Shar Pei - A Deep Wrinkled Dog

Shar Pei is a Chinese breed which is known for its loose and wrinkled coat. This dog is a jack of all trade. It can hunt, guard, herd and fight. Today it enjoys life as human companion because of it human oriented, affectionate and caring nature.

In English language, its name means- “sand skin”. Its loose skin and deep wrinkles give the impression as if the dog is wearing oversized suit. It is a calm and composed breed and that’s make it a wonderful apartment dog.


Guarding instincts is deeply embedded in its personality which makes it an alert and fighting dog.  The dog stays aloof with strangers and will not tolerate the sight of other animals at home. With children it tends to be docile and playful. This breed is not suitable for novice dog owners because it tends to b willful and not an easy dog to be trained. He needs someone who can establish leadership firmly and gently.

Shar Pei Origin

The dog originated from southern province of china. Historically it was used for herding, guarding, hunting and as fighting dog. It is an ancient breed of china and no valid documentation has been proved about its history.

Experts say that the dog belongs to Han Dynasty.  Eventually after the invention of technology, the dog got almost extinct. Matgo Law of Hong Kong put effort to revive this breed. Today it is world famous breed. It got recognized by AKC in 1991.

Shar Pei
Shar Pei Puppy

Shar Pei Facts And Characteristics

  1. The dog belongs to China and is an ancient breed
  2. It excels in every field as herding, hunting, guarding, and fighting dog
  3. The dog sports small nose which make the dog snores loudly. It is also prone to overheating
  4. The dog sports dark colored tongue which is normal for this breed
  5. Its loose and deep wrinkled give its coat distinctive attributes
  6. When you bath the dog, make sure that you dry it else its skin fold can become home of fungus
  7. The breed lives up to 9 to 11 years
  8. It is 46–51 cm tall
  9. It weighs around 25–30 kg
  10. Its coat comes in following colors- black, sand, cream, red and fawn
  11. It is not a hypoallergenic breed
  12. Price of the puppy is $1000 to $1200
  13. It is devoted, affectionate and reserved dog.


No dog on earth matches the appearance of Shar-Pei breed. It has huge, round and wide face structure. Muzzle is large and wide which is dark in color. Its skin is loose, wrinkled with many folds.

Their ears are flat and small which is folded at front. It has an even, short and horse-like coat. Tongue is of blue-black color which is fine. Tail is thick which gets curled at its back. Overall it has muscular body structure.

  • Size and Weight

This breed should be 18 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder. Both the genders should weight around 45 and 60 pounds.

  • Coat and Color

This breed possesses three kinds of coat.

1. Horse Coat - Which is smoother at one direction and coarse in other.

2. Bear Coat - This type of coat is rare and does not make it a standard breed.

3. Brush Coat - This type of coat is long and soft to touch.

The breed has pigment of coat as that of chow-chow breed. Its coat is in the following colors- black, blue, fawn, red, cream, or sable.

Grooming and Caring

It is a low maintenance breed. It sheds lightly throughout the year. As it is a naturally clean dog and doesn’t emit doggy odor, so bath the dog only when required. Excessive bathing can cause allergy to its skin. Whenever you bath the dog, make sure to dry its skin fold else it can be breeding ground for fungal and bacterial infection.

Brush its coat once a week is sufficient to keep mats away. Trim its nails if it doesn’t get withered off. Regular brushing its teeth is mandatory to keep its teeth healthy and bad smell at bay. Check its ears periodically for signs of infection or allergy.

Shar Pei Temperament

  1. Personality - Its head is compared to hippopotamus. Establish leadership in dog’s mind is essential to make it a good companion dogs. The dog is suitable for working class people because it doesn’t need much of human attention and care. The dog can entertain itself by having a sun bath or wandering here and there in the house. The dog tends to be independent and strong willed. Hence not suitable for novice owners.
  2. Behavior - Being a guard dog, its aggression towards other people and animal is common. It is suspicious of strangers and will never do friendship with them. This makes them an effective guard dog. With adult children, it tends to be playful and docile in nature. The dog is not suitable for small children because it can tolerate noisy roughly playing children with them. The dog tends to be noisy while sleepy. It snores as well as drool.
  3. Trainability - Patience is the key to train them. Positive reinforcement and treats can garner response from them. They think themselves as alpha so you need to destroy their belief. Needless to say, socialization lesson is must for this breed.
  4. Activities Requirement - They are perfect dogs for city life. Their exercise need is low.  A walk around the park is sufficient for this breed to stay happy and healthy.


Low diet or restricted formulae diet is good for the dog’s health because it is not so active dogs. Its diet should contain right amount of protein and carbohydrates.


The dog lives up to 9 to 11 years.

Shar Pei Health Issues

This breed is not hypoallergenic. Growth of heavy skin around its eyes can cause eye related problem which requires immediate surgery. Its skin fold can develop infection and irritation. Other health concerns of breed includes

  1. Shar-Pei Fever - In this the dog’s joints gets swelled up which causes problem in its movement. The dog can suffer from unexplained fever which can even take its life.
  2. Demodectic Mange - The skin of the dog can contain mites which could weaken its immune system. It can also cause redness and irritated skin.
  3. Seborrhea - In this the dog’s coat becomes dry and flaky. You can use vet approved shampoo and ointment to cure it.
  4. Pyoderma - It is a common skin disease which this breed suffers from. It can be treated with antibiotics.
  5. Entropion - The eyes of the dog get rolled inward causing vision problem.

Shar Pei


The dog is suitable for apartment. This dog is not meant to keep on farm because its desire to hunt increases and your dog can become wild. The dog thrives well in cold region.

Shar Pei Pet Names

  1. Teddy
  2. Charlie
  3. Max
  4. Lucy
  5. Bella

Things To Consider Before Buying


  1. It makes effective guard and watch dog
  2. The breed’s grooming need is low. It also sheds lightly
  3. Suitable for people who cannot devote enough time to dogs because of their busy schedule.


  1. The dog is not suitable for novice owners because of difficulty to train it
  2. The dog’s loose and folded skin need care and attention so that fungus or bacteria doesn’t grow
  3. It tends to be aggressive with strangers and other dogs.