The Chinese Shar Pei belongs to the Chinese province called Guangdong. While its origins are unclear, it is believed that they may have been related to the Chow Chow, especially due to the similar purple tongues. Bred and reared by the Chinese for hunting, and for guarding cattle and home, the Chinese Shar Pei may have existed even in the Han Dynasty, if the pictures on ancient pottery are anything to go by. However, over centuries the look of the modern Shar Pei has significantly altered from that of the traditional. From a time when they were the rarest dogs in the world, a statistics that got them into the Guinness Book of World Records, to today when they have become popular companion dogs, the Chinese Shar Pei breed has come a long way.
A compact, medium-sized dog, the Chinese Shar Pei has a square profile. Its defining physical characteristics are its hippopotamus muzzle and coarse coat. A slightly large head; dark, sunken eyes; ears lying flat against the head; harsh coat (there are three varieties of these–horse coat, brush coat, bear coat) in colors like red, sand, cream, black, and blue. The Shar Pei’s wrinkles are different on two varieties—one has wrinkles all over its body even in adulthood, while the other has tight skin on its body and wrinkles on its head alone.
The colors of the Chinese Shar-Pei are cream, fawn, red, and black.
Essentially an independent, intelligent and courageous dog, the Shar Pei bonds well with its owners, and though it is wary of strangers, it is not completely unfriendly. This breed needs very consistent, firm but gentle training. More importantly, it needs to know who the boss is or else can be standoffish and not respond to commands. They are good with children; and are fine with other pets only if socialized well during puppyhood.
The Chinese Shar Pei has a few health issues such as an unknown kind of fever, simply called Shar Pei fever; entropion, an eye problem; skin infections due to improper breeding; and amyloidosis, a problem associated with kidneys and liver. The right kind of food; one that is specifically meant for Shar Pei, may control these health issues.
CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR