Shar Peis


The Shar-Pei is a large dog which is recognisable by its wrinkled skin. It has a muscular and sturdy build with a a broad, flat head. Like the Chow Chow, the Shar-Pei has a blue/black tongue. The breed is a very old one and is believed to have originated from the Guangdong province of China. Utilised as guard dogs and fighting dogs, the Shar-Pei were also bred as working dogs and would help their masters with various tasks including hunting. Today, the Shar-Pei is a popular family pet.


The Shar-Pei breed are very loyal to their owners and family. They are playful, intelligent and relatively easy to train. They are fearless and protective of their family and territories but are not aggressive if properly socialized. They tend to get on well with small children and other pets and dogs once trained and socialized making them very good family pets. This breed is also quite independent and does not demand as much attention from its owner as other breeds do. However, the Shar-Pei does need daily mental and physical stimulation to stop it from becoming bored and destructive.

  • Height, Weight

    Height: Dogs 18-20 inches (46-51cm) Bitches 18-20 inches (46-51cm)

    Weight: Dogs 40-55 pounds (18-25kg) Bitches 40-55 pounds (18-25kg)

  • Health Problems

    The Shar-Pei is prone to kidney failure, bowed legs and joint luxations. They can also suffer from such ailments as entropion, due to excessive skin around the eyes. IgA deficiency, amyloidosis and hypothyroidism have also been reported.

  • Living Conditions

    The Shar-Pei will do fine in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is not very active indoors and will tend to do fine without a yard or garden. Shar-Pei dogs are sensitive to the heat.

  • Exercise

    The Shar-Pei needs to be taken on daily walks. They are not high energy dogs like Collies  but they do have a considerable need for exercise. These dogs love to play and run around off-leash but should be monitored carefully. Owners should be careful not to over exercise these dogs in the heat.

  • Life Expectancy

    Up to 10 years.

  • Litter Size

    The average litter is 5 puppies.

  • Grooming

    The coat of the Shar-Pei must be brushed regularly, with once or twice a week being sufficient. The creases around the face must be cleaned every so often to keep the skin free from infections. The eyes should also be inspected routinely to keep them in the best of health.

  • Group

    Southern, AKC Non-Sporting

  • Recognition