Chinese Shar-Pei

Non-Sporting Group

Four Chinese Shar-pei pupppies lying down in front of white background

Height at Shoulders

18-20 in

Weight

45-60 lbs

Life Expectancy

8-12 yrs

History

The Chinese Shar-pei (pronounced "Shahr-pay") originated in the Guangdong province of China about 2,000 years ago, during the Han Dynasty. The breed was popular amongst peasants who employed the dogs as hunters, herders, and guardians. The original Chinese Shar-pei did not have as dramatic of wrinkles or as chunky of a head as modern dogs. The "bone mouth" variety of the breed is more similar to the original dogs, as opposed to the "meat mouth" variety. The short hair of the Chinese Shar-pei protected it during boar hunting. Later, when the breed was used in dog fighting, the wrinkles helped the dogs maneuver even if the opponent had a hold on them. The Chinese Shar-pei almost went extinct around 1949 when the communist regime of the People's Republic of China ordered most dogs to be put down. Luckily, there were enough individuals in Hong Kong and Taiwan to preserve the breed.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Chinese Shar-pei will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★☆☆☆

★★☆☆☆

★★☆☆☆

★☆☆☆☆

★★★☆☆

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆☆☆

★★☆☆☆

★★

★☆☆

★★

Intelligence

★★☆☆☆


Affection Towards Family

★★☆☆☆


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★☆☆☆


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★☆☆☆☆


Exercise Needs

★★★☆☆


Energy Level

★☆☆☆


Sensitivity

★★☆☆☆


Noise Level

★★


Prey Drive

★☆☆


Shedding

★★

Common Traits

Calm, devoted, and very family-oriented

Have purple tongues

Independent and sometimes aloof, even with family

Tend to be uneasy with other dogs and be wary of strangers, which makes them great watch and guard dogs

Can be stubborn and tend to not respect caretakers who don't train firmly and kindly