs and any concerns for resulting health issues behind.

Meet Precious!

She walked in my house with those soft, on her cute looking wrinkles! I doubt she was full-blooded (I never cared for a piece of paper anyway!) and I had no idea how she would do with my existing family. But it was only suppose to be for a few days anyway.

Precious was an Angel! She was lovable, great with kids, cats, dogs, anything and just a big, soft, loving snuggle bug! I enjoyed every minute with her and became a crying fool the day she went on her trip to the rescue! Delivering her to the pick-up point was a four hour search mission on top of that. I missed her so much. Sadly I never did get pictures!

When I started writing about different dog breeds I encountered, Shar-Peis were one of them I really wanted to know where they came from. So here it is:


History of the beloved Wrinkles

It has been said that the Shar-Pei originated in a small village called Tai Li in the Chinese Province Kwangtung since the Han Dynasty around 200 BC. Statues of dogs discovered from that period have a strong resemblance to the Shar-Pei. They are also mentioned in 13th century mansucripts.

The name in literal translation means 'sand-skin', but loosly translated means 'sandy, rough coat' or 'sandpaper-like coat'. It refers to the two distinct qualities of the Shar-Pei: The shortness and roughness! Like the Chow-Chow they also have a blue or black tong, which may indicate some common ancestors.

Their history is somewhat lost after the establishment of the communist nation of "People's Republic of China" ; at which time China saw its dog population practically eliminated and only very few dogs were to be seen deep in the countryside. Only a few Shar-Peis were bred in the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Hong Kong.
Their export to the U.S. in 1966 and the breeding in Asian countries may have saved the breed from extinction! A kennel in Hong Kong appealed to dog lovers in the U.S. in 1973 to "Save the Chinese Shar-Pei", leading to a raised interest in this rare and limited breed. This was the start of the Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America, Inc..

Shar-Peis make great watch dogs. They tend to be very suspicious of 'intruders' (aka strangers) as was expected of them in their original function as palace guard dogs. They are devoted to their families, but also tend to be reserved and very independent. If you make it pass the 'ID' checkpoint at the front door, you will meet a great personality! While they are a very silent breed, they do 'talk' when worried or playing around.
Smart as they are, training them requires more than repetition, which tends to bore them. But it seems that finding a more loyal and faithful dog is hard to do!

Due to their 'fame' when they started in America, their first breeding here was rushed and done with lack of experience. And, as it happens to often, the quest for exaggerated looks, leads to health problems still affecting them today. Their skin, if not properly cleaned and cared for, can be prone for infections. Other health issues can arise with "Familial Shar Pei Fever", a disease that a dog is either born with or not! This condition can be fatal, but if properly treated, a dog can have a normal life!

These dogs are great, but humanity needs to remember that we are talking about a living creature; not a chunk of clay we are trying to mold into a perfect picture. They are born a loving guardian of his/her family and are so much fun to be around!

It would be great if we could remember to answer their loyalty in kind and have their best interest at heart when breeding them!

My sincere appreciation goes out to those responsible breeders that are preserving a part of Chinese history and a loyal dog with a wonderful personality; while considering first and foremost their health and happiness!

Jacques two months after original rescue

Jacques two months after original rescue


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    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Oh my heart.. so beautiful.. thanks for sharing


    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Very beautiful indeed they do have some tales if only they could talk. Mind you if they have been treated as important members of a family then they they are not far off.

      I vote this one up up and away

      I now look forward to reading many more by you.

      Take care;


    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 6 years ago from Florida

      Interesting Hub about Shar-Peis. Thanks for sharing. I love all those wrinkles; I'd rather the dogs have them not me!

    • Rachel Richmond profile image

      Rachel Richmond 6 years ago from California

      Awe - what an amazing story/history behind these beautiful animals.

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 6 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      very interesting.Have seen many shar-peis, but have not known one personally. they sound like great dogs! vote up!

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      I love the look of Sha-peis, I have always wanted a dog or a cat but my husband says no. I was bought up the lab/ret. she was so beautifully loving. Vote up useful and interesting.

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      Adorable! I've never heard of Shar-Peis before so this hub was a piece of news to me.