An ancient and beautiful breed, the Chinese Shar Pei is an intelligent canine that embodies the spirit of a warrior. He is vigorous, independent, dominant and brave. A fearless guard dog that establishes a close bond with his family, the sharpei requires a confident owner that will establish leadership through obedience training. Without a figure of authority some of these dogs will be stubborn and boldly attempt to take their place as pack leader through any means necessary. Thus, he is not the ideal pet for everyone.
Understand, a Shar Pei can be one of the best companions you could ever ask for, loyal and loving, but he needs direction and proper, consistent training. He can be friendly towards strangers, a fabulous pal for children and happily share your home with other dogs, but this requires the right socialization and needs to be encouraged from puppyhood. Although every dog should be well researched before they are selected as a pet, shar-peis need particular consideration to make sure you have what it takes to train him and to ensure he is the right fit for your family.
The following are some interesting features about Shar Pei dogs:
Height – 18 – 20 inches
Weight – 40 – 55 pounds
General appearance – As puppies, sharpeis are very wrinkly all over. When they are fully matured some lose the winkled look on their bodies and only maintain wrinkles on their head, while others keep the crinkles all over. There are three coat types and include bear-coat, horse-coat and brush-coat. They are available in a variety of solid colors including sable. They have a square body, pronounced head, blue-black tongues, a dark wide, padded muzzle, small forward falling ears and a curled tail.
Exercise needs – This is not a pooch that is happy lazing around all day. The typical shar pei likes to lead an active lifestyle and needs to be walked two times daily and engaged in regular play. Though they are best suited to a house and yard, they can thrive in apartment dwellings as long as they are sufficiently exercised. Note: this canine should not be taken for walks in extreme hot or cold conditions as he is sensitive to temperature.
Training – They are smart and fast learners but can be stubborn, especially if they do not respect their teacher. This four-legged wonder needs firm, gentle instruction by all who want him to obey their commands.
Grooming requirements – They are seasonal shedders that do not require fur trimmings. They need to be brushed on a regular basis (every few days), skin folds should be checked and/or cleaned daily and their nails trimmed once a month.
Health concerns – The Chinese Shar Pei can have hereditary skin problems, swollen hocks syndrome (disease that can affect the kidneys and liver), eye conditions, hip and elbow dysplasia.
Life expectancy – On average they can live up to 10 years.
Keep in mind that the above Shar Pei information is only a taste of the breed’s characteristics. Take the time to thoroughly study them, ask professionals and owners for their advice and experience as much as you can before any decisions are made.