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The Chinese Shar-Pei: A Unique Breed Indeed

Updated on August 4, 2014

Chinese Shar-Pei: A Unique Breed Indeed!

Have you seen her . . . a dog whose super-abundance of skin forms deep folds over her face . . . whose small triangular ears lie flat atop her head pointing toward her eyes . . . whose proud but delicate tail curls upward and over sometimes forming a perfect circle . . . whose short-cropped bristled hair looks like a 50's crew cut?

Once declared to be the "Rarest Dog in the World" by the Guinness Book of World Records, the Chinese Shar-Pei is certainly one of the world's most unique-looking dogs you'll ever encounter.

Shar-Pei Puppy

Shar-Pei Puppy
Shar-Pei Puppy

The Chinese Shar-Pei: Lovable and Thoroughly Engaging

The Shar-Pei As A Household Pet

As household pets, Shar-Peis are a joy to own. They are even-tempered, can be good with children (but generally are best in adult-only households) and can be housebroken at a very early age. With a high degree of intelligence, Shar Peis have been touted by fanciers to be able to learn anything. On the whole, they are friendly and highly responsive to human companionship.

Shar-Peis make excellent watchdogs, too. Although they are said to be aloof with strangers, if a visitor welcomed by the family demonstrates a liking for them, they have been known to scramble to receive as much attention as they can get. An intruder, on the other hand would be greeted in an entirely different manner.

Shar-Pei Physical Characterisitics

The newborn puppy is a veritable mass of wrinkles from head to toe, chest to tail. He reaches his full growth at six months, and at maturity weighs between forty and fifty pounds.

  • The dog gives a
  • squarish impression in profile.
  • Legs are sturdy. The neck is short and heavy.
  • The
  • curled tail is set very high
  • , and is usually carried to one side.
  • The
  • muzzle from nose to chops is blunt
  • , almost a straight line.
  • An
  • abundance of skin forms deep folds over the face
  • and when seated, all down the Shar-Pei's back.
  • Eyes are small, dark, almond-shaped and very alert
  • ; they appear to be deep-set because his voluminous skin forms heavy folds over the browline.
  • Small triangular ears
  • are set at the very top of his head and
  • pointing toward the eyes
  • , hang forward rather than down, touching on or close to the head.
  • The
  • coat is very short,
  • not more than half an inch long, and
  • stands straight up
  • . It is somewhat harsh to the touch.
  • He is
  • usually fawn-colored
  • except for his blue-gray mask, which darkens to black near the nose. The
  • nose, tongue, gums and roof of the mouth are blue-black.

Shar-Pei move superbly, head and tail carried high; the gait is purposeful, balanced and strong. Their bone structure, general conformation, and posture add up to an extremely sculptural dog.

The Shar-Pei On Dogs 101 - Dogs 101: Discovery Channel

Shar-Pei Puppies - The Little Aggressor

Shar-Pei Care Manual

A New Owner's Guide to Shar Pei (JG Dog)
A New Owner's Guide to Shar Pei (JG Dog)

Easy-to-read information on choosing, raising, training and maintaining good health of Shar Peis.


The Shar-Pei Club Of America

Seeking Recognition of the Shar-Pei

The Shar-Pei Club of America was originally formed to adopt a standard and to promote breeding in order to gain the recognition of the American Kennel Club (AKC). The AKC finally accepted the breed as a member in 1992, filed under the Non-Sporting Group. This was a long-awaited honor that fanciers of the Chinese Shar-Pei had anxiously anticipated for years.

A Shar-Pei Doin' Tricks - Clever Little Dude

Did You Enjoy This Shar-Pei Lens?

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    • Hairdresser007 profile image

      James Jordan 6 years ago from Burbank, CA

      I used to have an amazing shar-pei named Coy. He was my constant companion. I rescued him and he had a lot of issues! But I worked with him and after about 3 years he was completely (well for a shar-pei) normal. He was really aggressive for some reason with Huskies but he had such a sweet heart. I miss him so much. Even his stinky smell!

    • KOrazem profile image

      Seeking Pearls 8 years ago from Pueblo West

      Great lens. Love the little agressor video.