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Shar-Pei: The Gentle Giant With The Wrinkled Face

Shar-Pei: An Ancient and Unique Canine Companion.

The Shar-Pei is loyal and loving to his family, especially to his human, to whom he attaches himself deeply. Although he is not exceptionally playful, thanks to his excellent temperament and stainless composure, he fits nicely into a family with children.

Shar-Pei the wrinkled face. Shar-Pei is one of the world’s most unique and recognisable dog breeds. With their wrinkled faces, blue-black tongues, and stocky build, they can turn heads wherever they go. But Shar-Pei is more than just their looks. They are also gentle, loyal, and loving dogs that make great companions.

A General Description

The Shar-Pei, often called the “Chinese Shar-Pei,” is an ancient and distinctive dog breed from China. Its name translates to “sand skin,” which describes its rough and wrinkled coat. This breed’s history dates back over 2,000 years, when it was primarily used for hunting, herding, and guarding livestock. Shar-Peis almost faced extinction during the mid-20th century, but thanks to dedicated breed enthusiasts, they were saved and now enjoy a devoted following worldwide.

Appearance and Attributes

Shar-Peis have a unique appearance that immediately captures attention. They have a medium-sized, muscular build, loose skin, and wrinkled face. Their small, triangular ears stand erect, and their distinctive “hippopotamus” muzzle adds to their charm. The breed comes in various coat colours: black, cream, fawn, blue, and red. Their eyes are dark and almond-shaped, giving them an alert and intelligent expression.

The Shar Pei, with its unique appearance and rich history, is a breed that captures the hearts of many dog enthusiasts.
The Sharpei is a dog distinguished by a unique and very recognisable characteristic, namely its ‘wrinkled’ skin.

Physical characteristics:

  • Height: 44 to 51 cm
  • Weight: 18 to 29 kg
  • Longevity: 9 to 11 years
  • Colours: All colours are permitted except for white, which is not allowed.
  • Fur: straight, strong, tough and thick.
  • Coat: The shar-pei comes in two acceptable coat types (horse and brush) and an unacceptable coat type (bear). The horse coat has short, bristly hair, while the brush coat is slightly longer and softer. Both types should be harsh and stand off the skin. The bear coat is longer still.

Purchase Price in England

The cost of a Shar-Pei puppy in England can vary based on factors such as the breeder’s reputation, pedigree, and lineage. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from £800 to £2,000 for a Shar-Pei puppy from a reputable breeder.

Pros and Cons of Owning this Breed

Top 5 characteristics:

  • Unique and eye-catching appearance.
  • Protective and loyal to their family.
  • Low exercise requirements, making them suitable for apartment living.
  • Generally calm and independent, making them adaptable to various lifestyles.
  • Minimal barking tendencies.

Most problematic characteristics:

  • It can be stubborn and challenging to train.
  • Prone to specific health issues, such as skin problems and hip dysplasia.
  • Requires early socialisation to prevent aggression towards strangers or other animals.
  • Grooming needs can be demanding due to their wrinkles and skin folds.

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Temperament

The Shar Pei is a unique dog. It has a balanced, calm and independent character but is also very affectionate and loves being with its family. It does not particularly like solitude but will adapt for a few hours. As with all dogs, being left alone is a condition that can lead to character and psychological defects and shortcomings.

The breed standard defines the Shar Pei as calm, independent, loyal, and affectionate towards its family. It is a tendentially tolerant dog that loves cuddles but is also reserved. Having an ancient history, where the dog was a helper to man, a companion, the Shar Pei feels it has great importance within the family and may question the owner’s decisions and try to assert itself as a leader. It needs an optimal condition with a loyal, concrete, consistent owner. If the owner has these qualities, the Shar Pei will trust him faithfully.

Shar-Pei is an intelligent dog, but it is not very easy to educate; it has an independent character that can lead to stubbornness.
The character of the Shar Pei is typically calm but also rather reserved and wary of strangers and other dogs.

The Shar Pei is very affectionate with his family and especially towards the person he considers to be the leader. He loves cuddles and play and is friendly with the children he knows. However, when he is not well-socialised, his innate distrust due to his selection as a guard dog may make him insecure. Insecurity in the dog is always to be considered a severe character flaw. In the other sense, his mistrust accentuates loyalty because only his family and world are his true fulfilment.

The Shar Pei is not a dog that tends to be aggressive but has the instincts of a guard dog. For this purpose, it was used precisely in China, and thousands of years of selection have left their mark. It has a natural distrust of strangers. The owner’s presence when a stranger enters the house is essential.

Shar-Pei is wary of strangers.

Just as he is wary of strangers, so is his mindful of dogs he does not know. It would be best to have him interact since he is young so that he gets used to the presence of his peers. The fact that he is a playful dog may help socialisation. Do not insist on approaching another dog if your Shar Pei does not like it.

This breed does not have great hunting instincts and is unlikely to stray far from its home and family. On the contrary, his protective instincts make him stay right where he thinks he is needed to defend his loved ones. He is very loyal to his family, and it is an exclusive loyalty that does not involve strangers and admits any other dogs with incredible difficulty.

It is a tendentially balanced dog that, apart from its independence and congenital distrust of strangers, has no particular propensity for aggression. This can, however, emerge if mistrust is not limited by early socialisation, especially towards strangers and other animals.

The Shar Pei was born to assist man in the function of guarding. The hunting instinct has, therefore, been severely limited by selection, and even today’s specimens have very little of it.

The Shar Pei warns when it perceives danger or when someone unknown approaches. It can greet your guests with a noticeably loud bark. However, he does not tend to bark or howl when he is on guard. In short, you only hear it when it is needed or when it thinks it is required.

To look at him, one might think he is a lazy dog who loves sofas and armchairs, but this is not the case. Shar Pei enjoys playing, walking, running, and entertaining his family. If he lives in a flat, he must be taken out thrice daily to keep himself exercised and release his energy. He is a lively and spirited dog.

The Shar Pei is a gentle, balanced and peaceful dog.

The Shar Pei is a mild, balanced and calm dog. When it perceives danger, however, it suddenly switches from a state of rest to one of great agitation and protection of home and family.

The Shar Pei loves to play but prefers to do so with its owner and family rather than unfamiliar dogs. Children usually do not attract him much, and he generally has a considerable mistrust towards other dogs, which sometimes even results in aggression. Should one consider keeping him company, he will love to play with a fellow dog he knows.

Education and Training of the Shar-Pei

Shar-Pei can quickly become dominant in front of a weak and inexperienced owner.
Popular opinions on educating a Shar-Pei indicate that it responds better to rewards and playful socialisation than strict training.

Shar-Peis are intelligent dogs but can also be independent and stubborn. As a result, consistent and patient training is crucial from an early age. Positive reinforcement methods, such as treats and praise, work best with this breed. Harsh or forceful training techniques can lead to resistance and a breakdown of trust. Early socialisation with other dogs and people ensures they become well-mannered and friendly adults.

Is it Suitable for Families and Children?

Yes, the Shar-Pei can be a suitable companion for families with children. They are generally gentle and patient with kids when raised with them and properly socialised. However, as with any dog, it’s important to supervise interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any unintentional rough handling that could cause stress or discomfort to the dog.

Care and Health

Shar-Peis have specific care needs due to skin and wrinkles. Regular cleaning of their skin folds is essential to prevent infections. Additionally, their ears should be checked regularly for wax buildup or signs of infection. Like all breeds, regular exercise is necessary to maintain a healthy weight and overall well-being. However, Shar-Peis don’t have high exercise requirements and can be content with moderate walks and playtime.

Shar-Pei are generally healthy dogs, but they are prone to some health conditions, including:

  • Skin fold dermatitis: This skin infection can occur in the folds of a Shar-Pei’s skin. Keeping the folds clean and dry is essential to help prevent this condition.
  • Eye problems: Shar-Peis can be prone to some eye problems, including entropion (inward rolling of the eyelids), ectropion (outward moving of the eyelids), and corneal ulcers.
  • Gastric torsion: This life-threatening condition occurs when the stomach twists on itself. It is more common in deep-chested dogs like Shar-Peis.
  • Shar Pei fever: This rare but severe condition can affect Shar-Peis. It is characterised by fever, lethargy, and skin rash.

In addition to these health conditions, Shar-Peis require special care for their skin and ears. Their skin is prone to folds, which can trap moisture and dirt. This can lead to skin infections, so keeping the folds clean and dry is essential. Shar-Peis’ ears are also small and can be prone to infections. It is necessary to clean their ears regularly with a mild ear cleaner.

Shar-Pei nutrition

A Shar-Pei puppy from a serious kennel that has therefore ‘passed’ all genetic tests and is free of hereditary diseases certainly has a good chance of living a long and healthy life.

However, the chance of your furry dog getting old and remaining more or less agile until the end depends on its DNA, the conditions in which you let it live, how you care for it, and its diet.

As with any other dog, Shar-Pei’s diet must be balanced and of quality. It is vital to ensure that it receives the right amount of protein, the most crucial energy source for dogs and should never be missing from their bowl.

On the other hand, too much protein can lead to kidney and joint problems because Shar-Pei cannot eliminate excess protein. This is why our advice is to choose high-quality, easily digestible meat and fish as a source of protein for your furry friend, to be supplemented with plenty of vegetables.

The Shar Pei, characterised by loose, wrinkled skin, is prone to dermatitis or inflammation because, due to the folds, dirt often tends to settle in these places.
It is necessary to clean Shar Pei’s skin often with wet wipes and occasionally brush the coat.

Grooming Shar-Pei

Grooming a Shar-Pei can be pretty demanding, primarily due to their wrinkles. The skin folds should be cleaned thoroughly and dried to prevent moisture-related skin issues. Regular brushing is also necessary to control shedding and maintain their coat’s health. During shedding seasons, more frequent brushing may be required. Regular dental care and nail trimming should also be part of their grooming routine.

Conclusions

The Shar-Pei is a fascinating and unique breed with a rich history. Their distinctive appearance, loyalty, and protective nature make them an appealing choice for dog enthusiasts. However, potential owners should be prepared to invest time and effort into training and grooming this breed. With proper care, training, and socialisation, the Shar-Pei can be a loving and devoted companion, bringing joy and happiness to any family that welcomes them into their home.

  1. SPCGB
  2. Shar Pei- TKC
  3. Shar Pei Breeders UK
  4. Midland Shar Pei Club
  5. Ashowai Shar Pei: Ashowai | England
  6. Shar Pei Rescue Of Great Britain

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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