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Shar Pei: Shar Pei a dog for the poor? What does Shar Pei need?

The Chinese Shar Pei, with its characteristic wrinkles and small shell-shaped ears, is a calm but purposeful dog that needs to be led in a c...

The Chinese Shar Pei, with its characteristic wrinkles and small shell-shaped ears, is a calm but purposeful dog that needs to be led in a consistent manner and to be close to his family.

Specificities of this Chinese dog

Shar Pei article Contents

  • Specificities of this Chinese dog
  • Character of Shar Pei
  • Physical appearance of the Chinese dog
  • Wrinkled... but not too wrinkled
  • What size can Shar Pei reach?
  • A colorful dress
  • Story of a Chinese hound
  • Shar Pei a dog for the poor?
  • A popular dog thanks to American marketing action
  • Breeding and health
  • Examinations required of breeders
  • How much does a Shar Pei puppy cost?
  • Shar Pei's diet
  • What does Shar Pei need?
  • Care of the hound
  • Does Shar Pei need a lot of exercise?
  • What you should keep in mind when adopting Shar Pei

Specificities of this Chinese dog

This rare Chinese breed is registered with the FCI in the molos group. The Shar Pei exudes peace and serenity around it. He is loyal and affectionate towards his family, and in particular towards the person who takes care of him, with whom he is closely related. He is not very playful, but thanks to his kindness and constant serenity, he gets along well with the children.

Character of Shar Pei

A will to dominate

On the other hand, he is less tolerant of other dogs or animals. When he meets other dogs, the Shar Pei tends to forget his natural serenity. This, combined with his willingness and courage, can have unsympathetic consequences for other dogs, especially since they are usually physically inferior to him. An early and complete socialization and an empathetic and consistent education are therefore absolutely necessary. With good training, this intelligent and proud dog will learn to control himself and not let himself be provoked.

A dog with a sense of family

To become a sociable companion dog, the sensitive Shar Pei needs not only a good education, but also a close bond with his family. There is no question of raising this dog, which is very human-oriented, with distance, as if he were in a kennel. He would quickly develop his own ideas and ways of doing things, which would not necessarily be to his master's taste. But if his master and his family are close to him, they will be rewarded with great loyalty from their dog. With his family, the very serious Shar Pei can be funny and tender.

A self-confident guard dog

In addition, the Shar Pei is considered a reliable guard dog, always protecting his family with care and confidence. Although he is reserved when meeting strangers for the first time, he is brave and confident enough to defend his family without respite, if the situation requires it. It is up to the master to show Shar Pei when there is indeed danger and that he can relax. It is therefore good to have a certain know-how and a good control of the dog. One thing is sure: you will not get bored with this multi-faceted dog.

Physical appearance of the Chinese dog

It is not only the apparent contradictions in his personality that make Shar Pei a very special dog. Even from the point of view of his physique, this pedigree dog is anything but ordinary. This is summed up well by the Chinese standard: "Shell-shaped ears, butterfly-shaped nose, head as big as a melon, grandmother's face, neck of a hippopotamus, hindquarters of a horse and legs of a dragon. »

Wrinkled... but not too wrinkled

His wrinkles on his head and back are particularly striking. However, the characteristic wrinkles should never be reproduced "artificially", as has often been the case in the past. After all, the Shar Pei is originally a working dog, whose freedom of movement should not be impeded by excessively ponderous skin. Nowadays, excessive wrinkles are usually only found in puppies, whose coat still seems too large for their small bodies. Only when they reach their adult size and have grown up in their coat can only a few wrinkles be found on the head and withers.

What size can Shar Pei reach?

Males reach a height at the withers of up to 51 cm, females are a little smaller with a maximum height of 48 cm. Depending on their size, the weight of an adult Shar Pei should be between 18 and 25 kg. Overall, the current Shar Pie seem a little more massive than their ancestors. This image is reinforced by their large head. The typical well-fitting, shell-shaped ears seem extremely small in comparison.

The Shar Pei is also characterized by its cock tail and blue tongue, which suggests common origins with the Chow Chow.

A colorful coat

Share Pei Wrinkled... but not too wrinkled
Shar Pei has many possible dress colors. All colors except white are permitted, and the solid colored hairs vary from dark black to soft grey, or from bright reddish brown to cream to light sand. Dark shades on the back, ears and tail are permitted. The coat is in any case short, hard and bristly, and the Shar Pei has no undercoat to warm it up. Therefore, the Shar Pei does not tolerate cold or water well.

Story of a Chinese hound

The particularity of this Chinese breed can also be proven biologically. Shar Pei is one of the so-called "ancient breeds", which are genetically very different from other breeds. Dogs of this type already existed 2000 years ago in the southern provinces of China. Although the exact origin of the breed is not precisely known, it can be traced back to the Han dynasty (206 BC to 220 BC), thanks to drawings and discoveries.

The Shar Pei a dog for the poor?

Unlike the pug, with which it shares its country of origin, China, and a long and close history, the home of the Shar Pie was not in the emperor's palaces, but in the farms of poor peasants and fishermen. His jobs ranged from farm guarding to animal husbandry, hunting small animals and rats. Even today, this versatile breed of farm dog still possesses a hunting instinct, which requires special care on the part of the owner, especially when walking without a leash.

A popular dog thanks to the American marketing campaign

Despite its long history, the Shar Pei remains a rare breed that has long been unknown outside of its native China. Even in China, the Shar Pei would have become extinct decades ago, if the Hong Kong-born breeder Matgo Law had not made considerable efforts to save it. The nascent communism, which considered the breeding of Shar Pei as an unnecessary luxury, had decimated the breed. By 1976, there were only 145 Shar Pei's left in the world - making Shar Pei the rarest breed of dog in the world. Alarmed by these figures, Law, the Shar Pei lover, turned to his American colleagues. Thanks to a major marketing campaign by the Americans, the Shar Pei became known and appreciated in the United States. Successful breeding programmers were launched and breeding of these Chinese dogs slowly resumed.

Breeding and health

Breeding and health shar pei
There are now also breeders of this breed in Europe. In order to avoid breed specific diseases, careful control by associations and clubs and a sense of responsibility on the part of the breeders are therefore necessary.

The main focus of control is on genetic skin problems (e.g. Idiopathic Mucinosis) as well as "Familial Shar Pei Fever" (FSF).

Shar Pei Family Fever and Amyloidosis

Shar Pei Family Fever is similar to Family Mediterranean Fever in humans, and is still prevalent in Shar Pei. Recurrent attacks of high fever, often accompanied by swollen joints and a thickened muzzle, cause amyloidosis in many affected dogs, which can lead to premature death due to kidney failure.

Examinations required of breeders

Before you buy a Shar Pei puppy, you must have the breeder's guarantee that the parents and puppies are free of genetic defects and hereditary diseases. Reputable breeders, most of whom are affiliated with a federation, and who breed their dogs according to current FCI standards, are encouraged to have their dogs checked for various diseases. These include bone problems such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar dislocation, as well as genetic dispositions for skin diseases and FSF. With the help of DNA typing, potential hereditary diseases can be detected early and documented. The evaluation of a litter is usually done by an independent person at the breeding farm.

How much does a Shar Pei puppy cost?

Shar Pei puppy cost
It goes without saying that a healthy and controlled puppy will have a certain price. For example, the former "dog of the poor" from a serious breeding operation will cost 2,000 euros or more. Although the price of this puppy is quite high compared to more "common" dog breeds, it contributes significantly to keeping this exceptional and rare breed in good health.

Shar Pei's diet

A puppy that has passed all the necessary tests and does not have any hereditary diseases certainly has a good chance of living a long and healthy life. However, the age and agility of your Shar Pei will depend not only on his DNA, but also on his education, your care, and his diet. As with any other dog, Shar Pei's diet should be balanced and of high quality. It is important to ensure that the dog receives the right amount of protein. Protein is the most important source of energy for dogs and should always be present in the bowl. However, an excess of protein can lead to kidney and joint problems in Shar Pei dogs. For the source of protein, you should therefore choose high quality, easily digestible meat or fish, and accompany them with plenty of vegetables.

What does Shar Pei need?

The exact nutritional requirements of your Shar Pei will depend on your Shar Pei's age, health, weight and activity level. For example, the food best suited for one particular Shar Pei may be considered insufficient for another. If in doubt, ask your veterinarian, breeder, or dog nutritionist which mix of nutrients is best for your pet. Shar Pei are generally considered to be lazy dogs that require little movement. As a result, many are overweight, which can lead to serious health problems. Feed your adult dog no more than twice a day, and avoid treats in between. Also make sure he always has enough fresh water available. This ensures that the food is better digested and that toxins are eliminated.

Care of the hound

The Shar Pei is a dog with low care requirements. His short, hard coat normally cleans itself and only needs to be brushed occasionally with a cloth or brush. Contrary to popular belief, wrinkles in the Shar Pei are generally not a problem. The precondition for this, however, is that the wrinkles are not too pronounced, and are only present on the head and back, as required by the standard. Excessive wrinkles in Shar Pei from intensive breeding require constant control and frequent cleansing, as the skin can easily become inflamed.

Does the Shar Pei need a lot of exercise?

Shar Pei is as undemanding in terms of its physical activity as it is in terms of its care. This lazy hound rejects excessive effort, so you will rarely encounter a Shar Pei in dog sports. Nevertheless, you should give your dog a little exercise every day, especially to avoid being overweight. If the daily walks are a little varied, and you give him time to "sniff" his environment quietly, your Shar Pei can be motivated to go for long walks, but only as long as it is not raining or snowing too much, because these dogs do not like cold and water at all.

What you should keep in mind when adopting a Shar Pei

These weather-sensitive dogs cannot be kept in a kennel. But it is not only their aversion to water and cold, but above all their sensitive and human-oriented nature that requires them to live in the house. The Shar Pei need closeness to their family, and do not like to be alone. Therefore, to avoid the pain of separation, you should already train your puppy to stay alone for short periods of time. However, a second dog or other pets are of little use in these cases, as Shar Pei are easily provoked by other animals.

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