Chinese Shar-Pei

History

The Shar Pei, or Chinese Shar Pei, is a breed of dog famous for its very distinctive features of deep wrinkles and a blue-black tongue. The strain comes from China. The name, translates to “sand skin” and is in reference to the texture of its rough, short coat. As young pups the Shar Pei has numerous wrinkles but as the get older, they spread out and loosen, as they grown into their skin. Shar Pei were named as one of the world’s rarest dog breeds by TIME magazine and the Guinness World Records in 1978. It’s one of the primeval dog breeds, but the strain was not recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1992.

Physical Appearance

Small, triangle ears, and a high-set tail additionally give a unique appearance to the Shar Pei. As pups, Shar pei are much more wrinkly than adults and, although some adults can be wrinklier than their puppy self, an adult pei should have wrinkles mainly on the face, a few on their shoulder and in the bottom of the tail. Colors include black, blue, cream, fawn, red-fawn, red, sable, apricot, chocolate, and isabella. The nose may be black or brick (pink with black), with or without a black mask. A Sharpei can also have what is known as a “dilute” coloration, meaning the nose, nails and anus of the dog are the same colour as the coat, (i.e. chocolate jacket with chocolate nose, nails and anus).

Temperament

All Shar-Pei puppies need early socialization with strangers, children, as well as other creatures. A number of people may experience a sensitivity to the harshness of the coat of either length. This can be a moderate, short-lived rash that may develop on the skin that is in contact with its coat, this occurs mosre commonly on the forearms. The Shar Pei is generally suspicious of strangers, which pertains to their source as a guard dog. It’s an extremely independent and reserved strain. Nonetheless, the Shar Pei is loyal, very devoted and caring to its family and is amenable to accepting strangers given time and appropriate introduction at a young age. If poorly socialized or trained, it can become aggressive and particularly territorial when around strangers. Even friendly and good-socialized dogs will keep the breeds watch dog attributes, such as barking at strangers. It is a mostly hushed strain, barking only when it’s playing or stressed. Although Shar-Pei are sometimes stubborn, they are open to rational, compassionate training. With repetition and a clear reward system, training is just not too challenging, however they usually do not respond well to cruel and negative treatment. Overall, the Shar Pei can be a dog that’s faithful and loving to its family while being quite protective. Shar-Pei tend not to prefer to be alone, preferring to be close to their individuals, frequently lying nearby in the same room.

Health

Allergy-induced skin infections can be a problem in this strain. Familial Shar Pei fever (FSF) is a serious congenital disease that causes short fevers lasting from 24 hours, sometimes up to three days and normally accompanied by accumulation of fluid across the ankles (called Swollen Hock Syndrome).
A common issue is a painful eye condition, entropion, in which the eyelashes curl inward, irritating the eye. It can cause blindness. The Shar-Pei is also prone to chronic yeast infections in its ears. Vitamin B12 deficiency is a familiar issue in the Shar Pei and is imagined to be hereditary.

Chinese Shar-Pei