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Despite the fact that it may well be one
of the oldest breeds in the world, until
recent years the Chinese Shar-Pei (which
means sand-paper coat in Chinese) was also
considered one of the rarest. The breed
has existed in China for over 2000 years
and fanciers believe the breed was originally
used as a fighting dog. This rare breed
almost became extinct during China's politically
charged years in the 1970s. Fanciers in
Hong Kong and Taiwan appealed to American
dog-enthusiasts for help in saving and perpetuating
the Chinese Shar-Pei. Several of the dogs
were exported to the States, where breeders
began programs to help bring back the breed.
Now the Chinese Shar-Pei is extremely popular
and is no longer in danger of disappearing.
This unusual dog has a blue-black tongue,
similar to the Chow Chow's; it also has
extra saggy wrinkles as a pup which he tries
to fill out as he grows up. The loose skin
is said to have made him less vulnerable
in a dog fight. The Chinese Shar-Pei requires
moderate exercise on a regular basis.
height of a Chinese Shar-Pei is 18 - 20"
(45.7 - 50.8cm).
Chinese Shar-Peis weigh 35 - 55 lbs (15.6
- 24.6 kg).
The Chinese Shar-Pei has two coat lengths,
the shorter "horse" coat, and
the longer "brush" coat. The coat
is short and smooth; the skin is looser
and more wrinkled on shoulders, neck and
solid coat color is permitted with darker
shading allowed on the ears and back. When
grooming the Chinese Shar-Pei's coat, be
sure to check and clean skin folds to avoid
The Shar-Pei is at first wary of strangers
and is intensely loyal, devoted to and protective
of his family. He is also smart and charming,
which wins him admirers everywhere.
Chinese Shar-Peis may be affected
by skin problems due to the many folds;
eyelid problems due to heavy wrinkling on
brow; tight lower lip. Although in the past,
the life expectancy for a Chinese Shar Pei
was no more than 8 years, today it's possible
for this breed to live up to the age of
In China, this dog is often referred
to as a melon head, or a grandma face.
AKC: Group 6 - Non-Sporting Dogs
ANKC: Group 7 - Non Sporting
CKC: Group 6 - Non-Sporting Dogs
FCI: Group 2 Section 2 Molossoid breeds
KC: Non-Sporting - Utility Group
UKC: Northern Breeds