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Shar-Pei Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Shar-Pei so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Companion Dogs
Popularity Rank64
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Other Names
What other names does the Shar-Pei have? The dog breed also known as...
Chinese Fighting Dog
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?
AKC Group
Is Shar-Pei recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1992 as a Non-Sporting breed.
FCI Group
Is Shar-Pei recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Not recognized by FCI.
Breed Recognition
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Shar-Pei breed?
American Canine RegistryAmerican Kennel ClubAmerica's Pet RegistryDog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleKennel Club of Great BritainNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.Australian National Kennel CouncilContinental Kennel ClubNational Kennel ClubNew Zealand Kennel ClubUnited Kennel Club
How much does the Shar-Pei puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? Is this puppy expensive? How much should I pay for it? Shar-Pei price:
If you choose to purchase the Shar-Pei, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Shar-Pei for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Shar-Pei gets to a happy place.

Shar-Pei History

The Shar-Pei is one of the oldest breeds originating from China, from several hundred years ago. Regarding the international position of China, the country was a closed economy and society immune to outside influences for a long period of time. The uniqueness in China’s culture is manifesting itself in their indigenous dog breeds as well. The Shar-Pei is native to China’s southern provinces, and its history goes back almost 2000 years to the Han Dynasty. The only evidence of the breed’s early existence are the statues that look alike the Shar-Pei, which have been dated to 200 B.C., nonetheless, these statues resemble the Pug and the Chow-Chow more. Chinese manuscripts are among the very few historical findings, dating back the ancient times, with references to wrinkled dogs. It was presumed to have been a peasant’s dog, and in the manner of peasant’s dogs in all times and places, the Shar-Pei was expected to be versatile. Thus, initially, the breed was developed to herd, hunt, guard property and livestock against rustlers and predators. The dogs were owned and employed by Chinese farmers, yet unfortunately later on the breed had gotten into the illegal dogfighting business.

In 1949, the People’s Republic of China was established. After that, the Communist regime strictly regulated dog ownership and systematically slaughtered many of the purebred population on the mainland, thus resulting in the Shar-Pei’s almost complete wipeout. Fortunately, a handful of Shar-Pei specimens remained in Taiwan and in Hong Kong.

The United States started showing an interest in the breed, after its official introduction and documentation in the USA, in the mid-1960s and 1970s. A man named Matgo Law, of Down-Homes Kennels in Hong Kong, appealed to the American fanciers of the breed, and he is credited with saving the breed from extinction in the era of strict communism, in the 1950s. The breed got famous in the United States with many fans all over the country, thus ensuring the Shar-Pei’s survival. In 1992, the AKC (American Kennel Club) recognized the Chinese Shar-Pei.

A fun fact about the Shar-Pei, they are the only breed apart from the Chow-Chow to have black and blue tongues, these are the only two breeds with this unique distinguishing mark. Today the breed on the western hemisphere is known for their devotion to their owners, and for their cute bristly coat, loose and wrinkled skin. However, unfortunately on the other part of the planet, in China, the breed is still suffering in a few fighting rings, which proposes legal cases for the people and health problems for the dogs.

Shar-Pei General Appearance

What size is this breed? How big is this dog? Shar-Pei size:
How much does the Shar-Pei weigh? Shar-Pei weight:
40-55 pounds (18- 25 kg)
Avg. Weight
What is the average weight of the Shar-Pei? Shar-Pei average weight:
47.5 pounds (18- 25 kg)
How tall is the Shar-Pei? Shar-Pei height:
18-20 inches (46-51 cm)
Avg. Height
What is the average height of this fido? Shar-Pei average height:
19 inches (48.5 cm)

Shar-Pei Hair & Care

What type of coat does the Shar-Pei have? What does this canine coat look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Shar-Pei's coat?
ApricotBlue CreamRedBrownFawnBlack
How to groom the Shar-Pei and how often?
Average: The Shar-Pei requires average grooming effort. Cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't essential. Brushing the dog's coat is useful to reduce shedding. Ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections. Don't skip the seasonal flea treatment too. Dog nail trimming and dog bath can be helpful sometimes. Check the local pet store for dog grooming supplies and find the best dog shampoo to keep its coat healthy and to give your dog a pleasant experience of a dog bath. If you don't have the time, skill or money to take care of your Shar-Pei, search for a dog groomer or clipping service in your area and book an appointment. Maybe you're lucky to have a dog boarding service that includes grooming or walk in dog bath places nearby.
Shedding Level
How much do Shar-Pei dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Chinese Fighting Dog? Shar-Pei shedding level:
Shar-Peis shed none to minimal. Having a puppy from this breed you don't have to be afraid of your couch or car covered by dog hair. Shar-Pei dogs could be the best choice if you don't tolerate dog hair.

Shar-Pei Characteristics

What kind of personality does the Shar-Pei have? What characteristics does the breed have?
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Shar-Pei? Are they intelligent?
Average: Shar-Pei's has average obedience intelligence. Patience is needed for teaching this breed to any tricks and commands though, but it's worth the effort. They understand and memorize new commands in 25-40 repetitions. This breed obeys for the first command 50% of the time or better.
Are Shar-Pei dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Shar-Peis are quite easy to train. Sometimes they can be challenging, but if you're consistent in teaching new commands they will obey for sure.
How playful is this breed?
Shar-Peis, like any other dog breed, like playing. Sometimes they bark as excitement for playing, but they are not the most playful dog breed.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Shar-Pei sensitivity:
Shar-Peis are less sensitive than other dog breeds. They aren't receptive to their owner's emotions and handle soft punishment quite well. They don't mind an always changing daily routine, a hectic household, young children, noisy or office environment and frequent guest visits.
Affection Level
How affectionate are they?
Shar-Peis may seem unfriendly sometimes due to their independence. Their happiness doesn't depend on their owners emotional level.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Chinese Fighting Dog need? Shar-Pei social needs:
Shar-Peis are kinda antisocial. This breed doesn't like being around people all the time, they tolerate being left alone.
Do Shar-Pei dogs bark a lot? Why does my Chinese Fighting Dog bark?
Low: The Shar-Pei barks none to minimal. Perfect choice if you prefer a quiet breed. Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.
Watchdog Ability
Is Shar-Pei good as a watchdog?
Shar-Peis are average watchdogs. If they sense something different, they will alert you, but the observation isn't considered as their main job.
Do Shar-Pei dogs have an aggressive behavior to protect their territory?
Shar-Peis are extremely protective guard dogs. This breed doesn't hesitate to protect their territory so the Shar-Pei can be a good choice if you want an excellent guard dog. Keep calm and the Shar-Pei will take care of unwanted people or animals.
Biting Potential
Do Shar-Pei bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Chinese Fighting Dog? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Shar-Pei? Why do dog bites happen?
The Shar-Pei has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Shar-Pei do?
Shar-Peis have a strong tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Shar-Peis need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Shar-Pei to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Shar-Pei roam?
Shar-Peis tend to escape less than other breeds. They have low to average wanderlust potential. Exploring the world is not the best activity they can imagine.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Shar-Pei have high prey drive?
Shar-Peis have an average prey drive, which means that they don't have a high impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals, but it might happen. Training can help to achieve good behavior.
Apartment Friendly
Is Shar-Pei good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
Shar-Peis are apartment-friendly dogs. Besides the daily walks outside they don't require a big garden.
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Shar-Peis adapt to lifestyle changes and different living environments quite okay usually.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Can you leave this breed home alone?
Shar-Peis handle alone time quite well. They are not prone to have separation anxiety.
Fighting Dog
Where Shar-Pei dogs used as a fighting dog in the history?
In history, this breed was unfortunately used for combat dog.

Shar-Pei Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they friendly with strangers?
Shar-Peis are not stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
Are Shar-Pei dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Shar-Pei and children:
Shar-Peis are not kid-friendly dogs. This breed is not recommended for families with children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Shar-Pei dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats?
Shar-Peis are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly
Is Shar-Pei good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Shar-Pei dogs get along with other dogs? What is this canine temperament with other dogs?
Shar-Peis are not the most dog-friendly dogs. If you want more dogs in your family or you'd like to join dog meetups, the Shar-Pei is not a good choice.
Office Friendly
Are Shar-Peis good office dogs? Do Shar-Peis make good office friendly dogs? Can Shar-Peis be office dogs?
Shar-Pei is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Shar-Pei dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Chinese Fighting Dog temperament with senior people? Are Shar-Pei dogs good for elderly owners?
Shar-Peis are not recommended for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Shar-Pei dogs get along with other pets? Are Shar-Pei dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Shar-Peis are generally with other pets.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Shar-Pei breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners?
Shar-Peis are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Shar-Pei be a service dog?
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Shar-Pei is not the best breed for service purposes.
Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Shar-Pei be a therapy dog?
Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with anxiety disorders or autism. Shar-Pei is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Shar-Pei be a sniffer dog?
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones. Shar-Pei is not the best breed for detection purposes.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Shar-Pei be a search and rescue dog?
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people. The Shar-Pei is not the best breed for SAR purposes.
Boat Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Shar-Pei be a boat dog?
Not really
Shar-Pei breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Shar-Pei be a drafting dog?
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination. Shar-Pei breed is a good choice for drafting purposes.

Shar-Pei Health Factors

Health Issues
Is it a healthy breed? Do Shar-Pei dogs have health problems?
Very healthy dog breed. The Shar-Pei rarely meets with the veterinarian.
Health Problems
What health problems does the Shar-Pei breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Shar-Pei breed? Health risks of Shar-Pei:
BloatCancerCutaneous MucinosisDemodectic MangeElbow DysplasiaEntropionFeverGlaucomaHip DysplasiaHypothyroidismOsteochondrosis DissecansPatellar LuxationPyodermaSeborrhea
Life Expectancy
How long do Shar-Pei dogs live? What is the average lifespan of this breed? How old can a Shar-Pei be?
8-10 years
Is the Shar-Pei breed hypoallergenic?
Shar-Peis don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Shar-Pei have?
Shar-Peis have a lower energy level than other dogs. If you live a chilled life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Exercise Need
How much exercise does this dog need? How much exercise do Shar-Pei dogs require per day?
Shar-Peis exercise need is minimal. If you live a slow life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does this fido need?
Shar-Peis like sleeping so they do sleep a lot. They're not the most active dog breed. If you live an active life, this breed can be a bad choice for you.
Avg. daily food consumption
How much food does the Shar-Pei need? How often should I feed my canine? What dog products should I buy?
2 to 2.5 cups of a high-quality dog food daily, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Shar-Pei risk for obesity:
Average to High. If you don't pay attention to the Shar-Pei's weight, he can easily gain weight. More than one daily walk should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding. If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Shar-Pei's weight regularly.
Weather & Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot and cold weather & climate?
Tolerates warm and cold weather.
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?
The Shar-Pei has a high chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling tendency
Does the Shar-Pei drool?
The Shar-Pei is a big drooler, so if you're disgusted by slobber spots on your clothes, you should choose a dog from another breed. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool much more than others, just like the Shar-Pei. If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Shar-Pei Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long does this dog's pregnancy last? How long does this dog pregnant? How long does it take to have puppies?
60-64 days
Reproductive cycle of the female Shar-Pei: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days. During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge. The second part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days. The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color. The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.
How often can the Shar-Pei have a litter? Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Shar-Pei have? What is the average litter size of this fido?
4-6 puppies

Shar-Pei Pros & Cons

  • Health Issues: Very healthy dog breed.
  • Apartment Friendly: Shar-Peis are apartment-friendly dogs.
  • Shedding Level: Shar-Peis shed none to minimal.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: Shar-Peis tend to escape less than other breeds.
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone: Shar-Peis handle alone time quite well.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Shar-Peis are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
  • Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog: A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
  • Hypoallergenic: Shar-Peis don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
  • Drooling tendency: The Shar-Pei is a big drooler, so if you're disgusted by slobber spots on your clothes, you should choose a dog from another breed.
  • Stinkiness: The Shar-Pei has a high chance of bad smell.
  • Weight Gain Potential: Average to High.
  • Mouthiness: Shar-Peis have a strong tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
  • Child Friendly: Shar-Peis are not kid-friendly dogs.
  • Dog Friendly: Shar-Peis are not the most dog-friendly dogs.
  • Office Friendly: Shar-Pei is not the best dog breed for office environment.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Shar-Peis are not recommended for elderly people.

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Shar-Pei Comments, Reviews & Questions

  • Larry

    Sep 12, 2020, 9:32:42 AM:

    Spend time with one; a pal has a new adult male. Easy-going. BUT- the drooling! Meal times, the chops will be rank with goo- and on furniture, clothes or sprayed when shaking. THE STINK! Something in his skin STINKS! Rancid yak milk! Make the eyes water!

  • Barry

    Aug 1, 2020, 11:37:34 AM:

    Good review. The only things I disagree with is that its not a healthy breed (especially the Western ones), and they're not really good with new owners. They need very good socialisation and structure, not something you can expect from a first time owner.