Chinese Shar-Pei Dog Breed Information – All You Need to Know

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At one time the rarest dog breed in the world, The Chinese Shar-Pei has made a popularity comeback in recent years. The breed originated during China’s Han Dynasty as a peasant’s dog- a useful animal to hunt, herd, and guard livestock. Communist China nearly drove the breed to extinction with mass executions, but breeders in Hong Kong kept the line going.

“Shar-Pei” literally means “sand-paper”, and when feeling the dog’s coat one can understand why it is nicknamed as such. With its rough, wrinkly skin and frowning expression, the Chinese Shar-Pei makes a name for itself as the most unique breed in the Non-Sporting group.

Characteristics of the Chinese Shar-Pei

Chinese Shar Pei Dog Breed Information – All You Need To KnowLet’s take a look at the unique features and temperament of the phenomenal Chinese Shar-Pei.


Standing 18 to 20 inches tall and weighing 40 to 60 pounds, the Chinese Shar-Pei is a medium-sized, yet bulky dog. It’s blue-black tongue, permanently frowning expression, and folds of loose skin covering the neck and other parts of the body give the Shar-Pei its infamous look. Chinese Shar-Pei puppies, unlike the adults, are completely covered in wrinkles, which people generally either find adorable or hideous.

The breed’s hard, sand-paper coat can be found in solid shades of black, red, fawn, or cream. Despite what you may think, the breed actually does shed frequently, although the coat never needs to be trimmed. A monthly bath and brushing will take care of your pet’s grooming needs.


Many words can be used to describe the temperament of the Chinese Shar-Pei: loyal, independent, calm, intelligent, strong, and friendly. Shar-Pei’s are extremely loyal to their family members, but are standoffish around strangers, making them great guard dogs and companions. Chinese Shar-Pei’s do make good family pets, but children in the family should be a bit older, as this breed has a certain tenacity, vigor, and dominance against any perceived threats, including cats and other dogs, and especially other dogs of the same sex.

Due to these instincts, Chinese Shar-Pei’s will chase and seize cats and rodents without a second thought, so these are not good pets for households with pet cats or rodents. Shar-Pei’s can live between 8 and 12 years and can grow more stubborn with time if they are not trained properly as puppies.

Despite their independent personalities, Chinese Shar-Pei’s can suffer from severe separation anxiety if not trained well as puppies, so when traveling it is a good idea to bring them along. However, keep in mind that this breed can suffer from stomach troubles due to food and water sources that it is not used to consuming, so it is a good idea to bring water and food from home when traveling.

To avoid car sickness, feed your dog at least an hour before traveling, and don’t provide him with as much food as usual if he seems stressed out by the trip. As with many things for this stubborn and intelligent breed, travel anxiety can greatly be reduced if your Chinese Shar-Pei has been trained properly.

Caring for the Chinese Shar-Pei

How does one properly care for such a unique, timeless breed? Read below to find out.


Your Chinese Shar-Pei will need to be fed a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for its age- puppy, adult, senior, etc. Treats can be a valuable tool to use during training- and your Chinese Shar-Pei will definitely need a lot of training- but avoid feeding your pet too many treats as this can cause obesity, which can lead to a host of other problems. Table scraps should also be given sparingly, and avoid especially those table scraps containing bones and contents rich in fat. Always consult your veterinarian if you are concerned about your pet’s diet or weight.


Unlike some other breeds, the Chinese Shar-Pei is an extremely adaptable breed, and therefore individuals can vary in their need for exercise. As a general rule, though, Chinese Shar-Pei’s require a short daily walk at minimum. Strong and sturdy animals, Chinese Shar-Pei’s enjoy rough play and can tolerate longer walks and hot days. As with your pet’s diet, consult your veterinarian if you believe your pet requires more or less exercise than it is currently receiving, as too much or too little exercise for each individual can lead to weight problems and other health issues.


Perhaps more than with any other breed, early training and socialization for your Chinese Shar-Pei are absolutely essential. Those individuals who did not receive proper training as puppies can be extremely stubborn and difficult to re-train. The training your Shar-Pei receives should be firm, confident, and consistent. It is advised that only experienced dog owners should take on the task of owning and training a Chinese Shar-Pei, as owners who are too easy on their pet during training will end up regretting this later on. As far as housetraining is concerned, though, Chinese Shar-Pei’s are a relatively easy breed to housetrain and will seldom have accidents in the house.


Unfortunately, Chinese Shar-Pei’s are prone to a myriad of health issues including eye disorders such as entropion, glaucoma, and retinal dysplasia, as well as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Other potential health concerns include respiratory, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, immune, and skin disorders. These skin problems can result from the multitude of wrinkles that the Chinese Shar-Pei is known for. Certain cancers, such as skin and mast cell cancers, are also common in the breed.

For more frequent care, your Chinese Shar-Pei’s nails should be trimmed weekly. You should also clean your pet’s ears weekly with an ear-cleaning solution. To avoid skin irritations, your Chinese Shar-Pei should be bathed monthly.

Because of so many potential health problems, Chinese Shar-Pei’s should be taken to the vet regularly for systematic examinations. As always, consult your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your companion’s health.

Similar Breeds


Best Dog Food For Chinese Shar-Peis

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

In our opinion, the best dog food for Chinese Shar-Pei is Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food. For the healthy well-being of dogs, the food contains whole grains, healthy fruits, and vegetables. This supreme quality food is protein-rich and supplies energy for the daily life of dogs.

  • Packed with multiple essential vitamins, the food is good for immunity.
  • Calcium strengthens the bone and evades the chance of arthritis in dogs.
  • Oatmeal, barley, potatoes, etc., keep the little tummy full for hours.

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Best Puppy Food For Chinese Shar-Peis

Hill's Science Diet Puppy Chicken Meal & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food

To fulfill the nutritional requirement, the best puppy food for Chinese Shar-Peis is Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Chicken Meal & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food. Fish oil is packed with DHA, which takes part in vision development. This nourishing chicken diet is rich in vitamin E.

  • Oat fiber, wheat, corn, etc., make the diet fiber-rich, which in turn contributes to proper digestive health.
  • Taurine is one of the vital ingredients which provides a healthy heart.
  • This complete and balanced meal contains several vital minerals that take care of blood circulation.

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Best Dog Bed For Chinese Shar-Peis

Best Friends By Sheri Orthocomfort Sherpa Bolster Cat & Dog Bed

The best dog bed for Chinese Shar-Peis is Best Friends by Sheri OrthoComfort Sherpa Bolster Cat & Dog Bed as this creates a protective atmosphere with its 12 inches wall. This soft and comfortable bed is designed with AirLoft fibers. This lasting dog bed features double stitches for extra sturdiness.

  • One can choose from 7 colors for this particular bed model.
  • Both standard and jumbo beds can stand up to 25 pounds.
  • It is suggested to spot clean it, but there is no problem with putting it in the washing machine.

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Best Dog Crate For Chinese Shar-Peis

Frisco Fold & Carry Single Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate

To control dogs’ separation anxiety, the best dog crate for Chinese Shar-Peis is Frisco Fold & Carry Single Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate. Though a bottom pan needs to be added to it, you can also place a floor mattress inside the crate. The black coating of the exterior protects the crate from water, rust, extreme temperature, etc.

  • You don’t need any extra hand to install this single door crate.
  • This portable crate is ideal for short trips as it is lightweight and has a carrying handle.
  • The divider panel saves you a few bucks as it makes room for the dog while it grows.
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Best Dog Harness For Chinese Shar-Peis

Kurgo Journey Air Polyester Reflective No Pull Dog Harness

According to us, for house training, the best dog harness for Chinese Shar-Peis would be Kurgo Journey Air Polyester Reflective No Pull Dog Harness. This heavy-duty dog harness comes in coastal blue, chili red, and black colors only. This breathable deep V neck harness features chest padding to provide extra comfort and ultimate control.

  • This vest-like harness has no less than four release buckles for easy handling.
  • There is a component made of aluminum for leash attachment.
  • The reflective trim of the harness ensures visibility when it is dark outside.

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Best Dog Collar For Chinese Shar-Peis

Petsafe Keep Safe Nylon Breakaway Dog Collar

As reported by experienced dog owners, the best dog collar for Chinese Shar-Peis is PetSafe Keep Safe Nylon Breakaway Dog Collar. This warrantied dog collar not only prevents strangulation but also includes a fabric fastener. The metal hardware parts are of golden color, and as a result, your regal Chinese Shar-Pei looks royal in it.

  • This patented collar features nylon straps for adjustment.
  • This red dog collar combines an auto-release buckle.
  • With four sizes, the collar covers neck size from 10 inches to 28 inches.

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Best Dog Muzzle For Chinese Shar-Peis

Four Paws Walk About Quick Fit Dog Muzzle

To keep your dog away from destructive behaviors, the best dog muzzle for Chinese Shar-Peis is Four Paws Walk-About Quick-Fit Dog Muzzle. This professional dog muzzle keeps the dog calm as a cucumber in difficult social situations and among the crowd. This completely adjustable dog muzzle is configured with machine washable nylon.

  • Use of this muzzle can check the biting instincts of dogs within a week.
  • This open-front muzzle comes in only one classic black color.
  • This quick fit muzzle is quite tough for dogs to remove.

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Best Dog Toy For Chinese Shar-Peis

Chuckit! Paraflight Flyer Dog Toy

The best dog toy for Chinese Shar-Peis is Chuckit! Paraflight Flyer Dog Toy as this highly-rated toy tricks the dogs into exercise. To make it extra safe, the manufacturers have added multiple layers of the same material. The bright sky blue and orange color prevent the chance of you losing it at night.

  • This rubber toy is perfect for flinging around the pool and some splashing fun.
  • Its appropriate aerodynamic shape allows the flyer to stay in the wind covering a long distance.
  • Due to its flexible shape, dogs can easily pick the toy up with their mouth and tongue.

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Best Dog Brush For Chinese Shar-Peis

Safari Combo Brush For Dogs

To give your handsome dog professional grooming, the best dog brush for Chinese Shar-Pei would be Safari Combo Brush for Dogs. This green brush can be used as both pinned and bristle brush. The wooden handle of the brush reduces arm fatigue and ensures a longer grooming session.

  • Regular use of the brush can reduce shedding too.
  • This slicker brush eliminates extra fur from the coat and brings back the old shine to it.
  • The wire pins gently deal with the crazy tangles and shake the debris off the coat.

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Best Dog Shampoo For Chinese Shar-Peis

Buddy Wash Refreshing Rosemary & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

If you want a fluffy and clean dog in your life, the best dog shampoo for Chinese Shar-Pei is Buddy Wash Refreshing Rosemary & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner. Formulated by vets, this shampoo is free of any artificial ingredients, and as a result, it encourages a soft coat. This aloe-vera shampoo moisturizes the coat and repairs the damaged, irritated skin instantly.

  • The coconut oil deeply nourishes the skin.
  • This extra-gentle shampoo doesn’t contain a drop of alcohol.
  • This adds volume to the fur, and regular use of this shampoo makes the fur strong.

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