Shar pei

Origins of the Shar Pei

The Shar Pei is one of the oldest known breeds of dogs. Originally from southern China, their ancestors were the symbolic animal of the famous Han dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD). It is speculated that in the past they had skin without folds, and that this characteristic emerged from some crosses that makes them so special.

It was used as a tomb guard dog at the beginning and later it was used for fighting, as its strong character and bravery make it fear no adversary.

This breed was in serious extinction problems in the 60s, since the communist regime that ruled in their country considered it a sample of waste by the bourgeoisie.

Fortunately, in the 1970s, it reached the West where it immediately captured the public's attention for its strange folds. It was considered by Guinness records and Time magazine as the strangest dog in the world, which markedly increased its popularity and spread it throughout the world.

About your folds:

If there is something that characterizes this breed is its folds, everyone who sees a Shar Pei instantly identifies it because it is something beautiful and unique. When they are born they have many folds, but as they grow they disappear (what actually happens is that the skin stretches as the animal grows). When they reach adulthood, they should only have folds on the head and neck.

Images of Shar Pei dogs

Personality and character of this breed

This breed is considered one of the best as a companion animal. It is an extremely faithful dog with its family, very brave and guardian, but also, it is playful and very intelligent. If he is socialized from a young age, he will have no qualms about sharing his space with other dogs, or even other pets.

It is a good option if you have children, as you love to play with them. What the Shar Pei does not tolerate are rough play or hitting, so it is important to explain well to children how to treat your pet.

His protective and brave instinct will make him distrust any stranger, he is a very watchful dog but does not usually bark.

They are one of the cleanest breeds that exist, but be careful, because they tend to hate water. Finally, we can affirm that it is a very calm dog, so you know, if you are looking for a pet that is guardian, clean, playful, faithful, intelligent and extremely beautiful, then the Shar Pei is your choice.

Shar Pei physical characteristics:

There are two lines of Shar Pei: the American and the traditional. Americans have more wrinkles and are wider. They are slightly smaller than their traditional peers. Some have slightly longer hair.

The height at the withers of this breed ranges between 45 cm. and 55 cm. Its weight varies between 17 and 26 kg. And their average life span ranges from 8 to 10 years.

Its head must be large without becoming excessive in proportion to its body. It must present the wrinkles so characteristic of this breed. They have small ears, shaped like a triangle, but rounded at the top. His chest should be wide, deep, with good bearing. On the other hand, its back is straight, and its tail is slightly raised.

Recommended exercise

The Shar Pei is an active dog but generally does not need much exercise, it is likely that with the passage of time it will become even sedentary. We recommend taking him out for a walk at least 2 times a day. If you do not want to exercise, try toys that tend to have better acceptance in this breed. We leave you our note in which we talk about the best toys for dogs.

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Shar Pei first steps

The big question from first-time users of a Shar Pei is: What are the first steps like? Do they adapt quickly to the home? How do I teach them to relieve themselves in the right place?

Well, let's answer them all. The first thing to keep in mind is that whether you obtain a recently weaned puppy or adopt an adult specimen, it will take time to adapt and it is impossible to know how much. But it will be much faster for the dog, if you and your family give love and patience. It is essential to avoid negative challenges, as these can influence the character and sensitivity of the animal.

Always try to make sure the orders are clear and, if possible, give them some kind of reward (a congratulation, a toy, a canine treat). As for how to teach him to relieve himself, we recommend using canine training towels, which are very useful and help our pet learn faster. We leave you the following note: canine training towels, in which we explain how they work step by step.

We also leave you here the review of the training towels, for those who think about purchasing them.

Nutrition and recommended diet

In the case of food, it is important that it be a dry and good quality feed, since it is the only way that our dog can keep its coat in good condition. It is very important that you control its weight because it is a breed that relapses into obesity with some ease and this causes many other health problems.

All the variety and the best prices in feeders and drinkers for dogs, here.

If you are looking for the best offers (and tips) on dry dog food, click here.

The best offers (and tips) for wet dog food, click here.

If you are looking for the best offers (and tips) of snacks for dogs, click here.

Toilet in the Shar Pei

The Shar Pei is an extremely clean dog and its short, hard coat means that it only needs to be brushed once a week. Despite this, you have to pay special attention to its folds, since they are very sensitive and if there is dirt between them it can be a serious problem.

We do not recommend bathing it, since this breed has a kind of fat that covers its coat and prevents problems such as bacteria and other organisms. When you bathe it, this fat is lost and takes a long time to recover.

In any case, if you have to shower, be sure to dry it very well, because the moisture between its folds causes diseases.

The best offers in dog beds, here.

Find the best kennels for dogs, here.

For a correct Shar Pei grooming, we recommend the Furminator FURflex, which, although it has a fairly high price, is ideal for this breed since its curvature and versatility are optimal for its folds. The quality and resistance of the product are enviable, if you can afford to buy it, it will become your brush of choice forever. And for those who cannot afford to spend so much, we bring another great option in brushes, cheaper but at the same time very effective. This other brush has steel bristles but its tips are made of rubber so as not to hurt the animal's skin. Its resistance is very good and is highly valued by those users who have purchased it. Finally we offer you a professional nail clipper that includes a system to avoid cutting too much, thus protecting the health of your pet. It is of great quality and cuts even the hardest nails, it is also very economical.

Health and possible diseases:

The Shar Pei is one of the breeds that, due to its enormous popularity, has been the victim of irresponsible breeders who only think of making more money without caring about the animal's health. Because of this, his health deteriorated, these are some of the problems that beset him:

Shar Pei fever:

It is a hereditary disease, of which it is not known with total certainty what causes it. The latest research affirms that it is due to an excess of hyaluronic acid, the same one that causes its striking folds. When Shar Pei get these fevers, their snout and some of their joints also become inflamed, in addition to vomiting and diarrhea. Although it has no cure, treated in time is a controllable disease, it is very important to take the dog to the vet immediately to prevent the disease from getting worse and turning into amyloidosis.


They are a group of diseases that attack the Shar Pei's kidney. Its name comes from a protein called amyloid, which is what causes the disease.

Unfortunately it is a very complicated disease that leads to the death of dogs that suffer from it, it has a treatment but it is very aggressive and it is quite likely that it will fail and the animal will die of cardiac arrest or kidney failure.

Stomach twisting:

The stomach folds on itself and does not allow its emptying, causing multiple damage to the pancreas and kidneys. It can cause the death of the animal if it is not treated in time.


It occurs when the thyroid gland stops producing crucial hormones. It is very difficult to detect at the beginning since the symptoms are fatigue or weight gain, which is usually attributed to other factors such as poor diet or excessive exercise. With the passage of time these symptoms worsen and cause quite a few problems in the health of the animals.

Hip dysplasia:

It is developed in most cases by a hereditary malformation. When this problem appears, what happens is a displacement of the hip that tends to cause intense pain and lameness in the animal. Dogs that are affected by this disease tend to have difficulty performing common activities such as walking, running, jumping, climbing a ladder, and even lying down or sitting down. In more advanced cases or those that have not been treated, dysplasia can completely incapacitate the animal.

Patella luxation

It occurs when the kneecap and the ligaments that hold it in place slide to the outside of the knee. It is not a very serious problem but it is very painful and annoying for the dog.

Shar Pei puppies images

22 thoughts on “Shar Pei”

  1. Hello I loved the article I have a shar, and it is as you describe it
    I would only add that they are very independent, but the writing is very nice 👏👏

      • Hello, good morning, I loved the article, it seems very complete, the only thing to limit precisely in the pathologies, is otitis. Since it is one of the most common infections that this breed presents, due to its anatomy and shape, both as the ear canal and the ear, it is clearly not in all Cannes, but it is very recurrent and once it is presented there are It must be taken into account that this will happen every year, especially in winter, due to the humidity that stars in it.

  2. Hello, very good description…. I would add the issue of the folds in the eyes, that from a young age you can begin to make corrections in the eyes. So as not to have problems when they grow up ... Logical own experience ... I loved everything he says ... Kisses

  3. Good afternoon,
    Very good article, it describes the breed very well. I have loved it. Tb if you tell me where I can send photos of my shar pei.
    Thank you

  4. The report is very complete! I would add the eye crease operation anyway as there is no Shar Pei that doesn't have it.
    First put points when it is small before 6 months so that it supports the folds and the operation already at 6 months.

  5. Hi! The report is very good, I have one and it is just like that. I would just add the eyes, which is a very important issue in them


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