The Shar Pei - where does this breed come from?
The Shar Pei is a breed with quite a long history. It is estimated that it was originated circa 2 thousand years ago in ancient China. The general consensus is that the breed shares some of its genes with the Chow Chow, but also the Tibetan Mastiff and other dog breeds that used to live in the mountainous regions back then.
Because of the system enforced in China, more particularly - the high taxation of the breed, the Shar Pei became a nearly extinct animal. Owning such dogs was considered a luxury available only to elites. It was not until 1960s when certain actions were taken to save the breed and reconstruct its genes.
It is estimated that there were only 45 registered dogs of this breed in the United States in the 1970s.
What does the Chinese Shar Pei look like?
The Shar Pei is often called the wrinkly dog. It’s thanks to its characteristic appearance. These dogs have many wrinkles, especially on their heads and in the withers area. It’s their trademark. The dog’s head is unusually large compared to the rest of its body. The ears are small and triangular, located quite high on the head.
In addition to the peculiar folds, the dog has another feature thanks to which the breed is unlike any other - it’s the blue tongue. The dog’s palate, gums and lips often have the same color.
Regardless whether it’s a male or a female, dogs of this breed grow up to 44-51 cm (1.4-1.7 ft) tall at withers. Depending on the diet and the daily menu, they weigh from 18 to 25 kg (39.7-55.1 lb).
The Shar Pei - temperament and personality
Are you wondering what the Shar Pei dogs are like? They get strongly attached to the surroundings. They show special affection towards one person, whom they treat as the main caregiver. These dogs need contact with humans, and they like closeness, thanks to which they socialize quicker. The Shar Pei is friendly towards the people it knows, but may be wary and slightly distant towards strangers.
Note that despite excellent bonds between the dog and the owner, Shar Pei love their independence as well. They like making their own way and show their stubborn character. If they don’t want to do something, they express it without hesitation.
The Shar Pei loves comfort and warmth - it’s a total homebody. Regardless, make sure it has enough exercise to prevent obesity.
The Shar Pei - a dog for everyone?
The Chinese Shar Pei is a perfect dog for everyone. There are no major limitations in this regard. But note that the Shar Pei is a quite stubborn animal, so it requires a lot of patience. Interestingly enough, males are much more stubborn than females, so inexperienced dog owners are advised to decide on a female Shar Pei.
Do Shar Pei dogs require training?
The Shar Pei is a dog of a strong character, plus it’s an exceptionally stubborn animal. But it doesn’t mean it’s not intelligent. Nonetheless, it requires more patience and time to teach it tricks and the rules of the household.
The Shar Pei was bred as a guard dog, it also had an episode with animal fighting. All this has left a mark on the breed in how it treats its surroundings. If the dog senses its family members are in danger, it won’t hesitate to defend them. Proper training is necessary to tame such behaviors.
Feeding a Shar Pei - what does the dog’s diet look like?
Shar Pei dogs are quite picky about the meals they receive. They have to be fed with special food. Pure meat-based mixes are a perfect option. The dog’s diet can be based on:
- horse meat.
As for the frequency and the size of the meals, follow the standard rules. Shar Pei puppies should eat more frequently, and as they grow up, reduce the number of meals to 1-2 per day. You can consult any changes in the menu or the feeding style with a veterinarian.
You can also treat the dog with natural chews to keep its mouth and teeth healthy. Beef cartilage, veal bones, shoulder bones and rabbit feet are the best for this purpose.
Do Shar Pei dogs need any special grooming treatment?
The dog has short hair, which means it doesn’t require frequent brushing. Grooming with a special brushing and massaging glove is enough. The dog sheds just like other animals - during spring and fall. You can brush the dog with a special soft brush, to speed up the entire process.
When bathing the dog, use special products designed for animals with short fur. If the Shar Pei develops issues with oily skin, special cosmetics are needed.
Pay attention to the dog’s ears during a bath and avoid situations in which the water gets inside them. It increases the risk of inflammation or an infection.
The Shar Pei has many skin folds all over its body. They have to be checked regularly. Control whether they aren’t affected by inflammation or a skin infection.
The dog needs to have its teeth cleaned because it’s prone to tartar buildup just like many other animals. The mentioned natural chews might prevent it, as they help remove teeth plaque.
What are the most common diseases Shar Peis suffer from?
The Chinese Shar Pei is unlikely to suffer from diseases. Any health issues are usually a result of improper care due to lack of knowledge, or buying a puppy from a suspicious breeder. Skin issues resulting from taking a poor care of the dog are the most common diseases. The dog’s eyes and ears require a special attention as well.
Fever is very dangerous to Shar Pei dogs. It usually lasts for 24 hours, but it may be followed by various complications. It might cause protein buildup on liver, kidneys or spleen. If a fever occurs, make sure to contact a veterinarian.
The Shar Pei - typical lifespan
Shar Pei dogs are considered relatively long-living animals. It is estimated that they can live from 9 to 11 years on average. But it’s not a rule, as everything depends on possible diseases, as well as the conditions the dog live in.
Shar Pei price - is it an expensive dog?
If you decided to buy a Shar Pei dog, prepare to spend at least $1,000. The price of the dog depends on its bloodline, as well as the breeder. The animal’s value might exceed $3,000.
📍 How fast does a Shar Pei grow?
Shar Pei dogs don't grow very rapidly. One can surely say that their growth rate is comparable to other breeds.
📍 How long do Shar Pei dogs live?
The Chinese Shar Pei is a relatively long-living animal. Depending on the conditions it is provided with, it can live from 9 to 11 years.
📍 What is the best food for a Shar Pei?
The Shar Pei breed is famous for its pickiness about food. Make sure the dog's diet is properly adjusted to its needs. Food with beef, lamb, veal or venison is the best option.
📍 How much do Shar Pei dogs cost?
Are you wondering about the price of Shar Pei dogs? A puppy of this breed is an expense of at least $1,000. The prices can be much higher, though. The best breeders offer Shar Pei puppies for even $3,000.