Chinese Shar-Pei Dog Breed

By: Chewy EditorialPublished:


Chinese Shar-Pei Dog Breed

The Chinese Shar-Pei is an ancient breed, originating in China about 2,000 years ago. These dogs were bred for hunting and dog fighting. The loose skin provided a protection when fighting, as it is nearly impossible to bite through, and also allowed for the Shar-Pei to attack while under attack.

Physical Characteristics

The Chinese Shar-Pei is a medium sized dog with a large square head. The ears are very short and the lips and tongue are usually bluish black.


The Chinese Shar-Pei can be seen in any color.


The Chinese Shar-Pei has very loose wrinkly skin with a short prickly coat.

Personality and Temperament

Activity Level



The Chinese Shar-Pei makes a good watchdog; it is very loyal and affectionate with its human families.

Things to Consider

The Chinese Shar-Pei can be aggressive toward strangers.


Ideal Living Conditions

The Shar-Pei would do best in the country.

Special Requirements

The Chinese Shar-Pei needs to be groomed regularly.


The following conditions are commonly seen in Chinese Shar-Peis:

  • Entropion
  • Skin infections
  • Ear infections
  • Allergies
  • Hypothyroidism

History and Background

This breed’s origin is not precisely known, although it is believed that the Chinese Shar-Pei‘ ancestors may have come from the southern regions of China during the Han Dynasty (c. 200 B.C.). Some statues bearing a strong resemblance to the Shar-Pei have even been discovered in this area.

Soon after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, many records about the breed’s background were lost during the social upheaval. It is known that the breed was used by peasant farmers as a working dog, and later served as a wild boar hunter, a property guard dog, and a fighting dog.

As time passed, the Chinese Shar-Pei lost its allure and many of the dogs were removed, leaving just a handful of dogs that remained along the city outskirts. In 1968, the Hong Kong Kennel Club recognized the breed and a resurgence of the Chinese Shar-Pei occurred in Taiwan and British Hong Kong. Many of these specimens would eventually make their way to the United States.

In 1973, a news article alerted U.S. Shar-Pei fanciers to the breed’s dangerously low numbers. Determined to preserve the breed, the dog lovers worked quickly to protect the remaining dogs. Since then, the breed has become very popular and is among the most recognizable breeds in the U.S. The Shar-Pei was accepted into the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Miscellaneous Class in 1988, and in 1992, it was officially accepted into the AKC’s Non-Sporting Group.

By: Chewy Editorial


By: Chewy EditorialPublished:

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