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Breed Profiles
Dog Breeds

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Select the dog breed you are interested in from the list below.
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Shar Pei

You can find the contact details for specific breed societies local to you by going to the Your Territory area.

You may want to post any specific questions that you have about this breed in our Pet Talk area to ask people with first hand experience.

Shar Pei

General
OtherNames
Dog Group Kennel Club Utility
Breed Classification 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.
Cost of Ownership
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Average Food Cost
£7.50-10
Feeding Requirements
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.
Other Expenses
The average price of a puppy is £900/£1200.
Average Puppy Price
>£800
Lifespan
9 - 15 years
Average Litter Size
5
General Physical Description
Shar Pei are easily recognisable by the loose folds of skin on their bodies and their ‘frowning’expressions. They are squarely built and short-coupled and look powerful with good bone. They are balanced dogs who should move freely and vigorously. Their coat is also a distinctive feature of the breed: it is short and bristly and harsh to the touch. Whilst it is straight and stand-offish on the body, it is flatter on the limbs.
Height Min Max
Bitch 46cm 51cm
Dog 46cm 51cm
Weight Min Max
Bitch 20kg 20kg
Dog 20kg 20kg
Size Category Large
Weight Height Range Dogs and bitches should measure between 46 - 51cms and weigh around 20kgs.
Ailments 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.
Common Ailments
Susceptibility To Illness
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Medium
Other
History 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.
Intelligence 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!
Show Characteristics 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 China
Famous Examples
Records Held
Characteristics
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Energy Medium
Overall Exercise 0 - 20 minutes
Distress Caused if Left Alone Low
Personal Protection Low
Suitability As Guard Dog High
Risk of Sheep Worrying High
Tendency to Bark Low
Ease of Transportation Medium
Level of Aggression Low
Compatibility With Other Animals Medium
Suitable For Children
High
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.
Grooming
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Coat Length Short/Smooth
Grooming Requirement < Once a week
Trimming None
Requires Professional Groomer
Grooming 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.
Colour 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.
Shedding None
Suffers From Allergies hay fever
Tendency to Cause Allergies

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