Image credit: Nonnz

Chinese Shar-Pei - Breed Profile:
Origin: China
Colors: All solid colours
Size: Large
Type of Owner: Experienced
Exercise: Moderate
Grooming: Little
Trainability: Easy to train
Combativeness: Tends to be dog-aggressive
Dominance: High
Noise: Not a barker

Physical characteristics

The Chinese Shar-Pei is well recognized by deeply wrinkled loose skin, especially on the broad face. The wrinkles are most prominent in puppies but become lighter in adult dogs as they "grow into their skin". The dog has square proportions and a strong, muscular body type. The triangular ears are very small and pendent. The wide nose usually fits the coat colour. Another distinctive feature of Shar-Peis is the blue-black tongue (same as in the Chow Chow. The tail is thick at the base and tapers to a point, it curls up over the back or off its side.
Shar-Peis weigh 40 to 65 pounds, and their height is 18 to 20 inches.


Shar-Peis have very strong guarding instincts so must be extensively socialized and trained at an early age. They are highly intelligent albeit pretty stubborn at times, tend to respond very well to firm and positive (motivational) training. A well-trained and well-socialized Shar-Pei is a calm, sober, and confident dog loyal to its family. They are not hyper active but rather dignified (perhaps, this is why they don't bark much). Moderate exercise is necessary.

Coat and grooming

Shar-Pei dogs come in all solid colours (sometimes with a black mask on the face).
There are two coat varieties: the "horse" coat and "brush" coat. The first one is most popular; it is short, prickly and very offstanding. The second coat variety is longer and smoother. Actually, there is the third coat variety called "bear" with such long hair that the wrinkles cannot be recognized sometimes. This type, however, does not meet the breed standards. The "brush" variety sheds little all over the year, while the "horse" one sheds in molting periods only. During this time, once a week bathing and daily brushing are strongly recommended.
Image credit: toastonthefly

The wrinkles are very distinctive in puppies


Shar-Pei dogs can be prone to kidney failure. If your dog has fevers of unknown origin or swollen hocks syndrome, this is the first alarm to take it to a vet. Also, this breed is sensitive to heat (due to the wrinkled head), so make sure there are always enough water and shade. Keep the wrinkles clean to avoid infections.
The lifespan is relatively short: less than 10 years.

Other interesting facts

Shar-Pei dogs do not enjoy water and usually try to stay away from it. However, they are known as very clean dogs able to housebreak themselves.