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Are Shar Peis Good Family Dogs? Tips, Training, & Compatibility

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on April 21, 2024 by Dogster Team

Cute Shar-Pei dog with owners at home

Are Shar Peis Good Family Dogs? Tips, Training, & Compatibility

We understand why you are interested in the unique and rare Shar Pei. After all, it’s not a dog breed that you see every day, so they certainly bring an exotic vibe to the table. These dogs have so many wonderful qualities that can make them exceptional pets – and it’s not just their looks!

You’re doing the right thing to uncover whether an animal will fit into your lifestyle. After all, compatibility is the foundation for ownership success. In this article, we’re going to discuss a little bit about the temperament of the Shar Pei so you know if they will make a great match for your family.

Shar Pei: About the Breed

fawn shar pei dog sitting outdoor
Image Credit: taranova oxana, Shutterstock

The Shar Pei is a Chinese dog bred for its guarding capabilities. They take extreme pride in keeping their family safe. For years, people have relied on them for companionship and protection. These dogs are instantly recognizable with their copious wrinkles, smushy noses, and teddy bear-like appearance.

Understanding how this breed operates is how you can do your part to ensure they are trained and raised correctly. They need to be mannerly, efficient pets in the home, and they might need a little extra encouragement to fill this role.

While they will naturally protect and defend, they might have a little more trouble with befriending your coworker at your backyard barbeque. Let’s call them socially suspicious dogs that require lots of time to warm up. Some Shar Peis are aloof, while others are potentially aggressive with outsiders.

Socialization is incredibly important for this breed while they learn discernment and develop excellent listening skills.

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Shar Pei Compatibility with Children

You might wonder if Shar Peis are good with children, whether you have some yourself or plan to in the future. Also, with big families, it’s imperative to know all company is safe in your home—big or little.

Shar Peis can be exceptional playmates for children, permitting they are raised together, and the dog is well socialized. If a Shar-Pei has never been exposed to small children, they might be fearful or indifferent towards them.

However, they generally adore children’s activity levels, making this pair a dynamic duo for a good old-fashioned romp. If you introduce your Shar Pei to kids early, they will likely be ready for some playtime rather than see them as a threat or annoyance.

Always use your best judgment and never leave any dog unsupervised with a child, no matter how much you trust them.

Do Shar Peis Get Along with Other Animals?

Image Credit: maxprofoto, Shutterstock

If you know that Shar Peis can be a little territorial, you might have concerns about how well they will deal with other canines and smaller pets in your life, primarily cats.

You’ll be happy to know that they do very well with other canine companions. However, they are perfectly content to be the only dog in the home. If they have grown accustomed to being a solo dog and you wish to get another, the newcomer might not be so graciously accepted. So, early introductions are crucial.

Shar Peis can do okay with cats, but never amazing. Granted, there are some exceptions to this rule as there are with everything else. Caution is necessary for introducing cats later in life, but your Shar Pei will likely grow to love the family cat if they are raised together.

If you are adopting a full-grown Shar-Pei, compatibility factors can be different. If you were buying from a rescue or shelter, they would likely suggest bringing your dog and other pets in for a meet and greet to see how to respond to each other.

If it’s found to be a fit, you can move on to other steps in the adoption process.

How to Socialize Your Shar Pei

For your Shar Pei, socialization is critical if you have other children and animals, but even more so if you don’t. A Shar Pei living in a single-dog household can bond very well to their human families but have a lot of trouble with dogs and strangers outside of the home.

Here are some tips to encourage a Shar Pei to develop fabulous discernment to prevent this as much as possible.

Take Them on Populated Walks

The more your Shar Pei is around strangers throughout their puppy months, the better off they’ll be. While some traits, like reservation, can stick, they likely won’t get too bent out of shape or ready to battle a passerby if they get used to the bustling surroundings.

This one might be a little complicated if you live in a rural area. But as much as you can, try to take your Shar Pei on walks with others around so they can see lots of different faces – furry and human alike. The constant exposure will desensitize your dog to outside stimuli.

sharpei dog training
Image Credit: Pixel Shot, Shutterstock

Introduce Your Shar Pei to Friends and Family

If you have close friends, family members, and acquaintances you see regularly, let your Shar Pei get to know them right away. Take them over to their houses and repeatedly introduce your Shar Pei when they come to yours.

These are the first steps in acclimating your Shar Pei to people outside of the home, so they get an excellent experience.

Go to the Dog Park

If you have a dog park near you, see what you can do about getting a membership. Some dog parks allow free access, while others require specific documentation or fees before entering. Check with your local dog park to see what hoops you must jump through to get your dog in for some playtime.

Not only is this a fantastic way for your Shar Pei to romp around with other canines and interact with her owners, but it’s also a good way for you to get to know the community and ensure your dog has appropriate exercise.

Shar Pei Labrador
Image Credit: Ripio, Shutterstock

Opt for Professional Training

This is certainly not a dog you can own if you never plan to train. Some experienced owners don’t have a problem handling the unique circumstances Shar Peis bring to the table, but others require some help.

Professional dog training is becoming more and more commonplace as the years pass. There are tons of available trainers that offer courses in person and online. Depending on the training you need and the goals you wish to achieve with your dog, you can select the best method in your situation.

Professional training costs vary depending on the type of training you like, the trainer you choose, and the program’s complexity. Some training methods are free, offering easily accessible online videos.

Others require a rigorous in-person training session where you and your dog work together to establish successful training. Training your dog will allow them to understand that you are their master and they need to listen to your commands. It will help the pair establish a bond that will last throughout the years.

Positive reinforcement always works best, so your trainer will guide you on interacting with your dog’s personality to make them more receptive to outsiders.

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So, now you understand that Shar Peis can pair very well with the whole family, even with other pets you may have in most cases. However, they can be very particular and bond only with those in their close circle. To prevent suspicion and territorial tendencies, it is crucial to socialize your Shar Pei early.

Sometimes, the Shar Pei can be overly challenging for novice owners. Typically, these dogs make the best companions for experienced owners who know the breed. Do more research about this dog’s unique personality and care needs to make sure you’re well versed before committing.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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