The Shar Pei is a member of the utility group. They were originally bred as gladiators in the pits for entertainment at night and for hunting, herding and protecting during the day. And also as a delicacy! Today they are used for companions and seen in the show ring. Worth noting is that there is no plural for Shar Pei.
£7.50-10 per week
They are quite expensive to keep as quality food should be used, although the protein levels should not be high. From 6 months of age, they should be fed adult food.
The average price of a puppy is £900/£1200.
9 - 15 years
They are expected to live from 8 – 10 years.
Average Litter Size
The average litter is 5 puppies.
General Physical Description
Weight Height Range
Dogs and bitches should measure between 46 - 51cms and weigh around 20kgs.
It is important that prospective owners choose their puppy carefully from well-established breeders. Conformational defects as in upstanding ears and excessive skin and wrinkles can occur. Bowed legs, joint luxations, HD are also known. Excessive skin around the eyes can cause entropion. Kidney disease, IgA deficiency, amyloidosis and hypothyroidism have also been reported. Whilst skin diseases were a problem in the past, careful breeding has now eliminated these.
Susceptibility To Illness
The Shar Pei is centuries old and is a cross of the mastiff and Nordic breeds. The blue tongue is a characteristic it shares with the Chow Chow and this breed too is also responsible for its make-up. The Shar Pei was originally considered a delicacy in China and the outlawing of them as pets on the mainland forced the breed into near extinction. Thankfully Matgo Law, a concerned breeder, was able to inspire interest in the Western world and the breed was saved. When Shar Pei first came across to America in the early 1970’s they classified as the rarest breed in the world.
Whilst highly intelligent, this breed does need consistent training and a confident handler. It will reverse roles if you are too soft, too uncertain or too inconsistent. In fact most of them are too stubborn to train!<
The head should be rather large in comparison to the body. The skull should be flat and broad with a moderate stop. There should be fine wrinkles on the forehead and cheeks and these wrinkles should continue down to form dewlaps. The lips and top of the muzzle should be well-padded causing a slight bulge at the base of the nose. The nose is large and wide and preferably black but any colour conforming to coat colour is permissible. The almond-shaped eyes should be medium-sized and dark with a frowning expression. A lighter colour is acceptable in cream and light fawn dogs. The ears should be very small and rather thick, equilaterally triangular in shape, with tips pointing towards the eyes. Pricked ears highly undesirable. The teeth should be strong with a complete scissor bite. The padding of the lower lip should not be so excessive to interfere with the bite. A bluish-black tongue is preferred. The neck should be short and strong with loose skin underneath. The forelegs should be straight and of a moderate length with good bone and the hindquarters muscular and strong. The shoulders should be muscular, well-laid back and sloping. The chest should be broad and deep with a short, strong back and the topline should dip slightly behind the withers and then rise over short, broad loins. Excessive skin on the body is highly undesirable when the dog is mature. The feet should be of a moderate size and compact with well-knuckled toes. The tail should be rounded and narrowing to a fine point, the base being set very high. The tail can be carried high and curved, in a tight curl or curved over.
Country Of Origin
0 - 20 minutes per day.
Whilst an active breed Shar Pei will take as much or as little exercise as offered as long as they have access to free play. Care must be taken when they are off the lead and a well enclosed area/garden is a must.
Distress if Left Alone
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children
General Character And Temperament
Well-socialised Shar Pei make superb family dogs who are devoted to their owners and children. They are loyal, playful and active but can also be stubborn and territorial if not trained properly when young. They are naturally suspicious of strangers. They will be fine with cats if they have been introduced to them when puppies but there can be problems mixing with other dogs. They love being indoors and hate the cold.
< Once a week
Requires Professional Groomer
Care is required with the Shar Pei especially when still a puppy. Some lines have very close set tails and these must be inspected and cleaned to prevent infection. Shampoos must be chosen with care and, as the nails grow very quickly, must be trimmed regularly. The eyes as well should be inspected daily. The coat itself just needs a going over with a soft brush.
Shar Pei are solid colours: black, red, light or dark shades or fawn and cream and can be shaded on the tail and the back of the thighs with a lighter colour.
Suffers From Allergies