Quick Stats for the Chinese Shar Pei Breed
- Height (at the shoulders): 18 – 20 inches (46 – 51 cm)
- Weight: 40 – 55 pounds (18 – 25 kg)
- Life Expectancy: up to 10 years
- AKC Group: Non-Sporting Group – AKC recognized in 1992
- Shedding: light shedder
- Living Conditions: okay in apartment (with sufficient exercise); moderately active indoors; okay without a yard
Personality of the Chinese Shar Pei Breed
The Chinese Shar Pei can be described as courageous, independent, and a bit stubborn. They are also intelligent, playful, and active. These dogs are very devoted family pets, which makes them protective.
In general, they are great with other household pets, but can be overly aggressive towards strange dogs and animals.
They can be good with children if they are introduced to them when they are still young.
History of the Chinese Shar Pei Breed
The exact origin of the breed is unknown, but some experts believe that the Shar Pei has some connection to the Chow Chow dog breed. They believe that both dog breeds share common ancestors. Of course, both dogs are also from China.
Some evidence suggests that the history of these dogs go as far back as the 13th Century, with stout, wrinkly dogs being portrayed in writings during this time. The Shar Pei may even have its roots way back to around 200 B.C., in the southern provinces of China.
The history of the breed is hard to trace because most of the records about the breed were lost or destroyed when China became a communist country. Originally, the breed was used by peasant farmers for dog fighting, guard dogs, and to hunt wild boar.
Not too long after China became a communist country, many of the dogs in the country were destroyed. A few dog breeds survived in the rural areas, and several Shar Pei were bred in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The breed was officially recognized by the Hong Kong Kennel Club in 1968.
Around this time, several Chinese Shar Pei were introduced to the United States. In 1973, an article was published pointing out the alarmingly low numbers of the breed. At that time, the Shar Pei was considered one of the rarest breeds in the world. Many dog enthusiasts made great efforts to revive this wonderful breed.
Their efforts really paid off. The breed went from being almost extinct to great popularity and are now one of the most recognizable dog breeds today.
The breed was officially registered by the American Kennel Club in 1992 as a member of the Non-Sporting Group.
The Chinese Shar Pei Breed Care and Grooming
The Shar Pei needs daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. Take them on a long walk, or play active games like fetching with them. Be aware that they are sensitive to warm weather.
Grooming requirements for this breed is minimal. Brush them regularly with a good quality dog brush, such as one of those from Chris Christensen. You will need to pay special attention to the facial wrinkles and the skin folds. Examine them for any signs of skin infection.
These Shar Pei is a light shedder.
Health Problems of the Chinese Shar Pei Breed
The average life expectancy of the Chinese Shar Pei breed is up to ten years.
Major health concerns for this breed are:
- CHD (Canine Hip Dysplasia)
Minor health issues include:
- amyloidosis (kidney failure)
- otitis externa
- patellar luxation
- skin fold pyodermas
- dog allergies
- swollen hocks syndrome