The Shar Pei is a medium-sized breed with the distinctive features of loose skin, deep wrinkles, frowning expression, harsh, bristly coat and a blue-black tongue. The Shar Pei has a square profile and features a broad, full head that is rather large in proportion to the body with wide, padded muzzle. It has fine wrinkles on the forehead and cheeks that form dewlaps. It has a large, black nose with wide open nostrils. The eyes are almond-shaped and dark coloured with frowning expression while the highly set ears are very small and triangular in shape. They are slightly rounded at the tips that points towards the eyes. The breed has a distinct bluish-black tongue, roof of mouth, gums and flews similar to the Chow-Chow. The teeth form a regular scissor bite. The strong, medium-length neck is also full with loose skin under it, and well set on the muscular shoulders which provide strong support to the large head. The whole body is perfectly supported by straight front legs with good bones and similarly muscular and strong back legs. The Shar Pei also features a broad and deep chest with moderate wrinkling over the shoulders and the base of the tail. The highly set tail is rounded and tapers to a fine point, usually carried high and curved in tight curl or curved over. The coat is extremely harsh and off-standing on the body (horse-coat) but a bit more flat on the legs. The length of the coat varies from short and wiry, under 0.5 inch (1.25 cm) or longer and thicker between 0.5 to 1 inch (1.25 – 2.5 cm) but still off-standing and coarse to touch. The coat comes in all solid colours except white.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Shar Pei is one of the Oriental dog breeds from China that originated from Guangdong province where it was a well known fighting dog and guard dog. It may be a descendant of the Chow Chow but the only solid evidence of their relation is the purple tongue. Nevertheless, based on pictures found on ancient potteries, the Shar Pei may have existed as early as the Han dynasty (around 200 BC) and was used to guard the Chinese Emperor and his court. Moreover, 13th century writings provide evidences that the breed existed during that time. However, its ancestral origin is rather uncertain and difficult to justify mainly due to the loss of breeding records when China became a communist state. One thing is certain though, the Shar Pei was developed as a farm dog with multiple abilities such as boar hunting, guarding, and fighting. When these breeds were ordered eliminated, the few that remained were mostly bred in Hong Kong (a British colony) and Taiwan. Some managed to find their way in the United Kingdom thru importation. After being rescued from near extinction during the 70s, the Shar Pei is now one of the most recognizable breed worldwide.
The Shar Pei is an easy-going and calm breed despite its frowning expression. This serious and independent breed is known to have a stubborn streak which may often ignore commands from family members who have not established leadership over the breed. It has also been known to hunt livestock and other animals. Although the Shar Pei has a natural hate for water, it is typically a very clean breed and will need minimal housebreak training as it will learn to do so by itself.
Firm, gentle and consistent training is required to handle the Shar Pei. It should be socialized with other animals in the house, particularly at an early age to prevent the breed from dominating and chasing other pets.
This breed doesn't require constant bathing with every 12 weeks is about the average. Bathing the Shar-Pei too frequently can cause skin ingratiation's so the most essential part of grooming a Shar-Pei is the maintenance of his wrinkles. As an owner you need to make sure the wrinkles are dried quickly and thoroughly after every bath to prevent yeast or fungal infections.
The Shar Pei has an average lifespan of 8 to 10 years. The most common problem found to affect this breed is entropion, a condition where the eyelashes curl inward causing eye irritation. If this goes untreated, it may cause blindness. Shar Pei fever is also a serious health condition which causes short fevers that lasts up to 24 hours after which no recurrence is observed or may recur at more frequent intervals and may become more serious. Although very rare, amyloidosis is also known to affect some lines. This is caused by unprocessed amyloid proteins depositing in the kidneys or liver which leads to renal failure.
Experts recommend a base diet with a mixture of pork with poultry, beet pulp, wheat and rice. These foods should be high in fibre and carbohydrate content. Recently, commercial dry foods have been formulated specifically made for the Shar Pei prone to skin allergies or sores. Similar to other breeds, the Shar Pei has a tendency to develop skin irritation, itching or sores if not given a proper diet.
The Shar Pei has a moderate exercise requirement. A typical short walk on leash or a session of play in an open and secured area is an ideal daily physical activity that will keep the breed active and fit. Always keep the dog on leash whenever it is in public or it may fight with other dogs. Also, do not leave the Shar Pei under the heat for a long period of time as it is fairly heat sensitive and may suffer from heat stroke. This breed is quite active indoors and will do fine in an apartment living as long as it is given proper diet and exercise.
Despite being detached and independent, this devoted and protective breed is usually good with children. However, it is typically suspicious of strangers and it has a tendency to be dog-aggressive but show lines are more sociable and tend to be less aggressive with other dogs.