The Shar Pei owes its name to its Chinese origin and it means “sand skin”. This is due not only to a color of the coat, but also to its structure, which from a distance resembles a sand figure. According to historical sources, the Shar Pei has existed in China since ancient times. It has been used as a fighting dog. Images of these animals are often used to decorate various objects, mainly from the Han dynasty.
In Tibet it has been trained to behave aggressively and kill other dogs. The breed originated as a result of long crossings of northern breeds and representatives of the ancestors of modern Danes. In ancient times, when the Shar Pei has been used for dog fighting, a folded skin defended it from serious injuries. Gradually from a fighting dog, it became one of favorite pets of Chinese Emperors. In the XX century this dog became very popular and first listings of puppies for sale appeared in the US and Europe. But the standard of this breed was established only in 1980.
The Shar Pei reaches 46 to 51 cm in height and its weight varies from 18 to 35 kg. The volume of a skin of Shar sing is several times larger than a volume of a body of the dog. Therefore, the dog's skin has many folds. They are most common in the upper part of the body and in the area of a muzzle. Nose is large and wide, mostly black in color, but other colors are also eligible. Muzzle is blunt and covered with wrinkles. Jaws are strong and well developed. Eyes are small, dark in color. Ears are small, like triangles with a rounded end. Tail is thick at the base and at a tip becomes thinner.
Character and behavior
The Shar Pei is a nice and sympathetic dog, but at the same time you should be careful because it can show great independence and arrogance. This is a very confident dog with a highly expressed sense of territoriality. It will not tolerate a cage or enclosure when you are away from home. It should be the protector of your home when you're gone.
Training and education
This dog is prone to dominance at a very early age. So you should make it understand that it does not command in your home. If owner is too soft, your dog will emerge as a leader, will stop executing commands to see how far it can afford to show disobedience.
The Shar Pei usually does not pay attention to commands given by another family member, rather than the one that the dog considered a leader of the pack. It is a very smart dog which easily understands what you want, but will perform commands only from an owner who approaches the training seriously. As it has been used for a long time as a fighting breed, a punishment system of education will not have any effect. It may even cause an opposite reaction.
Lifespan is about 7 to 12 years. There are many diseases that affect this breed, including entropy (Seam edge of eyelid inward towards an eye), HD, thyroid problems, autoimmune problems, allergies, sensitivity to chemicals and drugs and others. Parents of your puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.
Grooming and care
The Shar Pei would feel best in a yard, but during the cold months must live in your home. It can easily be grown in an apartment, but you must remember that this is a dog that needs a lot of movement. Short hair should be brushed every day and cleaned with a wet cloth to remove excess dead hair. Ears are the most delicate part and require daily cleaning in order to avoid the development of infections. Head should never be wet, because if water falls in its ears, it will cause serious problems and in some cases even deafness.
The Shar Pei does not like to bathe, but it is recommended to do it once a month. Be sure to use a mild shampoo designed for dogs with sensitive skin. A presence of numerous folds makes these dogs susceptible to various skin diseases, so you need to choose a special shampoo. Drying is also very important, as there shouldn't be even a drop of water in the folds, therefore, it is recommended to dry your dog well with a cloth and if necessary even use a hairdryer.
Children and other pets
Unlike most breeds that haven't a problem communicating with other representatives of the animal world, the Shar Pei is an exception. This breed is aggressive towards other dogs. It prefers human to canine company. A fighting instinct of its past has somewhat remained and this should be borne in mind, especially when your pet is close to cats or cattle. It is very kind to all the family, but can show impatience with very young children.
Like the Chow Chow, the Shar Pei has a dark blue tongue. In 1978 it entered in the Guinness Book of Records as the rarest breed at that time. Puppies with proven lineage in this period were sold for about 10,000 dollars.
It is believed that an unique blue-black tongue banishes evil spirits when the dog barks.