Chinese Shar Pei general features, temperament, health

Chinese Shar Pei dog breed photo

FCI # 309, Origin: China, Group 2.2 Molossoid Breeds.

Height: 18-20 in, Weight: 40-55 pounds

Grooming: Low, Shedding: Medium, Coat: short and off-standing.

Color: black, blue, fawn, red and any other solid colors.

Ease of training: Medium, Energy level: Medium, Span of life: 10-12 years.

Breed: The Chinese Shar Pei is a breed of dogs, whose roots goes back in centuries. His ancestors originated in Han Dynasty (second century AD). The birthplace of the breed some sources call the neighborhood of a little village of Dag-Let in the province of Kwun Tung on the coast of Chinese Sea. Other researchers argue that the cradle of this amazing breed is North of China or Tibet.

Now no one knows for sure, how and where the Shar Pei originated, but consanguinity of the modern Shar Pei with the dogs, which were met for nearly two thousand years ago in the Chinese region is indisputable.

In the ancient Chinese tombs there have been found irrefutable evidences of the Shar Pei history: wall paintings and figurines depicting dogs with the typical features of a modern Shar Pei: muzzles with the thick skin, small ears - buttons, wrinkled skin on the bodies, blue tongues and blue mucous membranes. An example is a dog from a Chinese tomb belonging to the collection of Avery Brundage, exposed in the Art Museum in San Francisco. However, the size of an ancient Shar Pei has been really impressive: dog's weight was about 60-70 kg.

The Shar Peis of that distant era were not dogs "of palaces and capitals". Their home was a Chinese province - they lived in the villages, and life of this working dogs was quite hard. There were many reasons which had led in the future to almost complete disappearance of these unique dogs.

The Chinese villagers used Shar Pei to protect their homes and herds. Also plausible is the fact that the Shar Pei was used in the food, simply people were eating this dogs. Translated from the Chinese, "Pei" - means "sandy coat". However, their unusual title this dogs did not get because of their "golden" color, which is typical to the breed, but because of the exceptional structure and quality of their coats. Shar Pei's coat should be so short and rigid, that when you thouch it - it feels like you touch the old papyrus.

Chinese Shar Pei dog breeds

Loose skin, deep-set eyes and small, vulnerable little ears determined the Shar Pei's  usefulness as an excellent assistant of man while hunting a big wild game. Also it is a fact, that this dogs were used in dog fights. Which was not so easy, because the aggressiveness and innate anger are not actually one of Shar Pei's characteristic features, so the fans of the bloody spectacles often had to give their dogs a special doping. The advantage of Shar Pei in a battle lays in the fact that even in the most difficult and extreme situation, where the enemy succeeded, and it would seem that the Shar Pei has bin bitten hardly, our four-legged hero with the lightning speed could easily turn around, thanks to his loose skin, and he could manage to seize the offender from the place where he least expects.

The emergence of a communist way of life in the country became a real disaster for most of the dog breeders of China. The breed Shar Pei also suffered from the political changes. Dogs, as the biggest competitors in the food, should have been the first ones to disappear - and most of them disappeared completely - so, for example, the Shar Pei was almost extinct in China.

The situation was almost hopeless, when in the seventies of our century, virtually about 30 years ago, Mr. Matgo Lav from Hong Kong called for the protection of the rare and wonderful breed from the complete extinction, and began it's restoration.

In a remote provinces of China, Thailand and Hong Kong, he found a pitiful remnants of the breed Shar Pei. With these few dogs he started - the first in the world - purposeful breeding of this amusing dogs. It was the beginning of the first in the world kennel of Shar Peis. The forthcoming work was going to be rather difficult, and in 1972, after the mutual exchange of diplomatic representatives between USA and China, Mr Matgo Lav spoke to the American dog breeders, asking them  for help from the pages of the magazine. As a result of this act, to the United States, to the kennel of Albrigt there have been imported the first dogs of the breed Shar Pei, and in December 1974 there was born the world's first litter of Shar Peis outside of their homeland, outside of China.

In Germany the first Shar Pei appeared in 1979. Joachim Weinberg and Linda Raynelt brought from the United States the first pair: black dog named Bedlams Lover Boy and black bitch named Bedlams Love Song. After that - in 1980 - were the following imports from Hong Kong: a dog bred by Matgo Lav - a cream male, who got later the title of Champion - Down Homes Cream Zulu, bitches Down Homes Bang - Bang and Down Homes Pak Chu, and later, again from the U.S. was imported a female Albright's Ho -Wan Bles. The first litter was born in Europe in 1980 from female Bedlams Love Song.

To England the first Shar Peis were imported from the United States in 1981: male Yeathstyle Dandelion, followed later by the bitch from Hong Kong named Down Homes Junoeque. In 1982, from this dogs was born the first litter (5 males), which brought a very famous sire -  Heathstyle Dragonwort. In 1983 there was founded the Chinese Shar Pei Club, and in 1987 the breed was recognized by the English Kennel Club.

General Features: Chinese Shar Pei is a medium sized dog and refers to the molossoid breeds. The unique wrinkles of Shar Pei makes him to look like anything, but a dog. When you look at the puppy, you immediately remember a tiny hippo or oddly shrunken piglet.

Tongue and mouth of a Shar Pei are bluish, but preferably black. The head is large, compared to the body of a dog, and covered with heavy wrinkles and folds. The transition from forehead to the muzzle is well pronounced. The upper lip is very large, broad and thick.

Eyes of a Shar Pei are dark, small, deep set. Ears are small, set high, in the form of an equilateral triangle, hanging close to the head. Thorax is deep and broad. The tail is set high, curved in a ring or a semicircle. The coat is short, quite rough to the touch. Colors of the coat are: black, yellow, chocolate, cream, red.

Temperament: The Cinese Shar Pei is an almost perfect companion dog, a loving protector of his family, he is cautious and mistrustful of outsiders. He is extremely intelligent and - if properly raised up and properly tarined - it is very easy to keep this dog in the city apartment.

Chinese Shar Pei dog breeds photo

The Chinese Shar Pei is a calm dog and he is very attached to the owner and to his home, also this dog is quite responsible. But despite his love and affection to the owner, the Shar Pei is not annoying or overly demanding. He is a very proud dog, the expression of his devotion is usually quiet and dignified.

Shar Pei loves to be in company with his master always and the one who is purchasing a Shar Pei puppy should really be ready for a long term companionship. If you have a Shar Pei, you can be sure, that beside you there will always be a devoted friend and companion, who is ready to share every single moment of your life.

Each dog is certainly a social phenomenon. It is important that your Shar Pei will live in the close contact with you and your family, because there is nothing more cruel, than to make these creatures to suffer from loneliness. Shar Pei is so nice and calm, that the owners often neglect the guarding qualities, that are hidden in this dog. But still it is good to remember, that he is a formidable opponent, the compression of his jaw is huge for his size.

The Chinese Shar Pei can adapt to almost any conditions of life, many dogs have a very urban lifestyle, living in the apartments. They usually sleep a lot, comfortably curled in a cozy corner. However, the dog can not and should not be left for the whole day just to sleep, because boredom makes the Shar Pei inventive and it could reach the point, when the dog may become really destructive. Also the "coach potato" lifestyle may cause your dog a serious over weighting. So it will be better if you can offer your Shar Pei enough time and space for games and exercises Shar Pei can not be attributed to a playful kind of dogs, but one can not call him a phlegmatic as well.

It is surprising, but the same dog instantly adjusts to two quite different ways of life:  very quiet in the house and dynamic, agile and sporty in the street. He feels equally well in the countryside, where he becomes less demanding and more sporty: playing, running and hunting; and in the city, dividing his time between an apartment and a car: and all this with his delightful calmness and adaptability. The Chinese Shar Pei is often called "a cat-dog" because of his unique manners, which unites him with the felines.

In Shar Pei the instinct of  hunter is expressed very well and - if he is given a chance - he will chase hares, cats, chickens and even the wild boars. It is also necessary to take into an account the innate protective instinct of the Shar-Pei, as well as his fighting qualities, which requires at least minimal control by the owner. Shar Pei is an extremely intelligent  dog with a highly developed intuition. Since this breed was not subjected to training from generation to generation, like for example the German Shepherds, so the Shar Pei may show sometimes quite an independent mind of his own. Dogs of this breed have a sense of dignity, they are not noisy, they are not fussing for silly reasons (the Shar Pei almost do not bark in the house, but once there was a reason, the dog will alert you by barking with the menacing bass).

Shar Pei is honored to be mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records as the rarest dog in the world, but the popularity of this breed is growing steadily.

The Chinese Shar Pei is a very clever dog, a great keeper, he is always very happy to be with "his" people, this dogs are generally very affectionate and also they have one more advantage - most of the owners say that the Shar Pei puppies learn to keep the house clean by themselves!

Health problems: Generally the Chinese Shar Pei is a healthy breed. Still some dogs of this breed may be prone to the kindey failure.

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