Chinese Shar-Pei Dogs

Chinese Shar-Pei may look sad or wistful, but once you get to know one, you’ll find them goofy and fun, the perfect roll-on-the-grass companion. They are lovable and fiercely devoted to their families, building strong bonds and powerful attachments to the people who care for them.

Chinese Shar-Pei

Chinese Shar-Pei Pictures

  • Chinese Shar-Pei dog named Budderick
  • Chinese Shar-Pei dog named Mr. Big
  • Chinese Shar-Pei dog named Leonard
  • Chinese Shar-Pei dog named Princess
  • Chinese Shar-Pei dog named Sophie
  • Chinese Shar-Pei dog named Snoop
see Chinese Shar-Pei pictures »

Quick Facts

  • 40 - 55 pounds
  • 18 - 25 inches

Ideal Human Companions

    • Singles
    • Families
    • Experienced dog handlers

Chinese Shar-Peis on Dogster

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Trademark Traits

    • Frowning, wrinkled face
    • Easygoing and friendly
    • Loyal but independent
    • Aloof
    • Stubborn and bold

What They Are Like to Live With

However, they also have a dignified, proud and sometimes aloof side, especially when new people or pets enter the mix. They can be independent, willful and choosy about which commands to follow.

Generally silent dogs, they will bark—and sometimes do more than just bark—when they sense a threat. It’s no wonder they were used as guard dogs in ancient China. With the proper introduction, however, they will allow their friendly and goofy sides to shine through.

Things You Should Know

This noble and dignified breed can sometimes be hard to train. Bored with repetition, they need a firm but loving hand to remind them who’s the boss. Chinese Shar-Pei were bred to hunt and fight, and those instincts can sometimes resurface. Proper training and socialization will soften that side.

Chinese Shar-Pei will get along fine in apartments, provided they get daily walks. Their padded heads are sometimes sensitive to heat, so make sure they get plenty of shade and water.

Because of the skin folds around their eyes, Chinese Shar-Pei have poor peripheral vision. Their wrinkles, in general, should be cleaned for dirt, dust and insects. Their coats should be brushed regularly.

A healthy Chinese Shar-Pei can live as long as 10 years. Common health problems include skin allergies, ear infections and an eye condition called entropion in which the eyelids fold inward.

Chinese Shar-Pei History

The Chinese Shar-Pei breed, which can be traced as far back as China’s Han Dynasty (200 B.C.), was originally used as a hunting and fighting dog—their trademark wrinkly face allowed them to avoid fatal bites. During the Communist takeover of China, the Shar-Pei—along with most of the dog population—was eliminated. However, breeders in Hawaii, Hong Kong and Taiwan kept the breed going, and the dogs eventually made their way to the U.S. In 1974, the Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America was formed.

The Look of a Chinese Shar-Pei

Distinguished by their frowning, wrinkly face, Chinese Shar-Pei have a peculiar and arresting look. With square, medium-sized frames, Chinese Shar-Pei stand with alert confidence. Their well-proportioned heads have heavily wrinkled faces, muzzles and necks. They have dark, sunken, almond-shaped eyes and small, thick ears. Like Chow Chows, their tongues are purplish. They have muscular front and back legs and curled tails. The word Shar-Pei means “rough, sandy coat,” and their coat indeed has a prickly coarseness sometimes likened to horsehair. Two other coats are found: the softer and longer brush-coat, and the rare bear-coat. Shar-Pei come in a wide range of colors—red, sandy, cream, blue and black.

Talk About Chinese Shar-Peis 

Love those wrinkles!

I have a Shar-Pei and he is the perfect dog! The first thing I like about Shar-Peis is their appearance. All the wrinkles make them unique, and give their faces a lot of character. Shar-Peis are very loyal and highly protective of their home and owner. Mine is also very affectionate and playful. Lastly, Shar-Peis are exceptionally clean dogs. They have no odor, and they are meticulous when it comes to their bowel and bladder habits. They won't eliminate until they are a good distance from home.

I've had my dog for about a year and a half and he has had not one single accident in the house. Mine was already housetrained when I got him, but I've heard that they virtually housetrain themselves. There is practically no grooming required. If I get another dog in the future, I would like to get another Shar-Pei. So I would highly recommend them to anyone considering a dog.

~Timothy P., owner of a Chinese Shar-Pei

Always a gentleman

I love that regal expression of "Doggy Disdain." I had a Shar-Pei for 10 years and will get another as soon as my living arrangements permit. He house-trained himself and would even ask to go out to vomit!

He never tracked in mud and wouldn't walk through puddles or even consider drinking out of them. He was always a gentleman. He was a bit headstrong, but with patience and a firm resolve, he would listen.

I couldn't feed him soy or the ground corn dog foods. The soy caused skin issues and the ground corn caused vomiting. Be selective about what you feed them and their coat will always be beautiful.

Once you live with a Shar Pei, you will never consider another breed. They are wonderful.

~Karla S., owner of a Shar Pei