Chinese Shar-Pei Resource

Chinese Shar-Pei

Once the world’s rarest breed, the Chinese Shar-Pei has made a startling recovery in just about a dozen years. The prune-faced pups were on the brink of extinction in the early 1970s when a Hong Kong fancier appealed to Americans for help in saving the breed. A few were imported, breeding programs were set up and the breed’s popularity mushroomed to the point that today more than 35,000 exist in North America. Its bristly coat appears several sizes too large for a Shar-Pei pup, but most adults do a fair job of filling out the wrinkles. The coat sheds little and requires only weekly grooming. The head has been compared to that of a hippo and the ears are extremely small. Though not particularly large, the Shar-Pei is strong for its size. Somewhat aloof to strangers, the dogs have a natural instinct to guard home and family. These one-person dogs are intensely loyal to their owners. They can be aggressive toward other animals and people, so firm, early training is a must. (Editor’s Note: According to the American Kennel Club breed standard, albino coat colors and any coat patterns, including flowered, as well as Miniature, Toy or oversized Shar-Pei, will be disqualified from the AKC show ring.)

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Breed Details

Country of Origin:
Medium Dog Breed
Solid colors only. Cream fawn, red, sable, black. May be shaded darker on the back and ears.

Straight, short, harsh to touch. Three coat types: horse coat: very short and smooth; brush coat: longer but under 1 inch; Bear coat: over 1 inch, is unacceptable in the show ring.


Brush weekly. Clean lip folds daily and ears every one to two weeks. Bathe monthly or as needed.

Life Expectancy:
7 to 12 years
AKC Group:
Non-Sporting Group
UKC Group:
Northern Breed
18 to 20 inches at the shoulder
45 to 60 pounds
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