The Chinese Shar-Pei is a non-sporting dog. Shar-Peis are dignified dogs that are very clean. They adapt well to city life if walked daily. Some are unaffectionate, but others are lovable. They're suspicious of strangers and aggressive with other animals. Shar-Peis are usually good with children.
Harsh, straight coat can range from very short "horse coat" to slightly longer "brush coat."
This breed has been exploited. If you buy a Shar-Pei from a poor bloodline, it might be aggressive.
One look at a Shar-Pei puppy, with his hippopotamus-like face, tiny ears, and abundant wrinkles, is usually all it takes to fall in love with this breed. Prospective owners must keep the guard-dog component of his heritage in mind, however, and properly socialize him. Calm, steady, and dignified but alert, the breed's first instinct toward outsiders is suspicion, so it may be somewhat reserved with strangers. Although he is independent and aloof by nature, the Shar-Pei is very devoted and loyal to family members once he has learned to trust and respect them.
The Shar-Pei is extremely adaptable to all types of homes, doing equally well in apartments or on farms. No matter where he lives, he cannot be an "outdoor" dog, as his lack of protective undercoat makes him much more susceptible to extremes in weather. This sensitivity to heat also means that he should never be allowed to overexercise in the summer. He is naturally protective and makes a good guard dog, but like any powerful guarding breed, needs proper training and handling. Because of its unusual bristly texture, some people have allergic reactions to contact with the Shar-Pei coat.
The Shar-Pei can do well at showing, obedience and agility.
A brisk walk at least once daily will provide not only adequate exercise for the Shar-Pei but also important bonding with you.
The Shar-Pei requires a high-quality, age-appropriate diet. Beware of possessiveness around the food bowl, and feed him from your hand on occasion.
A firm but gentle hand is necessary with the Shar-Pei. He tends to have a stubborn streak, so training must be made fun to keep him interested for any length of time. Intelligent and possessed of a willing nature, he must learn to respect his trainer from the beginning or he can easily get the upper hand. Early socialization and training are necessary. This breed is usually quite easy to housetrain.
Shar-Peis are usually very patient and protective of children. They can get along with other household pets but may be aggressive toward other dogs.
The average life span of the Shar-Pei is nine to ten years. Breed health concerns may include cherry eye; hip dysplasia; hypothyroidism; patellar luxation; pyoderma; Shar-Pei fever; and skin problems.
Although he is shorthaired, the Shar-Pei still needs some gentle brushing a few times a week with a rubber brush. His coat should never be trimmed. The skin folds must be kept free of moisture so that they don't become irritated - this is usually easy to do because Shar-Peis absolutely hate getting wet!
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