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Meet the breed: Chinese Shar-Pei

Jana Randall is a busy mother, loving wife, and active career woman from Arizona. In her free time, Jana writes to cover topics on home, living, and pets, while also working full time and blogging. As interests, Jana enjoys reading, wr...

Chinese Shar-Pei

Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We're here to help you meet the breed that's right for you. If you're looking for a loyal and confident guard dog, learn all you need to know about the Chinese Shar-Pei.


  • Intelligent
  • Playful
  • Brave
  • Devoted
  • Reserved


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Thought to be a descendant of the Chow Chow, the Chinese Shar-Pei was raised as a farm dog in China.

Used as a guard dog and hunter of all sorts, the Chinese thought the Shar-Pei's wrinkles warded off evil spirits. A breed with a rough exterior, this dog is very friendly and protective of his owner but can be aloof with strangers. Susceptible to kidney problems, the Shar-Pei does best in cooler climates as he is easily overheated.

Breed standards

  • AKC group: Non-sporting Group
  • UKC group: Northern Breed Group
  • Average lifespan: 9 - 11 years
  • Average size: 45 - 60 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Horse or brush-coat
  • Coloration: Sandy with black muzzle
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Other identifiers: Large with wrinkled skin; blue-black tongue; dark, almond-shaped eyes; rounded, triangular ears; large muzzle with dark coloration; thick tail
  • Possible alterations: May have lighter eyes based on coloration

Is this breed right for you?

A good guard dog, the Shar-Pei does not require much space, making him a great fit for apartment life. For exercise, a daily walk will suit this pet just fine. Doing well with children and cats if raised with them, this breed bonds well with any and all immediate family members. Aloof and rude to strangers, he will need to be socialized well. In need of a dominant master, the Chinese Shar-Pei requires a good leader to avoid any untoward behavior. A clean breed, he doesn't shed often and requires only brushing and regular bathing.

Chinese Shar-Pei

A dream day in the life of a Chinese Shar-Pei

A simple breed, the Chinese Shar-Pei will be happy to wake up in the comfort of his own home, surrounded by family members. Enjoying a nice, brisk morning walk, the Shar-Pei will return ready to guard his home from any possible dangers or strangers. Partaking in a bit of play and yard-romping, the breed will end his day sleeping at the foot of his master.

Other breeds you might like

French bulldog
Chow Chow

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